A “New York progressive” gives four reasons for opposing “gay marriage”

Sean Collins, a self-described “New York progressive” explains why he is not evolving along with President Obama:

The growing clamour in favour of gay marriage has led me to recognise that it is important to speak out and be counted – against the gay-marriage campaign. This is not because I am a Christian or anti-gay, but because…

1) The gay-marriage campaign is elitist and believes its opponents are ‘bigots’

Anyone who is against gay marriage is immediately considered to be someone who denies gay people’s humanity, does not believe in civil rights, is on the wrong side of history, is living in the past, is a ‘homophobe’ and – most of all – is a bigot. As Brendan O’Neill highlighted last week, there was a tremendous amount of abuse hurled at the 61 per cent of people in North Carolina who voted for Amendment 1, which states that ‘marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognised in this state’.

New York Timeseditorials routinely refer to opposition to gay marriage as ‘bigotry’. Well, they must see a nation of bigots, because about half of America opposes gay marriages according to polls, and even a majority of Californians in 2008 voted for Proposition 8, which restricted the recognition of marriage to opposite-sex couples.

The campaign for gay marriage is being used by the elites for a broader purpose: as a tool for indicating moral superiority over the supposedly backward masses. I refuse to join in the demonisation of working-class people, many of whom quite understandably don’t see why the institution of marriage should be reformed.

Read the next three reasons on the Spiked website. And do note this exceptional bit of commentary for reason #3:

For centuries, marriage and the family were conceived of as a sphere independent of the sovereign and the state, institutions in which people could forge relationships free from outside interference. The family represented a bulwark against the vicissitudes of capitalism, a ‘haven in a heartless world’, in Christopher Lasch’s terms. Even today, the authorities hesitate to intrude too deeply into family life.

There is a serious risk that this could change with the introduction of gay marriage, because it puts the state much more in the driver’s seat. Even though the state recognises and, to a certain extent, regulates traditional marriage relationships, this would be much more directly the case under a regime that allowed gay marriage. For example, in Canada, where gay marriage became legal in 2005, in some official documentation terms like ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ have been replaced with ‘Spouse’ or ‘Parent 1’ and ‘Parent 2’, thus exchanging terms with rich moral obligations for bureaucratic-sounding words that the state can define to suit its own purpose. Changing the definition of marriage will invite greater state interference in our private lives.

This line of argument needs to be repeated again and again, in various ways and through varying means. There are only a handful of institutions that keep the State in the its proper place, most notably the Church and the family. How strange, isn’t it, that both of those institutions are the targets of such open and direct assaults?


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About Carl E. Olson 1109 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications.