I'm not saying I agree with everything Mr. Card says in this essay, but I am going to read it again in a few weeks, after the debate has gone a few rounds. My feeling about the issue is much like my feeling towards capital punishment: while I'm against capital punishment on abstract grounds, I feel righteous satisfaction whenever an obvious scumbagkiller is put to death. So without further ado, here is some food for thought, heavily excerpted...
Do you want to know whose constitutional rights are being violated? Everybody's. Because no constitution in the United States has ever granted the courts the right to make vast, sweeping changes in the law to reform society.
Regardless of their opinion of homosexual "marriage," every American who believes in democracy should be outraged that any court should take it upon itself to dictate such a social innovation without recourse to democratic process.
And we all know the course this thing will follow. Anyone who opposes this edict will be branded a bigot; any schoolchild who questions the legitimacy of homosexual marriage will be expelled for "hate speech." The fanatical Left will insist that anyone who upholds the fundamental meaning that marriage has always had, everywhere, until this generation, is a "homophobe" and therefore mentally ill.
We will once again be performing a potentially devastating social experiment on ourselves without any attempt to predict the consequences and find out if the American people actually want them.....
Any homosexual man who can persuade a woman to take him as her husband can avail himself of all the rights of husbandhood under the law. And, in fact, many homosexual men have done precisely that, without any legal prejudice at all. Ditto with lesbian women. Many have married men and borne children. And while a fair number of such marriages in recent years have ended in divorce, there are many that have not. So it is a flat lie to say that homosexuals are deprived of any civil right pertaining to marriage. In order to claim that they are deprived, you have to change the meaning of "marriage" to include a relationship that it has never included before this generation, anywhere on earth.
Of course, in our current society we are two generations into the systematic destruction of the institution of marriage. In my childhood, it was rare to know someone whose parents were divorced; now, it seems almost as rare to find someone whose parents have never been divorced. And a growing number of children grow up in partial families not because of divorce, but because there never was a marriage at all. The damage caused to children by divorce and illegitimate birth is obvious and devastating.
But you have to be in gross denial not to know that children would almost always rather have grown up with Dad and Mom in their proper places at home. Most kids would rather that, instead of divorcing, their parents would acquire the strength or maturity to stop doing the things that make the other parent want to leave.
And it isn't just the damage that divorce and out-of-wedlock births do to the children in those broken families: Your divorce hurts my kids, too. All American children grow up today in a society where they are keenly aware that marriages don't last. At the first sign of a quarrel even in a stable marriage that is in no danger, the children fear divorce. Is this how it begins?
Civilization depends on people deliberately choosing not to do many things that feel good at the time, in order to accomplish more important, larger purposes. Having an affair; breaking up a marriage; oh, those can feel completely justified and the reasons very important at the time. But society has a vital stake in child-rearing; and children have a vital stake in society.
Monogamous marriage is by far the most effective foundation for a civilization.
In this delicate balance, it is safe to say that beginning with a trickle in the 1950s, but becoming an overwhelming flood in the 1960s and 1970s, we took a pretty good system, and in order to solve problems that needed tweaking, we made massive, fundamental changes that have had devastating consequences.
Now huge numbers of Americans know that the schools are places where their children are indoctrinated in anti-family values. Trust is not just going -- for them it's gone.
You can't add a runway to an airport in America without years of carefully researched environmental impact statements. But you can radically reorder the fundamental social unit of society without political process or serious research. (emphasis added)
What happens now if children grow up in a society that overtly teaches that homosexual partnering is not "just as good as" but actually is marriage? Once this is regarded as settled law, anyone who tries to teach children to aspire to create a child-centered family with a father and a mother will be labeled as a bigot and accused of hate speech. The propaganda mill will pound our children with homosexual marriage as a role model. We know this will happen because we have seen the fanatical Left do it many times before. So when our children go through the normal adolescent period of sexual confusion and perplexity, which is precisely the time when parents have the least influence over their children and most depend on the rest of society to help their children grow through the last steps before adulthood, what will happen?
The dark secret of homosexual society -- the one that dares not speak its name -- is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally. (emphasis added)
It's that desire for normality, that discontent with perpetual adolescent sexuality, that is at least partly behind this hunger for homosexual "marriage." Most kids won't be swayed, because the message of the hormones is clear for them. But for those parents who have kids who hover in confusion, their lives complicated by painful experiences, conflicting desires, and many fears, the P.C. elite will now demand that the full machinery of the state be employed to draw them away from the cycle of life.
Already most parents regard schools -- an institution of the state that most directly touches our children -- as the enemy, even though we like and trust the individual teachers -- because we perceive, correctly, that schools are being legally obligated to brainwash our children to despise the values that keep civilization alive.
The politically correct elite think they have the power to make these changes, because they control the courts. They don't have to consult the people, because the courts nowadays have usurped the power to make new law. Democracy? What a joke. These people hate putting questions like this to a vote. Like any good totalitarians, they know what's best for the people, and they'll force it down our throats any way they can. (emphasis added) That's what the Democratic filibuster in the Senate to block Bush's judicial appointments is all about -- to keep the anti-family values of the Massachusetts Supreme Court in control of our government.
OK, enough of Mr. Card for now. There's more and it's worth the read. In the meantime, do you think maybe we could talk honestly about this, without the political maneuvering and posturing? It might be important.