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08/23/2011

Maggie Gallagher: Marriage equality is 'government takeover', biblical defacement

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2011-08-23 At 3.46.22 PmMaggie Gallagher writing for Public Discourse:

Far from being a neutral or pro-liberty position, same-sex marriage amounts to a government takeover of an ancient and honorable institution. Here, there are deep similarities philosophically between the abortion and gay marriage movements. At the heart of each movement is the belief that by re-jiggering words, elites change reality itself. A human life can be redefined as a cluster of cells. Marriage can be remade to mean whatever the government decides. Reality itself can be re-mastered to accommodate sexual desires.

But in truth, government cannot create life, and did not create marriage, and government has no business redefining either.

The second thing at stake in the marriage debate is the relationship between Christianity (and Judaism) and the American tradition itself.

The new public norms at the heart of “marriage equality” attempt to deface the Bible by ripping out Genesis and remaking the American tradition, so that public norms are incompatible with orthodox Judeo-Christian beliefs. For the first time in American history, mainstream, orthodox Judeo-Christian beliefs will render an American a second-class citizen, subject to a variety of bars and exclusions government imposes to reduce the reach of “anti-equality” bigotry.

Defend Marriage: Moms and Dads Matter [Public Discourse]

On the first charge: How typically reductive. Here we have two debates that have sparked countless commentaries, court cases, special interest groups, legislative efforts, documentaries, action items, victories, setbacks (from either perspective), and personal opinions. Yet Maggie acts as if both the modern abortion and marriage debates are fueled only by people "re-jiggering words"? And not just people but "elites", yet? Come on, Maggie.

As for the second point: Well of course the big thing here is that the marriage equality fight is confined to *civil* marriage equality, the license that is already detached from other people's faith-based morality tests. No Bible-based objector will have to perform, attend, celebrate, gift, or dance a horah at any gay person's ceremony. However, we all must accept that this civil right is to fairly applied to the qualified same-sex couples who have more than made their case, just as an objector has long had to accept the civil recognition of any other kind of marriage he or she might personally reject (remarriage after divorce, interfaith marriage, open marriages, etc.). Just because religious resistance to gay people retains more supportive numbers than other forms, it doesn't make this newly sought immunities any more meritorious.

But beyond just that: What is with Maggie's continued efforts to pit gays against Genesis? And if this is really how she feels, then what does this say about Maggie's true feelings regarding gay human beings, why we are here, and what worth we have in her worldview? Because it would seem to go well beyond marriage, extending right into the personal.

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