The Ol' Bait and Switch

Changing, not Expanding Marriage

Was marriage “equality” the real goal of the gay marriage movement? Or was it something else?

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Eric Metaxas

Both before and after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, some Christians argued that allowing same-sex couples to marry is not inconsistent with traditional Christian teaching on marriage.

At the heart of these arguments is the assertion that same-sex relationships are, to borrow a phrase from gay writer Andrew Sullivan, “virtually normal.” That is, same-sex relationships are, with one very obvious exception, not all that different from traditional marriages. Thus, just as the Supreme Court held that similarly-situated couples should be treated equally under law, similarly-situated couples should be treated equally in our churches.

The problem is that same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples are not nearly as alike as those making these arguments would have us believe.

This reality was amply demonstrated in a recent broadcast of “Weekend All Things Considered.” Host Arun Rath spoke to J. Bryan Lowder of Slate, who worried about the impact of the Court’s decision on gay culture.

By “gay culture,” Lowder wasn’t talking about a particular fashion sense and a fondness for Judy Garland. What he had in mind was the ability to “imagine different ways of being in romantic relationships and loving.” For some gays and lesbians, this “meant monogamous relationships that looked exactly like a married couple . . .  [without] the legal imprimatur of the state. But for other people, they had many different kinds of arrangements.” Emphasis on many.

Lowder was concerned about losing “some of that imagination that the gay community has had in the past to think about how to live in different ways and . . . offer a critique to straight culture of how we can arrange our romantic lives.”daily_commentary_07_06_15

In other words, LGBT folks are just like straight folks except when they’re not. They want to be married like everyone else, except when they don’t want to be. They want to embrace bourgeois domesticity, except when they don’t and, instead, prefer to use their imagination, as he put it.

Lowder is hardly an outlier. Last year, in a Daily Beast article provocatively entitled “Were Christians Right About Gay Marriage All Along?” gay activist Jay Michaelson acknowledged that there “is some truth to the conservative claim that gay marriage is changing, not just expanding, marriage.”

Michaelson cited a 2013 study finding that “about half of gay marriages surveyed . . . [are] not strictly monogamous.” He called this fact “well-known in the gay community,” adding that “we assume it’s more like three-quarters” that are not monogamous. They are, to cite a now-popular phrase, “monagam-ish.”

Michaelson admitted that his straight friends who believed that they “were fighting for marriage equality, not marriage redefinition,” felt “duped.” But he was unapologetic. In his words, “actual monogamy has never been an actual norm,” as opposed to an ideal.

Michaelson seems to think that because some men have been unfaithful, monogamy should not be an expectation of marriage. The vast majority of women, by the way, would undoubtedly disagree.

This brings to mind an exchange between Andrew Sullivan and conservative columnist Mona Charen more than 20 years ago. In response to Sullivan’s claim that marriage would domesticate gay men’s sex drives, Charen replied that marriage doesn’t domesticate men, women do.

This, my friends, is sexual complementarity in a pithy nutshell. The sexes are different, and each promises the other something different that will contribute to their union and the wellbeing of their offspring.

Frankly, Christians who support same-sex marriage have been had. The question is: Now that they know what’s really going on, will they change their minds?

Available at the online bookstore

Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God's Design for Marriage
Sean McDowell, John Stonestreet | Baker Books | July 2014

What is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense
Sherif Girgis, Ryan Anderson, Robert P. George | Encounter Books | December 2012


The State of the Nation: Why Christians Should Be in Politics
Chuck Colson | BreakPoint.org | September 20, 1999


Bait and Switch- no; outright deception - yes
Duped? Hardly. This issue is far deeper than that.

The ultimate objective of the gay marriage, and gay normalization movement, is the destruction of marriage and especially the destruction of the traditional family. This dates back to the statements of Marxists, back when Communism was cool in certain circles in the 1960s. There was a recent murmur about this recently when the sister of one of the founders of NOW, writing today, mentioned that her sister and her NOW friends used to chant that the purpose of lesbianism was to end marriage, not lesbianism itself.

The Communist manifestoes published back in the 50s and 60s, including the one inserted in the Congressional record, also make it clear that homosexuality is one of the many methods to be employed to destroy Western Civilization and replace it with Marxism.

I do not mean to deny the feelings of love that any two gays or lesbians might have for each other, and their desire to make that a legal union. But this is not the main goal of the movement, to be sure. Gays and lesbians getting married today (my wife’s cousin being one of them, getting married next weekend in Boulder) are pawns in a larger movement whose ultimate objective is far worse.

For those of you who want more interesting reading, check out Stella Morabito’s blog. She makes those fascinating connections that no one else is making, at least yet.
Continual re-definition
I would agree that marriage equality was the secondary issue. This is about an attack on religious liberty. I find it interesting and ironic, however, that the same sex marriage advocates such as Andrew Sullivan claim the situation is "virtually normal" and again with Michaelson's claim that monogamy has never been an "actual norm". The definition of normal is: conforming to a standard, usual, typical state, average. So in their argument for redefining marriage, they seek to redefine "normal" as well...and the err on both accounts.
Millenial Culture Shift
"because some men have been unfaithful, monogamy should not be an expectation of marriage. The vast majority of women, by the way, would undoubtedly disagree."

Unfortunately, I think Millenial women are less likely to disagree. This is part of the culture shift within that generation which includes acceptance of gay marriage. I work at a major university. I had a discussion with a female colleague who's a Millenial about gay marriage--which she wholeheartedly approves of. I asked her if she also approved of polygamy and polyamory. "Yes," she said, "if people want that and feel they can handle that kind of relationship, they should be able to marry." I also asked how she would feel about her live-in boyfriend having sex with other women. Her response was "That would be ok. I think we have a strong enough relationship for that." Wasn't that the old trope from 70s key parties: If a marriage is strong it would survive swinging, or if it doesn't work out, we can just get a divorce? But, I digress.

It's all about friendship and feelings, not fidelity and commitment. If my colleague is any indication, Millenials in general see no need for monogamy or committed relationships between two people. Whether time, experience, and a broken heart will change that attitude remains to be seem.
Pursuit of [my] happiness
Just my opinion, but I think Christians in general have left God's design for marriage behind, and are now focused on "being happy". Too often i hear of a Christian couple getting divorced, and the reason one side gives is, "I think God wants me to be happy," as he or she heads into a new marriage with someone else. That is basically the same cry I have heard many. many times from the activist community with regard to same-sex marriage: "We deserve to be happy, too!" After all, it is an inalienable right..."...life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Most Christians don't go into marriage with Ephesians 5 in mind, on either side. God says marriage is the picture of Christ and the Church. That is a picture of self-sacrifice, the giving up of rights, and not the pursuit of individual happiness. Same-sex "marriage" is merely one more expression of the brokenness of mankind, and how far we have departed from the original design of God.
As I said, just my opinion.