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The Issue is Never the Issue

August 10th, 2011

Red diaper baby David Horowitz is an expert on the mentality of the Radical Left. In his pamplet Barack Obama’s Rules for Revolution, (which I highly recommend, by the way) David makes the following point:

An SDS radical once wrote, “the issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.”  In other words, the cause-whether inner city blacks or women–is never the real cause, but only an occasion to advance the real cause, which is the accumulation of power to make the revolution.

I would add, whether the cause is the redefinition of marriage or the expansion of entitlements for homosexuals, the issue is never the issue: the revolution is the issue.

Exhibit A: This April 2011 story, from Radio Netherlands,

“Just 20 percent of Dutch homosexual couples are married, compared with 80 percent of heterosexual couples, fresh figures by Statistics Netherlands show. Since 1 April 2001, when the Netherlands became the first country to legalise same-sex marriage, some 15,000 gay and lesbian couples have tied the knot. That is two percent of all marriages celebrated in Holland, and just 20 percent of the 55,000 same-sex couples the country numbers. Among the country’s 4.1 million heterosexual couples, 80 percent are married.”

The demands for the redefinition of marriage are not really about making it possible for people to marry persons of the same sex. If it were, there would be more same sex weddings after ten years. These demands are about fundamentally altering, revolutionizing really, the basic building block of society: the man/woman marriage and their children.  The man/woman marriage does not need the assistance of the state, or of any other individuals, in order to replicate its own structure. Men and women can come together naturally, without any coaching, permission or urging from the state, to create their own little society, independent of the state.

That is what the radicals find so offensive.

“Every legitimate objective of gay and lesbian people can be met without redefining marriage.”  I believe that so firmly that I have it posted at the bottom of the Ruth Institute home page.  But that is not enough for the radicals. The issue is never the issue: the issue is always the revolution.

You say you don’t want a revolution? Then distance yourself from the revolutionary objectives and tactics.

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  1. August 10th, 2011 at 14:55 | #1

    Ah, so we don’t want to marry — we just want POWER.

    Articles like this make it funny when people from NOM and Ruth complain about being demonized. Lordy.

  2. Martin Snigg
    August 10th, 2011 at 15:09 | #2

    Thanks for this Dr. J I re-posted on FB.

    I was reading Front Porch Republic and James Matthew Wilson wrote:

    “As Russell Kirk was fond of observing in the nineteen-fifties, liberalism has long since ceased to promote freedom and has taken on the yoke of massive technocracy in the service of a centralized administrative state. Kirk delighted in quoting Santayana, who once wrote that liberals have little interest in loosening men from any bond save that of marriage; and, in our own day, debates about homosexual unions further validate the old arguments (voiced most prophetically in Papal encyclicals on the family from the nineteenth century) that the dissolving of the marriage bond is consistently the front line in the liberal war to conquer all of private life for centralized administration. It is easier to render every person a ward of the state, when one does not have cohesive and sovereign institutions like the family getting in the way, and rendering the family a nonspecific, merely affective, juridical fiction may quite effectively neutralize its social function and natural integrity altogether.”

    http://www.frontporchrepublic.com/2011/08/libertarian-solutions-to-communal-difficulties/

  3. Sean
    August 10th, 2011 at 15:40 | #3

    “…whether the cause is the redefinition of marriage or the expansion of entitlements for homosexuals”

    I don’t think the cause is either redefining marriage or expanding entitlements for homosexuals, but rather, giving same-sex couples the equal right to marry that different-sex couples have. I know of no situation where gay people have any “entitlements” that straight people don’t also have.

    If giving gay and lesbian couples the same rights straight couples have leads to redefining marriage, so be it. Better to redefine marriage than redefine Equality. The former happens regularly; doing the latter would imperial our society.

  4. Leo
    August 10th, 2011 at 21:30 | #4

    It is Sean who is redefining equality to mean “all preferences and all behaviors must be equally sanctioned by the law without regard popular sovereignty or morality.” This is not a formula for justice; it is a formula for anarchy. We saw in the French and Russian revolutions how radical revolutions launched in the name of equality don’t turn out as advertised.

    Of course, Sean could say, I only want this radical notion applied to sexual orientation. But why stop there if he is arguing for a general principle of justice? And if it is not a general principle of justice, then we can see his arguments are merely special pleading.

  5. John Noe
    August 10th, 2011 at 21:54 | #5

    Very good article and I had a chance to see all of the fine points made out by David H. on his website. The homosexuals align themselves with the Marxists, Socialists, and the Communists who found marriage and family the threat to their way of life. Vladimer Lenin claimed just give me the children and I will have them as my brethern in no time. He was refering to state control of child rearing and control of the classroom. To do this you need to destroy marriage.
    The far left which wants to destroy marriage understands that SSM is needed to accomplish this goal, and marriage is not what the homosexuals want. They want power and having the state mandate that everybody approve of their conduct.

