Tuesday, April 7, 2009

APB weighs in on marriage news

By Smitty
Donald Douglas over at American Power Blog has an excellent post on the topic of How Does Gay Marriage Affect Me? He quotes Robert Bork at length. Some questions arise in regard to the following:
Studies of the effects of same-sex marriage in Scandinavia and the Netherlands by Stanley Kurtz raise at least the inference that when there is a powerful (and ultimately successful) campaign by secular elites for homosexual marriage, traditional marriage is demeaned and comes to be perceived as just one more sexual arrangement among others. The symbolic link between marriage, procreation, and family is broken, and there is a rapid and persistent decline in heterosexual marriages. Families are begun by cohabiting couples, who break up significantly more often than married couples, leaving children in one-parent families. The evidence has long been clear that children raised in such families are much more likely to engage in crime, use drugs, and form unstable relationships of their own. These are pathologies that affect everyone in a community.
Personally, I'm from the "judge the tree by the fruit" school of thought. I know "2+2=4" with the same clarity that I know what "marriage" means. The same people that are for thrashing traditional symbols are frequently the global warming zealots and endorsers of perpetual financial motion machines (bailouts). Bad ideas are tacky in the sense of sticking to each other as well as making lousy fashion.

However, it seems paradoxical that the same people screaming about nanny states and excessive taxation are the same ones seeking to empower to the government to control behavior. For a thought experiment, if people are allowed to express their political will one way or another in a given state, might the idea be allowed to flourish or crash on its own? Let a state take on all these tacky ideas, all manner of weird geometries being called "marriage". Let them legalize every sort of chemical. Let them have a baby abbatoir on every street corner. Let them worship every false modern idol in the name of "tolerance." From an academic standpoint, it would be interesting to watch the downward spiral.

UPDATE (RSM): The problem with the "laboratories of democracy" states-rights approach to gay marriage lies in the "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution. As a small-d democrat, I have no problem saying that Vermonters have every right to go to hell in the manner of their own choosing.

That such a desolate wasteland as Vermont (state motto, "We're Practically Canadian") should have two seats in the U.S. Senate is almost as bad as that miserable swamp Delaware (state motto, "Not Quite Good Enough To Be Jersey") having two seats in the U.S. Senate. I've never been to Vermont and have no plans to go there, and their social institutions are of no more interest to me than those of New Guinea or Toronto or some other Third World pesthole.

Yet there will inevitably come the time when Adam and Steve, legally husband and wife in Montpelier, shall demand to be recognized as lawfully wed in, say, Houston. At which point, in the immortal words of Jack Swigert, "Houston, we have a problem."

I'm very skeptical as to how the Supreme Court would ultimately rule in such a case. We have seen, as in the case of Roe v. Wade, how SCOTUS has often tried to short-circuit democracy and federalism by imposing one-size-fits-all "solutions" on difficult social issues, and we've seen the disastrous results. At some point, we've got to rethink this business of letting five guys in black robes run the whole freaking country.


  1. It would almost certainly not be good for our souls to watch the downward spiral. That this abomination occurred during Holy Week is an affront to Christians everywhere.

    The proper response, of course, is to shake the dust of Vermont off our sandals and leave them to their wickedness. Don't look back, or ye too may be turned into a pillar of salt.

  2. @Chris
    Full concur.
    But we cannot fix "wrong" on our own, and trying to legislate a fix for "wrong", may not produce "right".
    That's about the extent of my point.

  3. I'd rather risk having my future children see a small percentage of people making a homosexual marriage commitment than having them see such persons restricted from it due only to the insecurities and fears of others. Of all things, I really don't think our kids and grandkids will be shaking their fists at us for allowing this. Let us please divert our energy to the massive array of actually-important issues in front of us!

  4. "due only to the insecurities and fears of others" obviously this is the ONLY reason. There couldn't possibly be any other reasons!

    This is the kind of blatant stereotyping that makes debate pointless. Doesn't matter how many rational arguments you make about the tax code and the legal incentivisation of a licensing procedure intended to secure general welfare for future generations against crime, poverty, educational failure, etc. or inviting equal protection legal challenges for polygamy, NAMBLA, incest, etc.

    All of this is ignored because anti-dictionary activists prefer to assume you just MUST be a bigot instead. Just as it's more convenient for them to just redefine marriage when the definition doesn't suit them, it's also more convenient to redefine the nature of all opponenets rather than debate them honestly.