The folks at unCiviltas are all wadded up about gay marriage. They’re still worried about defending marriage from loving, committed partners. I thought that divorce being commonplace, more so here than in the nation as a whole, was the institution’s biggest threat, but that’s what you get for thinking. The real problem is that even though gay marriage is illegal in North Carolina, it’s not illegal enough. It needs to be written into the constitution, you know, otherwise my gay friends and relatives might someday enjoy the same civil rights that I do. We can’t have that.
The latest assault on the assault on traditional marriage comes from one Jessica Custer. Perhaps English is not her first language, so I want to be sensitive to that. I mean, it’s the most difficult language on earth, so more power to Jessica to wrestling with it in the name of her values, but her ability to construct a coherent argument – about either the vagaries of marital law or the NC General Assembly’s resistance to a constitutional amendment – was sadly hindered. Wanna taste?
The movement to extend marriage from the traditional definition of a ‘man and woman’ is part of the larger sexual revolution that began in the 1960s and is slipping into middle and elementary schools today.”
Here’s the thing: Revolutions can’t slip anywhere. Not larger revolutions, or even eensy-weensy revolutions. Custer may be disturbed by people’s increasing embrace of the values commonly referred to under the rubric “the sexual revolution”, but I can’t tell because she doesn’t say so. I am unable to infer her meaning because she then applies it to institutions – elementary and middle schools – that are objects, and, thus, have no social values. Perhaps she means that the students and/or the administrations of these schools have shown too much willingness to empower women or to wear mini-skirts and take the Pill, but, as I said, I can’t really divine her meaning from her writing. I do know, though maybe Jessica doesn’t, that elementary and middle-school students have inherent sexual natures, as all animals do, but that it is inappropriate to accuse them of lax sexual values at a time when any sexual activity they have is, in most cases, either innocent or illegal.
Custer also believes that traditional marriage has been defended in unlikely places, such as California and beauty pageants. California, “a state that is home to a liberal Hollywood agenda”, is understood to be an unlikely venue for a defense of anything traditional, but the state has a Republican governor, albeit an unconventional one, and is home to many legal same-sex marriages. I can’t see how a beauty pageant could be considered an unlikely place for the upholding of traditional values. Beauty pageants end when one woman triumphs over a group of competitors as the most conventionally attractive. It seems like the perfect place to hew to a traditional understanding of femininity and gender roles, within marriage and society at large.
As for defending marriage from same-sex couples, I think we can learn from Massachusetts. Five years after gay marriage became legal there, the state retains the lowest divorce rate in the nation. Maybe conservative North Carolinians who have time on their hands to defend marriage should head up to the Commonwealth and find out what they’re doing. If you’re truly interested in the institution of marriage, that’s the place to go.