Edmund Burke for Gay "Marriage?"

Regis Nicoll
Regis Nicoll
2013 15 Jun

It is the “greatest social conservative movement of our time.” That’s how Jonathan Rauch describes same-sex “marriage.” And he summons no less than Edmund Burke to support his claim.

From Burke’s “Reflections on the French Revolution,” Rauch quotes, "Society is . . . a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead and those who are to be born." Therein lies a “mighty stream of tradition,” Rauch claims, that “gays are asking to join” in their bid for marriage.

I suspect the father of modern conservatism would beg to differ, given his reflection in the same essay that “religion is the basis of civil society” and that, as Burke explained elsewhere, it is on the Christian religion that “all our laws and institutions stand.” (My emphasis.)

An inconvenient truth

Indeed, marriage as a primal institution defined by nature, upheld by Christian teaching, and practiced throughout recorded history is a mighty stream of tradition that the pseudotrimony of homosexualism flows against, not with.

It is an inconvenient truth that Rauch unwittingly acknowledges when he expresses his grievance that “No matter how hard gays work to be true to our life partners, we don't qualify for marriage.” That’s because it is design, not work—or desire, sincerity, commitment, or love—that qualifies a person for marriage.

The design of marriage reflects the design of Nature, whereby multiplication and flourishing result from difference, not sameness. The hand-in-glove architecture of human sexuality enables a heterosexual couple to fulfill an essential biological function that no single individual or same-sex pair is equipped to fulfill: reproduction.

What’s more, the union of a man and woman in a lasting, exclusive, covenantal bond is uniquely able to attach children to their biological parents (who, intrinsically, have their best interests at heart), produces a stable home environment, and safeguards society from the pathologies of divorce, STDs, and out-of-wedlock births.

By design, homosexual couples are incapable of such a union and, thus, by design, disqualified for marriage.

The yearn to bond?

To read Rauch, one would think that the deepest desire of same-sex couples is to get married. As Rauch puts it, marriage is a bond “gay and lesbian Americans yearn for.” The data tells a different story... Continue reading here.