Thursday, 13 March 2014

A Campaign Without Merit

A vicious campaign of intimidation, bullying and blackmail is being conducted to force Irish voters to re-define marriage. A twin-track approach of horrendous missapropriation of the sufferings of others and a vile attempt to portray ordinary Irish people as “homophobic” is being used to rush us into a massive change in family law.

“Homophobia” has become the issue of the day, with every bleeding heart nincompoop journalist wringing hands over the dreadful suffering inflicted on Irish gays. In the rush to find martyrs to this particular cause, facts and norms of journalism are the first casualties but as a sideline, young gay people are being told the lie that they face a lifetime of victimisation. worse this is being done to young vulnerable people by people claiming to help them. Go figure. 

Recently, on a drive time radio show with one of the countries most senior journalists, a young lady told a tale of horrible and casual brutality encountered when she held hands with her girlfriend on a night time street. She spoke of escaping across the street and apealing to “ a stocky, muscular Irish man” for help. She indicated that she knew he was Irish because she saw him in the pub earlier. That was the clue on which any competent journalist would have picked. This was an ugly tale of savagery but it was not one that happened in Ireland. I asked the young woman during the ad break and yes, this was a tale of London night life. The presenter continued to ask what had the Gardai response been in a display of both incompetence and campaigning radio, ignoring the internal clues in the story rush to find Irish “homophobia”. 

In the face of a campaign divorced from facts and reality and driven by the need of the chattering class to appear cool, modern and compassionate, it is worth reiterating some of the incotrovertable case for gendered marriage. Arguing for gendered, traditional marriage is neither “homophobic” nor a judgement on the realtionships of gay people.

Marriage is a unique, evolved purposeful institution for the creation, rearing and socialisation of children. In any consideration of change to marriage the outcomes for children must be the essential guide. Nowhere are those outcomes for children as good as for those within a married, biological family with male and female parents. That is why the defence of marriage as it is currently understood matters.
Children are not just the product of a gendered biology; children need both genders as parents. Enshrining anything else in family law on the grounds that there exists less than perfect situations is to give legal strength & encouragement to the arrangements which produce worse outcomes for children. Of course in the mad world of the chattering class, to point out that children do best with married, gendered parents is a truth upalatable and unspeakable.

Biology has meant that for all of human history parents were of both genders. That essential gender difference is vital in the rearing & socialisation of children. Married families provide irreplaceable bedrock of stability & cohesion for all families, society and the state itself. Children need & are entitled to a father & mother. Nothing comes before a child's right to that essential human construct.
The central purpose of SSM is to pretend that not alone do children not need gendered parents but that their opposite gender parent should be legally written out of their lives. We either acknowledge and celebrate who we are, or do as the Same Sex Marriage proponents would have us do: reducing a man to a sperm donor/sperm inserter & a woman to convenient tank incubator in our central family law. This this reductionist notion of human sexuality is disrespectful of our humanity, distorts law & can only be disastrous for society. 

Same Sex Marriage puts at the heart of family law an implicit endorsement of that form of prostitution that is surrogacy. Wombs-for-rent are in the main a third world phenomenon as the desperate use the only marketable item they have to achieve some kind of gain. If prostitution is an evil then surely trans-national prostitution aimed at some of the world’s poorest women is questionable? It is not a trade to place at the centre of the meaning of family law. Alan Shatter, the man who makes Sean Doherty look good as Minister For Justice, is bringing forward a bill which would have the state recognise the fictions rich lesbians and surrogate parents want to create: that they alone are the parents, with two women or two men listed as the childs parents. This utter nonsense will be whipped and supported by the supine, moral cowards of the Fine Gael Parliamentary party.

In any consideration of marriage we need to be careful to be guided by reason and not emotion. Marriage does not exist to cater either to adult’s romantic whims or to endorse their relationships, provide them with a theatre for romantic gesture or a platform for gesture politics. Marriage is not a wedding! The purpose of marriage is different from individual conceptions or reasons for marriage so too is it separate from the accidental. Spouse's die or are unfaithful, what was intended as a long term or even lifetime contract is abandoned, maybe even on whim. These are individual failings, not purposeful nature or function of the institution.

Marriage law does not discriminate: only a very twisted version of victim politics can advance an argument that an institution with a natural biological basis discriminates. It is just as sensible to claim that biology itself is discriminatory and must be reformed. The push for Same Sex Marriage assumes that marriage is a re-definable institution. Since marriage is a universal constant of human society, evolving independently in virtually every culture we would expect that Same Sex Marriage to have occurred. The failure of SSM to evolve spontaneously in ANY culture suggests that it is either destructive or at best damaging. Next time some campaigner uses the term “marriage equality”, remind them it already exists: any single woman can marry any single man.

There already exists a legal arrangement for same sex couples: Civil Unions. One of the unfortunate consequences of the proposed change to the definition of marriage would be to diminish the status of Civil Partnership.

Civil Partnership has the capacity to evolve organically into an institution paralleling heterosexual marriage in social status and law but with a specific and particular gay identity of its own. It would be very sad to cut off that evolution as it is just beginning, and beginning so well. Many proponents of same sex marriage treat the issue as so obvious, indeed self evident, that to oppose it is prima facie evidence of homophobic bigotry or a pathological act of treachery.

It is worth noticing in this climate that not so long ago the consensus  especially activists and queer thinkers, was that Marriage was a self evidently heterosexual institution. While it was clear that a modality for the legal recognition of the reality of many committed loving gay relationships was direly needed it was thought clear that a different and distinctly gay structure would need to be innovated which would match the needs of gay relationships. Many saw marriage as not only not suitable to meet this need but actually inimical to the newly evolving gay family. Civil Partnership can be that innovative structure if we allow it

Introducing SSM inevitably leads to a cascade of legal changes to give it effect, fundamentally altering family law and the relationship between the state and the family. To give effect to SSM all these changes transfer power from the family to the state, as basic biological relationships on which current law stands must be ignored and bypassed. All children must be viewed in law as strangers to their parents who will be given status in the child’s life by the state. This is a massive, fundamental, and very dangerous change in the natural rights of the family.

If children, their genesis, rearing & socialising are not at the centre of the socio-legal meaning of marriage then the State has no reason to forbid marriage to any two people. Since the progeny outcome is irrelevant restrictions on incestuous or any other union not now regarded as licit, are merely based on personal disgust, not rational grounds. Such grounds could not be used as a continuing basis for regulation. There are good economic reasons why polygamy should be abandoned in less devoloped countries but none of these apply to polyamorous relationships in rich, developed societies.

It is impossible to have real guarantees that churches or religious institutions will not be forced to celebrate SSM at the point of the law. Equality based legislation must inevitably create a huge risk, indeed a near certainty that religious freedom will be infringed as court actions are taken to expand the foothold. Many Same Sex Activists are clear that for churches or other institutions to refuse to cooperate with or allow Same Sex Marriage will be “discrimination”: an ominous word given that even private individuals are subject to lawsuit in many jurisdictions for minor refusals to cooperate with Same Sex Marriage ceremonies and a Dublin cake shop was subjected to an orchestrated campaign of internet villification and bullying for refusing to campaign for “marriage equality” with its window display.

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