How Does “Gay Marriage” Hurt Straight Marriage? A Simple Answer
I’ve spent some time lately discussing whether or not homosexual relationships are the same as heterosexual ones. The very fact that this needs to be discussed at length, that others are pondering this thought, indicates a fundamental lack of understanding of what marriage and the man-woman relationship is truly all about.
I don’t want to be juvenile or crude here, but the obvious answer to the question “are homosexual relationships exactly like heterosexual relationships?” is, no.
By not wanting to be juvenile or crude I mean that I want to point out the obvious…er…um…plumbing problem, without going into detail. Phrases like “you can’t put a square peg into a round hole” come to mind and I think you get the idea. But to begin and end the discussion with the sexual aspect is the problem.
Part of the success of the LGBT movement has to do with their ability to separate marriage and sex. For years sex has been downplayed in our society as just another recreational activity. Everything from television to movies made sex nothing more than a decision for consenting adults: have sex on the third date or the fourth? Now they don’t even wait for the third date, entire services and websites are devoted to helping people hook up for “casual sex.” And we’ve all seen social media posts of people in bed with someone they don’t remember, or recognize after a one night stand. There’s no shame. There’s also no morality.
And now that sex and marriage have been successfully separated the uniqueness of the male-female relationship and the need for traditional marriage is also in question. After all, if sex is just another recreational hobby, and who you have sex with is just a matter of personal preference, why does traditional marriage need defended and preserved?
So one of the most conversation stopping arguments in the LGBT playbook when discussing marriage is “How does my gay ‘marriage’ hurt your straight marriage?”
Denny Burke, writing at ERLC.com, shares insight to why homosexual relationships are decidedly not like traditional male-female relationships. While admitting that same-sex “marriages” sever the marriage-procreation link, a costly social consequence for marriage redefinition, Burke centers on the monogamous aspect of traditional marriage versus homosexual “marriage.”
“People sometimes ask me, ‘How does gay marriage hurt traditional marriage?’ The answer is right there. Once our society abolishes the heterosexual norm of marriage, what’s to keep it from abolishing other norms as well? If heterosexuality is no longer a norm, then why should monogamy be? When we redefine marriage, everything is on the table. And there’s no reason to exclude the possibility that the monogamous norm might give way to the ‘monogamish’ one on display here.”
Burke then shares the “dirty little secret” of the gay community that monogamy is not the norm and agreements for extra-relational sex are commonplace. In other words, the monogamy norm within traditional marriage doesn’t exist within gay relationships and redefining marriage will put that norm at risk of being eliminated.
Burke gives credit to the validity that the monogamous norm could be eliminated within marriage as an institution by citing divorce. The advent of “no-fault-divorce” has created a culture in which divorce is now seen as proper and normal within marriage, something that “just happens.” By giving people a very easy way out we’ve allowed them to cut and run rather than commit and work their issues out. The effects on society are obvious and devastating.
It’s not hard to look into the future on a society that redefines marriage and see that doing so could also remove the monogamous norm within traditional marriage. Whether it happens or not, monogamy is expected within traditional marriages. Redefining marriage however could very easily remove that expectation and create a culture in which serial cheating is the new norm. Imagine the societal repercussions of that norm.
Burke concludes by stating:
“So as we appear to be on the precipice of legal gay marriage in this country, here’s a question everyone ought to be asking themselves: How much redefinition are you willing to allow? Is the monogamous norm up for grabs as well? The question is not whether we will define marriage in our culture and in our laws. The question is which definition we will land on. If we abolish the norm of monogamy, that will cause a revision that will affect everyone—both gay and straight. How does gay marriage hurt straight marriage? Laws establish norms, and norms establish cultures. A thriving marriage culture will not be helped if spouses begin “renegotiating” what faithfulness means.”
I would further assert that redefining marriage hurts me by making it harder to teach my kids both the value and uniqueness of traditional marriage, but also the monogamous norm expected with it. It’s hard enough to teach kids morality and values when our society seems to be abandoning both at break neck speeds. Redefining marriage will only complicate an already daunting task for parents that want something more, something better for their kids.