Abolishing all civil marriage is the primary goal of the elites who have been pushing same sex marriage. The scheme called “marriage equality” is not an end in itself, and never really has been. The LGBT agenda has spawned too many other disparate agendas hostile to the existence of marriage, making marriage “unsustainable,” if you will. By now we should be able to hear the growing drumbeat to abolish civil marriage, as well as to legalize polygamy and all manner of reproductive technologies.
Consider also the breakneck speed at which the push for same sex marriage has been happening recently.
The agenda’s advocates have been very methodical in their organization, disciplined in their timing, flush with money, in control of all information outlets, including media, Hollywood, and academia. And perhaps most telling is the smearing of any dissenter in the public square, a stigma made de rigueur
by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in his animus-soaked opinion
that repealed the Defense of Marriage Act.
We’ve seen also how the Obama Administration’s push for same sex marriage has occurred in lockstep with policies that are hostile to marriage, such as the severe marriage penalty written into Obamacare.
Activist judges have taken their cues from Attorney General Eric Holder who used the DOMA repeal to proclaim open season on any state that recognizes marriage as an organic (i.e., heterosexual) union of one man and one woman. In their crosshairs are state constitutions, businesses, students, communities, churches, and all of those bogus “conscience clauses” that were written into same sex marriage legislation in order to sway wavering state legislators to vote “aye.”
The tipping point came soon after certain big name conservatives and pundits swallowed the bait on same sex marriage. Folks like Michael Barone, John Bolton, George Will, S. E. Cupp, and David Blankenhorn have played a huge role in building momentum for this movement, which, as we will see, is blazing a trail to the abolition of state recognized marriage. And whether they know it or not, advocacy for same sex marriage is putting a lot of statist machinery into motion. Because once the state no longer has to recognize your marriage and family, the state no longer has to respect the existence of your marriage and family.
Without civil marriage, the family can no longer exist autonomously and serve as a wall of separation between the individual and the state. This has huge implications for the survival of freedom of association.
The notion of marriage equality was never about marriage or about equality. It’s all about the wrapping paper. It’s been packaged as an end in itself, but it is principally just a means to a deeper end. It is the means by which marriage extinction – the true target — can be achieved. If marriage and family are permitted to exist autonomously, power can be de-centralized in society. So the family has always been a thorn in the side of central planners and totalitarians. The connection between its abolition and the limitless growth of the state should be crystal clear. So anyone who has bought into this movement, or is tempted to do so, would want to step back and take a harder look.
Six Indicators We’re Headed Directly for Abolishing Civil Marriage
We can sort out six developments that indicate we’re on the fast track to abolishing civil marriage. They include: 1) The blueprint for abolishing family, developed by the founder of feminist legal theory, Martha Fineman; 2) support and advocacy of Fineman’s model by facilitators and regulators in the Obama Administration; 3) the statements of prominent LGBT activists themselves, including their 2006 manifesto which in effect established the abolition of marriage as the goal of the same sex marriage movement; 4) the demographic shift to single rather than married households; 5) the growing shift in social climate from marriage equality to marriage hostility; and 6) the recent push to export the LGBT agenda globally, particularly targeting poor and developing nations of Africa.
1) The Gender Theorist Model: Replace civil marriage with government-regulated contractual relationships
Collectivist style parenting may still seem like the stuff of science fiction to a lot of folks, but the ground for it has softened a lot since Hillary Clinton’s 1996 treatise It Takes a Village
and American Federation of Teachers president Sandra Feldman’s 1998 op-ed “The Childswap Society
.” We now have MSNBC anchor Melissa Harris-Perry
declaring open war on traditional families by announcing “We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.”
She envisages that the State will fill the vacuum left by the abolition of family
The abolition of marriage and family has been a longtime project of gender theorists. Among them is internationally renown feminist law theorist Martha Albertson Fineman whose 2004 book The Autonomy Myth argues strenuously for “the abolition of marriage as a legal category.” Her treatise is breathtaking in its brazen approach to ending family autonomy and privacy.
Fineman advocates for a system that would unavoidably result in the regulation of personal relationships through legal contracts. “Contract,” she writes “is an appealing metaphor with which to consider social and political arrangements. It imagines autonomous adults” hashing out the terms, etc. Yet she envisages that the State will fill the vacuum left by the abolition of family [emphasis added]:
“. . . in addition to contract rules, I anticipate that ameliorating doctrines would fill the void left by the abolition of this aspect of family law. In fact, it seems apparent to me that a lot more regulation (protection) would occur once interactions between individuals within families were removed from behind the veil of privacy that now shields them.”
Fineman operates on the apparent assumption that family privacy serves no purpose other than to afford institutional protection for men behaving badly. Her prescription is sweeping: “Once the institutional protection [is] removed, behavior would be judged by standards established to regulate interactions among all members of society.” [emphasis added]
There you have it. All of your social interactions judged by certain standards. Standards established by whom? The state. And lest our eyes glaze over at mention of it, we ought to think of the State for what it really is: a hierarchy of cliques, with one dominant clique at the top. (Think mean girls in charge of everything and everyone.)
