NOM BLOG

Gay Marriage is About "Providing the Elite With a New Moral Mission"

 

Brandan O'Neill, who claims to be a "libertarian marxist", serves as editor of the UK magazine Spiked:

"...Given its surreality, it is remarkable that so many intelligent people are taking the gay-marriage issue at face value, seriously saying ‘Yes, I fully support the enactment of this long-traduced historic right’. What they should be doing is asking why gay marriage is an issue at all and untangling how it came to be a defining battleground in the modern Culture Wars. Because it strikes me that what is happening here is that, under the cover of ‘expanding equality’, we are really witnessing the instinctive consolidation of a new class, of a new political set, which, lacking the familiar moral signposts of the past, has magicked up a non-issue through which it might define itself and its values.

The reason the gay-marriage issue can feel like it came from nowhere, and is now everywhere, is because it is an entirely top-down, elite-driven thing. The true driving force behind it is not any real or publicly manifested hunger amongst homosexual couples to get wed, far less a broader public appetite for the reform of the institution of marriage; rather it is the need of the political and media class for an issue through which to signify its values and advertise its superiority. Gay marriage is not a real issue - it is a cultural signifier, like wearing a pink ribbon to show you care about breast cancer."

... One of the most striking things about gay marriage is the disparity between mass feeling for the issue (which is best described as weak to non-existent) and elite passion for it (which is intense). All sorts of elite institutions, from political parties to massive corporations, are lining up to back the gay-marriage ‘cause’, clearly having sensed that it is the issue through which their kind can now make a display of their sanctity...

... The transformation of gay marriage into a barometer of moral decency explains why the debate about it is so shot through with censoriousness and condemnation. That is another striking difference between the old genuinely democratic reformers and today’s gay-marriage supporters - where the proper reformers were in favour of openness and debate, the gay-marriage lobby seems far more keen to stifle dissent...

... Some people will say: so what if the campaign for gay marriage is a bit off and snobbish? At least there will be the byproduct of greater equality, actual ‘marriage rights’, for gay people. But even in its own terms, gay marriage is a bad idea, for many reasons. Primarily because, while it is presented to us as a wonderfully generous act of cultural elevation (of gay couples), it is more importantly a thoughtless act of cultural devaluation (of traditional marriage). An institution entered into by millions of people for quite specific reasons - often, though not always, for the purpose of procreation - is being casually demoted, with the Lib-Con government even proposing that the terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ no longer be used in official documents. The overnight Orwellian airbrushing of two such longstanding titles from public records demonstrates the extent to which the elite is willing to ride roughshod over traditional identities in pursuit of its own new identity as gay-friendly and moral.

6 Comments

  1. Barb Chamberlan
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Mr. O'Neill nails it when he describes the push for genderless marriage as "a cynical campaign of opportunistic moral grandstanding on the part of the cultural elite..."

    I just hope he's not hauled away by the thought police.

  2. Bryce K.
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Since when did "elite" become a negative word?

  3. Posted March 29, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Same old hedonism--new, slick packaging.

  4. Posted March 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    This perfectly captures the reality behind the marriage corruption movement: it is only incidentally about poor homosexuals.

    The real marriage corruption movement is in the hands of rich, amoral, utterly self-absorbed technocrats who made way too much money ginning up the stock market. They confused the (temporarily successful) outcome of this scam with personal entitlement to redefine humanity's oldest institution.

    In the end, both their stock scam and their marriage corruption movement proceed from the same doomed worldview, and both will collapse under the weight of their internal contradictions.

    Reality bats last.

  5. Raynd
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    "gay marriage is a bad idea, for many reasons. Primarily because, while it is presented to us as a wonderfully generous act of cultural elevation (of gay couples), it is more importantly a thoughtless act of cultural devaluation (of traditional marriage). An institution entered into by millions of people for quite specific reasons - often, though not always, for the purpose of procreation - is being casually demoted"

    Good paragraph. Rip children and families from the equation, totally annihilate procreation, and THEN things that aren't equal can pretend to be equal. Makes perfect sense. or something.

  6. Ash
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    An excellent article from a witty and comedic writer.

    I really loved when he said that if one's goal is to loosen marriage up because it's too stuffy and conservative, be honest about it, as opposed to pushing this ssm joke.

    Actually, some of the family diversity radicals in academia have relished in the idea of ssm, believing that it would turn the institution of marriage on its head; they see ssm as a stepping stone to more changes. But they're usually confined to their journals away from public view. The professional ssm pushers are trying to sell ssm as traditional, like cookies ovee grandma's house.