  6. Daughter of Eve
    August 11th, 2011 at 00:22 | #6

    “If giving gay and lesbian couples the same rights straight couples have leads to redefining marriage, so be it.”

    The 14th amendment refers to individuals–not to couples, trios, or any other combination of human groupings. The law is justly blind to sexual orientation, which puts all citizens on an equal footing. What is up for debate is not whether all citizens have the right to marry (as is reflected in marriage license applications, which make no demand of proof of sexual orientation), but what will be the boundaries of marriage–how will the union be defined, not “who may participate.”

    For example, not all opposite-sexed couples qualify to be licensed by the state as a marriage. Brothers and sisters cannot get married to each other, no matter how much they love each other, or whether or not they pay their taxes. They are not granted this union either by licensed clerics, or by a justice of the peace. No one could justly claim this is do to some kind of homophobia; nor could this be considered a racist issue.

    However, the SSM demand is that all loving couples be allowed to marry. All? Really? What, exactly, are they endorsing, when they move to redefine marriage?

  7. Sean
    August 11th, 2011 at 15:57 | #7

    “It is Sean who is redefining equality to mean “all preferences and all behaviors must be equally sanctioned by the law without regard popular sovereignty or morality.””

    No, Sean is referring to legal equality, whereby similarly situated persons must be treated equally under the law. This is, in fact, the will of the people: they ratified, through their representatives, the US Constitution, which says that all citizens have equal protection of the law. Mountains have legal cases have explored and refined what was intended by the 14th Amendment, and it looks like committed same-sex couples, especially those raising children, are similarly situated to committed different-sex couples. Straight people form couples, gay people form couples. Straight people want to commit for the long term, gay people want to commit for the long term. Straight people seek out sex and companionship in the form of another person, gay people seek out sex and companionship in the form of another person. Well, you get the picture.

    “Of course, Sean could say, I only want this radical notion applied to sexual orientation.”

    Sean wouldn’t say that. Sean would want this radical notion applied to all citizens who share variations of an attribute or characteristic that is recognized as a part of who they are. Sexual orientation just happens to be the attribute or characteristic of this situation.

  8. Sean
    August 11th, 2011 at 16:09 | #8

    “The 14th amendment refers to individuals–not to couples, trios, or any other combination of human groupings. The law is justly blind to sexual orientation, which puts all citizens on an equal footing.”

    You provide an excellent reminder why treating gay people the same as straight people in marriage provides no ammunition for polygamists, who have no claim under the constitution, unless and until they can identify individuals as having polygamous traits or characteristics.

    However, the law is not treating persons of different sexual orientations equally: in most states, marriage laws favor straight people, who form different-sex couples (gay people form same-sex couples).

    “What is up for debate is not whether all citizens have the right to marry (as is reflected in marriage license applications, which make no demand of proof of sexual orientation), but what will be the boundaries of marriage–how will the union be defined, not “who may participate.”

    Exactly, and the boundaries cannot be defined in such a way that they infringe on anyone’s constitutional rights, such as equal treatment under the law.

    “For example, not all opposite-sexed couples qualify to be licensed by the state as a marriage. Brothers and sisters cannot get married to each other, no matter how much they love each other, or whether or not they pay their taxes. They are not granted this union either by licensed clerics, or by a justice of the peace. No one could justly claim this is do to some kind of homophobia; nor could this be considered a racist issue.”

    Opposite-sex couples who fail to qualify contain at least one person who is already married or too young to marry or the two people are closely related (depends on the state). These rules would continue to apply even when same-sex marriage is legal. So advocates for same-sex marriage do not want all couples to be eligible to marry.

  9. August 11th, 2011 at 17:09 | #9

    “similarly situated persons must be treated equally under the law.”

    Right, all people should only be allowed to procreate with their own unmodified gametes, with someone else using their unmodified gametes, which means with someone of the other sex. Everyone is similarly situated in having only one sex which they are able to procreate as, and with having to do it with someone of the other sex.

  10. Leo
    August 12th, 2011 at 10:44 | #10

    The Supreme Court has never held that “orientation” is equivalent to race. The Supreme Court have never even held that sex is equivalent to race. Once you realize that, all of Sean’s arguments fall apart.

