Sterilizing Marriage

Sterilizing Marriage March 31, 2016

In his powerful manifesto, Nation of Bastards, Douglas Farrow argues that the Kulturkampf in which we find ourselves began in the early part of the 20th century with “the promotion of sterilization, eugenics, and the contraceptive mentality.” In short, it started “as an attack on children,” more horrifically in the legalization of abortion: “No account of same-sex marriage that ignores this prior defiling and searing of conscience can hope to be fully plausible, nor for that matter any account that ignores the culture of divorce . . . scarring generations of living children” (26).

That assault on children is institutionalized in same-sex marriage, which, Farrow argues, is “incapable of the civil consequences for which marriage has chiefly been prized.” The civil purposes of marriage don’t “make sense without the presupposition that marriages produce children and that the successful rearing of those children is largely, though not exclusively, what they are for. Genderless marriage is marriage in which procreation, per definitionem, is not the norm. The norm in genderless marriage is sexual bonding for its own sake, and its only immediate civil consequence is the normalization of homosexual bonding in the face of social resistance, especially religious resistance” (57).

As Farrow puts it in dismay, “Marriage is no longer about children! What state of mind, what condition of heart and soul, is necessary to say such things? Marriage itself has been sterilized. It is no longer about being a parent and a grandparent, or even an uncle or an aunt. It is not about making and sustaining families – families that lovingly include the infertile without loving infertility – with siblings, cousins, nephews, and nieces. Marriage is not about forming and maintaining the basic cells of civil society, the plenipotent cells that replenish society and fill it with the fruit of their diversity. Marriage, as made in Canada, is merely about coupling and copulation,” little more than “state-approved fornication” (32).

And because of this, nations that adopt same-sex marriage are literally forming nations of bastards. If marriage has no inherent connection to procreation, if same-sex couples are equally married, then the link between parents and their biological children is deprived of its legal expression and support. In many countries, the state already intervenes between parents and children – always for the supposed good of the children, who are too young to realize (for instance) they are being brainwashed by home-schooling religious fanatics. Children are effectively wards of the state, and the family and kin networks that have historically served as a check on state power are fragmented into autonomous individual units.

In Canada, Farrow points out, civil unions have been defined in opposition to religious marriages, effectively privatizing religious institutions. As in the US, religious supports for traditional marriage have been rejected as a foundation for family law. Once in “Christendom” marriage was defined in narrow terms as a lifelong bond between a man and a woman, but now that we are beyond Christendom, our laws must reflect the common core of marriage – which is a union of persons (of undefined sex). The implied privatization of religious truth is another blow to freedom, insofar as religious institutions, like families, provide a support for civil society that escapes the state’s jurisdiction.

Supported in the name of autonomous choice, same-sex marriage ultimately undermines freedom because it chips away at the familial and religious checks that have preserved freedom.

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