I’m not saying that the New York Legislature did something it should not have done.
The people of the Empire State are guaranteed a Republican form of government by the United States Constitution. They are governed by a popularly elected legislature, and legislators always do what they think will get them reelected.
A republic is not the same as a democracy.
The people of New York were not asked to vote on same sex marriage. Maybe they would approve it, maybe they wouldn’t. But it doesn’t matter. In a republic, the elected representatives of the people make those decisions. In 2012, the people of New York will have a chance to replace anyone they think does not represent them well.
No doubt there will be some hotly contested elections in New York next year, with lots of shouting and name calling on both sides.
What there will not be is calm, intelligent, rational dialog among supporters and opponents of same sex marriage.
The vast majority of the people of New York are heterosexual. Indeed, the vast majority of human beings on this planet are attracted to members of the opposite sex. It is simple and substantially universal human nature.
Anthropologists tell us that every known human society has had some form of mating ritual or custom. Human beings are instinctively monogamous, and typically live in family units. It is the natural way to procreate, nurture, and educate children.
At the same time, homosexuals have been seen in many cultures for centuries. Sodomy was once called ‘the sin of the Greeks’ because of its prevalence in that ancient kingdom.
But the demand for same sex marriage, as a recognized legal relationship is something new. It is part and parcel of the effort to establish homosexual conduct as a legitimate and equally appropriate and acceptable way for human beings to live in society.
The ramifications of that change in our culture are considerable and have not been fully explored.
For example, our marriage laws forbid unions between persons within specified degrees of consanguinity. These laws are the product of human experience, and reflect the fact that the progeny of such unions are at risk of severe mental and physical affliction.
But same sex marriage will not produce natural offspring. Don’t the consanguinity restrictions become meaningless in those cases?
If the only test for the legitimacy of a sexual relationship is that the participants be consenting adults, what will be the logic for prohibiting unions between close relatives? Mother-daughter? Father-son? Brother-brother or sister-sister?
Indeed, what will be the logic in restricting marriage to unions between only two people? Why not three, four, five, or a dozen consenting adults?
When I ask those questions of proponents of same sex marriage, they look at me with perplexity . Their response is usually something like, “No one wants that. It would never happen.”
Forty years ago, they would have said the same thing about homosexual marriage.
The thing about our republic is that it is not a democracy. It is an aristocracy of the interested. The outcome of an election is not just a matter of taking a poll. Militant, vocal, committed minorities set the agenda and affect the outcome of our elections.
The prevailing public sentiment is always passive, permissive and timid. In the face of name calling, mob demonstrations, and media hype, the average citizen shrugs his shoulders and says something like, “Let them have what they want. It’s no skin off my nose.”
The opponents of same sex marriage in the New York legislature argued that it violates God’s law. They were shouted down as bible thumping radicals. They tried to show that homosexual unions would increase venereal disease, and they were scoffed at. Arguments based on natural law, history and tradition were likewise ignored.
The State of New York has a large homosexual population. They have effectively redefined the word ‘gay’ so that it no longer simply connotes light heartedness, and care free happiness. Especially in the big cities, there are gay bars, gay parades, gay publications, gay public officials.
If the majority of New Yorkers don’t approve, at least they don’t disapprove. Live and let live is the common sentiment.
What no one likes to talk about or think about in all of this are the long range consequences of a homosexual culture. The first and most obvious is a declining population.
Proponents will claim that lesbian women can have babies through artificial insemination, and that fatherless and motherless homes are commonplace due to divorce and illegitimacy.
And anyway, aren't we in danger of overpopulating the planet?
True enough of course, but are those things really good for society? No one really knows what kind of a nation we will become when and if the traditional American family is no longer the norm or even the ideal.
A people who are not reproducing themselves are a dying culture. In the long term, the planet will be populated by humans who have learned the lessons of history and who live in a stable, natural and nurturing environment.
We worry about global warming and about the impact of carbon emissions on our atmosphere. We fret about endangered species of plants and animals.
Perhaps it is time to ask ourselves if our culture is also in danger of pollution.