Last week was packed with same-sex marriage news, beginning with a huge capitulation in New York state. Five state senators (three Democrats and two Republicans) who voted against legalizing same-sex marriage two years ago announced that they would vote for it this time around. The bill was sent to the Senate by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week with a "Statement of Necessity" attached, meaning there would be no time for the normal legislative process, including public hearings and extended debate. The idea is to get an up-or-down vote by the official end of the session-which happens to be today.
A rushed vote, a cacophony of comments denouncing the bigots and homophobes, a lack of due process and deliberation-that's old news. What might be new is the bold statement by state Sen. Carl Kruger of Brooklyn as to what this is all about: "What we're about to do is redefine what the American family is. And that's a good thing." Usually politicians wrap their opinions in the red, white, and blue of equal opportunity and fairness. Sen. Kruger, who may have been speaking more freely than he meant to, let the truth slip.
"Legislative humility is not exactly a widely practiced virtue in New York," Archbishop Timothy Dolan wryly commented in an interview. He added that the purpose of the redefinition was "to satisfy a very tiny percentage of society-only 3 to 4 percent of the population defines themselves as gay or lesbian, and the Massachusetts experience [of legalized same-sex marriage] suggests that only a small percentage of them will ever even get 'married.'"
The minuscule number of people who stand to directly benefit from such legislation suggests further that it's not about marriage at all-it's about breaking down all barriers to consenting adults living exactly how they please, with dissenting voices confined to the margins.
Last week, former New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree stated his opposition to Cuomo's bill in a video interview with the National Organization for Marriage. Tyree, best known for his legendary catch against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLII, is now catching heck. A Yahoo Sports headline read, "Super Bowl hero's shocking same-sex marriage comments." Shocking? Tyree said, "The moment we have [same sex marriage], if you trace back even to other cultures, other countries, that will be the moment where our society . . . loses its grip with what's right. Marriage is one of those things that is the backbone of society." He predicted anarchy otherwise, a fighting word if internet reaction to his interview is to be taken seriously.
And it should. We're in a bare-knuckle fight with forces of anarchy, whether they know it or not. They think they're about redefining the family, but it actually goes a step further: This is about undefining the family. The family becomes whatever they say it is, on any given day or legislative session. Kudos to the Republicans of the New York Senate (and one lone Democrat), and kudos to David Tyree for resisting the push.