Stanley Kurtz on Gay Marriage: Zombie Killers A.K.A., “Queering the Social”
Kurt’s article is a must read.
Gay marriage undermines marriage….okay, I admit it. I m a cranky, stick-in-the-mud conservative who keeps making the same tired old point. I can change, though. I can be a hip-and-happening culturally radical kind of guy. Try this: The queering of the social calls into question the normativity and naturalness of both heterosexuality and heterorelationality. Or how about this? Marriage in the traditional sense is disappearing. It is the gays who are the pioneers in this respect the prime everyday experimenters. Not radical enough? Then try this: Gay and lesbian families are here; all our families are queer; let s get used to it!
I sense that some of you are still not grasping my meaning. So let me say it more carefully: The traditional family is losing its monopoly, as new forms of living, like parents without a formal marriage, single parents, and same-sex partnerships, appear and spread. It would be a reactionary mistake to attempt to recuperate the old notion of family, which is just not a picture of reality anymore.
Still confused? Then I’ll make my point succinctly: Gay marriage undermines marriage. You see, it turns out that this decidedly conservative observation is entirely consistent with the views of some of the most influential sociologists in Europe (and their followers here in America). I’ve been quoting and paraphrasing these prominent sociologists to show that I’m far from the only one who connects same-sex marriage with the decline of traditional marriage.
Of course, “hip-and-happening” left-leaning sociologists would be loathe to put the matter precisely the way I do. For fear of scaring the public away from still more change, they’d be careful not to offer a detailed causal case showing that gay marriage undermines marriage. Above all, Europe’s sociologists (and their American fellow travelers) actually celebrate and promote the decline of the traditional family that is signaled and advanced by same-sex marriage.
But strip away the jargon, drop the element of celebration, and it turns out that conservative opponents of same-sex marriage and some of Europe’s most influential sociologists are saying much the same thing: Same-sex marriage doesn’t reinforce marriage; instead, it upends marriage, and helps build acceptance for a host of other mutually reinforcing changes (like single parenting, parental cohabitation, and multi-partner unions) that only serve to weaken marriage. In short, “the queering of the social” (meaning a broad spectrum of family change, including, but not limited to, same-sex partnerships) calls into question the normativity and naturalness of “heterorelationality” (i.e., traditional marriage).