Topic: Decline of the West
The push to legalize same-sex marriage is presented by its proponents as a major civil rights issue. But in fact, it’s no more than a sad symptom of the demise of marriage itself. Gay marriage is thinkable today precisely because so many people no longer think much of marriage.
The New York Times published a story over the weekend that described out-of-wedlock births as “the new normal.” The Times noted that more than half of all births to American women under the age of 30 occur outside of marriage. Among all American women of childbearing age, only 59% of births occur within marriage. Despite ample evidence of the harm done to children by illegitimacy—higher rates of poverty, criminality and emotional problems—few people are willing to stand up and say that bringing a child into this world outside of marriage is wrong. We mustn’t be judgmental, you know!
Those who defend the plague of illegitimacy typically rely on the language of “rights”: reproductive rights, marriage rights, civil rights, etc. But inevitably, all such defenses lead back to the denigration of marriage. For if there’s nothing wrong with unwed motherhood, then there’s no reason to give special consideration to the sacrament of matrimony. Indeed, to do so would constitute a tacit criticism of all those single moms. And we can’t have that!
So if gays think that the legalization of same-sex marriage will do anything to legitimize their relationships, they’re simply deceiving themselves. Legitimacy? That concept went out the window a long time ago.