Our loyal leftist commenter a.morphous responded to my post of the other day on Homeostasis & Cultural Health with an argument that homosexuals want to be able to marry each other simply because “they are people and want to live like people.”
Not so. They want to be able to marry each other because they want to be able to live like heterosexual people, without ever actually living like heterosexual people.
It should be made clear first that no one is preventing homosexuals from living, simpliciter – no Western state is killing them solely on account of their homosexuality (it’s different in dar al Islam) – and, since they are people, they are ipso facto living like people. No one is making them live like dogs or pigs or raccoons.
So homosexuals are not agitating for the right to marry each other in order to escape some egregious oppression that prevents them from living human lives. The reason homosexuals want all of us to say that they can marry each other is that they want to be treated *as if* they were living like heterosexuals, without the irksome requirement of actually living like heterosexuals. No one is preventing them from going ahead and living like heterosexuals, of course. But they don’t want to do that. No; they just want everyone to say that homosexuals are really no different from heterosexuals, and ought therefore to be treated the same way that heterosexuals are treated, in every respect. This despite the fact that (as they are convinced) they really are different, and despite the fact that their difference is crucially important to them, in that (so they feel) it makes them what they are: homosexuals, rather than heterosexuals.
Andrew Sullivan, perhaps the most thoughtful advocate of homosexual marriage, has written that, “Including homosexuals within marriage would be a means of conferring the highest form of social approval imaginable.” [Same Sex Marriage, Pro & Con: A Reader, page xxiv]
But it’s no good. It can’t be done. Heterosexuals – especially heterosexual men – can forebear to express their disgust at homosexual sex, but they cannot stop feeling it. If they could, they would, for then they’d be indifferent about the sex of their lovers, and so able to venture forth in search of some homosexual sex, which is much easier to come by than the heterosexual sort. But this won’t happen, because heterosexuals don’t want homosexual sex. They find it revolting. That’s what makes them heterosexuals. This will prevent them from expressing any genuine, honest approval of homosexual sex. And this will ruin the approval that homosexuals hope will be conferred on their perversion by legalization of homosexual marriage. They won’t get approval; they’ll get “approval.”
As I said in the post where a.morphous made his comment, no one is ever really fooled by such linguistic or legal circumlocutions and euphemisms. Whatever it is that homosexuals will get when homosexual marriage becomes the law of the land – as seems likely to happen this summer, when the Supreme Court takes up the matter – it won’t be the true and honest social approval for their arrangements that is given to real marriage, and that they so want. None of the actual, ineluctable differences between heterosexuality and homosexuality will be changed by the legal fiction. Thus it won’t be homosexual relations that are ennobled by the new PC code; rather, the term “marriage,” and all the social appurtenances thereto, will be debased, in exactly the way that currency is debased by artificial inflation.
When that happens, truly married couples may need to find a way to signal to their fellows that they are truly married. Some new differentiator will perhaps arise, that will enable everyone to tell who is married and who is only “married.” The fad of Covenant Marriage among Evangelicals is a gesture in this direction. The problem with it is that (so far as I know) there is no sign by which couples bound by a covenant of marriage can signal their state to their fellows, the way that the wedding ring is now beginning to signal only “marriage.” If there were, it would be quickly copied by “married” homosexual couples, and lose its usefulness to the truly married.
The sad reality – sad for homosexuals, given how much they’ve poured into this campaign – is that once homosexual “marriage” is legal, everyone will look at them as they walk along together and know that their wedding rings signify that they are only “married,” because everyone will know, just as they now do, that they are homosexuals. Perhaps, then, the truly married will need no special sign. People will look at them, walking along, and know that they are heterosexual, and so their wedding rings will signal that they are married, rather than “married.”
The whole rigmarole of the campaign for homosexual marriage will then be found to have been in vain. Homosexuals will know this, of course – they are no easier to fool with polite dissimulations than anyone else – and they will find that they still feel just as bad about not being treated as if they were heterosexuals as they ever did. So they’ll start some new campaign to assuage their feelings of deprivation.
It’s a hopeless project. It can’t succeed. There’s no way anyone can honestly, truly treat homosexuals as if they were heterosexuals, because, hello, they just aren’t heterosexuals.
This dynamic is not special to homosexuals. It is not a form of discrimination aimed only at them; so it would be inapposite for them to feel singled out. The same dynamic is at work, for example, in respect to intelligence. As heterosexuals tend to live longer, healthier, happier lives and have more and more successful children than homosexuals, so intelligent people tend to do better in life, along all dimensions, than unintelligent people. They also tend to earn college degrees; so a college degree has been a sign of intelligence. The Egalitarian Establishment wants everyone to be successful, so it has for decades been laboring mightily to make it possible for absolutely everyone to have a college degree, as though the degree itself could confer intelligence and success (it’s a cargo cult). These nobly intended efforts have not changed anything for young people except to increase their cost of entering the labor force and decrease the value of their college degree, and its usefulness as a signifier of above average intelligence. The Bachelor’s degree now signifies what a high school degree did in 1960, and a middle school degree in 1910. It has been inflated. It is useless. Bachelor’s degrees are a dime a dozen. Only STEM degrees are any use at all to employers, or therefore to students.
Thus we may feel confident that in twenty years or so there will have begun a massive government campaign to ensure that everyone who wants to earn a Ph.D. can do so, and the debasement of the Ph.D. will have picked up even more steam than it already has.
This ratchet is good for academic employment, I suppose, but it’s bad for academic compensation and prestige (except for the academic bureaucrats, of course).
The War on Poverty, the push to equalize compensation for women, and the effort to make women just as effective in combat as men are other examples of this dynamic. They cannot succeed, so long as some people are less enterprising than others, and so long as women want to take time off from working in order to raise their children, and so long as women are weaker than men. I.e., they cannot ever succeed. They are at war with reality; and reality wins such wars, every single time.
Reality will win the war over homosexual marriage, too. The West may “valorize” it by making it legal, may even force people to “approve” of it. But this “approval” will be no more real than the “money” that the Soviet regime used to pay its employees, or the “work” they did. It will all be a pretense, a Potemkin village. And sooner or later it will blow away in a stiff wind, just like the USSR. In the meantime it will cost us plenty of misery and hassle and money, to be sure, and many lives will be ruined. It will be a disaster, as falsehood ever is. But then, that’s why it will eventually fall apart. Eventually the horse of “marriage” will be lying there, dead, and no amount of flogging will keep it going. At that point, there will be nothing to do, but bury it.