A story in The Washington Post's Metro section last week was actually very positive. Those who read the profile on Bishop Harry Jackson got a full picture of the devoted marriage champion who has fought long and hard to save the institution in the District of Columbia.
But the Post's headline writers gave away their extreme bias in the way they introduced the story: "Seeking to put asunder." And there's the rub. To the editors of the Post, it is Harry Jackson who is trying to separate---put asunder---those who have been joined together.
In framing the issue thus, of course, the Post turns upside down the words of the one who first gave us that injunction. Jesus says in Matthew 19:6: "Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
So the Post's "asunder blunder" gets it exactly backward. Should we be surprised? Bishop Jackson is certainly right about God's view of marriage. I'd like to add to his strong defense another reason for supporting true marriage: civil rights.
When proponents of same-sex unions say "civil marriage is a civil right," I agree with them. But they are wrong to think that civil marriage can be pulled and stretched and distended to meet their radical social agenda. What they are seeking is a counterfeit of marriage
In 1967, in the case of Loving v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that the laws of that commonwealth banning interracial marriage were unconstitutional. Marriage was a fundamental civil right of Americans, wrote Chief Justice Earl Warren. He also noted that marriage is necessary for the continuance of society.
Within the last five years, this point has been picked up on by the supreme courts of Washington state, New York, and Maryland. These are not conservative judicial bastions. But those judges recognized what Chief Justice Warren only implied: Marriage is necessary for the nurture of children.
What the marriage counterfeiters are doing is stripping away Americans' civil rights. If everyone can marry, then no one can marry. There will no longer be marriage in America. Allow two men to marry and you have no logical or legal basis for denying the right of civil marriage to two men and a woman. Allow two men to marry and you cannot legally or logically ban a brother and sister from marrying. The radicals don't want to mend marriage; they want to end it.
It tells us much that liberals on the District Council and the D.C. Board of Elections are terrified of letting Washingtonians vote on protecting marriage. The district is one of the most reliably liberal and Democratic constituencies in the country. Since D.C. got three electoral votes by constitutional amendment, those votes have never been cast for a Republican. Why are liberals so afraid?
They are afraid of their own constituents because they know that marriage is a bridge issue. It unites black, white, Hispanic, and Asian. It unites rich and poor. It unites Democrats and Republicans. When marriage is on the ballot, marriage wins. Maine has not gone Republican since Ronald Reagan's landslide victory of 1984, but Maine just went strong for marriage.
Let the people vote. It's the best way to protect our precious civil rights.