The issue of whether marriage is by definition a monogamous heterosexual relationship or whether it might be whatever we choose to make it has not yet been settled (despite having been decided). The articles written in 2012, reproduced in combined form here as Homosexual Marriage, were followed by quite a few more.
These articles originally appeared between the January 2013 and April 2015.
What was intended to be our last comment on homosexual marriage addressed the slippery slope, that pedophilia might be next; it was roundly attacked, in part by people who did not read it but leapt to the conclusion that it was accusing homosexuals of being pedophiles. As the followup article clarified, that was not claimed at all in any way--only that once homosexuality is accepted as normative, pedophiles will seek the same treatment, and indeed that it was already happening.
Yet the belief that there is a close tie between homosexuality and pedophilia is not ill-founded. Someone forwarded to our attention an article concerning an organization of homosexuals in Massachusetts who, in response to a sensational child molestation case involving homosexuals in the Boston area, defended the pedophiles, claiming that sex between adults and adolescents was, and should be regarded as, normal. The argument asserts that adolescents should not be treated as children, and that many homosexual boys seek and seduce older homosexual men; further, that large numbers of homosexual men were introduced to sexual relations that way. They seek an adjustment to the age of consent, tentatively suggesting fourteen (in a way that makes it sound as if they'd be happier with twelve). They seem to think that fourteen year olds "just need sex all the time", and thus that adult men ought to be able to provide it for them.
When it is a heterosexual relationship society strongly disagrees--and not only when an adult man has sex with a teenage girl, as sensationalized cases of female high school teachers having male student lovers attest. Nor has it ever been relevant who initiated the relationship. One of the earliest "statutory rape" cases on record appeared before the King's Court, because a man was convicted of having cohabited with a girl who was at the time not yet twenty-one. His defense was that he had every reason to believe she was twenty-three--she looked it, and told him she was. (They did not have cars then, let alone photo ID drivers licenses.) The case is important because it established that it is not relevant whether the adult knows the child is under age, only whether in fact the child is below the legal age of consent. Yet it is also clear in that case that the child, the girl, beguiled the man, the adult, by pretending to be old enough. Arguably, she seduced him. He was still convicted, and so too has been every man who was seduced by an underage girl since then. It's where we get the term "jailbait".
In defense of the homosexual community, this is not a recent article. The events in question occurred in 1977. Yet it led to the founding of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), which for a time was accepted by other homosexual organizations until some factions objected to its assertions and distanced themselves from it. Also, some of the boys involved in the reported case were as young as eight, and no one is arguing to lower the age of consent as far as that--yet. Community response at the time was justly frightened by the story, and its connection between homosexuals generally and pedophiles in particular was not then discouraged by the homosexual community.
We would not like to charge the larger homosexual community with being disingenuous--with distancing itself from NAMBLA solely for political reasons. We would hope that they are outraged by the immorality of its position. That, though, is how we all once felt about homosexual relationships, and with as much "rational" justification. The condemnation of any sexual activity between any persons requires some sort of objective morality; as long as it is subjective, one opinion is as good as another. The argument that some are "too young" is also arbitrary--it has arbitrarily dropped from twenty-one since the first recorded statutory rape case to various ages of eighteen and lower today. The victories of the homosexual community in "normalizing" their position have brought NAMBLA and its ilk one step closer to a world in which what we now call pedophilia (or distinguish into other age-based categories) will be regarded just as normative.
The line in the sand has moved.
In discussing marriage, we sought a legitimate state interest in the regulation of sexual relationships in the face of Constitutional restrictions. This was found in the need to protect children, and further in inheritance law.
There proves in the present to be yet another state interest in heterosexual sexual relationships, an economic interest. The currently declining birth rate hurts the future economy. Zero population growth might make sense in a Malthusian (Tragedy of the Commons) world in which resources such as food supplies are fixed, but in the modern world increasing population means increasing productivity, more wealth and more wealth per capita, and thus a thriving affluent society.
Of perhaps more immediate concern, the Social Security system is just the most obvious of numerous programs which relies (not entirely unlike a giant Ponzi scheme) on more people joining at the bottom and paying money into it to support those at the top drawing money out of it. An aging population, with more people living longer, taxes these programs, including our newly-expanded government medical program. For these programs to work, there must be large numbers of new workers paying into them, and a falling birth rate leads to exactly the opposite result.
It thus seems that the state may well have reason to promote and even subsidize relationships that are likely to increase the population by producing children--exactly what it is complained it does for heterosexual marriages that homosexuals want to share. But if the reason for government subsidy of marriage is that it increases the population by producing children, then that reason does not extend to relationships which cannot, under any natural circumstances, produce children.
