The Conservative Argument Against Gay Marriage

Ken AshfordSex/Morality/Family ValuesLeave a Comment

I love this.  At the New Hampshire GOP debate last night, GOP candidate Sam Brownbeck got this question:

“Should there be a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage? And if so, why?”

His answer, I think, is the standard issue conservative answer.  Here is is, in its entirety —

“I understand this is a divided audience on this, and I understand we as a country are struggling with this question, but these issues aren’t done in a vacuum. I had a question earlier about family values, and I think this is important for us to rebuild the family structure. In countries that have redefined marriage, where they’ve said, okay, it’s not just a man and a woman, it can be two men, two women, the marriage rates in those countries have plummeted to where you have counties now in Northern Europe where 80 percent of the first-born children are born out of wedlock. We don’t need more children born out of wedlock; we need more children born into wedlock between a mom and a dad bonded together for life.

“When you do these vast social experiments — and that’s what this is, when you redefine marriage. It’s a vast social experiment. They’re not done in isolation. They impact the rest of the culture around you. When you take the sacredness out of marriage, you will drive the marriage rates down. And currently in this country, currently we’re at 36 percent of our children born out of wedlock. You can raise a good child in that setting, but we know the best place is between a mom and a dad bonded together for life. (Boos, cheers, applause.)”

Now, let’s just that boil it down to its essence.  Ready?  The Brownbeck/conservative argument:

  • If gays are allowed to get married, then straight people will stop getting married
  • If straight people stop getting married, then we’ll have more children born out-of-wedlock
  • Even though children born out-of-wedlock don’t necessarily become criminals and deviants, society as a whole will crumble

These points are, on their face, laughable.

But even if you buy them, aren’t they an argument for making divorce illegal?  If you truly believe that marriages must be heterosexual and intact (you know, for the sake of the future of mankind) — if it is that much of a threat — then why aren’t you for making divorce impossible?