One of the most favorite things I do with my phone is listen to NPR podcasts during the commute. The Diane Rhem Show is one I listen to a lot. The other day I was listening to a show discussing the anti-gay marriage amendment that was recently passed in North Carolina. Diane's always good about making sure she has representatives from both sides of an issue. Representing the
religious conservative bigots viewpoint was Maggie Gallagher, president, Institute for Marriage and Public Policy.
I was a little worried I'd end up in a rage listening to the discussion, but honestly, these days Maggie and her cohorts just strike me as pathetic and sad.
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. -Charles Darwin
Give my love to the dodo, Maggie.
There were a couple of things that struck me about the conversation. For one, I never once heard the phrase "sanctity of marriage." Apparently conservatives are wising up to the fact that such religiously charged language isn't necessarily helpful to their cause. Marriage is merely "unique and special" these days.
The disadvantage of podcast listening is there's no opportunity to join the conversation. Not that my chances of getting in a call are much better than a snowball's in Hell. Still, I would really have like to ask Maggie about her old and tired arguments about procreation and child rearing. To start, marriage is not a requirement for procreation. Period. There really is no discussion there. Asserting that marriage and procreation are somehow dependent on each other is little more than wishful thinking.
I'll just completely sidestep the laughable assertion that opposite sex unions are inherently more stable.
As for child rearing, that the whole "a child needs a mother and a father" business doesn't really hold water by any objective standard. A stable, loving home is more important than the sex of the parents. But let's go ahead and assume that her assertion has merit. If opposite sex marriage is so fundamental to the proper functioning of society and the proper education of children, why isn't Maggie's organization putting as much effort in to dismantling divorce? To enforcing adultery laws that are still on the books all over this country? To advocating stricter marriage license requirements? Maybe some kind of mandatory "Matrimony Ed." You know, some analog to driver's ed? How about periodic evaluation by a licensed professional to assure the home remains stable and caring? Why isn't she working to reversing women's rights so a woman has few options except to stay home and raise the kids? That's "traditional" marriage.
Even though Maggie seemed to take umbrage at claims by her opponents that those who share her views are bigoted and hateful, I don't know what else you would call it. There's an obviously double standard. One group is given far more leniency (a.k.a. privilege) than another. Her statements that "anti-miscegenation laws were wrong and should have been dismantled, but this is different" display either a stunning dishonesty or a remarkable ignorance of how societies try and preserve power and the status quo.