As grateful as I am for support and allegiance -- and for the hard work of those who promote gay rights as part of a broader program of social justice -- I worry that my straight friends may be missing the big picture and that if we don't collectively pay attention, we could all suffer in the end. The marriage equality debate is not just about gays and lesbians; it's about the freedom of everyone to set the terms of their own life. [Emphasis mine].
The terms you set for your life must be and always will be limited by the natural law. From where does Ms. Bilger's "freedom" emanate? The assertion of a freedom, or a "civil right," does not mean it actually exists. What Bilger really wants is license -- a license which she has been denied by the sovereign people of the State of California, but also a license to engage in conduct without people responding to that conduct. She wants acceptance, not tolerance, and she's willing to use the power of the state, through the courts, to achieve it.
Moving along, Bilger makes the point that proponents of the people's right to define their institutions i.e. the Proposition 8 team are really engaging in "Gender Wars 2.0." Again, she writes,
Defenders of the ban on same-sex marriage believe that husbands and wives have specific roles, determined by their sex, and that without role models of two opposite-sex parents, children will grow up to think they can do whatever they want. As they see it, same-sex marriage is the outcome of individual liberty and the right to pursue happiness -- gone too far. They target all who resist the idea that biology is destiny. No matter that the bulk of academic research shows that gays and lesbians make good parents. To the so-called marriage defenders, science is no match for sacred texts and the way things once were and are supposed to be. [Emphasis mine].I'm on record supporting homosexual adoption -- and by extension civil benefits for homosexuals -- on the simple grounds that it is better to have Adam and Steve for parents than to be at the bottom of the well. I can't find any evidence that the Proposition 8 people are using "sacred texts" to try to malign gayness. On its own grounds, if the "right to pursue happiness" were applied to homosexuals, why did Jefferson write the following?
Whosoever shall be guilty of Rape, Polygamy, or Sodomy with man or woman shall be punished, if a man, by castration, if a woman, by cutting thro' the cartilage of her nose a hole of one half diameter at the least.
Hard to envision Jefferson supporting Bilger's Freedom to do whatever you want with your life...
The next paragraph in her op-ed reads as follows,
There's a reason the pro-Prop. 8 defense team fought to keep this trial from being broadcast on the Internet. They prefer the ballot box to the witness stand because their message is far more persuasive and well cloaked when it's delivered in carefully crafted sound bytes about defining marriage and protecting the family. In a trial, however, the reasoning behind their pitch must stand up to legal scrutiny. If one man and one woman are necessary because procreation is the "central or defining purpose" of marriage, as the lawyers defending the constitutional ban have argued, then what do they really think about straight couples who choose not to have children? Should unwed mothers be forced into wedlock? This is where it gets scary -- for everyone!
Following through with that, to say that the ideal family relationship is the nuclear one is not to say that all other family arrangements are bad, but only to say what is preferred by society. Civilizations throughout time have agreed that that standard is a mother and a father with children. That is not to say that couples that cannot conceive or will not conceive are not deserving of the license of marriage, only that there is a standard and that the law should reflect that standard, where possible. There once was a time when unwed mothers were encouraged to get married -- a position which does not seem so radical given that the highest predictor of whether or not a child will be poor is whether or not they were born into a single-parent or two-parent home.
. . . So they turned the debate around, spinning yarns about a world in which gays bullied straight people. Even if, their line of reasoning went, you don't think your own marriage would be jeopardized by same-sex marriage, you need to worry that your way of life will be threatened and your children will be harmed. Roll out the commercials. Gay marriage will be taught in schools! Churches will be shut down! Little Susie will want to marry a princess! Their scare tactics worked, and Proposition 8 passed.Spinning yarns, you say? Hmm... what do the facts tell us? You mean like, say targeting a dating website that caters to straight people with frivolous lawsuits? Or suing religious adoption agencies for not wanting to place children with homosexual couples? Or how about David Paker, who wanted the right to pull his son out kindergarten classes in which they talked about homosexual issues, and wound up spending a night in jail for it? (The school district is now rolling out more pro-homosexual curriculum in response.) Or how about our national safe schools czar, Ken Jennings, who gave graphic homosexual books to high schoolers, among other things?
I could go on, but all these instances put to the fact that Ms. Bilger apparently does not live in the world that the rest of us do -- one where there have been real consequences for people who happen to be against her views.