No ‘protected class’ from gay marriage
Karl Neathammer’s Jan. 20 column on same-sex marriage was remarkably
clear-headed for a conservative. But he made two giant mistakes. First of
all, equal marriage rights for gay Americans would not in way create “another protected class.” All it would do is guarantee that all Americans – not most, not 90%, but ALL – had the exact same rights, just the way
Constitution says we should.
Second, there is no such thing as “traditional” marriage. Marriage has not
always been like it is today. Marriage was once an institution in which husbands owned their wives, just like they owned livestock. In the 1700s,
polygamy was more prevalent than monogamy. Inter-faith and inter-racial
marriage were illegal in America until just a few decades ago. Mormons once practiced polygamy. Same-sex marriage ceremonies were once acceptable in Christian churches in Europe. And today, heterosexual marriage has a higher divorce rate than at any other time in history.
So, despite the conservatives’ fondness for “traditional marriage,” it’s a
fantasy. It doesn’t exist. Marriage as an institution has been in a constant
state of flux throughout history, changing greatly with the times. And
there’s no rational or moral reason to stop that progress now.