Admittedly, homosexual couples might wish to have children, and so might adopt them. This certainly does contribute to the nurture of children into productive members of society (although some studies, contrary to the politically correct position, conclude that heterosexual couples are statistically the best parents), but it does not produce additional members of society, and thus does not increase the population. If the government wishes to increase the birth rate, encouraging heterosexual relationships is presently the only effective means of doing so.
Thus even if it were otherwise determined that homosexual couples ought to be treated equally to heterosexual couples, there would still be good reason for the government to subsidize the relationships of heterosexuals that did not apply to homosexuals, as part of economic social policy of population growth.
We have thus found at least three reasons why government might legitimately regulate heterosexual relationships by issuing marriage licenses and providing other legal considerations despite the judicial ban on any government intervention in sexual and sex-based relationships, one of which is also a compelling reason why government policy should promote heterosexual relationships. With that judicial restriction, it seems that it should be unlawful to issue marriage licenses or otherwise regulate or subsidize sexual relationships except in those cases in which children are a likely product of the relationship.
In the flurry of discussion which appeared on Facebook following the publication of Homosexual marriage: NAMBLA [originally these sections were published as separate articles], it was suggested that anyone who opposed homosexual marriage opposed homosexual rights. The issue is not one of whether homosexuals should be denied rights that are available to other people; it is whether a marriage license is such a right. We might compare it to the question of whether blind people have a right to possess drivers licenses, but that may be too prejudicial an example. Instead, let's talk about another topic we have discussed here at length, gun control.
We certainly agree that there is a Constitutional right for citizens to possess guns. Let us, though, list possible rights that this might or might not include:
The point is that I certainly fully support the rights of homosexuals in all areas in which their homosexuality is not relevant. I even have voiced support for ordaining homosexual clergy. I do not believe there is a right for anyone to define my faith as other than I believe it is defined historically--we may progress in our understanding of truth, but truth does not itself change. Nor do I believe that there is a basic human right to be recognized by the state (or the church) as married. The state recognizes "marriages" within the scope of its regulatory authority and the needs of public policy, and cannot do so outside those parameters. (The church recognizes marriages in accordance with its understanding of the tenets of the faith and God's design for society.) You cannot marry your dog to get the tax breaks, and claim her puppies as dependent minors for the deductions, because those tax standards exist to promote families that produce children, not families that produce canines. The "legal right" to marry only exists because of government interests in children, and in their care and in inheritance law. It therefore does not exist for anyone who is definitively unable to have children. It would be unconstitutional for the state to regulate homosexual relationships that way, because there is no government interest to protect.
So let us be clear that there is a distinction between opposing the rights of homosexuals and opposing the claim that homosexual marriage is such a right. To do otherwise is make an emotional accusation that borders on defamation.
In responding to comments a few weeks back on Facebook, I made a statement which I immediately realized could be misunderstood: I could be interpreted as claiming that homosexuality was a genetic disease. That is not what I stated; this article is intended to clarify that.
The argument put forward was in essence a claim that there is a perfectly rational non-religious basis for considering homosexuality dysfunctional, based entirely on basic principles of evolution. I do not reject the possibility of a theistic evolutionary origin of man (I am agnostic on that subject, not being persuaded that God ever intended to teach science in the Bible, and recognizing that it is easy to misunderstand what it actually teaches by reading it through modern filters). However, I do not believe naturalistic evolution, that humanity happened in essence by a complex accident; such a theory leaves no room for the validity either of moral imperatives or of reliable rationality. Thus I am presenting a viewpoint that is not my own, a position plausible for a strictly scientific viewpoint.
Under evolutionary theory, the proper function of any organism is ultimately to reproduce itself; any organism that cannot do so is dysfunctional by that definition. "Natural" homosexual intercourse is sterile: it cannot produce offspring. Any member of a species that is not part of the reproductive system in some way is dysfunctional; it will not pass its genes to the next generation as evolution requires.
The next issue would be the cause of the dysfunction. If, as the homosexual community insists, they are "born" this way, then they have inherited a genetic mutation not essentially different from sickle cell anemia or Crohn's disease, a disabling condition (in the sense that it inhibits them from performing the necessary biological function of reproduction) that cannot be repaired, and genetic counselors working strictly from an evolutionary ideology would properly recommend that they and their immediate family (who might be carriers) not reproduce for the sake of the future of the species.
