In Defense of Marriage

It’s been Anti-Marriage Week in the LJ world, so I just wanted to be contrary and say something in defense of the oldest institution.

Seema blogged some nice Marriage Protection Week links and somehow inspired the Anti-Marriage Protection Week Contest. Any sort of argument in defense of traditional marriage has been shrugged off.

Marriage Protection Week itself is dedicated to “Preserving the Sacred Institution of Marriage.” This approach is doomed to fail (and be laughed out of LJ) - you can’t defend a sacred institution to a secular society. There’s also a huge loophole there - if a church makes gay marriage a sacrament, it becomes its own sacred institution.

The secular argument for marriage is, basically, that it’s a cornerstone of our (and probably any) society. The institution is in a bad way right now and diluting it with gay marriages will only make things worse. If we don’t want our nation to fall to pieces in a starry-eyed social experiment with the same chances of success Communism had, the line must be drawn here.

Is that unfair? Sure it is. Marriage didn’t get in the state it’s in because of gays. Divorce laws and the welfare state are the biggest culprits. Economic prosperity, which broke down the extended family, has now made even the nuclear family obsolete. I’m a perfect example - here I am, living the single life in Boston, with very little incentive to get married. I’m not important, but multiply me by several million and I begin to have an effect.

Maybe you like that effect. As a writer, I think it’s interesting. Socially, I think it’s ominous. The point, however, is that wanting to preserve marriage as-is is not equivalent to prejudice against gays. I don’t expect you to agree, since most of my readers put individual rights above sociological concerns.

I also think the defense of marriage is too little, too late, because the bigger problems like divorce and economics will never be addressed. But I admire the little Dons Quixote defending their Dulcineas to the bitter end, even when they get it mixed up with sacraments.

I have to keep rooting for the underdog - it’s in my blood.

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