A Leftist Case Against SSM: Bad for Marriage, Bad for Government, Bad for Gays


Brendan O'Neill in The Australian:

"...The political thirst for gay marriage is underpinned by officialdom’s instinct to get a foot in the door of the family. It devalues marriage as it is currently constituted - in real life, not just in law - and, in an historically unprecedented step, it makes the sovereign of society into the sovereign of marriage and the family too.

The gay-marriage bandwagon isn’t only bad for married couples. It’s bad for gay couples too. For while it’s presented as a positive drive for equality, it’s actually motored by a very defensive clamour for state recognition of gay relationships.

A gay relationship is fundamentally one of romantic love, far more so than traditional marriage is (although that can have romance in it too, of course). But ours is an era which feels uncomfortable with romantic love, viewing it as naive, even as the site of abuse and harm. This means many homosexuals feel increasingly uncertain about their unions based on romance, on pure partnership, and feel compelled to wrap them in the legitimating comfort blanket of that respectable institution, marriage.

This ties in with another gay-activist tactic today: the search for evidence of homosexuality in the animal kingdom. Gay-rights spokespeople constantly claim, on the basis of dodgy science, that every creature from penguins to donkeys engages in homosexual behaviour, and therefore it must be natural.

This, too, represents a frenetic search for external legitimation of gay love. Gay activists defensively seek to naturalise their relationships through the use of pseudo-science and to normalise them through state recognition, through the demand for marriage. Both of these activities reveal a profound lack of confidence in the modern gay movement, which once simply declared: “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it.”

There would be nothing positive about institutionalising gay marriage on the basis of a new defensiveness amongst gay people about their lives and loves. That would leave unaddressed the moral question of why romantic unions, of which gay ones are amongst the purest, seem lacking in confidence today.

Underlying the gay-marriage debate is a relativistic reluctance to distinguish between different kinds of relationships. Gay love is fundamentally a relationship between two people. Traditional marriage is not. It is a union between a man and a woman which very often, through its creation and nurturing of a new generation, binds that man and woman to a great many others, to a community. It is an institution, not a partnership."