On the other hand, it may be that the condition arises due to environmental factors. In that case, the possibility exists that it might be reversible--that is, homosexuals could be cured. Since we do not know the cause, we do not know whether it is curable or what kind of cure might be needed. If it is a learned behavior, psychological conditioning might avail. If there is a neurochemical problem, it may require the development of a class of drugs, analogous to lithium, which restore normal neurochemistry. If it does prove to be genetic (which is presently looking less likely) it might be incurable; even if not genetic, it might be a disorder we cannot cure at present levels of medical science.
Of course, homosexuals don't want a cure, any more than most alcoholics do. If it is an illness, it is one they enjoy. The fear for the species is that it might be contagious (particularly if it is not genetic), and if it spreads it impacts the propagation of the species.
All of this is based on an evolutionary value system. Such a system could be challenged. One might argue that there are species with non-reproductive members, such as bees and ants; such non-reproductive members, though, always serve the reproductive ones, not a desirable model for those who would be the non-reproductive humans. It could be argued that sexual relationships have evolved to have secondary functions related to social structures and bonding (I have so argued in another context), but these remain secondary and are valued in evolutionary terms to the degree that they promote the birthing and protection and development of future sexually reproductive members of the species. It could be argued, too, that sex is not only about reproduction, but is about pleasures and personal identities. Those, though, are fundamentally religious arguments--whether they are Christian or Hedonist or Pagan, they are outside the parameters of evolution, outside the hard sciences. They are value judgments about the place of sexuality in society, fundamentally "religious" in the sense that they argue about how the society "ought" to be. We can argue about what values have better basis in what philosophers call "natural law" (that inexplicably universal moral sense), whether we ought to do what promotes justice or what is pragmatic or something else, but let us not mistake a discussion of our preferences in values for anything other than a religious discussion--science does not offer values.
At this point we face the issue of whether one opinion is as good as another; but in legal terms, allowing homosexual sexual conduct is entirely different from promoting and subsidizing it, and the latter requires a basis in order to overcome the constitutional prohibition against government interference in sexual relationships.
One problem in the discussions of homosexual marriage has been semantic: if homosexuals ought to be permitted to "marry", what is wanted? "Marriage" means different things to different people, and different things to the same people in different contexts. Filing under the income tax status "married" is an entirely different issue from having a church wedding.
For centuries, "married" meant lawfully permitted to live together and engage in a sexual relationship; marriages were generally registered with a local church or courthouse so there would be records--you did not need a license to marry, but once married you could not easily divorce. Such legally enforcible permanent relationships no longer exist in the western world; it obviously is not what is sought. The part that remains--the right to cohabit and engage in sexual relations--is already available to any adult.
"Married" also means married under the laws of the state--in our time, obtaining a license and being registered. This developed as a means of regulating sexual activity--preventing polygamy, incest, and adultery, later preventing miscegation, then controlling sexually transmitted diseases. Only the last remains a viable legal basis for the state to regulate such relationships, and it is doubtful that homosexuals want mandatory blood tests before engaging in sexual relationships. The concept of licensing, though, inherently means that a license can be refused on some basis--it is a regulatory scheme that says the state can forbid the relationship.
There are also the legal benefits of being "married"--the incentive aspects. As covered, these are either unconstitutional or legitimized by something other than a personal relationship with a sexual component--establishing responsibility for offspring, identifying legitimate heirs, or promoting population growth. If these are the valid bases for regulating sexual relationships between heterosexuals, then marriage regulations can only cover them; if they are not, then the government cannot regulate sexual relationships at all, and marriage licenses and registrations must be discontinued.
It might be thought that "legally married" would mean that such marriages would have to be regarded as valid by all religious groups. This is false as a matter of law--religious groups are not government organizations, and are independent of government control in such matters. It is also unrealistic. The Hasids will never allow it; the majority of Islamic groups will oppose it. Although Christian groups (particularly Catholics and Evangelicals) are criticized for opposition, religious groups around the world and across the centuries (not all, but most) reject homosexuality as a "normal" state.
So what does the homosexual community want? Do they want to insist that it is inappropriate for the government to pursue social policies which protect children and encourage population growth simply because such policies give benefits to those whose relationships are likely to produce children in need of such protection? If that is the intention, the debate needs to be about whether heterosexuals should be permitted to marry and receive such benefits. We give financial assistance to the poor, and no one claims it is unfair that the rich do not get food stamps, because the program supports a policy of aiding the poor. If the entire point of marriage law is to protect naturally-produced children and promote their continued production, it is perfectly fair for such benefits to be extended exclusively to those in a position to produce them.
