Dear Marriage Supporter,
The guys at Oxford University Press are no dummies. When they needed someone to make the case against same-sex marriage as part of a Point/Counterpoint series, edited by James Sterba of Notre Dame, they went straight to the top: to one of the best, the brightest and most articulate spokespeople for marriage in America.
They asked NOM's own co-founder, Maggie Gallagher, to spar with Prof. John Corvino (who co-authored the book and writes the pro-gay marriage arguments).
The resulting book, Debating Same-Sex Marriage was released this week, and today I'm heading up to Manhattan to watch the book launch. Live from New York: It's Maggie Gallagher and John Corvino "Debating Same-Sex Marriage." The two of them will be "Conversing" (with a capital C) with David Blankenhorn on the marriage debate: what it means, why it is hard, and why it matters.
If you go to Amazon you can read for yourself the extraordinary praise for Debating Same-Sex Marriage, and for our own Maggie Gallagher, from some of the smartest people in America: Mary Ann Glendon, Prof. Robby George, John Eastman.
Fair warning: You will also hear from Dan Savage who doesn't like Maggie very much. He actually awards Prof. Corvino "A Gay Medal of Honor" for so patiently responding to Maggie's "bad and sometimes infuriatingly insulting arguments."
This is probably the only book in the history of civilization to be endorsed by both Dan Savage and Sen. Rick Santorum.
Go to Amazon if you want to read the full praise, but here's a taste of what Sen. Santorum has to say.
"Maggie Gallagher is a hero to many of us who care about life, marriage and religious liberty. She is lucid, honest, compassionate, fearless and above all relentlessly reasonable in making the case for marriage..."
I say Amen to that!
Every time I read what Maggie writes, I learn something new, something I didn't know—and I emerge feeling stronger, better equipped and more hopeful, with renewed energy for the fight. I know you will too!
A few highlights that may help you:
Fidelity, she establishes, is a key marital norm. She then lays out the detailed evidence that sexual fidelity is not very common in gay male unions, and then she does something I've never seen anyone do before. It's vintage Maggie.
She asks a question nobody else asks: "Does sexual fidelity play the same role in same-sex unions?" The same, in other words, as it does for marriages?
For husbands and wives, sexual fidelity points to all the goods of marriage: it protects our children, it protects the unity of the family, it points to marital satisfaction and it is a key ingredient in marital permanence. The norm of fidelity makes sense. Adultery is a violation of the essence of marriage, and tears at the fabric that holds it, and civilization, together.
"The radical challenge to marriage from gay marriage is not that gay men are by nature promiscuous, as some have argued. ...The more fundamental and radical challenge is that for gay men, sexual fidelity may not point to or support permanence or relationship satisfaction in the same way it does for opposite-sex relationships," Maggie writes.
She then lays out, point by point, the devastating evidence that "marriage equality" is based on a myth; same-sex unions are not just like opposite-sex ones, and not only in terms of their ability to create new life and connect those children to their mom and dad.
"Sexual infidelity doesn't work very well for opposite-sex unions because male sexual jealousy is a powerful disruptive force, because women tend to fall in love with ongoing sex partners, and of course because children regularly result," Maggie writes. "Men in same-sex relationships, by contrast, frequently find sexual novelty with outside partners helps them sustain their core domestic affection."
Men cannot tolerate the idea of another man being with their wife. Gay men do not have this same problem. "This alone," Maggie writes, "is a powerful signal that in fact same-sex and opposite-sex relationships are dramatically different kinds of sexual unions."
Marriage and its norms grow out of the experience of sustaining long term unions of men and women that give rise to children.
"Marriage equality," she writes, "institutionalized in law and culture will exert continuous ongoing pressure to sideline marital norms that do not work for both kinds of couples equally."
They will cease to become "norms" in other words and become mere preferences, things individuals work out on their own.
We've seen how badly children and society fare as we progressively "de-norm" sex and marriage.
The most fundamental reason to oppose same-sex marriage, she argues, is not that gay marriage will have consequence. Yes it will, and she tells us how and how much!
