Gay marriage has a warm, fuzzy feeling. Those who support it ask, who can be hurt by granting to gay couples the same rights we give to straight couples? As you know, while I have no trouble with same sex relationships between consenting adults, and favor granting civil benefits to gay couples, I do think marriage is a unique institution that should not be given away lightly.
As I’ve explained before, I think that the State has an interest in supporting heterosexual marriage. When you think about it, it’s really a guy thing. Heterosexual marriage, by tying a man to a woman, gives him something very special: The presumptive belief that the children she has are his. In order to protect these little fruits of his loins, the average man will embark on a behavior trajectory that makes him a good citizen: He will work hard so that he, not the state or the street, supports the little ones; he will avoid criminal activity; and he will use his testosterone to defend his nation, not commit revolution against it. Homosexual marriage, because it is not an inherently fruitful relationship, despite the fact that gays and lesbians can parent children, advances none of these purposes.
That’s my problem with gay marriage: it doesn’t advance any of societal purposes, but it does serve to devalue the marital currency. And it does this because of the gals. I noted that, in societal terms, heterosexual marriage is beneficial because it serves as a positive rein on guy energy. But guys, no doubt recognizing and resisting that rein, aren’t the ones who push for marriage. It’s the gals who do, with their vision of being princess for a day and of having someone committed to fatherhood with them. When there are two girls and a guy standing next to you queuing for wedding gowns, it saps some of the magic. It cheapens it, if you will. It also sends a very clear message that marriage is not about motherhood, which encourages more single parenting (have the baby, and don’t worry about the toilet seat being left up), and makes men extraneous and useless. (And yes, I know that there are a lot of other factors damaging the institution of marriage. That only makes it more serious that we don’t pile on more anti-marriage hits.)
There’s one other big problem, which is what Dennis Prager noted the moment the California Supreme Court issued its ruling: Once gay marriage is a state right, you’re going to start having discrimination claims that will fan out and affect every area of life. Schools are going to have to have equal numbers of books touting homosexual and heterosexual relationships, and that’s going to be true right down to kindergarten. And people are going to be constrained in what they can do in ways that are antithetical to their fundamental values.
You already know that a Boston Catholic organization (that is, not a state organization) is out of the business of providing homes for children because it felt it was doctrinally wrong to place a child in a homosexual household. Now, in England, an Earl who opened his 600 year old home for weddings has been banned from the wedding business because his Christian faith could not tolerate joining a man and a man in state sanctioned partnership in his home:
An Earl has been banned from holding weddings at his 600-year-old castle after refusing to allow a gay marriage.
The Earl of Devon, Hugh Courtenay, has had the licence to hold civil ceremonies at Powderham Castle near Exeter revoked by Devon County Council.
It is thought to be the first case of its kind in the country since the introduction of civil partnerships last year.
The council acted in response to a complaint from a gay couple from London who tried to book the castle for their own partnership ceremony.
The case was taken up by gay pressure group Stonewall and now the Earl has been told his licence has been revoked because of discrimination.
Devon County Council withdrew the licence because Lord Devon was in breach of the Sexual Orientation regulations of the Equality Act 2007.
Mr Courtenay is the 18th Earl of Devon with a title going back to 1553. He says he is a devout Christian and is acting out of faith.
The Earl said: ‘I have to follow my religion in this case. The question has never arisen here before but I suppose I knew it would at some time.
‘Now it has, then this is the way it has to be. I have no option. As a Christian I have to object to this.’
There’s one last little interesting thing about that article and it’s the selfishness permeating the whole thing. The gay couple who got the whole thing started are delighted that, if they can’t have a wedding at the castle, no one can have a wedding at the castle:
The gay couple whose wedding was refused by the Earl say his decision was discrimination and they are delighted at the revocation.
So much of this rights thing has that nasty edge: If I suffer, everyone suffers. I will feel better only if you feel miserable. What a petty group.
UPDATE: I simply want to urge everyone who glances at this post to read the comments. They are much more interesting than the post itself.