To people on the right, let’s face it. The issue of gay marriage is not going to go away. The left has been pushing this issue since Reagan’s day, and they are not going to let up. Liberals who constitute the vast majority of leadership positions in academic institutions, Hollywood, and the mainstream media are focused on helping LBST activists portray all those who hold traditional social viewpoints as bigots, just for disagreeing with them. Conservatives have lost the moral high ground because for the most part, the Bible and traditional views of the older generation have lost credibility and relevance to many demographic groups. Liberals in leadership positions have convinced many of those in the middle of the political spectrum that to exclude gays and lesbians from marriage “rights” is just plain morally wrong. Politicians who attempt to uphold marriage as between a man and a woman in today’s ideological climate risk losing their reelections in many districts.
Marriage as an institution and social structure has been around since the beginning of human existence. Although in some cultures polygamy has been tolerated at times, marriage’s definition as between a man and woman has never been in dispute throughout these eons. Modern liberals who want to redefine it to sanction the lifestyles of homosexuals should consider all aspects of the subject, not just the wishes of the adults who feel marginalized by marriage laws. The effects on our societal structure and the children in our society should take precedence over all else. The definition of marriage matters.
But despite our own personal views on what constitutes a marriage, American democratic ideals and the society in which we live require that homosexuals be granted the same privileges and benefits as heterosexuals. The benefits of marriage are many, and many of these benefits are currently denied to homosexuals. Realistically, it is only a matter of time before liberal forces gain enough strength to overturn federal laws. Then the very ideal that marriage traditionalists have fought against, the complete redefinition of marriage to include homosexual couples, will become the law of the land. Along with this will be the demand that states recognize gay marriage in the same way that the federal government does. Another time of turmoil will ensue, such as in the days of the civil rights movement. I do not believe that the right can save marriage by just attempting to hold back the inevitable tide. In the end, marriage traditionalists will be silenced; and future generations will never see marriage in the same way.
Conservative groups from the Republican Party to the Tea Party to religious conservatives need a different strategy to fight this war. We need to remove marriage from the front line of the federal battle before it dies a tragic death. I suggest that we rewrite federal laws, as well as eventually state laws, so that the word “marriage” is removed from all legislation and replaced with “civil union.” Then, marriage can remain essentially a sacred, religious institution between a man and a woman. Individuals, churches, and religious institutions should, of course, still be guaranteed their freedom to recognize marriage as only between a man and a woman along the lines of their beliefs. Thus, marriage will maintain its definition among most of the population and within all but the most liberal religious institutions.
Under this strategy, liberals cannot claim that anyone is being denied marriage benefits or “fundamental rights” since everyone will have the same benefits to become “united” as anyone else. The one or two percent of the population that call themselves homosexuals can file with the IRS as “united filing jointly” and receive social security benefits for a deceased “partner” or medical insurance under their family plans. Eventually, the end results of this strategy might be a decreased focus and reduced support for this issue in academia and the media. Also, those who may be militant activists for this issue because of a counter-culture mentality may move on to other issues. The net effect, I believe, will be that society begins to more objectively examine the benefits of marriage. This in turn will result in a more positive viewpoint towards the age-old institution among people of these United States.
Photo credit: loungerie (Creative Commons)