I read the May 19th Cal Thomas column that appeared in the May 25th Dispatch (“Marriage Massachusetts-style“)
He comments that the so-called moral and cultural boundaries have been removed since the move to consumption and pleasure replaced restraint and acting on behalf of the general welfare after World War II. He thinks that the decision to allow same sex marriage in Massachusetts was just a wave in that movement.
I have not heard a single rational objective reason, from any conservative commentator, why there should not be same sex marriages allowed in this country. Hearing them drone on one would think that if heterosexual marriage was such a load bearing pillar of civilization there would be a good reason to keep gays out of it.
Instead we get the tired slippy slope that if same sex marriage is allowed then polygamy, incest, and statutory rape would be made legal. It is these tasteless conclusions Thomas would like you to draw from giving a group of people the right to marry.
The question has been about rights and who gets to establish those rights. I don’t have to read off the groups of people who have been denied their rights over the history of the country but the argument against giving those rights seem to always include the slippery slope doom and gloom collapse of civilization if those people are granted those rights.
Thomas, like many conservatives, claims that heterosexual marriage is an immutable truth. Immutable means unchangeable. But as marriage is a social construction, that has gone through many changes since it became part of human culture, Thomas’ claim is simply hot air.
The only part of his column that I sort of agree with is his statement:
If conservative religious people wish to exert maximum influence on culture, they will redirect their attention to repairing their own cracked foundation. An improved heterosexual family structure will do more for those families and the greater good than attempts to halt the inevitable.
Hypocrisy never wins an argument and religious conservatives who champion hetero marriage while having issues with divorce are being hypocritical. Several conservative Republicans, like Newt Gingrich, who have argued against gay marriage are on their second or third marriage.
Of course the result of fight on divorce has lead to draconian measures in at least one state where couples wanting to divorce are forced to try and save the marriage.