COMMENTARY–Dennis Prager continues to try to defend his abhorrence of marriage equality in his latest column: Why a good person can vote against same-sex marriage.
His excuses are vague, discombobulated, ignorant, and irrelevant. Prager’s basic claim is that there are good people on both sides of the gay-marriage argument. On the pro side are those who claim it is simply not fair to let gays marry who they love. And Prager is honest enough to admit that this is true: it is not fair.
However, Prager goes on to claim that opponents of gay marriage–or at least the ‘good people’ who oppose it–only do so because they believe it is not good for society.
This is, of course, nonsense. People are opposed to gay marriage for one reason: they do not like homosexuality. They fear it; they find it ‘icky;’ they don’t want to have to see it in public; they certainly don’t want to have to acknowledge it; and they don’t like talking to their children about sex, much less gay sex.
Not liking, or wanting to think about, or talk about homosexuality does not, in itself, make one a bigot. But campaigning against the equal rights of homosexuals because of those feelings does. There is no getting around it.
But Prager tries. Oh, how he tries.
Before answering his question–will gay marriage hurt society–Prager first tries to defend against the idea that people who are against allowing gays to marry are just as bigoted as people who once opposed interracial marriage.
First, this charge is predicated on the profoundly false premise that race and sex (or “gender” as it is now referred to) are analogous. They are not. While there are no differences between black and white human beings, there are enormous differences between male and female human beings. That is why sports events, clothing, public restrooms, and (often) schools are routinely divided by sex. But black sporting events and white sporting events, black restrooms and white restrooms, black schools and white schools, or black clothing stores and white clothing stores would be considered immoral.
Seriously, Mr. Prager? This is your rebuttal?
Can he not see that he has made the argument for the opposition? We once had sports, and stores, and water fountains, and restrooms, divided by race. It was considered perfectly moral. But society has evolved past the notion that the color of someone’s skin defines him. Just as society is now moving past the idea that whether one loves a person of the opposite, or his own, gender defines him.
Unfortunately, Prager continues on, blissfully unaware that he has no argument to make:
Second, if opposition to same-sex marriage is as immoral as racism, why did no great moral thinker, in all of history, ever advocate male-male or female-female marriage?
He claims that even Judaism and Christianity speak of the races being equal. Seriously?
Moses, for example, married a black woman, the very definition of Catholic is “universal” and therefore diverse and has always included every race, and the equality of human beings of every race was a central tenet of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other world religions.
A central tenet?
The anti-slavery movement was based on the Bible.
But, Mr. Prager, so was the pro-slavery movement.
To argue that opposition to same-sex marriage is immoral is to argue that every moral thinker, and every religion and social movement in the history of mankind prior to the last 20 years in America and Europe was immoral. About no other issue could this be said. Every moral advance has been rooted in prior moral thinking.
So, Prager is saying that the gays have not paid their dues. They must wait for “great moral teachers” to speak out for them for thousands of years before they can have equal rights. Could he be more condescending?
Same-sex marriage is the only social movement to break entirely with the past, to create a moral ideal never before conceived. It might be right, but it might also be an example of the moral hubris of the present generation, the generation that created the self-esteem movement: After all, you need a lot of self-esteem to hold yourself morally superior to all those who preceded you.
Perhaps, Mr. Prager, all you need is the ability to recognize moral goodness and rightness, despite the failings of your forebears.
Finally, after all this winding about like a snake, Prager finally gets back to the questions at hand?
Is it fair that gays can’t marry? No. But life isn’t fair, he says. Pilots have to pass eye tests; orchestras choose only the best musicians; mandatory retirement ages suck. I kid you not–those are his examples of why it’s okay to say no to letting gay people marry their partners.
Is it good for society? No, it isn’t, he says.
The major reason is this: Gender increasingly no longer matters. There is a fierce battle taking place to render meaningless the man-woman distinction, the most important distinction regarding human beings’ personal identity. Nothing would accomplish this as much as same-sex marriage.
He then goes on to list examples of how gender roles are under attack. His list is nonsensical: eHarmony being sued for not matching gay couples; someone at Harvard asking not to be called he or she, male or female; high schools crowning boys as homecoming queens and girls as homecoming kings. Stupid reasons like this.
Dennis Prager believes that making men and women more equal, paying less attention to the roles of male and female, will be the end of society as we know it, and–you guessed it–gay marriage will bring it all about.
No more mom and dad, only “parent.” Women won’t know whether they are girls or boys. Men won’t know whether to wash the dishes or fix the car. Children won’t know who to call mommy or daddy, or worse, will be called bigots if they even use those terms.
The world is going crazy all right, Prager. And you are leading the charge.
But Prager is right. It is not fair to withhold the same basic freedoms (or to try to carve out a separate niche) for gays when it comes to marriage. And gender roles are becoming blurred as men and women everywhere realize that what you have between your legs doesn’t dictate what you do, what you call yourself, what you wear, who you love, or who you marry. And as you say, Prager, “Love, not gender, matters.”
And yes, Mr. Prager, this “will mean that those who, for religious or other reasons, wish to retain the man-woman definition of marriage will be legally and morally as isolated as racists are today.”
Get used to it.