Marriage Madness

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeffrey Kuhner, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

"Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder," wrote the great 20th-century historian, Arnold Toynbee. This is precisely what is happening in America - and in the West. What the late Pope John Paul II called the "culture of death" is slowly but relentlessly taking root. This week's onrush of gay couples being issued marriage licenses in California is a clear symptom of America's moral decay.

Last month's decision by California's Supreme Court to overturn the state's ban on same-sex marriage marks a watershed in our raging culture wars. It is a tremendous victory for social liberalism - the ideology that seeks to smash the traditional family and the bourgeois moral order. The court decision took effect this week. Hundreds of gay and lesbian couples have been getting married in civil ceremonies across the Golden State. The only other state that recognizes same-sex marriage is Massachusetts.

The difference, however, is that California's decision allows out-of-state nonresidents to be granted marriage licenses. This sets the stage for future court battles in the other states where same-sex marriage is forbidden. Gay and lesbian couples are already tying the knot in California, so they can return to their home states and demand that their unions be legalized there as well.

New York state has declared it will recognize same-sex marriages performed in California. Gay activists are on the offensive. They are pushing the radical homosexual agenda onto the national stage.

Will Americans fight back? The answer is yes - at least, in the short term. In November, a ballot initiative in California will ask voters to amend the state's constitution to uphold the ban on same-sex marriage, thereby effectively repealing the court's decision. Polls show 55 percent support the initiative. Proponents of same-sex marriage will likely be defeated.

But relying on the will of the electorate is a double-edged sword: Future majorities may decide to again amend California's constitution and revoke the protection for traditional marriage. Conservatives rightly decry the state Supreme Court's decision as a classic example of judges usurping their prerogatives and legislating from the bench. For liberal elites, social engineering trumps majority rule.

The issue of same-sex marriage is more than anti-democratic, judicial activism run amok. It concerns defending the basic institution of society: The family. There is a moral line that, once it is crossed, threatens to unravel the fragile bonds of civilization.

Since the 1960s, the West has undergone a sexual revolution. …