Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
December 12, 2005
Today's laws cloud our future
Homosexual marriage is a done deal and it need not be raised during the current - or any future - election campaigns. That's the view of much of the Canadian intellectual elite, a view that keeps popping into media commentary and brief comments by some politicians.
Canada has crossed the Rubicon into a brighter, more liberated future with its passage of Bill C-38 and it would be better to leave that divisive debate to the past. Relax! When you get over your hang-ups you will like the new, more diverse Canada, they imply.
Well, same-sex marriage may now be part of Canadian law, but the changes it will bring have only begun to appear. You may not notice the effects on society next week or next year, but they are coming.
No-fault divorce promised to remove the stigma from divorce and keep people from undergoing an unpleasant public re-run of what was wrong with their marriages. Instead, it has fostered a situation where 40 per cent of marriages end in divorce, fathers are deemed superfluous to the emotional and social development of their children, and many children assume that life-long marriage is an unrealizable dream.
Contraception promised to save women from the drudgery of a never-ending stream of pregnancies and to allow them to build their own lives. Instead, it made marital infidelity less risky, paved the way for abortion on demand and led to empty classrooms and labour shortages across the Western world.
Governments endorsed giving common-law couples similar benefits to married couples to protect the rights of women in those relationships. Instead, it sanctified a form of relationship which is notoriously unstable and has a much higher degree of physical violence than does marriage.
All these reforms were experiments, implemented without proper understanding or much debate. Once implemented, they became a permanent feature of the cultural landscape.
These revolutionary changes contributed to a shift from a marriage-based culture to a relationship-based culture. A marriage-based culture was more stable and gave child-rearing a central place. A relationship-based culture assumes that marriage is primarily for the benefit of adults, that children do not need a mother and a father, and that alternative family forms are just as good as a married couple raising children together.
To say that "traditional marriage" is threatened today is an understatement. While many married couples continue to live a permanent relationship of fidelity, governments, the courts and the media long ago moved to treating the relationship model as the norm.
In that context, it should be not at all surprising that these institutions have endorsed something called same-sex marriage. Nor should it be surprising if in the future other forms of relationships are accepted as part of the norm too.
The acceptance of "same-sex marriage" will have further implications. While lesbian couples will demand (and likely receive) use of reproductive technologies, homosexual men will not have that access and men will become further marginalized from reproduction and child-rearing.
Schools will teach children the relationship model rather than the marriage model because to do otherwise would be to offend the human rights of homosexuals. Catholic schools that teach the marriage model will come under fire and may have to choose between their Catholicity and their government funding.
Now that Parliament and the courts have usurped a power that does not belong to them - the power to define the nature of marriage - the state will have great difficulty knowing its limits. To some, it may sound far-fetched to say this, but the state is now on the path to totalitarianism.
To the ruling elites who like the changes that have taken place, it may seem like digging up old graves to revisit all of this at election time. Still, it seems to us that these changes amount to the most radical shift in the nature of society that could possibly take place. Having an open, frank and full discussion of them should not be out of place in a democratic society.
- Glen Argan
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