In a Christian Post end-of-year survey of “intolerant liberalism,” half of the 33 examples had to do with same-sex marriage or acceptance of homosexuality. Why is this issue so persistent?
I recently speculated how the conservative anti-gay fight might change (“Having Lost the Same-Sex Marriage Fight, What Will Opponents Do Now?”). I keep thinking that conservatives will throw in the towel and begin to worry about other issues, maybe ones that actually matter. How about energy independence or improving conditions for America’s poorest citizens? If voters reward conservative posturing, couldn’t we trust them to reward conservative politicians who actually address some of society’s problems?
Some conservatives may be dropping the issue, but not all. Let’s take a look at one who’s keeping the anti-same-sex marriage candle burning. Frank Turek is one of the fish in this “traditional marriage” pond, but the pond is drying up. I’d like to preserve what he says today so that it can be used to plague him tomorrow.
1. Activist judges! In Frank’s dictionary, “activist judge” seems to mean “a judge who doesn’t do what I want.”
Activist judges won’t honor the ballot box. 41,020,568 people across more than half the states have voted to recognize marriage for what nature’s design says it is—the union of one man and one women. Yet just 23 unelected judges have overturned those 41 million people across about 20 states!
Yeah, that’s how the legal system works sometimes. Very few laws are put in place by direct vote of the citizens, and sometimes judges are the last step in the process.
Frantic Frank imagines the sky falling with these “unelected judges” rampaging through society, but the Constitution defines the separation of powers that form the checks and balances between the branches of government. Judges are appointed by the president and confirmed by senators who are elected. Judges can be impeached. The Constitution can be amended. I’ll believe that “activist judge” isn’t simply a convenient slur for when he doesn’t get his way when he applies it to conservative decisions.
For all their talk about equality, the other side does not respect democracy unless the vote comes out their way.
But surely that’s not true for Frank. He’s okay with public opinion—which is good, because a recent CBS News/New York Times poll showed the public strongly in favor of same-sex marriage by 56% to 37%, with the gap continuing to grow. Look at the trend from the Gallup poll:
2. But we’re already equal! Frank next denies that there’s a problem.
Everyone already has equal marriage rights. Every person has the same equal right to marry someone of the opposite sex.
Compare with this: “It shall hereafter be unlawful for any white person in this State to marry any save a white person” from the Virginia Racial Integrity Act of 1924. Sounds like the same deal—the white folks were constrained just like everyone else. That’s fair, so what’s to complain about? I wonder how Frank can fault the logic in the racial category but not in the sexuality category when we’re talking about people in both cases.
It’s amazing that he anticipates no consequences from his base after saying something so bigoted, but then George Wallace’s “I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!” from 1963 didn’t have major negative consequences.
Not immediately, anyway.
Frank’s assurance that things are fair and he’s not prejudiced sounds hollow when his proposal doesn’t inconvenience him. He wants to shut off an option that could help millions of Americans, but that’s okay because he’s not one of them. Here’s an idea, Frank: how about if people with odd Social Security numbers can only marry people with even numbers and vice versa? Everyone is constrained by the same rules, so it’s fair, right? Is someone you care about inconvenienced yet?
If you say that that’s a stupid rule, you’re getting an idea of what some people say about your claim above.
3. But you can’t redefine marriage!
Been there, redefined that. Don’t imagine that marriage has been a constant since Adam and Eve. The last major change (just considering marriage in the U.S.) was in 1967 when rules against interracial marriage were struck down in 17 states.
Even now, rules vary by state. What’s the age of consent? Can you marry your cousin? Is a blood test or Social Security Number required? What’s the waiting period? Residency requirements? Requirements for divorced persons? Let’s not pretend that marriage is fixed.
4. I’m not a bigot! Frank rejects the comparison of laws against same-sex marriage with racist or sexist laws.
There was no rational case to preclude people from voting because of their race or sex. But there certainly is a rational case to preclude changing marriage.
We can agree that laws that precluded citizens from voting were wrong. They thought it was okay back then, but society changes. Frank clearly has no problem with society evolving and improving. That’s good, because it’s changing again to accept same-sex marriage.
Continue with Part 2.
Heterosexuality is not normal,
— seen on the internet
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