What’s Next?

I did an interview wth HuffPo Gay Voices. Of course some might call this an admission of defeat—because I repeat my belief that it is clear they now have 5 votes for gay marriage on the Supreme Court.

But really it is about taking up the next battle. If true, what next for those of us who do not believe in gay marriage?

A taste here:
‘ What’s next? In my view people who believe in the traditional understanding of marriage, and believe that it matters, have to become a creative minority, finding way to both express these sexual views, culturally, artistically and intellectually and to engage with the newly dominant cultural view of marriage respectfully but not submissively.

Lots of thoughts packed into the latter sentence.

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The Atlantic Concedes a Point

On The Atlantic website, Prof. Phillip Cohen takes a closer look at the debate at the heart of Maggie’s recent newsletter on the New Conversation on Marriage and what it means for the gender divide.  In essence, Maggie asks (and the Atlantic columnist ponders) the greater implications of the genderless marriage movement that has surrendered on gay marriage while still fighting for the importance of marriage as a whole.  But no matter what theory, political or moral, comes into play, Cohen agrees that Maggie has a point–the “new conversation” embracing genderless marriage,  “throws in the towel on the ideal of marriage as an institution for maintaining gender distinction.”

See the except below or go to the full article here.< Read More…

Maggie: Will We Bridge the Gender Divide?

Back in the year 2000, in the old new marriage conversation, we said in The Marriage Movement: A Statement of Principles (a statement I helped to draft):

“Marriage is a universal human institution, the way in which every known society conspires to obtain for each child the love, attention and resources of a mother and father.”

This year, the Institute for American Values released a call for a new marriage conversation, which says instead:  “because marriage is the main institution governing the link between the spousal association and the parent-child association, marriage is society’s most pro-child institution.”

That is the difference gay marriage makes in how we converse about marriage.

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Maggie: “Three Questions for the New Marriage Movement”

At FamilyScholars.org, the Institute for American Values is sponsoring a Valentine’s Day Symposium with the theme “Advice for a New Conversation on Marriage”.  Featuring some of the leading conservative thinkers on marriage and family today, the symposium recognizes that, “we won’t renew marriage without fundamentally reforming the way we discuss marriage.”

Maggie Gallagher’s submission to the symposium, “Three Questions for the New Marriage Movement,” builds on this idea, presenting the, “three great questions I believe we will need to answer to rebuild marriage as the normal, usual, and generally reliable way to raise children.”  For more, read the excerpt below or go here for the full article:

Back in the year 2000, in the old new marriage conversation, we said in The Marriage Movement: A Statement of Principles: “Marriage is a universal human institution, the way in which every known society conspires to obtain for each child the love, attention and resources of a mother and father.” In today’s new marriage conversation, we say “because marriage is the main institution governing the link between the spousal association and the parent-child association, marriage is society’s most pro-child institution.”

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Martinique votes No to Parisian Gay Marriage

 A moving speech by the representative of Martinique in the French Parliament:  http://englishmanif.blogspot.com/2013/02/martinique-nixes-homosexual-marriage-in.html
Until now I have supported all bill and commitments of the Left. But there is, today, a deep confusion that gets in the way for me. The freedom of conscience allows me to speak honestly from abroad (Martinique) to the issues for the people of this chamber, whose opinions are diverse. Speaking for French citizens abroad, on the whole, we are opposed to homosexual marriage. The bill proposed would bring down all the structures, values, and understandings that have held together the social world of our archipelago.

This voice of the French overseas must be heard and taken into account. I must speak to the electorate and rectify their confusion about what is happening here and now. The risk here is tremendous, that the government might cause an irreparable rift. The proposed bill does notoffer supplementary liberties in truth. In fact, the proposed bill weakens the already delicate social framework that has bulwarked the Antillean and Anguillan islands in the wake of our liberation from slavery. I will go further: there is even the risk here that the bill would invalidate the pact that has tied us to the Republic of France for 200 years and more.

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Group looks to enlist same-sex couples in pro-marriage coalition

The New York Times reports on the upcoming tract from the Institute for American Values, titled “A Call for a New Conversation on Marriage” which looks to bring together a pro-marriage coalition that would include gays, lesbians, and heterosexuals.  In the article, Maggie Gallagher offers some observation on the potential challenges faced by this effort:

“David’s personal networks are liberal, but his donor networks are quite conservative,” said Maggie Gallagher, who used to work at the Institute for American Values and is a well-known opponent of same-sex marriage. It can be tough to find money for what could be called a centrist agenda, Ms. Gallagher cautioned, adding that there may be more conservatives willing to accept gay allies than liberals willing to publicly support marriage. Some financing, she said, “will be conservative, but the pro-marriage liberals have to step forward, and maybe make it more 50-50.”

Read the entire article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/us/in-shift-blankenhorn-forges-a-pro-marriage-coalition-for-all.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130130&_r=1&

The Right Not To Marry

Canada’s high court upholds the right of Quebec to treat married couples and cohabitors differently.  The court noted that imposing marriage on people who choose not to marry is wrong:

“There is great consensus from social scientists, no matter their political stripe, that marriage is different from living together,” said IMFC Manager of Research Andrea Mrozek.

“Unfortunately, the statistical reality is that people living together break up more readily – even if they do eventually wed. They are more likely to have multiple partners. Their children face more problems – higher rates of school dropout, more drug use and an earlier age of sexual initiation. And single parents – typically mothers – are more likely to be poor. These are some of the harsh statistical realities of living together versus getting married, and it is wise to acknowledge this difference,” said Mrozek.

The IMFC points out that providing the same benefits to those living common-law and those who are married contradicts the research, and sends the wrong signal about the importance of marriage for society.

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Kids Need Both Mom and Dad, Says Gay Man Opposed to Gay Marriage

This week, Maggie participated in the panel on “Building a Marriage Culture” as part of the National Review Institute’s summit, “The Future of Conservatism”–a topic that inevitably delved into the importance of intact biological families.  A few highlights below, or go here for the full article:

One of the panelists, Doug Mainwaring, spoke of his personal experience as a gay man who came to realize that his own children need both a mother and a father.

“For a long time I thought, if I could just find the right partner, we could raise my kids together, but it became increasingly apparent to me, even if I found somebody else exactly like me, who loved my kids as much as I do, there would still be a gaping hole in their lives because they need a mom,” Mainwaring, co-founder of National Capital Tea Party Patriots, said.

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A Tale of Two Rabbis

My friend David Blankenhorn has been exploring the role of doubt in civil society:

“I am not saying that persons who are rarely troubled by doubt aren’t civil, or can’t be civil. I know from personal experience that this isn’t true.  Nor I am saying that doubtful people are always civil; again, I know that this is not true,” Blankenhorn writes.

“But for the doubting person . . . civility is like oxygen.  It’s personally necessary.  Why?  Because without it, I can’t get what I need.”

What does the doubting person need? “The wisdom of the other. . . As a doubting person, civility is more than being nice.  Civility is part of what allows me to eat what I must eat and drink what I must drink.”

Blankenhorn seems to be preoccupied primarily by the lack of doubt shown by opponents of gay marriage, not the lack of doubt demonstrated by gay marriage supporters.  For years though, David has fought the tendency of his fellow liberals to dismiss and demean the insights of conservatives. For years, he successfully crafted a movement for marriage that set political ideology to one side and allowed good people to think new thoughts about marriage together.

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