Or is the argument that people should not be permitted to have the opinion that homosexuality is abberant sexuality? Even from a purely atheistic evolutionary perspective a homosexual sexual preference can be called dysfunctional, and any argument to the contrary is fundamentally values-based, and thus a religious/philosophical debate. Yet it may be that the objective is to turn traditional morality on this subject into "hate speech", so that no one can express an opinion on the subject other than that which approves homosexual relationships. That means it is fundamentally about censorship, attempting to control and limit free speech by claiming special rights for those whose practices are regarded abberant.
No one has yet suggested a constitutionally valid basis for the existence of marriage law that applies to homosexuals. Instead, by the use of rhetorical smoke and mirrors, those favoring the change have insisted that it is about equality. That definition of equality would mean that the wealthy are as entitled to food stamps as the poor, that the fully able are entitled to any benefits offered to the handicapped, and that all Americans should pay the same amount in taxes regardless of income. Law is about making distinctions between different kinds of people and different kinds of conduct, and of promoting those kinds which benefit the state in definable ways. Promoting relationships which produce children does so. Interfering in other kinds of sexual relationships does not.
Last fall this series addressed the "slippery slope" in relation to homosexual marriage, noting that there was a valid concern that the acceptance of homosexual marriage might lead ultimately to the acceptance of pedophilia. The article noted only that decisions made today become the foundation for decisions in the future, and it was plausible that the acceptance of homosexual relationships as normal now could lead to the acceptance of other relationships currently deemed unacceptable.
The article was slammed, and although some who criticized it did so without reading it (based on the incorrect assumption that it was saying that homosexuals were more likely to be pedophiles) others raised objections, that this was different in kind. In our response to these criticisms, we included that polygamy and incest would probably come first, and later cited NAMBLA, an organization of homosexuals promoting relationships with adolescents (and younger), as evidence that there were factions pushing in that direction in regard to pedophilia. Yet in regard to polygamy and incest, at least, the public response from those defending homosexual relationships has generally been that it won't happen, and the question from those opposed, "Why not?", has gone unanswered.
In the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision, at least one major proponent of homosexual marriage, Boston College Law School Professor Kent Greenfield, has given the answer: of course it will. He suggests that the LGBTQ community has known, or should have known, this all along. He looks at the arguments against approving these, and finds them all wanting. This is particularly intriguing, because this spring, before the decision, he argued that such a slippery slope argument made absolutely no sense to him (at the bottom of this article). So which is the truth, that he always knew even when he lied to say that it made no sense, or that he is lying now that it has always been obvious?
Conservatives are already persuaded that liberals lie to push policy in the direction they want. In Roe v. Wade, doctors testified that the unborn were not yet human beings in any legitimate sense of the word; perhaps a decade later one of those doctors admitted that of course they knew that the unborn were fully human, but they lied about it because they wanted the law to permit abortions. We again have the smoking gun, that at least some supporting the LGBTQ agenda were knowingly lying about the slippery slope, that they fully recognized that Justice Scalia's dissent in Lawrence v. Texas 539 U.S. 558 (2003), stating that
State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers� validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today�s decision....was completely correct, but pretended there was some new magic line that distinguished homosexual marriages from all these others in order to win court cases and set policy the way they wanted it.
Some will object that they do not see it that way. You are of course entitled to your opinion, but that does not make it truth.
Governor Christie has abruptly lost the support of conservatives--if he ever had it. Most hardcore conservatives outside New Jersey have long dubbed him a Republican In Name Only. Many now feel he has betrayed their values; his support on the national stage has dropped.
Of course, he is not presently competing on the national stage. He is competing in New Jersey's gubernatorial race against progressive Democrat Barbara Buono. She claims he is going to run for President in 2016, but he has said no more than that he has no idea what will happen in two years. Courting favor with the conservative branch of the party has not been his priority. That The National Organization for Marriage and The Manhattan Declaration and other traditional marriage groups have attacked him over the past weeks might matter in some election in which he is not presently a candidate, but it is not going to matter in New Jersey--where what he did makes political sense on so many levels, and the alternative, what they would have had him do, made no sense at all.
What happened? A New Jersey Superior Court judge decided that the recent United States Supreme Court decisions regarding homosexual marriage (United States v. Windsor striking down portions of the Defense of Marriage Act, and Hollingsworth v. Perry, in which they declined to review the lower court decision overturning California's Proposition 8) required New Jersey to permit homosexuals, already permitted "civil unions", to marry. Governor Christie has long opposed any law to that effect, insisting that it should be decided by referendum; his administration appealed to the State Supreme Court to overturn the ruling and issue a temporary injunction to prevent the confusion of marriage licenses being issued and then invalidated.
