I don't know if much will come of it or not, but the right is still all upset (perhaps, naturally?). I'm poking through a symposium of social conservative thinkers
mentioned in a Guardian summary article here
. All trying to imagine a bit, wherever the opposition is going...
While I don't agree with the general trend, where many hint or claim the whole society is basically going to hell as a result of same-sex marriage expanding... I kinda have to appreciate the spunk of how much they wiggle and look for procedural loopholes. At least a little. And there are a few that actually are a bit revealing from what they seem to hint about Christian and more conservative communities themselves.
The Court got marriage and the Constitution wrong today just like they got abortion and the Constitution wrong 42 years ago with Roe v. Wade. Five unelected judges do not have the power to change the truth about marriage or the truth about the Constitution.
--- Not that Roe v. Wade has gone away any time soon, so I have to wonder what they expect to get by bringing that up. Hopefully not rather intimidation-oriented protests and bombings at same-sex marriages/clerks/churches to complement protests and bombings at abortion clinics (aargh).
But aside from such nastiness in historical tactics of opposition: Granted, there's no point arguing that they should give up arguing simply because a court says so.
Marriage is based on the anthropological truth that men and woman are distinct and complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children deserve a mother and a father.
I wonder a little whose
evidence they are referring to, as there are a good few books on gender around the world (from anthropology no less) that would unsettle this notion. And there's no empirical case that children of same-sex couples are doing worse than those of different-sex couples, controlling for the predictable (external prejudice) effects of existing discrimination against same-sex couples generally.
Another thing that's worrisome about this line is it suggests that the right may become more antagonistic toward Trans/Queer population in the future. Much in the name of protecting the children of course... Which was the same old line that's been used to smear gays (particularly gay men) for decades at least now. The more things change, the more social conservativism doesn't. Or is that in the definition of social conservativism too: "Much keep up the same old smear lines forever?"
The only silver lining is, it obviously doesn't work in the Supreme Court. They dropped the very same arguments the court had already rejected in Windsor.
In the aftermath of the Dred Scott decision, Lincoln came forth with the most penetrating critique, and he proceeded to lead a national movement to counter and overturn that decision. He and his Congress would move through ordinary statutes, before raising the matter to the level of a constitutional amendment. All of these ingredients should be in place.
So he wants to compare animus against
the Black population which clearly excluded them from citizenship to... What? To a decision which social conservatives don't like. As if they are somehow completely excluded, or unable to function, in a society which has same-sex marriage. Someone needs to come out in public and explain exactly
what these people feel they
are being denied. Personally, I think it would have to reasonably start with 'being the only kind of people allowed to have marriage' -- but it's very tricky to say that and not be flagged as discriminatory. Psychologically it makes a certain defensive sense (though no less than same-sex couples' wanting to get married!)... But then, you run into the land where married people get material benefits and social approval and others don't.
If this is basically a demand that gender roles be strictly segregated and enforced -- which is more what Anderson seems to be approaching in the quote further above -- then well, if they actually expect any serious response then people need to hear all the details and evidence. (If in fact there wasn't enough of this same argument in the circuit case that shot down Proposition 8?) I don't believe this very reaching Dred Scott comparison, or a more rigid legislation of gender roles should
be worthy of judicial approval. But I also
don't believe they have even bothered to do the work of enunciating just where that is all coming from. That is if in fact, anyone has seriously done research to think through it. Most of the scant academic writing coming down against
same-sex couples parenting has since been discredited... So I don't see either a threat to children, OR exclusion of hetero couples going on there.
But maybe there is some broader
agenda about roles of men and women in society here that could be at least explicated. However, I strongly suspect it's one that would involve something like returning to a 1950's family that rarely if ever quite existed at all in the actual history. So, perhaps if they dared to upset still more women, especially, in the process.
It’s time for conservatives to apply principles to their purses. Coca-Cola, ESPN, and Walmart are prominent cases of corporate culture warfare, and every time a conservative buys a Coke, watches SportsCenter, or enters the megastore, he helps them do their damage.
Wow, I'm starting to believe the Republican Party must be much more fragmented than I realized! Conservatives believe corporations are bad??? Whatever happened to the rhetoric of sacred, untouchable "job creators" who can be denied no tax break anywhere? Is it really only the whiter-collar sorts voting more directly for that, and others are cobbled together on social issues and other particular fusses like gun control or race? I wonder now. Cause I sure hear Republican figures spewing out a lot of 'Anyone can be responsible and work harder and be successful in America (structural inequality? huh? where?! surely only Europe
limits anyone!!)... but job creators
must never lose a dime to evil big government!'
