Apropos of a comment on an Insty post (thread topic: politics) I got to thinking about the whole marriage-recognition-as-a-right thing. IIRC, I’ve said before that from the perspective of Marriage 2.0, denying homosexuals (and poly households, of course) the right to state-approved “marriages” is really-and-truly nonsensical. The type of “marriage” they want is merely a formal recognition of the Convenient Long Term Relationship. I would find the Dalrock post that talks about this, but I’m a bit busy at the moment – but the gist of it is that the moral framework of Marriage 2.0 is that it is only appropriate to be married to someone you are infatuated with (“in love”) and as soon as the bloom is off the rose, you’re morally entitled (if not encouraged!) to divorce and seek out a new marriage with a new infatuation. Marriage 2.0: romance is the place for marriage.
This is, of course, the complete opposite of traditional marriage: marriage 1.0 is a nigh-unbreakable contract, with so much force behind it that Henry XIII had to declare himself the head of the Church of England to be able to get up to his shenanigans. (Remember that rich, powerful people in all cultures can usually get away with breaking any rule they want as long as they finesse it properly to save face. When they get caught, it’s pretty much a matter of them flubbing up the political face-saving angle and getting thrown under the bus by people who are usually just as guilty as sin. Cynical, ain’t I?) The moral framework of marriage 1.0 says that you don’t get romantically entangled with someone who’s not your spouse. Marriage 1.0: marriage is the place for romance.
Here’s the thing: marriage 1.0 makes for stable social framework. Go find social groups where married couples stay married, and you generally find a lot of successful people and successful children. Go find another social group (controlling for as many variables as you can, of course) that engages in marriage 2.0 or dispenses with marriage entirely, and you find a lot of less-successful people and kids who aren’t succeeding. Really rich people often have the material resources to ameliorate the financial stresses of divorce, but it’s been observed that stable marriages are something that the upper socioeconomic strata pursue, that divorces lead to greater poverty, and that not getting married at all tends to be something concentrated in the lowest socioeconomic strata. (Thanks, welfare!)
There’s enough data out there, at this point, that makes it pretty damn clear that marriage 1.0 as a model leads to much better outcomes, even for persecuted minorities. Or perhaps especially for them.
But of course, the easy-divorce marriage 2.0 model is the one all the rich people want to have, because that means they don’t have to go through any politically costly face-saving maneuvers any time they wake up in the morning just hating everything and decide they really do want to get divorced. And anybody suggesting that perhaps civil marriage policy should dial back on the easy access to divorce-for-any-reason is going to get a ton of sob stories about the legions of poor women who got suckered by what is apparently an epidemic of sociopathic conmen who hide their true natures until after the wedding, and making them have to submit actual proof of violence to the courts as proof of divorce-with-cause is Just Too Much To Expect from the poor dears in an age of ubiquitous recording devices that can stream directly to the internet. /sarc
But the fact remains, that a culture in which family formation crumbles is a culture not long for this world. It will be replaced by another. And so it lies in the interest of non-suicidal societies to arrange legal policy in a way that favors stability and positive outcomes.
Now, generally, I’m of the opinion that the sooner the culture of promiscuity crashes and burns, the better off and happier people will be. I don’t subscribe to the utopian idea of free love; whether a drastic contraction in wealth or the arrival of terrifying untreatable venereal diseases (STDs 2.0, This Time We’re Antibiotic Resistant) ends it is debatable. I don’t imagine the US is going to go the way of Japan’s trending apathy towards sex, though if they actually do invent a sex robot I can easily see the birthrate plummeting to match Russia’s.
But what about current politics? Coming back around to what we have to deal with right now, I’m honestly of the opinion that “gay marriage” is not terribly significant threat to marriage – it’s more of a coup de grâce. Which means that yes, fighting it is necessary, since the activists providing the primary motivating power do intend to destroy marriage. They’ve said so. But just preventing civil marriage from being used as a bludgeon by Marxist social engineers isn’t enough to actually, you know, save it: it’s already dying. And in the meantime, focusing on “gay marriage” like the Democrat media wants is basically playing a losing strategy.
So, if I were ever so foolish as to run for public office (noooot gonna happen) and I faced a hostile media wanting to focus on “gay marriage,” I would tell them this: Sure, I will vote to allow homosexuals to fill out a state marriage license and be married in whatever fashion they want, on two conditions. First, that freedom of association and freedom of religion are preserved; activists may no longer bait Christian (because they never try it with Muslim) businesses with the intent of driving religious expression from the public sphere. And second: only if the bill allowing this also states that, going forward, any person who gets divorced will no longer be eligible for marriage. Ever. Again. You get one shot, and if you blow it, no second chances. No excuses about “it was a mistake.” No redos. No “he tricked me!” And no compromise.
After all, the current system of no-fault divorce involves women using false accusations of abuse before family courts to get favorable judgments in custody disputes, despite the fact that she can freely walk away; and men so accused have no defense when the law is firmly on the side of the accuser. If no one can remarry unless they’ve been widowed, sure, there will probably be a few more murder attempts. But there’s a lot less judicial looking-the-other-way when someone’s been murdered, and if you’re worried your spouse is gonna kill you to get out of the marriage, at least you have the possibility self-defense.
Not to mention, a good reason to vet your spouse more carefully!