How are social conservatives responding to their recent loss regarding DOMA? A recent Christian Science Monitor article gives a mixture of denial and inadvertent truth telling. From Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, we get:
As the American people are given time to experience the actual consequences of redefining marriage, the public debate and opposition to the redefinition of natural marriage will undoubtedly intensify.
Apparently the “Research” Council hasn’t noticed that this hasn’t happened anywhere ever. Someone, please, get these guys tickets to Belgium and Norway. They clearly need a vacation.
Failed presidential candidate Gary Bauer from his perch at American Values is worried that Republicans are about to abandon social conservatives. He has some news for the no-taxes, libertarian wing of the party:
The idea that the Republican economic agenda is popular and is held back by the Republican social agenda is, like everything else in Washington, D.C., exactly upside down.
I like this argument. I hope Mr Bauer persists in making it.
The National Organization for [sic] Marriage has taken to fretting that their religious right to treat gay people as icky will be trampled upon by the recent Supreme Court decision:
Our opponents blithely claim that religious liberty and same-sex ‘marriage’ can peacefully coexist, but experience shows that is not the case. Anybody who doesn’t abandon their faith principles and fully cooperate with the new gay marriage regime is likely to face consequences. Unless we fight back, it will only get worse.
Unable to look at polls, NOM, by the way, is confident that the majority is on their side. They write: “This means winning or losing marriage is still up to us, The People.” Nonetheless, this particular line, that marriage equality will infringe on religious liberty, has been polled the strongest in opposing marriage for all.
The Family Research Council has been emphasizing natural law as of late. Given their hostility to the theory of evolution, this is amusing. (Tony Perkins wrote back in February: “The education system is already force-feeding kids everything from sex education to evolution.”) So perhaps they have read nothing about bonobos.
Bonobos are just as closely related to humans as chimpanzees. They’re our closest primate relatives. Bonobos, it turns out, have a great deal of sex — most of it, lesbian sex: 60% of all bonobo sexual activity occurs between females. And there is a fair bit of sex between males and between males and females. So much for FRC’s rather odd statement:
Family Research Council believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed. It is by definition unnatural, and as such is associated with negative physical and psychological health effects. While the origins of same-sex attractions may be complex, there is no convincing evidence that a homosexual identity is ever something genetic or inborn.
I guess when you’re in the Family Research Council, you don’t need to do much research. For clearly, there is nothing unnatural about bonobo sex: bonobos as a rule don’t tend to know many liberals.
Putting all this aside, there are indeed some disturbing trends in marriage that have little if anything to do with marriage equality:
- The average age for childbearing is now younger than the average age for marriage. By age 25, 44% of women have had a baby, while only 38% have married.
- Consequently, 48% of all first births are to unmarried women.
- Most unwed mothers are not teens.
This is explained somewhat by the cornerstone to capstone change with respect to marriage:
[Y]oung adults have increasingly come to see marriage as a ‘capstone’ rather than a ‘cornerstone’—that is, something they do after they have all their other ducks in a row, rather than a foundation for launching into adulthood and parenthood…Ninety-one percent of young adults believe that they must be completely financially independent to be ready for marriage, and over 90 percent of them believe they should finish their education before taking the big step. Fifty-one percent also believe that their career should be underway first. In fact, almost half say that it is ‘very important’ to work full-time for a year or two prior to getting married.
Getting one’s life together to the point that one can have a “capstone” marriage is particularly easier for those who are more affluent. So an effect of this change is that marriage has become more solid among the more comfortable, and both less common and less stable among the more economically precarious.
These are real concerns, but, as Blankenhorn realized, they are not addressed by attacking equal rights.