Approval of same-sex “marriage” is expanding as young people grow to voting age and uncommitted voters have their minds changed. It may come as a surprise that some bedrock conservatives are changing their minds as well, or at least “coming out” to reveal that they always had libertarian leanings on the issue.
Last week, George Will and Mary Matalin confessed their ambivalence, if not indifference, to same-sex “marriage” as a legal determination. And Lee Habeeb (a recent Christian convert) of Salem Radio Network advocated a policy of “live and let live” regarding homosexuals who wish to marry. Others on the right will surely follow, because some of their arguments appear to make sense.
Here’s one argument: It’s silly, or at least short-sighted, for conservatives to get in a tizzy about an issue that will directly affect very few of them and will have much less consequence for society than the horrifying illegitimacy rate caused by heterosexuals who refuse to get married. Rather than hyperventilate over a phantom menace, we should devote our resources to strengthening heterosexual marriage. I’ve long argued that when conservatives gave away half of the definition of marriage (the union of one man and one woman for life), they left the door wide open for social engineers to come in and meddle with the other half.
But it doesn’t follow that we should give away the other half. I’m all for strengthening heterosexual marriage, but I’m afraid there may be nothing left to strengthen.
The one inarguable fact is that the sexual union of men and women produces children, and without children humanity does not continue. “Whoa!” say the opposition. “Let’s not get all apocalyptic here. As long as men and women keep having sex, we’ll still have children.” But without a context for raising them, will we have humanity?
The primary purpose for marriage, in all cultures and all ages, is producing and raising the next generation. Love and companionship are important but secondary; in some cultures they are nonexistent. To accept the argument for same-sex “marriage” is to cement the idea (begun by no-fault divorce) that the primary purpose of marriage is personal satisfaction, not mutual sacrifice for the benefit of the young. It concedes the very ground we hope to reclaim. The value of marriage for individuals may be personal well-being, but the value of marriage for society is producing and raising the next generation. If we grant homosexuals the “right to marry,” we may be increasing their personal happiness (though not even that is certain) but decreasing social stability.
Marriage libertarians unwittingly side with the uber-individuals, from baby boomers to millennials, who seized the right to abort one-third of future generations and now agitate for the redefinition of marriage—all for the sake of their idea of happiness and self-fulfillment.
“No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you” (Job 12:2). If we’re not careful, civilization may die with us, too.