A reader responds to the yesterday’s video from Maggie:
“We’re already seeing an unfolding of an America in which people are afraid to stand up in the public square and say that the ideal for a child is a mother and a father and this is why marriage is important.” First, it’s obviously untrue that people are afraid to say such a thing. Second, it makes anyone who does so brave and resolute. It’s simultaneously self victimizing and self congratulatory. Those who seek equal rights? Oppressors. Those who deny equal rights? Martyrs. Up is down, down is up.
Update from a reader who helpfully transcribes the above video and adds his own thoughts:
I did my best to transcribe Maggie’s response so I could properly appreciate it in its fullness. Here it is:
Question: In states where same-sex couples have been allowed to marry, what harm has been brought to individuals or society at large?
Answer: Well, I think we’re in the early stages of seeing my primary concern which is a transformation of the public understanding of marriage and the separation of it from its roots in the natural family. I think you see schools, for example, beginning to teach about marriage in ways that are contrary to the views of their – of many parents and many grandparents. And you see the idea and the ideal that children need a mother and father beginning to be redefined as an equivalent of a racist or mean or hateful idea. That’s on top of the problem of the silencing or the – which I already talked about, or the way religious institutions and religious people who in good conscience can’t treat same-sex unions as marriages begin to be treated as pariahs. So I think you see all of these things that – the problem, of course, is that the heart of the concern that I have about what’s happening to marriage isn’t limited to the states that actually passed gay marriage, that the heart of marriage is an idea, it’s not a set of legal benefits and as that idea shifts in one state or two states or three states, as more and more people get on board the gay marriage train you see less and less willingness to articulate, work for, support effectively the traditional understanding of marriage, so I do think it’s a zero-sum game, that gay marriage is not just adding a couple of people onto an existing institution, it requires re-norming the whole institution and making it serve new purposes instead of its classic purpose across time and history and culture, which is to bring together male and female so children have a mom and a dad.
Essentially, Maggie Gallagher is concerned about the affect of same-sex marriage on people like Maggie Gallagher. She cites no data or statistics or study which shows how any heterosexual marriages or children in families with same-sex parents have been damaged. She makes no claim that any such damages has occurred, only that people like her have been made social pariahs instead of the gay people who ought to be the pariahs. I’m sure there’s a social science term that describes what she is doing, but I guess I just find the complaint that “you’re making other people not like me” to be a rather petty and self-absorbed. Where, I wonder, is her concern about the affect on people other than Maggie Gallagher?
“Ask Anything” archive here.