The Labor Party in Queensland has just come out of the closet, supporting same-sex marriage. At its weekend state conference a motion was passed to see homosexual marriage legalised, and they called on both Federal and State Labor to move in this direction.
The Queensland branch president Andrew Dettmer said this in support of the decision: “The point I think we are all agreed about in our party is that discrimination against people on the basis of their gender or their sexual orientation is just as abominable and just as unsupportable as discrimination on the basis of race.”
This is as predictable a remark from the activists as it is a totally fallacious remark. Indeed, we hear this brought up time and time again by the radical social engineers, but it happens to be dead wrong. There is absolutely nothing similar about these two areas, and seeking to play the race card here is simply dishonest and utterly far-fetched.
Indeed, this is just another way they seek to deceive the public by the use of sham analogies. They want to convince us that racial segregation and policies which prevented people of different races from marrying (anti- miscegenation laws) are equivalent to laws limiting marriage to one man and one woman. They claim that just as we have renounced discriminatory laws regarding marriage between the races, so too we should stop the restriction on same-sex marriage.
But there simply is no comparison between racist laws and defending heterosexual marriage. Even black activists have rejected such a disingenuous analogy. For example, Jesse Jackson told a group of Harvard Law School students in 2004 that “gays were never called three-fifths human in the Constitution, and they did not require the Voting Rights Act to have the right to vote.”
Apartheid and laws banning inter-racial marriage are about keeping races apart. Marriage is about bringing the sexes together. Heterosexual marriage has been around for millennia. Talk of same-sex marriage has been around for a few short decades. Marriage was thus not created to discriminate against anyone, as apartheid was.
Laws banning interracial marriages were unjust, and overturning them did not mean a redefinition of marriage but an affirmation of it. Men and women should be allowed to marry regardless of skin colour, as this does nothing to alter the one man, one woman aspect of marriage. Same-sex marriage however is completely different, and it is a redefinition of marriage.
As Greg Koukl notes, “Same-sex marriage and interracial marriage have nothing in common. There is no difference between a black and a white human being because skin color is morally trivial. There is an enormous difference, however, between a man and a woman. Ethnicity has no bearing on marriage. Sex is fundamental to marriage.”
Or as Sherif Girgis, Robert George and Ryan Anderson argue in an important article in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, “The analogy fails: antimiscegenation was about whom to allow to marry, not what marriage was essentially about; and sex, unlike race, is rationally relevant to the latter question. Because every law makes distinctions, there is nothing unjustly discriminatory in marriage law’s reliance on genuinely relevant distinctions.”
Francis Beckwith makes clear these distinctions. He is worth quoting at length. He argues that anti-miscegenation laws “were attempts to eradicate the legal status of real marriages by injecting a condition – sameness of race – that had no precedent in common law. For in the common law, a necessary condition for a legitimate marriage was male-female complementarity, a condition on which race has no bearing.
“It is clear then that the miscegenation/same-sex analogy does not work. For if the purpose of anti-miscegenation laws was racial purity, such a purpose only makes sense if people of different races have the ability by nature to marry each other. And given the fact that such marriages were a common law liberty, the anti-miscegenation laws presuppose this truth. But opponents of same-sex marriage ground their viewpoint in precisely the opposite belief: people of the same gender do not have the ability by nature to marry each other since gender complementarity is a necessary condition for marriage. Supporters of anti-miscegenation laws believed in their cause precisely because they understood that when male and female are joined in matrimony they may beget racially-mixed progeny, and these children, along with their parents, will participate in civil society and influence its cultural trajectory.
“In other words, the fact that a man and a woman from different races were biologically and metaphysically capable of marrying each other, building families, and living among the general population is precisely why the race purists wanted to forbid such unions by the force of law. And because this view of marriage and its gender-complementary nature was firmly in place and the only understanding found in common law, the Supreme Court in Loving knew that racial identity was not relevant to what marriage requires of its two opposite-gender members. By injecting race into the equation, anti-miscegenation supporters were very much like contemporary same-sex marriage proponents, for in both cases they introduced a criterion other than male-female complementarity in order to promote the goals of a utopian social movement: race purity or sexual egalitarianism.”
Even some homosexual activists admit that this is a bad comparison. Says one, “I am uneasy with the frequent equation of the prohibition of same-sex marriage with interracial ones: in the latter case racism prevented marriages that were indistinguishable for any other reason. Same-sex partnerships are as valid and as significant as heterosexual ones, but they are also different, and maybe we should celebrate, not deny the difference.”
Racial segregation is wrong, and is an example of unjust discrimination. But the colour of one’s skin is far different than sexual behaviour. Societies have good reasons not to embrace any and all types of sexual activity. While skin colour is a benign and unalterable condition, this is not true of various sexual behaviours. No black person can cease being black, but plenty of homosexuals have ceased being homosexual.
The truth is, a society can get along without same-sex sexual relationships if need be. But no society can get along without heterosexual marriage and family. As two family researchers put it, “There is no research saying biracial parents are developmentally harmful to children. But there are thousands of definitive studies showing motherless and fatherless families limit every important measure of children’s physical, psychological, emotional and intellectual development.”
So somebody needs to tell the morally and intellectually challenged folks in the Queensland ALP that the main plank of their attempt to destroy the institution of marriage is a rotten one, and not worth raising, let alone standing on.