And conservatives are against sports culture and megastores? Really?! What have I been missing in the last few years, cause that isn't the image of key conservative voters which I have long understood to be out there (rural, often white, working class, often enough male, very
invested in masculine spectacles like American football and always talking about who's beating on who or whoever's "tougher" or "owns" who).
Justice Alito’s dissent notes the rate of illegitimate birth, and nobody is shocked at the routine acceptance of marital infidelity and instability. All this is ominous for the sustainability of Western civilization. To outsiders, however, it appears inconsistent and selective to judge practicing homosexuals, for whom same-sex impulses are usually deep-seated, more strictly than wanton adulterers.
Aha? Is this what some are really after here -- locking up those women in chastity belts when the hubby's away and making divorce unthinkable? Well, at least someone is thinking somewhat about getting one's errrm, house "in order" before going on the offensive.
Some Christians aren’t convinced that the Bible prohibits homosexual acts. Let the Courts and the States go where they will. It’s absurd to urge the country to affirm Christian marriage until we’re united on the question. Given today’s disarray, that’s the work of a century or more.
Churches must take responsibility for marriages and families. The argument that we need to protect marriage for children is true in principle, laughable in practice. In sections of America, marriages aren’t steady enough to protect anyone. The best argument for traditional marriage is a thriving traditional marriage.
At least this one strikes me as more reasonable. When Biblical scholars don't all agree, you need to do more research first or accept that there's no united front. I don't think most of these people even know enough about the language and culture Paul (and probably many of the others!) wrote from.
Agreed many marriages don't last. But can anyone make
them, in the society we have? Umm.
It's actually many of those states that claim to value traditional heterosexual marriage most
, that have higher teen pregnancy and domestic violence rates.
To continue to even use the same word “marriage” is to employ a homonym. Let Jewish and Christian clergy use the Hebrew term kiddushin for what they are now solemnizing, which is the virtual equivalent of the Latin term sacramentum. Traditional religious marriage is holy; this new revolutionary institution is, by contrast, profane.
I don't know quite what to make of this one yet... It's rather amusing in the desperation to find distance and distinction, anywhere
one can. Which seems to be at the heart of the whole conservative upset actually, in my opinion... This idea that 'we must
be sanctified' not only religiously but socially, and only by having a different and apparently older word can one achieve that.
Except, what would they do when they realized that so many laws don't cover those
terms, any more than they required inclusion for all the people who had only "civil unions"?!!
Marriage simply cannot and will not accommodate everyone. In 1960, one in ten adults had never been married. Today it is nearly one in five—with fifty percent of that number saying that they wish they were married. Marriage has declined the most among those who are the worst off. Men with only a high school degree or less are more likely than those with a further degree never to have married (25 percent v. 14 percent). A similar disparity exists between blacks (36 percent) and whites (16 percent). Those who do marry now marry later than ever.
We are moving toward a post-marriage future. While marriage will long continue to be the reality for a majority of Americans, its centrality to the culture and importance to individuals will only continue to ebb. How can the Court’s marriage idealism accommodate this reality? Where is the “nobility and dignity” for the Appalachian man without a high-school diploma, the single woman in Spanish Harlem, the twenty-something unpaid intern? Perhaps the justices forgot that not everyone was born in the 1950s and grew up to be an elite.
... As more and more Americans live more and more of their lives outside of marriage, Christians must recover the forms of radical solidarity that gave St. Paul confidence when he said that it was good not to marry.
You know, I think he's basically right. Even while it's awesome that same-sex couples can marry, it's also true that it's become difficult for many
people to afford the commitments and often, the sort of ceremony that is expected of marriage in the US. So either definitions of what marriage IS will have to keep changing radically (here I mean not what sex one can marry, but what one is supposed to do
about having a ceremony or what one will do in terms of living together or which benefits it will actually include for anyone
And there is a whole slew of reasons that what benefits marriage gives, shouldn't only be limited to "couples" or "households" defined and regulated in the odd ways that marriage does today. So those on the conservative end who are moving away from having marriage at all, even if they do so in response to the same-sex marriage decision etc., may actually dovetail with liberals who are skeptical of marriage as a central institution. Not that either group is necessarily a sweeping majority or the "center" of either side as yet... But there are real problems still pending with the larger picture of all marriage does in the society period
, and this is getting at a piece of them.