The State Supreme Court refused to issue the injunction, and indicated that they would hear the appeal but were already unanimously in agreement with the lower court. In essence, they told the governor he could spend all the state's money he wanted and waste the time of the Attorney General's office, but they had already decided. So the question was whether to fight the losing battle to see the principle defeated, or withdraw the appeal and address other issues. Christie chose the latter. Those who thought he should go down fighting call it cowardice and a failure of leadership. Yet what is the real situation on the ground?
Homosexual marriage was perhaps the one cogent issue in Buono's attacks on Christie. She has always favored it, and criticized him for opposing it. Her own daughter is a lesbian, and has pushed the issue forward. That issue is now gone--it is settled, and nothing can be done from the governor's office to change it either way. Buono has lost that weapon, and those who were supporting her for that reason will now consider whether they have any other reason to support a candidate so liberal she chose a public employee union boss as her running mate. New Jersey now has homosexual marriages; the rulings and statements of its high court had indicated that they would begin on schedule regardless of the lawsuit and ultimately would be supported by the judiciary, so that would not have changed.
Had Christie fought, it probably would not have cost him the election; he is far enough ahead in the polls and already did not have the homosexual vote. Yet it would have given Buono more power, because she could have said that were she elected she would drop the appeal and allow homosexual marriages to proceed. Christie is riding a strong tide toward re-election, and that kind of victory may well give him something of a political mandate, to accomplish other goals; there is no good reason to sacrifice that strength of position for a lost cause. He would have lost the appeal, but whether he won or lost, he would have set up yet another case which might go to the United States Supreme Court, whose borderline liberal position on this issue might then decree that civil unions were unconstitutional and any state which used them would have to allow homosexual marriage--a loss for the conservative cause that is here avoided by preventing the case from continuing.
The pundits say that this will cost Christie the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016. He has not asked for it yet, not indicated any intent to seek it. Yet if it is true that the Republican party will not nominate a man whose strong conservative opinions are tempered by moderate compromising political practices, then it probably does not matter who the Republicans nominate in 2016. Only a moderate Republican can win the nation for them at this point; if they cannot nominate a moderate, they cannot win.
Most of us have a somewhat romantic view of romantic love. We hope that one day we will fall in love with someone, that someone will fall in love with us. It's a magical place, or at least that's how we see it.
A recent study of women has made a connection between romantic love and the relationships they had with their fathers. There is a tendency for women to have this attractive reaction to men who exhibit personality traits consistent with those of their fathers, whether or not they had good relationships with those fathers, and in fact for women with bad father relationships to fall into bad relationships of a very similar sort.
To some degree, it seems like the kind of study that proved what everyone already knew; but it highlights something not obvious on its face. It suggests that for women to have a romantic attraction of that sort toward a man, she has to have had a male father figure in her life. Maybe that's not true; but then, what is the truth here? We have been told by progressivist thinkers that men and women are interchangeable, that as long as a child has two parents who love each other there's no particular reason they have to be one of each gender. Yet if a girl gets her baseline for romantic feelings from her relationship with her father, where does she get such a baseline without a father?
We might suppose that a girl born heterosexual but raised in a lesbian household would find a man outside the home as her pattern. Certainly there have been girls who grew up without father figures in the home, and some of them fell in love with someone, so they must have gotten that from an uncle, or a neighbor, or a grandfather. Yet how many girls have a father/daughter relationship with someone who is not part of their family?--and in our time, we are already suspicious of such relationships, of older men who are too affectionate toward young girls. Besides, children of "broken homes" have a higher divorce rate, so it is difficult to assess the impact of any particular facet of that failure.
We might suppose that such a girl attaches to one of her two female parents and identifies that one as the putative "father". That would mean that her romantic baseline would be looking for a man who had the qualities which attracted her to a female parent. It is not even clear at this point that a young girl could make such an identification of a female parent as the surrogate father. Nor is it clear what kind of man might have those qualities.
We might hazard a guess that a girl who grew up in a family where she chose one of her lesbian female parents as her father figure would herself grow up to be a lesbian. After all, she would be attracted to those qualities in the woman she identifies as her father, and so find another woman who had those qualities. The homosexual community would see no problem with this, and say that anyone who does is homophobic; but if in fact a girl who connects to a female father figure because there is no male father figure in the household becomes a lesbian, then the notion that homosexuality is determined before birth is falsified--it would be demonstrably determined by upbringing.