Fineman replaces the word “spouse” with the term “sexual affiliate,” because, she professes, what we think of as “family” should be defined by its function, not its form. In other words, only “caretaker-dependent relationships” would be recognized in the sense that “family” is recognized today.
So the abolition of marriage, according to Fineman:
“would mean that sexual affiliates (formerly labeled husband and wife) would be regulated by the terms of their individualized agreements, with no special rules governing fairness and no unique review or monitoring of the negotiation process.”
Feel better? Fineman also states approvingly that:
“if the family is defined functionally, focused on the caretaker-dependent relationship, the traditionally problematic interactions of sexual affiliates (formerly designated “spouses”) are not protected by notions of family privacy.”
Indeed, no interaction could be protected by “notions of family privacy” in Fineman’s model. She elaborated further and more recently on all of this in an October 2013 article
in the Chicago-Kent Law Review.
2) Friends in High Places promote Fineman’s Model of State-Regulated Contracts
Cass Sunstein, who served as President Obama’s regulatory czar from 2009 to 2012, has advocated strongly for the abolition of civil marriage and its replacement with contracts that would negotiate the terms of personal relationships.
In 2008 Sunstein published an article in the Cardozo Law Review
arguing that there is no constitutional right to marry and suggesting that “states may abolish marriage without offending the Constitution.” And an entire chapter of a popular book Sunstein co-authored with Richard Thaler in 2008 is devoted to arguing for the abolition of civil marriage. This is from Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness.
“Under our proposal, the word marriage would no longer appear in any laws, and marriage licenses would no longer be offered or recognized by any level of government. . . . Under our approach, the only legal status states would confer on couples would be a civil union, which would be a domestic partnership agreement between any two people.*(*Footnote: We duck the question of whether civil unions can involve more than two people.)”
Sunstein and Thaler dub their approach “libertarian paternalism,” an odd jargon which seems contrived to win over readers by evoking a strange juxtaposition of moderation and a heavy touch of the archaic.
Clearly, Sunstein has been laying the groundwork for the abolition of civil marriage. He purports that this would get the government out of a “licensing scheme,” but his specious phrasing is a fig leaf covering up the predictable effects of his approach: greater government regulation of personal relationships. His popular writing on the subject comes in the guise of “privatization” of relationships – even as gender theorists like Fineman argue against America’s “obsession” with privacy and individualism. But this is not a difficult circle to square. Thaler and Sunstein argue, pretty much in line with Fineman, that people ought to make use of contracts to define the terms of their relationships. And contracts invite – indeed, for Fineman, they demand – that the government function as an intimate partner in this legal ménage a trois.
3) LGBT Activists Say So Themselves: The Goal is to Abolish Marriage
“Gay marriage is a lie,” announced
gay activist Masha Gessen in a panel discussion
last year at the Sydney Writers’ Festival. “Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we’re going to do with marriage when we get there.” [Applause.] “It’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist.”
Gessen was merely echoing a message from an LGBT manifesto of 2006 called Beyond Same Sex Marriage
. The manifesto is a blatant rallying cry to bring about a post-marriage society, one in which there is no room for state-recognized marriage.
“It’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist.”
Ethics and Public Policy Institute scholar Stanley Kurtz wrote extensively about this document in two National Review articles, entitled The Confession and The Confession II. Kurtz noted that the intent of the sponsors of the manifesto – which as of 2006 had hundreds of prominent signatories, including Cornel West, Barbara Ehrenreich, Martha Fineman, and Gloria Steinem – was “to dissolve marriage by extending the definition to every conceivable family type.”
Sunstein needn’t have “ducked the issue” of more than two parties in a domestic contract because legalizing polygamy is central to the manifesto. And there can be no doubt that the legalization of polygamy would result in the abolition of all state-recognized marriage. Polygamy — repackaged in the now trendy term “polyamory” – comes with an array of configurations too dizzying and with too many moving parts to be sustained as state-recognized marriage.
Despite the existence of the manifesto, the official line of the LGBT community still seems to be that gay marriage is only about equal rights for couples who love one another. Their spokespersons have been disciplined – with a friendly media running cover for them – in maintaining the official line so as not to provoke a debate about the real agenda to abolish marriage.
Supposedly conservative gay activists like Jonathan Rauch have also run cover and protected the timing of the agenda by claiming that the manifesto was merely a “fringe” of the LGBT movement. It’s irrelevant whether or not Rauch really believes his own propaganda that gay marriage will somehow strengthen a marriage culture by bringing loving gay couples into it. The main effect of the Rauch meme is to accelerate the abolition of civil marriage by hastening a legal framework for genderless marriage that will pave the way for total abolition of civil marriage, and with it private family life.
It’s clear the gloves are coming off and timing has entered a new phase. The push for polyamory has gone mainstream, right on schedule. Supportive puff pieces on it are popping up in places like Atlantic Monthly
and the erstwhile women’s magazine Redbook
. In the end, polyamory serves only as a transitory way station between the legalization of same sex marriage and the abolition of civil marriage.
Tomorrow we will present part two of this urgent article.