This is a continuation of an essay on why same sex marriage is wrong. Click here for Part 1.
In my previous post, I discussed same sex marriage's challenges to semantics, society, and culture. While many may have no concerns about changing language, society, or culture to suit changing attitudes, the changes do portent a dangerous trend in a post-modern world. Those with such a world view believe that society and culture should bend to political will and hence, any institutions are subject to government's redefinition. This is called "social engineering" or "social tinkering."
Social engineering ignores the institutions of the past. Social engineers believe with absolute faith that they have the answers to solve all human ills and foibles through directed or centralized planning. There is no historical evidence that human-engineers social changes succeed as well as evolutionary social changes. In many historical examples, such social tinkering has led to unmitigated disasters - communism and fascism to name two.
Now, I am not saying that social engineering in the US is anything like communism or fascism, but I am pointing out that when social control is handed over to the government, monumental failures can happen.
Social engineering runs exactly the same risks that we find with political centralization - a tendency to subvert the democratic principle in order to affect change. This is a main problem with socialism - hard or soft. Both rely on reducing the freedom of the individual in order to conform to government ideals. Both philosophies rely on government control in order to subvert the will of the individuals to the new group norm.
Same sex marriage activists argue for political action to favor the self-identification of homosexuals who wish to be included into a class of "gay." This is called identity politics - when certain groups based on "identity" push to gain power political power over the individuals of society. Closely related to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, identity politics went much further into the arena of political power by including, not just equal rights for Blacks and women, but equal rights for a whole array of classes of people based on sexual preference: homosexuals, bisexuals, transgendered, queer, intersexed, asexual, and allies. Other identity political groups include animal rights and earth rights.
One thing all identity politics has in common is a heightened sense of oppression, where the group feels threatened and oppressed. Among blacks, the oppression was real, encoded within the Jim Crow laws of the Democrat South, or based on racial bias with whites. Among most modern identity groups, oppression is perceived only when expressed through actions contrary to social or legal norms. For example, homosexuals have acted to overthrow the basic institution of marriage, and have felt a backlash against their efforts to change the law, which they interpret as oppression.
Most of today's identity political groups are based on sexual or gender preference, rather than tangible states such as skin color or sex. This new definition of oppression has derailed the civil rights movement, by claiming any group identification as an oppressed class. The Black civil rights movement was about enfranchisement into legal and economic freedom. The women's rights movement was about economic equality. Gay rights is about public legal acceptance of homosexuals as a protected class. And, of course, gay rights is now about redefining marriage in order to fulfill some group sense of equal rights.
The problem with identity politics stems from the enforcement of concepts such as "freedom from oppression," or "freedom from bullying," or "marriage equality." Identity politics has taken the concepts of civil rights, derailed it, and now uses it to impose a political agenda based on the latest whims of perceived oppression.
One of the harms of enforcement of identity politics is the creation of "hate crimes," which undermine the rule of law by adding a purely subjective application of the law. Hate crimes somehow make murder against a protected class of citizen even more heinous that murder against any other citizen. By definition, hate crime laws ignore the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
By pushing same sex marriage, gay activists aren't creating equality. Instead, they create a protected class status where gays get more rights than anyone else - special protection under the law - by exempting traditional, legal, and moral attitudes of marriage to fit their view of the world.
There's no doubt that same sex marriage is a hot political topic. President Obama's "coming out" in favor of same sex marriage, flip flopping from his previous two positions, demonstrates his use of same sex marriage to gain, not just political advantage, but money from deep-pocket gay supporters. (The Thomas and Kathrine Steyer Foundation, run out of San Francisco, has currently contributed nearly $43 million dollars, all to Democrat campaigns.)
Social issues, such as same sex marriage and abortion, are highly divisive, quickly separating the candidates of each political party. Social issues also divide the citizens of the US, who are quick to fling epithets at the opposite group, in a never-ending cycle of the politics of personal destruction. In this game, same sex marriage has the advantage by having the news and entertainment media on its side. There is hardly a television show or movie that doesn't make some oblique reference to gay rights, or make a denigrating remark about anyone who opposes that point of view. Hollywood propagandizes firmly on the side of politicizing homosexuality, and helping to establish a protected gay class.
Gay politics is entirely self-driven, trying to convince Americans that same sex marriage is only an expression of equality. It is, however, a wedge issue, dividing people because of the heavy-handed pressure to accept gays as a protected class, and same sex marriage as a politically-enforced social norm. When Newsweek magazine named Barack Obama as the first gay president, and did so with a straight face (so to speak), the politics of same sex marriage entered into a whole new level of political pressure. Within such a political system, there is simply no room for disagreement.
Luckily, the US has not yet tipped over the political edge of limiting free speech, despite the best efforts of leftists to stifle those who disagree.
We've already seen political damage over attempts to establish same sex marriage. A federal district court, and the circuit court have declared the majority of California voters to be bigots for amending the California constitution with a definition of marriage between a man and a woman. The district court created a new right, whole cloth, of same sex marriage, citing the oft abused equal protection clause of the US Constitution. His ruling also stated that defending marriage had no "rational basis" under the law. (This despite the fact that rational basis rulings do not apply where fundamental right is implied.)
The district court ruling, therefore, 1) created a brand new right out of thin air; 2) denied Californians the right to democratic rule; and 3) used a system of rational basis judgement irrationally - solely to defend an ideological concept.
Worse yet, the Supreme Court basically said the district court was correct by passing the buck back to the states.
Another political harm stemmed from California Governor Brown's and President Obama's refusal to defend the law. Brown refused to defend the constitutional definition of marriage against the attacks from gay activists, and Obama refused to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act passed by the Clinton administration. Both refusals placed identity politics above the law of the land - turning the rule of law on its head.
OK, this is getting long enough. In part 3, I'll address two of the biggest problems with same sex marriage - the legal and religious aspects.