Equality To Change Society? - Right Side

If The Civil Laws Change Regarding Gay Marriage, It Does Not Follow That Culture Will Change In Kind



There are many opinions, rumors, and half-truths surrounding gay marriage.

There are exercises in public debate that either serve to convince Joe or Jane Citizen, or in cases of intractable public opinion, a judge. Which brings us to the always engaging topic of gay marriage. Ah yes, the issue of the year from talk radio to television pundits to activists of all stripes waving placards proclaiming either the beginning of a new society, or the end of one. Chances are, whatever your opinion on gay marriage is, it will likely be the same by the time you reach the end of this column. It’s up to your own experiences, encounters and life lessons to prove the validity or workability of proposals that change cultural traditions. Which means all of those on Capitol Hill who have miraculously “seen the light” and have come around to momma’s way a’ thinkin’ on same sex marriage sure must have had a lot of encounters with homosexuals in the past two months. Their reticence turned blitzkrieg advocacy has been staggering.

So, in place of laying out all the pros or cons of, “We Proudly Announce the Marriage of Frank and Steve,” I thought instead I’d point out a few things that won’t happen if those two gentlemen get registered at Target.
First, gay people getting married won’t cause more people to become gay. The generally accepted 3.8 percent of the population that considers themselves gay has been steady. Saying that enacting a law at either a state or federal level will encourage or change one’s sexual preference is akin to saying that Virginia’s new law promoting hair growth will encourage all those repressed bald men to finally start growing their locks. It’s similar to the argument that shows like Ellen, Modern Family, and anything on Bravo TV will nudge people into the gay life style.

Also, I hear frequently that gay marriage will have devastating effects on the birth rate. Given that being gay is not contagious, the natural proclivity of heterosexual people to make whoopee will not be affected. A few millennia of human nature prove this to be true. Are we to believe that there are sleeper cells of gay men who stayed in the closet and got married to women, yet if gay marriage were legalized they would leave their wives, thus abandoning the opportunity to procreate? I concede this will happen in a few instances, and those instances will be chronicled in detail on Jerry Springer. Barring that, babies will be fine.

The issue of federal dollars being doled out to gay couples through sundry benefits and privileges is also a talking point repeated more than Cher lyrics at a drag show. In speaking with those who specialize in federal benefits, the impact would be minimal at most.

On a more serious note, there is wide concern amongst traditional marriage advocates that what we hold to be a pillar of society, marriage between a man and woman, will crack under the weight of a more secular roof. It’s a concern not easily soothed by the arguments of the Equal Protection Clause or the vagueness of saying we all have the right to be happy. Yes, the pursuit of happiness is doctrine, but it is also held to within limits that society deems fitting for its proper functioning.

If the civil laws change regarding gay marriage, it does not follow that culture will change in kind. Laws are only a portion of culture. It will be the churches, the lessons passed from parent to child, and the actual practices of individuals, that will determine the extent of any change.
Which brings us back to paragraph one of this epistle, and the mention of judges. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court may decide for us not what to think, but what to follow. We don’t know what will happen with its mid-summer ruling, but hopefully it will allow the debate to continue at the state level as people make up their own minds, based on their own conclusions, about what is right for their communities.  

Dave Parker hosts The Dave Parker Show on AM 790 WNIS weekdays from 10 a.m.–noon. He can also be heard each afternoon on US1061 and reached at dparker@wnis.com. He lives in Virginia Beach with his wife and two daughters.