Phyllis Schlafly is none too pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision striking down state gay marriage bans, and has a modest proposal for Congress: Pass a resolution affirming the “dignity of opposite-sex married couples,” especially that of couples where “a provider-husband is the principal breadwinner and his wife is dedicated to the job of homemaker.”
While this resolution might not change much in the short term, the anti-feminist crusader writes in her syndicated column today, it might act as an inspiration to the anti-gay movement as they continue to fight marriage equality.
Justice Kennedy’s opinion for a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court has rightly been condemned for its lack of grounding in the constitutional text he is sworn to uphold. Unable to find gay marriage in either the due process clause or the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, Kennedy ultimately rests his case on what Justice Clarence Thomas sarcastically called the “dignity clause” of the Constitution.
There is no such clause, of course, although Kennedy’s majority opinion mentioned “dignity” nine times. But if dignity can be conferred by decisions of the Supreme Court, then Congress can do so, too.
Therein lies a first response: Congress should formally recognize the dignity of opposite-sex married couples and resolve to protect that dignity in our laws. A joint resolution should recite the many reasons why the special union of husband and wife has been honored for “millennia,” as Kennedy admitted.
A crash program to rebuild the traditional American nuclear family is urgently necessary for continuing our nation’s political and economic success in this century. This won’t happen if we transform marriage into a means of giving “dignity” to mostly childless homosexuals.
Once Congress is on a roll to confer dignity, it should confer an extra measure of dignity on the single-earner family, where a provider-husband is the principal breadwinner and his wife is dedicated to the job of homemaker, a role more socially beneficial than working in the paid labor force.
After reciting the foregoing reasons and many others, Congress should conclude its resolution by formally resolving that the traditional family, founded on a married husband and wife, carries special dignity and deserves special recognition because it provides unique benefits to society.
This is not to deny that every human person has value and dignity, or that other domestic relationships may have some value in limited circumstances. But Congress should respond to Kennedy with a ringing affirmation of the unique dignity that should be accorded to society’s foundational unit: the marriage of husband and wife.
Naysayers will scoff that the foregoing resolution doesn’t change the Supreme Court decision, and you can imagine a late-night comedian comparing it to the medal of courage the Wizard of Oz presented to the Cowardly Lion. But movie fans will recall how that gesture inspired Dorothy and her companions toward achieving their goal.