Bravo National Review! Conservative magazine defends marriage

In the wake of the news regarding the passage of so-called homosexual “marriage” in New York, Dispatches recommends the five National Review articles excerpted here:

Another Victory for Self-Indulgence

By David French

In a time when the hard-earned experience of two full generations of sexual experimentation have taught us unequivocally that the two-parent, mother-father household is our nation’s best bulwark against abuse, poverty, addiction, and criminality, we should be moving away from the notion that our culture and our lives are best-served by legally protecting sexual experimentation and tinkering with the institution of marriage. Instead, we have scrutinized the cultural toll and said, “More, please.” After all, the heart wants what it wants, and we shouldn’t be unfair in doling out the sexual goodies.

Gay marriage proponents speak the language of liberty, but so often one form of liberty (sexual liberty) is granted while other forms (free speech, religious freedom) are taken away. More

Sex and the Empire State
Losing marriage to sexual liberalism.

From an interview with Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University.

As Sherif Girgis, Ryan Anderson, and I argue in our Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy article, once one buys into the ideology of sexual liberalism, the reality that has traditionally been denominated as “marriage” loses all intelligibility. That is true whether one regards oneself politically as a liberal or a conservative. For people who have absorbed the central premises of sexual liberation (whether formally and explicitly, as liberals tend to do, or merely implicitly as those conservatives who have gone in for it tend to do), marriage simply cannot function as the central principle or standard of rectitude in sexual conduct, as it has in Western philosophy, theology, and law for centuries….

As a result, to the extent that one is in the grip of sexual-liberationist ideology, one will find no reason of moral principle why people oughtn’t to engage in sexual relations prior to marriage, cohabit in non-marital sexual partnerships, form same-sex sexual partnerships, or confine their sexual partnerships to two persons, rather than three or more in polyamorous sexual ensembles. More

‘Gay Marriage,’ Libertarians, and Civil Rights
Untangling several confusions.

By George Weigel

According to a New York Times story of June 25, an essential part of the coalition that brought “gay marriage” to the Empire State consisted of Republican financial high-rollers who gave Republican legislators cover for voting in favor of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “marriage equality” bill while generously funding the pro-“gay marriage” ground campaign, and who “were inclined to see the issue as one of personal freedom, consistent with their more libertarian views.”

More intellectual and political confusion would be hard to pack into one sentence.

“Gay marriage” in fact represents a vast expansion of state power: In this instance, the state of New York is declaring that it has the competence to redefine a basic human institution in order to satisfy the demands of an interest group looking for the kind of social acceptance that putatively comes from legal recognition. More

Empire State Blues
What’s next for marriage?

From an interview with Maggie Gallagher is the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage.

Four Republicans told voters during 2010 they opposed gay marriage, then voted for it. Why? Probably they believed the propaganda that voters don’t care about this any more. I think they are going to find that was a mistake…

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Fundamentally, we are also going to need a large anti-defamation project behind the gay-marriage line, to locate the many people now feeling silenced and harassed and create for them a legal and cultural environment where people have a shot at passing on a Christian (or other traditional) marriage culture to their own kids and in their own communities. I’m getting e-mails and phone calls from people losing their jobs because they spoke up for marriage as one man and one woman. Extraordinary!


Conservatives care about it. A lot of libertarian elites, not so much. They seem to think we can redefine marriage — and make the Judeo-Christian tradition akin to racism in the public square — and American civilization can go on just the same. I think they are making a big mistake in thinking that.

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This is a quite powerful movement that is quite serious about shutting down the debate and redefining the Book of Genesis as bigotry. Will they succeed? Maybe in the short or medium term. But in the end, a civilization built against nature falls. Every time.

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The “traditional” understanding of marriage is not optional for a civilization. Either you channel eros into a social institution that is pro-creation — or it becomes anti-creation, anti-civilization, anti-life. More

Unmade in New York

(This excerpt is from a National Review Editorial where they write that legalizing homosexual “marriage” in New York is trading “the 2,300-year-old intellectual tradition originating with Plato and Aristotle for the 60-year-old liberationist ideology descended from Hefner and Kinsey.”)


The latest canard is that the defeat of the conjugal conception of marriage is inevitable because there isn’t even an argument for it. But the core argument is simple, and pieces like Franke’s bolster it: As many liberals now concede and even embrace, redefining marriage leaves no principled reason—none at all—not to recognize relationships of every size and type.


There is nothing libertarian or neutral about state-imposed moral ratification of revisionist sexual ideology, especially when dissenting citizens and business owners will be forced to comply, token protections notwithstanding…

And as the ideals of opposite-sex parenting and permanent monogamy further erode, leaving more children to grow up without both a mother and a father, social pathologies will only deepen, especially among the poor, creating ever greater need for state intervention.

Conservative New Yorkers should send a clear message to all four of the Republican state senators who caved—especially Mark Grisanti, who reneged on an explicit campaign commitment to support marriage and oppose its redefinition. The law he broke a promise in order to pass is a failure of moral and political sense, and a blow to the bedrock of civil society. More