Ryan T. Anderson and Robert P. George reflect on the legalization of same-sex marriage

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign
Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

Same-sex “marriage” has been the law of the land for 10 years, now. As with the first redefinition of marriage – no-fault divorce – many unexpected problems have arisen. I found an article by two famous social conservative professors in USA Today, where they explain.

Excerpt:

[I]n 2013, [the Supreme Court] struck down the federal definition of marriage as a male-female union in a 5-4 ruling.

[…]Same-sex marriage advocates told the public that they sought only the “freedom to marry.” Same-sex couples were already free to live as they chose, but legal recognition was about the definition of marriage for all of society. It was about affirmation — by the government and everyone else.

It’s unsurprising that once a campaign that used to cry “live and let live” prevailed, it began working to shut down Catholic adoption agencies and harass evangelical bakers and florists. This shows it was never really about “live and let live” — that was a merely tactical stance.

[…]While these were the early effects of redefinition, the more profound consequences will be to marriage itself. Law shapes culture; culture shapes beliefs; beliefs shape action. The law now effectively teaches that mothers and fathers are replaceable, that marriage is simply about consenting adult relationships, of whatever formation the parties happen to prefer. This undermines the truth that children deserve a mother and a father — one of each.

Traditional marriage had the notions of exclusivity and permanence embedded into it. These were seen as necessary to safeguard vulnerable children, who are the natural outcome of natural marriage. But what if you take out the complementary genders, and make marriage about the romantic feelings of adults?

It also undercuts any reasonable justification for marital norms. After all, if marriage is about romantic connection, why require monogamy? There’s nothing magical about the number two, as defenders of “polyamory” point out. If marriage isn’t a conjugal union uniting a man and a woman as one flesh, why should it involve or imply sexual exclusivity? If it isn’t a comprehensive union inherently ordered to childbearing and rearing, why should it be pledged to permanence?

[…]But same-sex marriage is a catalyst for further erosion. Already, we see respectable opinion-makers mainstreaming “throuples,” “ethical nonmonogamy” and “open relationships.”

The progressive elites got rid of natural marriage without even thinking about why marriage was there in the first place. Marriage was traditionally seen as being an exclusive, permanent commitment – and that commitment provided the stability needed for children. Marriage required you to look for a partner who was good at self-control (exclusivity) and commitment (permanence). But when judges decided that marriage was just about two people having romantic feelings, it opened up the door to all of these other “lifestyles”.

I’m just thinking right now about how to stop this. I know that social conservatives are trying to highlight the damage that is being caused by focusing relationships on adult happiness instead of children’s needs and rights. But I still don’t hear any sort of thoughtful presentation of marriage as a commitment enterprise, where two adults suppress their own selfishness in order to make a promise to love and care for this other person. Does anyone see relationships as being a self-sacrificial commitment to another person, and to any children who result? Or are we locked into this view that the goal of relationships is to make my spouse, my children, and everyone else make me feel good and look good?

4 thoughts on “Ryan T. Anderson and Robert P. George reflect on the legalization of same-sex marriage”

  1. Prior to Obergefell, LGBTQXYZ individuals had every right to live together, form private marriage contracts, hold wedding ceremonies, or anything else a married couple might want to do. The only thing they didn’t have was official, state endorsement. Whenever someone wants to codify something into the law, the only reason can be is that they want to force someone else to do something that that person would not voluntarily cede.

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  2. Although my words will offend some here, I can’t sugar coat them. I’m an Eastern Orthodox Christian, and serve in Minor Orders as a Reader in an Antiochian Parish. I’m godfather to two young Z Generation catechumen men, who like myself, and half our parish (100 members), fled feel good, women’s empowerment, and SJW sermons by pastors in skinny jeans, and women clergy, irreverent and feminized praise and worship music, and the endless “trends’ we found in mainline Protestantism, and evangelical Protestantism. In our adult education/catechumen class (filled with many millennial and Z generation men, military men, and young millennial couples) our priest told the catechumens (I’m paraphrasing, but accurately) “the Orthodox Church is conservative. We believe marriage is between one man and one woman for life, and that life begins at conception. We will love the sinner, but hate the sin. We will love and minister to a homosexual, but unless they repent and forsake this lifestyle, they cannot be part of the sacramental life of the church. The gospel and teachings of our lord and the apostles is exclusive, not inclusive”. One young millennial couple left and returned to their former progressive/liberal church. Our motto is “ancient and unchanging faith”, not “whatever is trendy at the time”.

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  3. @My 2 Cents. I wholeheartedly agree. I also believe it’s because… deep down… they know it’s wrong; but if they can get it codified and get others to uphold their lifestyle as an acceptable alternative, then they can feel better about their immorality. Slippery slope…

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  4. I stopped caring about the gov’t view of marriage when it moved from a biblical standard.

    I view my legal paper with the government as being of little value to me and of itself I don’t even care about being married before my government.

    But I God married by a minister I loved and respected because I wanted to be under the authority of God in a marriage.

    In my opinion I view the gov’t law as being just a civil union certificate, and it is the religious side before God that I value and performed by a minister with Christian vows.

    I would accept changing the government view to everyone being just a civil union. And of you want a marriage before God you get it performed at a church with a certificate from a minister much like a baptism certificate.

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