In Defense of Marriage: A Glimpse into the Nation's Future
- Monday, August 11, 2008
Kurtz concludes by saying, “This suggests that gay marriage is both an effect and a cause of the increasing separation between marriage and parenthood. As rising out-of-wedlock birthrates disassociate heterosexual marriage from parenting, gay marriage becomes conceivable” In essence, SSM is simply the extreme and final step in a culture’s descent from absolute monogamy.
Again, if marriage is only about a relationship between two people, and is not intrinsically connected to procreation and parenthood, why shouldn’t same-sex couples be allowed to marry? As Kurtz points out, “it quite naturally follows that once marriage is redefined to accommodate same-sex couples, that change cannot help but lock in and reinforce the very cultural separation between marriage, procreation and parenthood that makes gay marriage conceivable to begin with.” The die will be cast and the effects inevitable.
Furthermore, gay marriage has not strengthened the institution of marriage by promoting fidelity and commitment among gays in Scandinavia, as some suggest it will do here. In fact, take-up rates on gay marriage are exceedingly small. Yale law professor William Eskridge (an advocate for gay marriage) acknowledged this when “he reported in 2000 that only 2372 couples had registered after nine years of the Danish law going into effect, 674 after four years in Norway, and only 749 couples after four years in Sweden” (Kurtz, “The End of Marriage”). Here again, Kurtz is helpful in illuminating our understanding:
Danish social theorist Henning Bech and
Norwegian sociologist Rune Halvorsen offer excellent accounts of the
gay marriage debates in Denmark and Norway. Bech, who is perhaps
Scandinavia’s most prominent gay thinker, dismisses as an implausible
claim the idea that gay marriage promotes monogamy. He treats this
claim as something that only served a tactical purpose during the
difficult political debate.
According to Halvorsen, many of Norway’s gays imposed self-censorship during the marriage debate, in order to hide their opposition to marriage itself. The goal of the gay marriage movements in Norway and Denmark, say Halvorsen and Bech, was not marriage but social approval for homosexuality. Halvorsen goes on to suggest that the low numbers of registered gay couples may be understood as a collective protest against the expectations (presumably, monogamy) embodied in marriage.
While the sky may not have fallen, effects that have historically taken generations to produce have already begun to manifest within just twenty years of the acceptance of SSM in Scandinavia, the first nations to risk their future on this perilous social experiment.
© 2008 by S. Michael Craven
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S. Michael Craven is the founder and President of the Center for Christ & Culture. Michael is the author of Uncompromised Faith: Overcoming Our Culturalized Christianity, published by Navpress and scheduled for release January 2009. Michael's ministry is dedicated to renewal within the Church and works to equip Christians with an intelligent and thoroughly Christian approach to matters of culture in order to demonstrate the relevance of Christianity to all of life. For more information on the Center for Christ & Culture, the teaching ministry of S. Michael Craven, visit: www.battlefortruth.org
Michael lives in the Dallas area with his wife Carol and their three children.
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