Let's go downtown, way downtown below the end of the Freedom Trail, to that distant Boston suburb, Manhattan. Let us muse on same-sex marriage with Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker's main political commentator.
Massachusetts can never be far from the discussion, so long as we are the only state that permits SSM. His nod to our commonwealth is to note, as Ed Holmes made on the Daily Show, that we also have the nation's lowest divorce rate.
Note: The link above opens a Windows Media movie.
Hertzberg quotes Focus on the Family' spokes-hysteric James Dobson, "For more than forty years, the homosexual activist movement has sought to implement a master plan that has had as its centerpiece the utter destruction of the family." It's just that irrational and easily disprovable rhetoric that he writes that George Bush is finally easing away from in his own pronouncements.
Even as he says that he supports a Constitutional amendment to define marriage at a federal level and take the right away from the states, Bush, if you pardon, hedges. Hertzberg probably isn't cutting it too finely when he notes that (Bush) "didn't even say that gay marriage, per se, would be a bad thing. He merely said that 'changing the definition of marriage would undermine the family structure,' though he didn't say why or how."
To Dobson's non-point, marrying, adopting same-sex couples are overladen "scapegoats for the real troubles that afflict American families. In the past forty years, the definition of marriage has indeed been changed, not by any homosexual master plan but by an epidemic of heterosexual divorce."
There are both straights and gays who think marriage is an inane and dehumanizing institution, but Hertzberg is not among them. He agrees with Georgie -- half way. "Marriage is a social good -- Bush is certainly right about that -- but it has become a disposable good."
No matter how many rightwing entertainers or clerics mislead their listeners with talk of queer conspirators, U.S. marriage has foundered for many decades before SSM was even discussed.
For current events, Hertzberg even points to the sky-high divorce rates among our military deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet, we don't hear calls from Coulter or demands from Dobson for study, counseling, troop rotation or other efforts to preserve the marriages and families of those we put in peril.
The WWII and Korean War era Americans united in passion and divorced willy-nilly. With zero assistance from SSM, our society seems to be doing its best to produce another generation with little respect for marriage.
We have no way of knowing how long Limbaugh's ditto-heads and the like will be willing to buy into that junk about a homosexual agenda. They need no help destroying marriage.
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, United States, same sex marriage, George Bush, Henrik Hertzberg, New Yorker