Of course, this is all speculative. It may be that the study overlooked something, or that further data will support a different conclusion. That in itself, though, should give us pause. We make the casual claim that men and women parents are interchangeable, that having two parents is better than having one and otherwise the gender of the parents does not matter. Yet this study demonstrates that we do not know that. We do not yet know the potential repercussions of changing the model of the nuclear family, whether indeed homosexual and lesbian couples provide the same kind of upbringing for children as heterosexual couples.
In sports they often say Don't mess with success. Heterosexual couples have been raising kids for millennia. Things have changed, but always that has been at the core of it. We do not know what kind of impact a different model will have on children. Is it worth the price to our children to change to another model without examining it more carefully first?
A few weeks ago (in Liberal Democrats offend women again) we observed that Japan was experiencing negative population growth. We have noted before that falling birth rates lead to economic disaster in modern societies, as aging populations result in a growing proportion of dependent elderly, and work force aged citizens able to support them become fewer. At the moment the problem is mostly, although not entirely, hypothetical in America; it is very real in Japan. Thus if we explore how Japan might counter its falling population, we lay the groundwork for potential future policies to address the problem if it begins to threaten us.
Obviously, it will be necessary to encourage women to become pregnant; that means encouraging them to engage in sexual intercourse with men. It is also necessary to encourage them to carry their children to term, to become mothers, and then we will need a means of raising the child. We could attempt to create massive government nurseries, but these have a very poor track record historically. Mothers will need support--and who better to whom to assign the task than fathers, who have at least a genetic interest in the well-being of their children? So we want a system that encourages men and women to copulate, bear young, and work together to raise the young into contributing members of society.
Democratic governments cannot force people to do this, but what they can do is create incentive programs. If we want employers to hire the disabled, we create tax incentives or support programs specifically benefiting those who do so, such as the Federal Sub-minimum Wage for people with disabilities, the so-called 14(c) exemption to the minimum wage law that encourages employers to hire handicapped individuals to do work within their abilities at below the minimum wage. We could create a special status for human breeding pairs who declare an intention to raise offspring, and give them tax and other advantages. This would then make it economically beneficial, or at least reduce the economic hardship involved, and so encourage the production of offspring, the increase in the population the government desires.
Of course, we already do that--or rather, we did that. We called that special status "married", and while the benefits did not really make it more profitable to raise children than to remain single, they existed to reduce significantly the economic disadvantages of such choices and so to encourage them. We had a system in place designed to encourage the conception, birth, and rearing of children.
However, because some people who have neither the intention nor the ability to produce children felt that they were unfairly excluded from these targeted benefits, the entire system has been undermined.
It would be similar to ruling that it is unfair to employers that they have to pay minimum wage to underperforming but not disabled workers, such that they could file for 14(c) exemptions and pay you less than the minimum wage simply because they do not think you earn more than a qualifying disabled worker. Employers generally believe that their workers are paid more than they are worth, and that their lowest tiered workers are not adequately productive to justify the minimum wage. The 14(c) exemption exists for a reason, to encourage employment of disabled workers in jobs that would make them productive members of society and give them incomes supplementary to their government assistance. To subvert the purpose of the system is to negate the reason for it to exist. If a 14(c) exemption could be applied to an underproductive but not disabled worker, employers would have less incentive to employ the handicapped. If the incentives intended to encourage childbearing couples to commit to conceiving and raising children become applied generally to persons with no such intention or ability, the purpose for the incentives is negated.
Of course, the Japanese can still create more incentives for their women (and their men) to marry and have children. They are not hampered by a culture of equal entitlements.
There is a student group on campus that does not permit persons born homosexual or lesbian to be full members, but it wants the State of California to subsidize its discriminatory student activities. The state has refused to do so. Put that way, it makes perfect sense--but it does not make perfect sense.
The student group in question is the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (I.V.C.F.), the local chapter of a national organization founded as part of an international cooperative with its roots in Cambridge, England in 1877 and its United States incorporation in 1941. It is a known interdenominational Evangelical Christian college organization rated a four-star charity that runs evangelistic meetings and publishes books and other literature, promotes ethnic integration, and applies itself to social issues such as human trafficking. It has always stood for a rational conservative view of Christian faith. That includes the religious position that homosexual conduct is an offense to God. This is not the focus of the group, but it is an issue--as it was with the Boy Scouts, who were told by the Supreme Court that as a private organization they could make their own rules concerning the participation of homosexuals. I.V.C.F. has been a recognized campus "club" for decades, and has not changed its position.
