November 20, 2008

Calling Things By Their Right Names

The placard in the photo of a recent rally favoring gay marriage asks, bluntly, “Family. Isn’t It About Love?”

Well, hmm. You might indeed incline to such a view. Then, again, you might wish to broaden the perspective, in keeping with normative modes for understanding the foundational human structure we call family.

You’d want to begin with the acknowledgement that where norms exist, there’s generally a reason for them: the sounder the reason, the more tenacious and enduring the norm, the more deeply lodged in heart and soul and mind. You need more than a placard to uproot such norms. You need compelling reasons.

The voters of California, Florida and Arizona on Nov. 4 saw no such reasons. They enacted formal bans on so-called gay marriage. Thus, the scattered if occasionally sizable protests of a few days ago. The protesters don’t like the old marriage norms—one man, one woman. They want new norms, insisting on love as the only thing that matters.

End of debate. We want—so give it to us. Now. Very post-1950s American, don’t you agree?


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