“The President Comes Out”

by Ed Whelan

That’s the title of an NRO symposium today on President Obama’s newfound position on same-sex marriage. I’ve made a brief contribution to the symposium, as has Matt Franck. Matt also has an excellent, and more extensive, Public Discourse essay titled “Obama, Marriage, and the ‘Anti-Gay’ Theme.” NRO’s house editorial is also worth reading, as is a Corner post by Ryan Anderson, Robert P. George, and Sherif Girgis, co-authors of a forthcoming book, What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense.

Here’s an excerpt from my symposium piece:

Obama’s newfound position is ominous for the American future. The American experiment in self-government depends on a vibrant marriage culture that transforms the little barbarians who emerge from the womb into responsible and virtuous citizens. The traditional male-female nature of marriage reflects the elementary biological reality that only heterosexual intercourse naturally generates children. The institution of marriage exists to maximize the prospect that children will be born and raised in stable and enduring families by the fathers and mothers responsible for their existence.

Redefining marriage to include same-sex couples would permanently reorient the institution of marriage away from this central mission. Indeed, proponents of same-sex marriage routinely dismiss as irrational the inherent link between marriage and responsible procreation and child-rearing.

Our marriage culture is on the verge of collapse — a collapse for which heterosexuals are largely responsible — with all the social pathologies associated with rising out-of-wedlock births and single-parent families. On marriage as on so many other matters, President Obama has failed to recognize what is needed to sustain the American experiment.

Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.