Monday, 15 April 2013

Same-Sex Marriage Fever: Prohibition Parallels

April 15th, 2013

Media voices and progressive activists for same-sex marriage are appealing to judicial fiat because they know they won’t always have public opinion on their side.
As the national marriage debate advances, history can teach us a lesson about our circumstances. Consider alcohol prohibition. In his excellent book, Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, Daniel Okrent charts the rise of the movement that led to the Eighteenth Amendment and its later repeal.
Prohibitionism began a century before the law changed, born of real concerns about the tragedies alcoholism inflicted on countless American families. But as Okrent argues, what started as an effort to reform men so that they would choose their family and work responsibilities over inebriation ended as “an imposition of teetotalism on the unwilling.” The very good goal of temperance gave way to tyranny.
As our Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), we face similar prospects: Will the Court usurp the people’s authority to define marriage, in order to dilute it and render it meaningless? Will it bend and twist an immutable concept to accommodate an implausible dogma of political correctness?
Prohibitionism succeeded because its leaders won public opinion to their cause. But the Eighteenth Amendment was repealed because that same cause fell from popularity. I predict the same trajectory for the same-sex marriage movement.
Proponents of same-sex marriage, especially the mainstream media, have conjured up a very impressive perception of near-universal consent to their agenda since last November’s ballot victories. It suddenly seems as if acceptance of same-sex marriage is an unstoppable tsunami, sweeping across the nation, knocking down principled opposition (and gathering up the gullible), i.e., everyone, in its path.
But tsunamis always recede. Or, as Okrent puts it, fevers always fade. Hurricanes always die down.
That’s why this issue is so urgent right now: Proponents know that the aura of fairness and equity associated with the same-sex marriage movement will soon dissipate.

Read more at Public Discourse.

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