The push towards ‘equal marriage’, as it is now being called, is saying, in effect, that traditional marriage, that is, marriage ‘between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others’, as the Australian Marriage Act 1961 presently has it, will be redefined.
So, effectively, heterosexual, or traditional marriage, will, in future, be considered ‘equal’ to homosexual marriage.
If activists are going to use the term ‘equal marriage’ then the only conclusion is that heterosexuals who are married will soon be considered equal in marriage to homosexuals in marriage.
Of course, because some countries, such as the UK, where the changes are also being proposed, have strict legislation on Discrimination, Equality and Inclusion, if the term ‘equality’ is used in any reforms, marriage will have to be legally demonstrated to include all forms of relationship, including polygamous, intrasexual, extrasexual, outrasexual, transsexual, pansexual, necrosexual, and any other sexual variation which may arise, because, surely, if it is truly ‘equal’ then the real definitions required are those of ‘equality’ and ‘numbers’. All you need is two, or three, or four, or more of some gender.
Peter Saunders, a respected Sociologist, gives a very valid argument, from a secular perspective, for why a change in marriage laws will effectively become a dripping tap into the potentially perverse.
Gay marriage, polygamy and the social order
Peter Saunders | 01 June 2012
What are we to say about gay marriage? Britain’s Coalition government is committed to introducing an Equal Marriage Bill before the next election. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says it should not be a free vote because ‘we are not asking people to make a decision of conscience.’
Gay couples can already enter civil partnerships that offer the same legal rights and protections as marriage, but equalities campaigners say this is not enough. Equality requires that men must be allowed to marry other men, and women other women.
So what’s wrong with that? I can think of good arguments against allowing gay adoption, for there are third-party interests to consider (principally, the right of a child to both a mother and father). But gays already have the right to adopt children, and there will be no going back. Christian adoption agencies that do not want to place children with same-sex couples have had to close because such discrimination is now illegal under UK equalities law.
With gay adoption already legal, I can think of no good, logical arguments against also allowing gay marriage. If two people of the same sex want to marry, it harms nobody else, so on classical liberal principles, they should surely have the freedom and the right to do so.
Mind you, the same reasoning also applies to polygamy. I can think of no good, logical argument why one man should not be allowed to marry more than one woman, or one woman more than one man, provided they all freely agree to the arrangement. Indeed, there are cultures in the world where polygamy has long been practised and is legally sanctioned, which is more than can be said for same-sex marriage. The case for polygamy thus appears at least as strong as the case for gay marriage, and I would be amazed if the UK parliament does not come under pressure in the next few years to end the discrimination of marriage law against Muslim and any other men who want more than one wife.
The only possible argument against such a change is the rather lame response: ‘But this is not what marriage means in our culture.’ In the Western world, marriage evolved as a binding relationship between one man and one woman. But this cuts no ice with those demanding gay marriage, and it will mean even less in the future when demands surface for polygamous marriage to be legalised.
Two thoughts strike me about all this.
One is Friedrich Hayek’s warning about the vanity of the intellectuals. Intellectuals are affronted by social institutions (such as free markets and monogamous marriage) that have evolved over hundreds or thousands of years without people like them ever having consciously invented or designed them. They think evolved institutions are not ‘rational,’ and they believe they can do better. The only argument for leaving marriage unreformed is that it has been this way for a very long time, but that is never going to win the day with ‘modernisers,’ in whose ranks we have to include Prime Minister ‘Dave’ Cameron.
The second thought is that gay marriage will not bring the bourgeois social order crashing down, but it is one more step in Antonio Gramsci’s call in the 1930s for a revolutionary ‘march through the institutions.’ Gramsci, an Italian Marxist, realised that Western capitalism would not be destroyed by economic class struggle, for it is good at meeting people’s material needs. What was needed, therefore, was a long-term campaign against the core institutions through which bourgeois culture is transmitted to each generation. Break the hold of the churches, take over the media, subvert the schools and universities, and chip away at the heart of the citadel, the bourgeois family, and eventually, the whole system will fall.
Gay marriage. Drip. Drip. Drip.
Peter Saunders is a Senior Fellow at The Centre for Independent Studies.
The whole politically correct issue has, as Saunders reminds us, already claimed at least one victim, that of the Christian agencies which have been forced to close because they refuse to place children with same-sex couples, rejecting any denial of long held specific familial values and will not bend them to government requirements, which, inevitably, interfere with the standards those organisations have traditionally adhered to.
This is only the beginning.
Posted by Steve