    Sean’s extremely radical attitude is that any “attribute or characteristic that is recognized as a part of who they are” (recognized by whom I wonder) must be recognized by the state as equal and equivalent to all other attributes or characteristics. This is truly radical. This reminds me of the artist that demanded that all his life’s expenses should be considered tax deductible because his whole life was art. The blind must be issues driver’s licenses. Those oriented to nudity must be allowed to parade in the nude everywhere. Polygamists obviously can make their claim. In fact, the best defense for a crime will become that being a criminal is part of their identity. And being single (which is part of who they are) must be treated as being married. And being a child must be treated as being an adult. Once you accept Sean’s premise that all identities are equivalent and must be treated equally, the list is endless. This is identity politics carried to its logical conclusion.

    The more Sean comments, the more radical I discover his agenda to be.

  11. Sean
    August 12th, 2011 at 17:12 | #11

    @John

    “Everyone is similarly situated in having only one sex which they are able to procreate as, and with having to do it with someone of the other sex.”

    The law would be more likely to rule that a couple is similarly situated in having the desire and ability to be good parents, regardless of their gender composition. It will be tough to outlaw same-sex procreation if and when the technology becomes available.

  12. Sean
    August 12th, 2011 at 17:25 | #12

    @Leo

    “The Supreme Court has never held that “orientation” is equivalent to race. The Supreme Court have never even held that sex is equivalent to race. Once you realize that, all of Sean’s arguments fall apart.”

    So? What matters is that the constitution requires that similarly situated persons be treated equally. No one said sex has to be “equal” to race, whatever that means. Previous court rulings applicable to race provide support for same-sex marriage, actually. Courts recognize social prejudice, they recognize the harms done to groups because of social prejudice, and as it becomes clearer how children are being harmed by denying them their right to have married parents, as their peers in straight families have, the issue will be settled once and for all. At some point, it simply is not tenable for a society to harm its children indefinitely.

    “Sean’s extremely radical attitude is that any “attribute or characteristic that is recognized as a part of who they are” (recognized by whom I wonder) must be recognized by the state as equal and equivalent to all other attributes or characteristics.”

    That might be Leo’s position, but it’s not Sean’s. Sean’s position is that the state violates constitutional guarantees of equal protection when it distinguishes between, and treats differently, groups for which there is no rational public purpose for doing so. It is arbitrary, to say the least, to distinguish between straight couples and gay couples for the purposes of licensing marriage. There is no particular reason to give special rights to straight couples just for being straight, something over which they have no control. We may as well give right-handed people exclusive access to marriage. That makes about as much sense as giving only straight people access to marriage.

    “Once you accept Sean’s premise that all identities are equivalent and must be treated equally, the list is endless.”

    Again, that may be Leo’s premise, but it isn’t Sean’s. Sean’s premise is that if there is no public purpose to deny a group a right given to other groups, then there is a grave constitutional violation. And there is no rational public purpose to let straight people marry, but not gay people. Just as there is no rational public purpose in giving driver’s licenses to white people, but not black people, or medical licenses to men but not to women. And no, fishing licenses should not be reserved blue-eyed people, to the exclusion of all others!

    “The more Sean comments, the more radical I discover his agenda to be.”

    “Radical” and “agenda” are overused scare words, Leo. People aren’t buying the “they’re going to destroy society!” schtick. The more people (you?) get to know gay people, the more they realize they deserve the same rights as straight people.

  13. Sean
    August 15th, 2011 at 17:39 | #13

    If the issue is never the issue, what is NOM/TRI’s real agenda, if it’s not really stopping gay and lesbian Americans from having the right to marry?

  14. Betsy
    August 15th, 2011 at 18:26 | #14

    You must really try hard to find something to say in response to every….single…..post.

    I dare you to not respond to this. I don’t think you’re capable of that, though.

  15. August 16th, 2011 at 08:20 | #15

    Sean :
    @John
    “Everyone is similarly situated in having only one sex which they are able to procreate as, and with having to do it with someone of the other sex.”
    The law would be more likely to rule that a couple is similarly situated in having the desire and ability to be good parents, regardless of their gender composition. It will be tough to outlaw same-sex procreation if and when the technology becomes available.

    There is no right to do it, so courts would not overturn a law against it. And we should enact a law against it. It would be extremely bad public policy, very expensive and unsustainable and unethical. It would open the door to other forms of genetic engineering and human manufacture, leading to eugenics and inequality and loss of natural reproductive rights.

    Children should not be led to believe that it will be possible someday for them to reproduce with someone of the same sex, or that they will be able to reproduce as the other sex.

    It’s amazing that Sean thinks it’s more important for same-sex procreation to be legal – today, August 2011 – than for same-sex couples to have the protections of CU’s.

    Do you see how depraved that thinking is, everyone? Yet Sean gets away with it because no one else calls him out, no one else says “enact a man-woman egg and sperm law” – what is up with that? Why doesn’t Dr J or Maggie ever say we should prohibit same-sex procreation??

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