Monday, July 27, 2009

Medved: "Gay Marriage Activists Won't Give Up, Insist Men and Women are the Same"

Back in my college days six years ago (wow, has it been that long?!), I had the wonderful opportunity during an internship in Seattle to get to know Dr. Diane Medved, a brilliant, insightful woman for whom I have the utmost respect. If you haven't read her blog Searching for Bright Light, I highly recommend you check it out. Several of her posts have dealt with the politics and physiology behind the same-sex marriage debate, including her excellent latest post, in which she tackles many points we've discussed here (and much more eloquently, too!) With her permission, I'm happy to share it with you:

Gay Marriage Activists Won't Give Up, Insist Men and Women are the Same

I've been working on my project about marriage as the combining of male and female, and so, while enjoying some of the most perfect weather we've ever had here in Seattle, lying on a chaise my balcony and catching up on the paper, my attention went to an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal of Monday, July 20: "Gay Marriage and the Constitution" by David Boies.

Boies explained why he and Ted Olson are suing the state of California to overturn Proposition 8, already confirmed by the state Supreme Court, that defines marriage in that state's constitution as one man and one woman.

Of course he takes the tack most gay marriage advocates do, trying to equate race and gender, saying it's just as wrong to deny two men marriage as it was to deny a white and a black; i.e. if people and courts now agree that all races should be interchangeable when it comes to marriage, so the two sexes should be, too.

And he pulls out that false but ubiquitous meme that it's just about freedom to marry the one you love: "The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the right to marry the person you love is so fundamental that states cannot abridge it." He supports this by citing rulings that allow "child-support scofflaws" and imprisoned felons to marry.

...But only marry one of the opposite sex. Not to marry one of the same sex. In these cases, the Supreme Court didn't re-define marriage; it just said that breaking the law isn't in itself reason to stop a conventional marriage. The punishments for the offender's crimes are unaffected; the institution of marriage remains unchanged.

Nowhere is there a "right to marry the person you love." What if you want to marry your sibling? Your parent? What if you want to marry somebody who's already legally wed to someone else? What if the person you love happens to be six years old? Or has advanced Alzheimer's and can't consent? Or wants to join you and your present spouses in polygamy? Would the court uphold your right to marry one of these people, even if you swear your love is undying and pure?

Boies dismisses so called reasons to deny gay marriage. Heteros feeling threatened by gays is unable to "withstand discussion." He thinks it's "hard to envision" straights avoiding marrying or divorcing just because gays can. He rejects that forcing gays into straight marriages would help societal stability. Or that keeping gays from marrying each other will steer them straight. Who ever argued any of this?? Only Boies, so he can shoot down these dumb straw men.

Boies then says Californians' votes should be nullified because of that tired question, "how does it hurt YOUR marriage if two gays get married?"

Aside from legally widening the marital sexual "norm" from coitus to include homosexual sodomy (with big ramifications in terms of public school education), suddenly our language and understanding get stripped of any means to describe the unique combining of male and female. And that's dandy, because gay advocates' agenda is to insist that a man and woman--or biological mother and father--together form exactly the same "marriage" as two men or two women together do. Denying biology. Denying reams of scientific literature demonstrating the superiority of married natural parents raising their children over all other permutations of parenthood.

Boies doesn't address the fact that men and women are not interchangeable--and in fact are opposites--and that marriage exists to reconcile and mesh them. There's no way to deny fundamental gender differences; the difference is--unlike race--identifiable in every cell of the body.

Instead, he insists that "sexual orientation of gays and lesbians is as much a God-given characteristic as the color of their skin or the sexual orientation of their straight brothers and sisters." There's no biological evidence of that. There are, however, many people who say they have chosen one orientation and then later, chosen another. Perhaps they are bisexual--I envision sexual proclivity as a long continuum. And while I do think there are gays who are as repulsed by the opposite sex as most straights are unattracted to their own, these people can freely live according to their orientation, and, in California, form civil unions that by law (California Family Code, Section 297-297.5) receive exactly the same rights, privileges and obligations as heterosexual marriages do.

Boies notes that California law gives domestic partners all the rights of marriage. But instead of concluding that the purpose of the two categories is to elevate and encourage California's biological families, he insists it's "to stigmatize a segment of its population that commits no offense, other than falling in love with a disapproved partner, and asks no more of the state than to be treated equally with all other citizens."

Excuse me...gays are treated exactly the same: they too can marry one of the opposite sex. Or civilly join with one of the same sex. The only difference is...maintaining distinctions. Men and men together are different from men and women together, not only in the capability to procreate, but in their "God-given characteristics" as detailed in innumerable physiological, psychological, brain and hormonal studies. Men and women marry. Men and men, or women and women may domestically partner. It's not "separate but equal;" it's separate because the two are not equal.

Boies concludes that "Gays and lesbians are our brothers and sisters, our teachers and doctors..." who are due "the basic human right to marry the person they love" (as long as that person is an adult, not a close relative, not already married, not seeking to be a second or third spouse, mentally competent and willing...). He says it is overdue that "the Constitution fulfill its promise of equal protection and due process for all citizens by now eliminating the last remnant of centuries [no, millenniums!] of misguided state discrimination against gays and lesbians."

He is not willing to argue about discrimination against polygamists or incest-philes. But he's right about one thing--this issue is about discrimination, in the positive sense--the notion of being discriminating, cognizant of distinctions. If scientifically advanced people cannot even admit obvious differences between males and females, and instead deem them interchangeable in marriage, then our society is in a sorry state, indeed.

(OK, I know I've written about this before, and I, too, am becoming weary of being forced to repeat the same arguments. But then another of these articles gets huge coverage and I just have to answer...again.)