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Trying to Be Helpful for NRO Readers
06/18/2003

If you've arrived at this page through Andrew Stuttaford's kind link in the Corner, please feel free to read everything on the blog and on the site — even to buy books and CDs.

However, since Mr. Stuttaford's citation addressed a particular issue (using my words in the service of the opposing argument), I thought I'd point out the relevant entries:

Conservative Brits on Gay Marriage
More Response to Stuttaford on Gay Marriage
Another Perspective on Gay Marriage
Stanley Kurtz Checks In

I intend to give Stuttaford's latest point, that heterosexual men will have their work cut out for them should they attempt to make the argument for promiscuity to their wives based on gay marriage, further thought (and thought facilitated by my just-brewed morning coffee). As an initial response, I'd say that, while clever, this suggestion doesn't address the more pervasive influences that will serve to corrode marriage.

One route to the destruction of monogamy as part of marriage is through polygamy. Actually, this is two routes: the argument, which many suspect is lurking in the shadows, that polygamists will make for legal marriage on essentially the same bases as homosexual marriage and the evolution of polygamy within homosexual marriages themselves (both as a reproductive/parenting matter and as a function of "open" marriages).

The other route, that which most directly relates to Stuttaford's argument, is less tangible. Essentially, the question isn't whether married men will finally have the argument for which they've been waiting in order to bring about their swinging ends. That isn't the whole story of how social change works. My neighbors' getting a divorce wouldn't necessarily introduce the idea into my previously healthy marriage. Of course, the effects would be highly dependent on the specifics of a given situation. It could introduce the thought if my wife and I felt particularly akin to our neighbors. It might also give excuse and emotional justification for divorce during the inevitable rough spots.

The larger danger is the broader one — on a societal scale — to the idea of marriage. As it happens, I addressed this on the topic of divorce in a column just this week. The social influence is not only coworkers and other acquaintances who give us their specific example, but also the culture, as perpetuated through such things as television and movies. On the latter count, it can hardly be denied that, although they may only represent three percent or so of the population, homosexuals have a disproportionate influence on the public stage with which to portray what they believe that marriage — once they are fully included in the institution — ought to be.

Posted by Justin Katz @ 07:54 AM EST



2 comments


On the latter count, it can hardly be denied that, although they may only represent three percent or so of the population, homosexuals have a disproportionate influence on the public stage with which to portray what they believe that marriage once they are fully included in the institution ought to be.

How come it's okay to say this about homesexuals, but not jews.

mdl @ 06/18/2003 01:42 PM EST


Well, what is it that you want to say about Jews? That they disproportionately take part in occupations that shape the culture, or that they disproportionately direct the content of those occupations toward themselves? If the latter, what quality of "Jewishness" are they disseminating throughout the culture that might be objectionable?

My point with this post was no more nor less than that how homosexual marriages are approached and presented will be disproportionately influential on the institution of marriage. In other words, contrary to Mr. Stuttaford's suggestion, it does matter whether homosexuals will bring a higher level of promiscuity to their marriages.

(Whether they will is a separate question, but it is one that Mr. Stuttaford seemed inclined to discount.)

Justin Katz @ 06/18/2003 02:03 PM EST