Blogs > Liberty and Power > Make Stanley Cry!

Jul 1, 2004 7:27 pm

Make Stanley Cry!

Gee whiz. Poor Stanley Kurtz, never pausing even for an instant in his campaign against All Things Gay, is having a very tough summer. The Senate will vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment in July, and Stanley wants everyone to contact their Senators and tell them To Fight For The Preservation of Civilization and Every Good Thing That Has Ever Existed Since the Beginning of Time.

Actually, I shouldn't say everyone. Stanley only wants you to contact your Senators if you believe the following: that"the core purpose of marriage is to bind children to their mothers and fathers," that"[m]arriage is not meant solely, or even mainly, for husbands and wives. Marriage exists as a public institution because children need mothers and fathers," that marriage should not be treated as"a mere celebration of the love of two adults," and that you should never, ever think of marriage as"nothing more than the expression of mutual affection between two adults."

And following the line of the most devoted hawks that all the problems in Iraq are due to the traitorous, Fifth Column press and its shockingly biased coverage which reports only"bad" news, Stanley thinks that perhaps the main problem at the moment is, natch, the media coverage:

Because it is in fact so easy to see the harmful effects of gay marriage, it's easy to feel discouraged.

With the mainstream media determined to tell only one side of the story, you probably haven't even heard about the opposition gay marriage has stirred around the world. Australian Prime Minister John Howard has asked parliament to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Last week, the British House of Lords successfully blocked the government's plan for same-sex civil unions. The press plays up news favorable to gay marriage, yet downplays stories like these.

In America, there has been a tremendous amount of opposition to same-sex marriage on the state level, little of which has been reported by the national media. Many states are strengthening DOMAs, and several states are expected to vote this fall on constitutional amendments defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. With the upcoming vote in the U.S. Senate, the action now moves to the federal level.

That damned, "untrustworthy and unpatriotic" media! They just better watch themselves, or that sweet little old First Amendment might just have to go!

Stanley hews to the neocon line in still another way. Just as Irving Kristol seeks to portray the United States as a fundamentally passive observer to world events, which continues to get drawn into one war after another against its better judgment and only because it is (in his view) the final defender of freedom (as he defines it) which must act when no other nation will, Stanley says the current focus on same-sex marriage is all the fault of those damned uppity gays and lesbians who demand equality before the law, and those damned activist judges:

Opponents of FMA say the issue shouldn't be"politicized." But it wasn't the president or the Republicans who ordered Massachusetts to legalize same-sex marriage on May 17. The advocates of same-sex marriage controlled the timing of this issue. In any case, how odd to argue that a fundamental change in society's central institution should not be a matter for democratic decision-making! The problem with this issue is that gay-marriage advocates have been using the courts — and even deliberate and systematic violation of the law — to get around democracy. It's high time that this debate was put back into the hands of the American people. So let the Senate go on record, and let senators justify their positions to the public.
You just know that the date of May 17 is burned in Stanley's tiny little brain. It's the date that might mark The Beginning of the End of the World!

Ah, democracy and a majority vote. Well, jeepers, Stanley, the whole point of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is that everyone has certain rights that can't be taken away, even by a majority vote! Just think of that, Stanley. A revolutionary concept, which you (and many others) still haven't grasped. And a majority vote wouldn't have worked so well with, for example, the ending of anti-miscegenation laws, since a majority of Americans were opposed to interracial marriage, even after the Supreme Court decision striking down those discriminatory laws. Those damned activist judges, seeking to impose equality against the people's will!

At the end of his call to action, Stanley says:

If the public doesn't move to show that it disapproves not only of gay marriage but also of judicial activism and open flouting of the law, then the Left will never have reason to hold back. If judges, and activists willing to break the law, can force a change on the American people against their will, they will know that they can do it again and again. So it's not just marriage that's at stake here, it's the role of the courts in society — even the rule of law itself.

Sending a thoughtful e-mail to your senators asking them to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment is a good idea. But it's often just as powerful — or more so — to phone your senators through the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You can also call your senators' district offices to ask them to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment. If you use snail mail, you'd better write quickly: Senate security screening can delay mail, and the vote is coming up soon.

So I recommend that you do just as Stanley advises -- but tell your Senators something else.

Tell them not to write discrimination into the Constitution itself, thus defiling that document in an unspeakable, reprehensible manner. Tell them not to support the efforts of the Panderer-in -Chief to satisfy the demands of the Religious Right, and make gays and lesbians second-class citizens for all time, or until the FMA is repealed. And, with regard to the end of that post, I will now officially take bets that Andrew Sullivan will finally support Bush in the fall, thus confirming what many of us already know: that he is not a"self-respecting gay person." Please do email me to place your own bet.

For the record, I still believe that marriage properly should be privatized, and that government has no role here at all. But that is not likely to happen in our lifetimes. Since the government is involved in marriage in innumerable ways, it is the worst kind of discrimination to grant the ability to marry to one class of citizens but deny it to another, particularly when that denial only arises out of a vile kind of religious and/or cultural intolerance. As I said in a post explaining my support for legalized same-sex marriage in our cultural-political context:

[F]or the foreseeable future, the state will continue to be involved in marriage. And the basic legal issue is one of simple equality: if heterosexuals can get married (and thus acquire all the state-conferred privileges and benefits that accompany marriage), there is no legitimate, rational reason to deny gays and lesbians the same right. The only objections are ones rooted in ignorance,"tradition," religious belief, and the like.

However, the battle has now been engaged -- and it has been engaged in terms of the issue of basic equality for gays before the law. In such a setting, I obviously can only come down on the side of full equality for gays, much as I still wish that the state would forbear involving itself in this area altogether. And the worst development is the great likelihood that, any day now, the President himself will come out explicitly in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment, thus writing discrimination against an entire class of citizens into the Constitution itself. This is monstrousness of a particularly hideous order -- and it is for this reason that I have offered Bush my harshest condemnation for his pandering on this issue.

So tell your Senators not to give in to the voices of bigotry and ignorance. Tell them to stand up for the equality, and dignity, of all the citizens of the United States -- and to demonstrate that the proud statement in the Declaration of Independence that"all men are created equal" is still understood and still carried forth as a bold banner to which people of good will and integrity can repair, and that gays and lesbians are entitled to the pursuit of happiness fully as much as anyone else.

And do it soon. Make Stanley cry.

(Cross-posted at The Light of Reason.)

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