Civil partnership is not enough. Homosexuals must be allowed to marry, it’s only just. Any tolerant society must, as a matter of principle, allow same sex couples to formalise their relationships in the same manner as heterosexual couples. So argue progressives throughout the Western world.
By placing the argument within the field of ‘rights’ those who favour what can be loosely termed ‘alternative lifestyles’ have played a seemingly trump card. After all, who can argue against the rights of any individual, it’s like arguing against fairness and for intolerance. However, the pressure for homosexual marriage is not merely about rights, it is not even primarily about homosexual marriage. The issue at the core of the debate is about values and the shaping of our culture.
The attempt to redefine marriage by the advocates of homosexuality is not a matter of rights or fairness. There is a progressive elite who are sincerely convinced that they, and they alone, know best, that they, with the best of intentions should be entrusted with the ordering of society.
There is no conspiracy emanating from the bowels of the BBC with Graham Norton squeaking out directives and Johann Hari cutting and pasting press releases. There is, however, a general cultural shift which undermines heterosexual marriage, promotes homosexuality and elevates those who are described as experts in sociology, anthropology and other soft sciences.
The whole issue of homosexual marriage has been turned into a cultural weapon. Widely accepted cultural norms have been challenged and those who uphold those norms have been demonised. This is more than a matter of a change in legislation and is more seen as a righteous cause to be pursued with the vigour and commitment of a crusade. One’s moral superiority is proclaimed by support for homosexual marriage, whilst one’s opponents are consigned to the ranks of the reactionary and therefore wicked and intellectually obtuse. Unbridegable divisions in culture are proclaimed in this struggle.
Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and human Rights Commission argues that evangelical Christians are a greater danger to our society than Muslims because of our attitudes to what he terms mainstream views. ‘Mainstream’ for Mr Phillips clearly indicates those views held by the professional elite who control our politics, media, and social and cultural quangos. The incompatibility of traditional Christianity with modern society, particularly on homosexual issues, is causing increasing culture clashes.
What the Equality Commissioner is actually affirming is the double standard of tolerating those who support homosexual marriage whilst being intolerant of those who oppose it. This is seen as an acceptable and understandable attitude in a society where the enlightened and tolerant pour contempt on those whom they denounce as homophobic bigots.
However, we must agree with Trevor Phillips, what he terms ‘old time religion’
and modern society are incompatible. It’s only unfortunate that many within the Church instead of changing society are endeavouring to change the faith to make it more acceptable to the modern world-view.
The enlightened elite employ homosexual marriage as one of the issues through which they demarcate themselves from the grubby hoi polloi. It enables them to have a satisfactory inner sense of superiority over the ordinary folk. In their minds they constitute the courageous and enlightened minority who, for the sake of the persecuted and downtrodden are willing to take on the prejudice of the majority. They hold this view even if it means denying things they supposedly hold dear, such as free speech.
Recently in the Guardian, where else, Hadley Freeman an American journalist argued that the whole matter of homosexual marriage is beyond discussion. Why should it not be discussed? In other areas there is room for discussion because there are cultural differences to be taken into consideration and there are subtleties which must be teased out. Homosexual marriage is not one of these areas because “there is a right answer.” No shades of difference, no questions of further implications for society, no reference to any authority other than sentiment, for the died in the wool progressive questioning in this matter must be silenced.
At the same time that there is increasing pressure for homosexual unions to be sacralised heterosexual marriage is under assault. Its worst aspects being magnified in the media and in academic studies whilst its joys are minimised. The guiding concept behind such an attack appears to be George Bernard Shaw’s maxim that marriage is legalised prostitution.
Marriage is fast becoming the eccentric choice of a religious minority. We are approaching a situation where more than 50% of children born in the UK will be born out of wedlock. Since Victorian times the overall proportion of illegitimate births was broadly steady at around 5%. This continued until the late 1950’s, since when it has roughly doubled every 20 years. In 2002 40.6% of children born in England and Wales were illegitimate. In the North East of England an actual majority of children are now born out of wedlock.
Statistically this means more broken ‘family’ units with a consequent growth in
child abuse, education failure, criminality and further ‘family’ breakdown. Such is the disintegration of the family that at present more children in the UK have a television in their bedrooms than a biological father in the house.
Relate, formerly the Marriage Guidance council, predicts that marriage may be extinct within 30 years, with most adults opting instead for a series of long-term relationships. The social consequences are so obvious that only a progressive intellectual could ignore them.
Of course there are dedicated professionals who are willing to step in to the breach and provide help, advice and support for broken families. Unfortunately they are influenced and educated by the very people and principles which have brought this situation about.
That the progressive elite are determined to expand the concept of marriage so that it is progressively weakened until it becomes meaningless is hardly surprising. The family, its bonds and structures provides a bedrock within society which is resistant to constant erosion by the encroachment of the progressive elite’s authority.