California provides funds for recognized on-campus groups. It does so fairly, without regard for the purpose of the group, or at least that is the concept. Religious groups are not denied such funding merely for being religious; nor are political groups denied funding for holding specific political positions. Yet I.V.C.F. has been denied the ordinary student group funding provided to other groups because of a long-held religious view about a political position--because it will not admit members who do not agree with its core principles. That's not an unusual requirement for membership in a group. It just happens that the State of California has decided that the religious and political view of this group is discriminatory against a group who cannot help having been born members of that group.
Yet that is precisely the issue. The belief that people are born homosexual is fundamentally a religious belief expressed as a political position. There is no science for it--the current science says there is no genetic basis for homosexuality. The prevailing opinion at the moment is that people who "are homosexual" cannot be otherwise, but being the prevailing opinion makes it no more valid than previous prevailing opinions such as that blacks were an inferior sub-human race of hominids somewhere slightly above gorillas and chimpanzees.
Also of concern, the decision to decline funding for the student group is a step toward denying access, to telling this solid and internationally respected Evangelical student organization that it cannot have a recognized chapter on campus. It is a step toward banning political and religious speech that is contrary to the positions of the ruling class.
Moreover, groups that agree with and promote the prevailing religious/political view on this subject are given state funding. The state will provide funds for homosexual and lesbian student groups whose purpose is to promote the LGBTQ viewpoint and agenda. Since this is a controversial religious and political issue, the state ought to treat all groups expressing a view on the subject equally. All religious and political groups get to make their own rules and promote their own positions, and the question of funding them should not be based on those positions and rules. If the state cannot fund a group that promotes a belief that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice that destroys both those involved and society generally, then the state ought similarly to be unable to fund any group that promotes the opposite belief. Yet college groups thrive on having diverse groups expressing and promoting and debating opposing viewpoints--the Young Republicans and the Students for a Democratic Society, the Asian Student Council and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, socialists, feminists, environmentalists, and many others. To deny a group equal access to campus benefits because it promotes a religious or political view with which the state currently disagrees is a clear violation of First Amendment protections.
Those who disagree with the traditional Evangelical viewpoint that homosexual conduct is "sin" will of course say that the beliefs of the group are discriminatory, and in the literal sense they are--just as it would be discriminatory for a drug and alcohol treatment program to refuse to employ active substance abusers. It is equally discriminatory to deny to a well-established student group funding available to all student groups based solely on the fact that a religious/political position it has always held has fallen into disfavor with the ruling class. Provide funding without reference to political and religious opinions, or deny it to everyone, but do not base funding on accepting current religious/political positions. That is something the state is not permitted to do.
Recently Bonnie Kristian published an article in which she suggested that government should stop licensing marriages and let private organizations and legal contracts take over this aspect of life. This is not a new concept; Libertarians have been arguing it for quite some time. However, Kristian's point is that it is better Christian theology.
She recounts some of the history which we covered in earlier articles, to the effect that marriages were not "licensed" until fairly recently and that Christians have no reason to want the state to regulate who can marry whom. Her suggestion is that marriage can remain important, and Christian churches can continue to decide whom we will regard as "married", without government interference trying to dictate what marriages we must recognize. Rescind all the government involvement, and let people call themselves "married" if they wish, and enter into marriage contracts or covenants with whatever degree of legal basis suits them.
She admits that it would require a lot of legislative work to untangle all the connected law--tax categories, pension and social security rights, the wealth of bits that have long accompanied marriage as an institution and the more so as it became a legal institution. The challenge is significant. However, she makes a valid point: marriage was not always state-licensed, controlled, or sanctioned, and there is nothing in Christian belief that requires it to be so. Nor is there any reason why churches must or should require that those who wed in churches also obtain a legal marriage certificate--at least, not in an age in which adultery and fornication are no longer crimes. If my wife and I both assert that we are married, and our church agrees and solemnizes that marriage, it does not really matter, theologically, whether the government does so or not. The only part that really matters, legally, is whether our status gives us mutual access to each other's rights and benefits, and Kristian is correct that this is merely a matter of passing a lot of legislation to validate those rights and benefits--if we wish to retain them at all.
That, though, may be the point she misses. However, she gets close enough that perhaps we can close the gap. It may well be that we do not need government-issued marriage licenses or government recognition of "married" as a legal status. However, we have previously recognized that there are a number of government interests in regulating relationships that will create and raise children. Those interests remain, and give the government a basis for issuing licenses of some sort. We can argue about whether to call them "marriage licenses", and we can abandon the term. I would propose calling them "child raising licenses". They can be issued to any two people who enter a relationship whose intent or function is to support each other and work together in the raising of a child.
