Robert George, a law professor at Princeton and the co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage, is a lot like the black knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He may have had both arms and legs cut off, but he swears that he will never give up in his courageous fight against equality and for discrimination.
And so I said, that’s why we have to fight. We have to resolve that we will stand for marriage and fight for however long it takes—it might be 20 years, it might be 50 years, it might be 100 years—to rebuild the marriage culture and to restore in law, where it has been displaced, a sound understanding of marriage.
As a result of this, we will draw ridicule. We will bring scorn upon ourselves, because powerful people in institutions reject our understanding of marriage. They reject what everyone understood marriage to be until yesterday. And they claim that anyone who disagrees with them is a bigot, or a hater, or is motivated by irrational animus, or archaic religious beliefs. Yet we must suffer that, be willing to suffer that opprobrium, perhaps discrimination, perhaps the loss of friends, perhaps even conflict within the family, for the sake of rebuilding marriage, because so much for people depends on it, and especially for the poor.
And we must begin where marriage has been eroded, by protecting our own religious liberty as institutions and as people, individuals of faith—to honor in our own businesses, in our own lives, our conscientious belief that marriage is the union of husband and wife.
There are efforts to take away these religious liberties, in the area, for example, of accreditation of academic institutions or healthcare institutions, licensing where businesses or organizations require state licensure, in the area of government contracting where churches compete to get contracts from the government to provide social services to the poor, and of course in employment.So we need to work for laws that will protect religious liberty and the rights of conscience so that we can maintain in our own faiths, in our own lives, the integrity of our views and our convictions about marriage, which will provide the platform for us then to fight back in the effort to restore the marriage culture and to restore in law the basic understanding of marriage as a conjugal union oriented toward children and not concerned fundamentally with adult satisfactions.
In 1963, Gov. George Wallace of Alabama gave his inaugural address after being reelected. In that famous speech he pledged to fight fiercely for “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” George has merely modified that slightly: discrimination now, discrimination tomorrow, discrimination forever. And like Wallace, he demands that businesses be allowed to continue to refuse to hire or serve those they disapproved of. And like Wallace, he will lose this battle. Hell, he’s already lost it. Why else is he trying to hard to fire up the troops? And like Wallace, he will become increasingly out of step with the rest of society and find himself to be in a tiny minority of small-minded bigots that the world has left behind.