A number of writers, me included, have been warning that the slopes really are slippery, and that the admission of something as radical as same sex mirage into any part of our political life is to introduce it everywhere. And yet, it has been surprising to see how fast the whole thing is moving. It appears that the incline of the slippery slopes has steepened, and we are now picking up a goodish bit of speed. Within weeks of the Supreme Court debacle on SSM, a federal judge has now ordered Ohio to recognize a homosexual mirage contracted in Maryland.
This shows that the federalist “live and let live” approach is a tactical sham. It is clearly all or nothing — all states recognizing same sex mirage as a basic civil rights issue, or none of them doing so. All right then, none it is.
What homosexual activists have been doing is insist that we redefine marriage, while pretending that all they are doing is expanding the opportunities for marriage to additional others. The problem is that as soon as they abandon the understanding of marriage as a covenanted conjugal relationship of a man and a woman, they have no consistent stopping point. Some of them don’t want a consistent stopping point, and others of them do — but they still can’t have one.
The biological act that consummates a marriage is the only act capable of reproducing our race. When a traditional marriage is infertile, this is an act of providence (or disobedience). When a homosexual union is infertile, this is something that is true by definition. And this means that the possibility of fruitfulness is removed (of necessity) from the definition of marriage.
But once you have done that, how are we to define it? Largely on the basis of inertia, some homosexuals (like Andrew Sullivan) want their (redefining) expansion of “marriage” to be limited to two people, to be romantic, to be sexual, etc. But why? They want to redefine, but not “too much.” But who is in charge of how much is too much? We may ask why two and only two. Lots of people in history (and in the present) have been polygamous. Why should it be romantic? Why can’t marriage be like the sale of a mule? And why sexual? Who says that orgasm is an essential part of this?
Liberals like uppity women in theory, on their bumper stickers, but detest them in real life. So here is a proposal for a couple of genuinely uppity women (who need to be sisters) living in a state that allows for same sex mirage. They need to get themselves down to the county courthouse and apply for a marriage license, letting the fact that they are sisters be known to the clerk. When they are denied, as they will be, they need to ask why. Because that would be incest, the reply will come. Their response should be two-fold.
First, they should say, if we were going to be incestuous, why would that be any business of the state? Since we as a culture have abandoned the moral arguments, the reply would have to be pragmatic — because of the possibility of birth defects. To which, the sisters should raise their eyebrows and inquire into how it is that a lesbian relationship could result in birth defects.
After they have flummoxed the clerk in this way, the second part of their response should be to reassure that longsuffering personage, to make up for their first line of argument. They should go on to assure the clerk that they are not lesbians at all, there is absolutely nothing sexual or romantic about their relationship at all. There would be no incest. “We are just sisters. And we want to be married.”
But marriage has to be sexual, the clerk would reply.
Does it? they would answer.
Well, yes, traditionally . . .
Traditionally? Like we care about that anymore?
In other words, once we have reduced the act of marriage to the act of choosing, and we have cast off all natural boundaries that would limit or constrict the content of such an act of choosing, we cannot rush in after the fact to constrict such acts of choosing. Two sisters can be married and their point of unity (as they have chosen it) will be their common love of knitting. Two fishing buddies can get married, and their point of contact is their common love for brown trout. But I am using that word “common” too much. Too restrictive. Under the new tyranny of the raw act of choosing, nothing would prevent two people from marrying, one in Massachusetts and one in Washington, whose one thing they share “in common” is the fact that they have never met each other, never want to, and are resolved to never exchange any email whatsoever.
One of Saul Alinsky’s great principles for radicals was that of making the enemy live up to his own rules. This really works when it is impossible to do so — as it is in this case. So I think that somebody’s Jane Austen reading group needs to get down to the courthouse and apply for a group license. Make them say no. Make them purvey some more of their hate.