Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Underlying Bigotry in the Gay Marriage Debate

The right-wing think tank, The Heritage Foundation has just published an opinion paper detailing the judicial activism on social issues that The Heritage Foundation believes is inevitably leading to court-legalized gay marriage throughout the nation.

The analysis of social activism on the part of the judiciary is sound enough. But what is interesting is that The Heritage Foundation claims that a Constitutional Amendment is immediately necessary. They don’t so much as suggest that we deserve a debate on this. Why? Well…

Marriage is fundamental. Marriage is the basis of the family, and it is in healthy families that children are reared to be honorable people and good citizens. Therefore, marriage and the family are the basic units of society. No society can flourish when they are undermined. Until now, a social consensus regarding the basic definition of marriage meant that we did not need to resolve the question at the federal level. Every state recognized marriage as the exclusive union of one man and one woman. (The federal government did its part at one point in our history to ensure that this would remain the case by making Utah's admission to the Union as a state conditional upon its banning polygamy.)

The Heritage Foundation argues, in essence, that 1) homosexuals are incapable of rearing honorable people; 2) homosexual marriage will cause our society to cease flourishing and 3) homosexuality is as insidious as polygamy.

Considering that there already are tens of thousands of homosexual couples living together happily and considering thousands of homosexuals have or are currently raising children and considering that our society is still holding firm, what exactly is so disastrously horrible about homosexuals that we must forever ban their chance to marry without so much as discussing the issue?

As smart as the Heritage Foundation is, the conclusion to their argument seems based more on bigotry than on any thoughtful analysis of society. No, our judges should not be the ones deciding whether or not homosexual marriage is legal. But neither should we rush to pass extreme solutions based more on intolerance than a real understanding of homosexuality.


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