Note first that this removes the stigma of whether the government is legitimizing "homosexual marriages"; it is no longer legitimizing anything called "marriage" at all. The tax status would be changed from "married" to "licensed child raising team". Whether same sex couples call themselves "married" and churches say that they are not "married" in the divine sense becomes moot. We already use the word in other ways, as saying that in my ham sauce the pineapple is married to the brown sugar vinegar sauce, or that someone is married to his job. Besides, the Roman Catholic Church already declines to recognize legal marriages between persons previously married, divorced, and remarried, without a formal annulment of the first marriage. There is (or at least should be) nothing that requires a church to recognize a couple as "married" or officiate a wedding outside its theological boundaries.
More importantly, requirements for a "child raising license" would have nothing to do with cohabitation or sexual relationship per se. It would be a statement that the pair intends jointly to attempt to bear a child or to adopt a child, and wishes to have the financial and other incentives we extend to those who raise children together. There could be arguments favoring the inclusion of those who have children already and have lost a spouse, but wish to connect with someone else in such a relationship, either to continue raising the children or to continue a mutual support relationship that has been the basis of their lives to this point (thus legitimizing such licenses for older couples). There would be much to consider in creating regulations--but the system would maintain the government's interest in supporting those bearing and raising children while eliminating the problems of recognizing "marriages" as not more than the sexual relationship between two people (which as we have noted cannot be a legal basis for such a license).
Lately many who view the approval of homosexual marriages as if not desirable at least inevitable have used the epithet "on the wrong side of history" for those who oppose it--as if history in some way were an intelligent design with a moral compass such that whatever happens in the future is good and right. It is the worship of change disguised by the word "progress"--a word that inherently assumes what it contradicts, that there is an ultimate divine good toward which we are striving. Yet quite apart from whether we are moving in the "right" direction, or even whether there is such a thing, the question of whether that which is inevitable is necessarily good or desirable does not withstand much scrutiny.
Less than a century ago the Prime Minister of one of the greatest countries in the world believed that the greatest of evils would be another great war. They had within the memory of most of those alive fought a war in which his country, Great Britain, had lost a million men, which made them the winners, as the French lost more than they did, the Germans more than the French, and the Russians--who abandoned the First World War in the middle to fight their own possibly inevitable internal revolution--more than the Germans. Thus Neville Chamberlain agreed with any demands made by Adolph Hitler, considering them reasonable as long as they did not require anything from England and would avoid another war. Yet World War II was inevitable, perhaps from the moment the papers were signed signalling the unconditional surrender of the losers of World War I, certainly from the moment the NAZI party rose to power in Germany. Neville Chamberlain was simply on the wrong side of history, trying to prevent the inevitable. Yet will anyone claim that World War II was good?
History is replete with examples in which people who may have been on the right side of morality or truth or ethics were on the wrong side of history. Those who opposed the the armies of Alexander the Great were on the wrong side of history. The same could be said of those who supported the Roman Republic against the establishment of the Empire under Julius Caesar. In the modern age, opposition to the Leninist revolution in Russia, the rise of Stalin in the Soviet Union, the rise of Hitler in Germany and Mussolini in Italy and Milosevic in Serbia and Amin in Uganda were simply on the wrong side of history--these cruel, violent, ambitious dictators rose to power and caused great pain to their own subjects despite the opposition.
So, too, those who warned of the 2007 housing crash were as much on the wrong side of history as those who foresaw and called for efforts to prevent the 1929 stock market crash and the Great Depression. Those hoping for a peaceful end to American slavery who struggled to avoid having to fight the Civil War--including Abraham Lincoln--found themselves on the wrong side of history. What the future brings is not always good, not always desirable; it might not even be always inevitable. To be on "the wrong side of history" can be to be on the right side of justice, or mercy, or morality. That something happens does not mean it was ever inevitable; that we think it was inevitable does not make it good or right. Inevitably Rome fell and the Dark Ages began. Inevitably factions within the Roman Catholic Church rose to power and launched the Inquisition. Those who did not want these were on the wrong side of history, and the number of people who suffered during those years does not make the right side of history the right side of anything else.
I do not yet know that homosexual marriage will become the law of the land. It might be that marriage will cease to be a recognized legal institution entirely. Although the fact that it is now legal in the majority of states is widely touted by supporters, in fact in most of those states it became legal entirely by judicial fiat. Certainly that has been the way in which many good things have come to be law; it has also brought many bad things. Yet even if history moves in the direction of the recognition of such relationships as "normative", that does not mean that the future is not simply moving into greater moral depravity toward the time when bestiality and pedophilia are also regarded "normal". I do not mind being on the wrong side of history if I am on the right side of something greater.