August 20th 2011

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Political paralysis as markets implode

CANBERRA OBSERVED: The albatross around the government's neck

EDITORIAL: Rudd's ego drives UN Security Council bid

QUEENSLAND: Flood inquiry reports confusion and delays

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Labor's Right topples another party leader

EUTHANASIA: Providing legal cover for doctors who kill


DEFENCE: Avoiding another Collins-class submarine fiasco

OPINION: Where is Australia going and why?

OBITUARY: Farewell to Resistance heroine Nancy Wake

TURKEY: Turkish army purge spells end of Kemalism

EUROPEAN UNION: Still no end in sight for Europe's debt crisis

UNITED STATES: Same-sex marriage agenda to subvert marital fidelity

VICTORIA: Dear Ted Baillieu: an open letter to a friend


BOOK REVIEW The West possessed

BOOK REVIEW The real history of piracy

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Same-sex marriage agenda to subvert marital fidelity

by Babette Francis

News Weekly, August 20, 2011

It is not just marriage they want — subversion of the institution is part of the activist homosexual agenda. This is revealed in two recent articles in the New York Times (by Ross Douthat and Katherine M. Franke) and one in The Weekend Australian Magazine (Mark Oppenheimer, July 18-17, 2011).

This agenda is not the usual lobbying for marriage by “conservative” homosexuals — you know, the dear old ladies in their seventies who have been together for decades, go to church on Sundays and just want society (and God) to recognise their love for each other. Nor is it from the contingent of the “I-am-a-faithful-Catholic-and-have-been-gay-all-my-life-and-my-parents-and-siblings-came-to-my-wedding-and-it-was-all-so-wonderful” whom we heard from ad nauseam in the aftermath of New York legislating same-sex marriage.

No, this agenda comes from the “liberationist” wing of the homosexuals-for-marriage brigade who want to liberate homosexuals and heterosexuals from the requirements of fidelity within marriage. Their objective is to make the institution of marriage into a kind of marriage-lite where marital infidelity is accepted and celebrated.

Ross Douthat explained that gay marriage liberationists “hope that gay marriage will help knock marriage off its cultural pedestal”. To liberationists, if traditional marriage becomes the “gold standard” for relationships both gay and straight, the gay marriage movement will have “failed in its deeper mission”, which is introducing a “greater freedom than can be found in the one-size-fits-all rules of marriage” (New York Times, July 4, 2011).

The apparent hope is that legalised gay marriages will be more openly sexually promiscuous than straight marriage, providing an example that would then influence heterosexual couples to adopt the same open-marriage lifestyle.

In contrast, there is New York Columbia University law professor Katherine M. Franke, lesbian activist, who is demanding the right not to marry: “While many in our community have worked hard to secure the right of same-sex couples to marry, others of us have been working equally hard to develop alternatives to marriage.”

In an article in the New York Times (June 23, 2011) Franke explained that “winning the right to marry is one thing; being forced to marry is quite another”.

She said: “If the rollout of marriage equality in other states, like Massachusetts, is any guide, lesbian and gay people who have obtained health and other benefits for their domestic partners will be required by both public and private employers to marry their partners in order to keep those rights.

“In other words, ‘winning’ the right to marry may mean ‘losing’ the rights we have now as domestic partners, as we’ll be folded into the all-or-nothing world of marriage. ...

“This moment provides an opportunity to reconsider whether we ought to force people to marry — whether they be gay or straight — to have their committed relationships recognised and valued.”

The United States is a delightfully litigious society. As same-sex marriage becomes more firmly established, the next set of lawsuits will be discrimination claims by domestic partners against any institution that legally recognises marriage, in a bid to put domestic partnership on an equal legal footing with marriage.

Franke and others like her want the rest of the country to operate like New York City where homosexual and heterosexual couples can by law register as domestic partners and are entitled to the same benefits as married couples.

That’s the cultural side of the left’s new battle to take down marriage. In court, the new, post-gay marriage goal of the left will apparently be to attempt to remove marriage, and any special legal significance that comes with it, from the public square in much the same way they’ve sought to strip out God.

The acceptance of infidelity theme has been subtly pushed by the New York Times for over a year now. The paper caused major controversy in December when in the “Vows” section of its bridal guide it fawningly profiled the marriage of a home-wrecking couple, who met at the school their children both attended while married to other spouses.

However, as Ross Douthat points out, heterosexual culture has already experimented with exactly this kind of “open relationships” model with disastrous results. In the mid-1970s, only 51 per cent of well-educated Americans agreed that adultery was always wrong. But far from being strengthened by this outbreak of realism, their marriages went on to dissolve in record numbers.

He says: “This trend eventually reversed itself. Heterosexual marriage has had a tough few decades, but its one success story is the declining divorce rate among the upper middle class. This decline, tellingly, has gone hand in hand with steadily rising disapproval of adultery.

“There’s a lesson here. Institutions tend to be strongest when they make significant moral demands, and weaker when they pre-emptively accommodate themselves to failures in human nature.

“Those opposed to same-sex marriage see the danger in severing the link between marriage and the two realities — gender difference and procreation — that it originally evolved to address.

“A successful marital culture depends not only on a general ideal of love and commitment, but on specific promises, exclusions and taboos. And the less specific and more inclusive an institution becomes, the more likely people are to approach it casually, if they enter it at all. The hardest promises to keep are often the ones that keep people together.”

Babette Francis, B.Sc. (Hons), is national coordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc. 

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