Glenn Reynolds has a question
Perhaps I misunderstand, but this seems to tangle up everyone's storylines: Gay activists usually argue that civil unions, even if they give the same benefits as marriage, aren't the equivalent of marriage. Anti-gay marriage activists are often okay with civil unions, so long as they aren’t called marriage. Or am I missing something?
If SSM proponents wanted nothing more than getting two sets of institutions the same government privileges, that could be accomplished by establishing civil unions. So there must be something additional at stake.
I wish I could remember the source, but I once ran across a gay-marriage-friendly source that explained this something else: a definition of marriage that is exclusively heterosexual implies that homosexuality is somehow "less valuable" (exact phrase used) than heterosexuality. This is the only explanation for the SSM fanatics who reject the "civil union" compromise: the goal is not merely to grab a number of legal privileges, but also to re-engineer the English language to conform to their ideology.
There's nothing new about gay activists seeking to employ the government to affect people's opinions about homosexuality. They do have an active education lobby, after all - sex ed, "tolerance" curricula that equates "tolerance" with allegiance to leftist dogma.
There's nothing new about gay Newspeak, either. "Homophobia" stands front and center, which bastardizes the word "phobia" to serve nominally as a synonym for "bigotry" - but in practice "homophobia" means supporting whatever the gay lobby opposes. But "homophobia" was introduced into the language by influence, not by force.
SSM joins both memes: it reinvents language by government fiat.
SSM opponents seem to fall into three groups. One claims that homosexuality is a disorder to some degree, and that by placing homosexuality and heterosexuality on the same psychological and ethical plane, the SSM concept essentially represents a scientific fraud.
Another, populated by those who do and do not approve of homosexuality, consciously or subconsciously perceives SSM's totalitarian angle as described earlier.
The third group is populated by folks - the ones I've run across are gays themselves - who don't believe in the concept of marriage and thus don't desire to see SSM established. I remember when the cultural Left in general condemned marriage as a legalistic obstacle to sexual fulfillment. It still does - but much of it wants SSM all the same, not because of any liking for marriage, but for the purpose of social engineering geared toward shrinking the numbers of people who disapprove of homosexuality.
Not sure if SSM opponent Elton John belongs to the second group or the third, or both - and/or some other constituency I haven't anticipated.
Labels: Culture, Politics