If the law endorses the idea that same-sex unions are marriages on the grounds that equality requires it, then people who continue to believe that marriage is a union between a husband and wife that can give children a mother and father will be treated the same way we would treat someone who believes that only a marriage between people of the same race is a marriage. That's what "marriage equality" means.
For the record: I am not complaining that Corvino or anyone else has [said] something mean or uncivil about me....I am asking gay marriage advocates to own up to the truth that this is in fact what "marriage equality" means.
This is important, but it is not the most important reason to fight gay marriage. The most important reason is because it is not true. Gay unions are not marriages.
"Marriage equality" is based on a lie about human beings, and commits our government to supporting and enforcing this lie, to propping up a political ideology against human nature.
"John Corvino," she writes "makes a claim that is truly astonishing, the claim that really goes to the heart of our disagreement." Corvino writes of a "wedding" between two men, "Were it not for the absence of a bride, you'd have a hard time distinguishing the scene from any other wedding."
Maggie says, "My jaw drops when I read and reread this sentence." (Mine too!)
You cannot simply take the woman out of the wedding and proceed as if nothing significant has been removed. Take the woman out of the wedding, and you take out the link between the generations, the sense that in the moment we stand at the crossroads of history, that we are in this couples' act of marriage recreating that moment from which we come, while forging a link to the future. Marriage is the key link in the great chain of being. That is what you lose when you take the woman out of the wedding.
The truth of marriage is that it is not a mere plaything of politics, created of, by and for the politicians. It has a reality that government is obligated to respect and protect, not violate and redefine.
"When a man vows to take his masculinity, his sexuality, and put it at the service of a woman and her children, to channel his sexual nature to make it pleasing in a woman's eyes, to make his manhood good for a woman and her children—he becomes a husband," she says.
"Take the woman out of the wedding and marriage is no longer a universal human institution, necessary to the future of the whole society, indeed of all humanity. Cut off from its deep roots in human natures, marriage loses its past, and quite possibly, its future."
Wow. If you want to read more—and I urge you to do so—you can get a copy here or ask for it at your local book store.
The truth: Marriage doesn't go away and it cannot merely be redefined by power alone. Too many gay marriage advocates want to shut down this debate, punish dissent, and get on with the business of using the power of our government, the beloved United States of America, to impose this strange new public morality called gay marriage.
We've seen it this week when the full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals contemptuously refused even to listen to the arguments of supporters of Prop 8, letting stand the ruling of a divided three judge panel that struck down Prop 8.
The fierce and scathing dissent of Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain is bracing to read, especially for those of us who spent our time and our treasure fighting to put Prop 8 on the ballot and persuading our fellow citizens to exercise their core civil right to vote for it:
Today our court has silenced any such respectful conversation. Based on a two-judge majority's gross misapplication of Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996), we have now declared that animus must have been the only conceivable motivation for a sovereign State to have remained committed to a definition of marriage that has existed for millennia, Perry v. Brown, 671 F.3d 1052, 1082 (9th Cir. 2012). Even worse, we have overruled the will of seven million California Proposition 8 voters based on a reading of Romer that would be unrecognizable to the Justices who joined it, to those who dissented from it, and to the judges from sister circuits who have since interpreted it. We should not have so roundly trumped California's democratic process without at least discussing this unparalleled decision as an en banc court.
We've won so many amazing victories only because Truth matters. It has a power beyond the reach of bureaucrats or lawyers or angry activists. In the privacy of the voting booth, Americans have again and again demonstrated that they know the truth about what marriage is, and what it is not.
This week in the state of Washington we had another amazing demonstration of the power of marriage. Preserve Marriage Washington just turned in 241,000 signatures to put gay marriage to the trial of the ballot box. This is historic. This is sweeping. Washington is a state where the referendum is frequently used, but the number of signatures that were collected broke all records.
Truth matters. People care about marriage.
You and I know this. And we know that in the end we will be accountable to a loving and just God for how we fought, or failed to fight, to protect His creation.
Thank you for all you've done to make the good fight possible.
Please pray for Maggie and for everyone at the front lines of this marriage fight.
Until next week, keep up the fight!
This message has been authorized and paid for by the National Organization for Marriage, 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006, Brian Brown, President. This message has not been authorized or approved by any candidate.