Vital Signs

Gay Marriage in the Dock

In the 2012 election, same-sex marriage made gains at the ballot box for the first time—however narrowly—in all four states where “marriage equality” was presented to the voters for decision.  Have the American people been successfully fooled?

Maybe the more germane question is, Are large numbers of the American people self-deceived about homosexuality?  We must consider that possibility, because there is an important difference between being fooled and being self-deceived.

We can begin by asking why the defenders of traditional marriage—seemingly all of a sudden—are under the gun.  Marriage has, after all, always been regarded as the union of male and female.  It has been understood in this way not because of bad old tradition but because of the physiological or biological complementarity of men and women, whose reproductive organs have a unique functional fittedness.

Yet here we are, in a social setting where people who affirm the truth of the old view of marriage are commonly identified as bigots.  What happened?

The answer, in large part, is self-deception.  Not the self-deception of the defenders of traditional marriage (for whom bigotry, not self-deception, is supposed to be the problem), but the self-deception of those who promote same-sex marriage.

Suppose the alleged bigots are precise in their terminology about same-sex...

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