The Corner

The Future of Marriage

You can go to my new article, “The End of Marriage in Scandinavia,” for proof that gay marriage does in fact undermine marriage (see previous post). But the truth is, for anyone who has eyes to see, it’s already happening right in front of our eyes. Sunday’s New York Times carried an opinion piece called, “Single and Paying For It,” by Shari Motro. Motro deliberately uses the arguments of gay marriage advocates to make a case for the effective destruction of marriage itself. Plaintiffs in gay marriage cases argue that, by confining the legal and financial benefits of marriage heterosexuals, the law discriminates against gays. Motro agrees, but extends the point to singles. Why should married couples-–gay or straight–-get any benefits at all, asks Motro. But aren’t married couples parents? Motro dismisses this point with statistics that show that large numbers of children are born to unmarried parents. Of course, Motro’s “solution” would only guarantee a huge additional increase in the out-of-wedlock birthrate. In effect, Motro is trying to bring about the same equalization between singlehood and marriage that we find in Scandinavia. And her model is the argument for gay marriage. This shows that the effect of gay marriage will be (indeed, already is) exactly the opposite of the one claimed conservative advocates of gay marriage. Instead of strengthening marriage in society at large, gay marriage is opening the floodgates to a series of changes that can only result in the end of marriage.

Three years ago, in “It’s About Marriage.” I predicted what we just saw in Sunday’s New York Times. I pointed out that there are three things that are “not marriage:” sexual groups, gay couples, and singles. Once the special social support and encouragement given to heterosexual couples is condemned as discriminatory toward gays, I said, the same argument would be made by singles and polyamorists. By featuring a case for “singles rights” inspired by gay marriage advocacy, The New York Times has proven me right. And what about monogamy? Well, just above Shari Motro’s piece this Sunday was, “Should This Marriage Be Saved?” an Op-Ed by Laura Kipnis attacking the president’s marriage initiative. Although she only hints at it in this piece, Kipnis is an opponent of marriage in general, and monogamy in particular. Kipnis, in fact, is a fan of adultery. I blogged on Kipnis’s book last September. Kipnis and Motro would like nothing more than to abolish marriage and move to the Scandinavian system. And both are now featured in a typically “balanced” Op-Ed blitz in the Sunday New York Times. So this is where we are. The gay marriage debate has kicked off a crusade for so-called singles rights, and encouraged those who want to end to monogamy–and ultimately, marriage itself. The New York Times is on board. Take a look at Scandinavia if you want to see the future. But the truth is, the future is right here, right now–and it has absolutely nothing to do with the “conservative case” for gay marriage.