Anti-gay activists can’t be happy that polling data shows that a majority of Americans support marriage equality, and are also displeased with libertarian and conservative leaders who think it might be time for the government to get out of the marriage business altogether.
In a WorldNetDaily article about the debate on “privatizing marriage,” Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council said that while heterosexual marriage should remain a government-sponsored institution, he is “fine with privatizing homosexual relationships” since gay people haven’t proven how same-sex unions “benefit society.” Jennifer Roback Morse of the National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute agreed that removing a government role from marriage “capitulates” to the gay rights movement and harms children.
Herb Titus said the government should define marriage based on Leviticus and “screen out those people who were violating the rules the Bible laid down as to who could be married and who could not be married.”
But Matt Trewhella has a plan to end the debate over marriage rights once and for all.
Trewhella, the Religious Right activist who you may remember for his rant about how gays are “filthy people,” revealed that the only way to make “the whole homosexual marriage debate go away” is not through “privatization but the re-criminalization of sodomy.”
Jennifer Morse, president of the Ruth Institute, which supports traditional marriage, says privatizing marriage “doesn’t really resolve the gay marriage issue, it capitulates on the key point, which is what is the public purpose of marriage, and whether the state has any role in protecting the interests of children.”
“This is a rhetorical tactic for trying to make it go away. I don’t think it works.”
Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council, said marriage deserves a privileged place in the law because it brings benefits “that are important to the well-being of society as a whole and not just a couple.”
Sprigg, a leading defender of traditional marriage, sayid [sic] he’s “fine with privatizing homosexual relationships” but rejects privatizing true marriage because of its special status.
“Society gives benefits to marriage because marriage gives benefits to society. Therefore the burden of proof is on the advocates of alternatives to marriage to prove that their relationships benefit society. I think that’s a burden of proof that same-sex marriage cannot meet.”
Morse said the libertarian idea that two or more people can make up their own “marital” contract any way they wish collides with the needs of children. Crafting intimate arrangements without guidance from God, culture or the state “just doesn’t work when you have a child,” she said. “The modern world does not know quite what to do with these helpless creatures.
Herbert W. Titus, former dean of the Regent University School of Law and Government, agrees that state and federal laws, especially no-fault divorce, have fostered social chaos but says a return to marriage laws that conform to biblical norms is the solution, not privatization.
Marriage licenses serve a useful purpose, Titus said, because they determine “if you’re entitled to a marriage certificate” and “screen out those people who were violating the rules the Bible laid down as to who could be married and who could not be married.” He cited Leviticus 18, which forbids sexual relations between close relations, family members and individuals of the same sex.
But once the law allows same-sex marriage, Titus said, “then it’s very difficult to see that there are any … barriers to marriage,” and that opens the door to sodomy and polygamy.
Conservative Protestant minister Matt Trewhella, founder of Missionaries to the Preborn, is sometimes lumped in with the advocates of marriage privatization because he tells Christians not to get marriage licenses and refuses to marry couples who do.
Trewhella regards marriage licenses as a grant of authority to marry from the state. “The state cannot grant the right to marry. It is a God-given right.”
Despite that view, Trewhella wants the state to ban same-sex marriage.
“I think the whole idea of privatizing marriage is absurd because the state should uphold and affirm the law word and created order of God regarding marriage as revealed in Scripture.”
He believes the solution to same-sex marriage is not privatization but the re-criminalization of sodomy.
“That’s what makes the whole homosexual marriage debate go away,” he said.