Tim Leslie - Contributor
Tim Leslie represents
California’s 4th Assembly
Gay Marriage Undercuts Human Rights
[Tim Leslie] 718/05
California’s Assembly decisively voted down the state’s
gay marriage bill last month, but the bill’s proponents
have used a rule-bending “shortcut” to advance it
to the Senate anyway. While technically legal, the maneuver clearly
flouts the spirit of the legislative process. More significantly,
this move highlights the attitude currently fueling the push
for gay marriage across the country.
Many advocates of gay marriage do so for the best of reasons,
viewing it as simply a matter of rights, equality, and social
acceptance. But under-girding the drive to redefine marriage
is one central assumption: any rule, authority or standard that
does not give us what we seek should be discarded.
In California, redefining marriage first requires tossing the
vote of the people. Sixty percent of Californians voted to protect
marriage through Proposition 22. Legislators may pretend Proposition
22 meant something else, but to an honest observer, the drive
toward gay marriage shows disdain for the authority of the people.
gay marriage proponents must disregard Judaism, Christianity
and every other
major religion’s teaching on the topic.
No doubt, one can find people in robes and collars willing to
twist the clear testimony of their holy books. But as the vast
majority of religious leaders will tell you, redefining marriage
would set aside thousands of years of clear moral instruction.
This instruction has been the principle guiding light for those
who shaped our nation and led it through the years.
marriage also demands dispensing with virtually every culture’s
historic standard of marriage. Admittedly, there have been
aberrations of marriage in many cultures across
time. But the overwhelming consensus always has been toward marriage
as a lifelong relationship between a man and a woman, one capable
of producing and nurturing children.
redefining marriage means overlooking the vital complimentary
of male and female in anatomy, psychology,
and childrearing. Of course, there are psychologists who say
it doesn’t matter or point out that traditional marriages
often fall short of what they should be. But even a humble understanding
of men and women reveals that gay marriage discounts the way
we are designed, inside and out.
redefining marriage requires ignoring the law that is written
human’s conscience. Many would disagree
of course, and I respect their right to do so. Regardless of
how Hollywood or others may try to reshape our moral values,
gay marriage disregards what we know to be best in our heart
As in any
aspect of life, discarding fundamental principles carries consequences.
In dialoguing with gay marriage proponents
I often ask, “After allowing gay marriage, on what basis
would you draw the line against polygamy between consenting adults?” I
have yet to hear a real answer. There simply isn’t one.
of gay marriage understand this. Paula Ettelbrick, executive
of the Gay and Lesbian International Human
Rights Commission, states, “Being queer is more than setting
up house, sleeping with a person of the same gender, and seeking
state approval for doing so. … Being queer means pushing
the parameters of sex, sexuality, and family, and in the process
transforming the very fabric of society."
here is the disastrous catch for those who imagine they are
rights and equality by redefining marriage.
What standards do you have left when you have decimated democratic
rule, transcendent moral truth, historic cultural standards,
human design, and even honesty with one’s own conscience?
The only authority that remains are the whims of those in power.
California, gay-friendly judges and legislators hold power,
and their whims
could usher in an era of gay marriage.
But as the 20th century bears terrible witness, the whims of
the powerful are no safeguard for human rights. If there is nothing
higher than power—standards that judge the exercise of
power and set boundaries for it—we live in a world where
might makes right. That is a dangerous realm to inhabit, especially
for groups that have known oppression.
Opponents of gay marriage must stand firm in affirming the
dignity and human rights of every human being, regardless of
their lifestyle choices. For the sake of this dignity and these
rights, we must also stand firm in defending the standards that
serve as their foundation. CRO