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The Confession Part 2

Stanley Kurtz

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"Conservative" proponents of same-sex marriage are about to be overtaken by radicals.

In his well-received 1997 book on the AIDS crisis, Sexual Ecology, journalist Gabriel Rotello said:

The anti-marriage sentiment in the gay and lesbian political world has abated in recent years, and the legalization of same-sex marriage is now an accepted focus of gay liberation. Yet it is rarely posed as a major issue of AIDS prevention. Prevention activists generally don't include marriage as a goal because they generally don't include monogamy as a goal....such advocates are generally careful not to make the case for marriage, but simply for the right to marriage....This is undoubtedly good practical politics, since many if not most of the major gay and lesbian organizations who have signed on to the fight for same-sex marriage would instantly sign off at any suggestion that they were actually encouraging gay men and lesbians to marry. (pp. 256-257)

According to Rotello, then, many or most gay-marriage activists have a decidedly un-conservative view of marriage itself. But if gay-marriage advocates actually reject monogamous marriage as a family ideal, what sort of families do they favor instead?

That question was answered this past July, when hundreds of activists, artists, and academics signed on to a manifesto entitled, "Beyond Same-Sex Marriage." That statement called for government recognition and benefits to be expanded beyond traditional marriage to cover a wide variety of family forms, from extended immigrant households, to single-parent households, to "queer couples who decide to jointly create and raise a child with another queer person or couple in two households," to unmarried domestic partners, to polygamous/polyamorous households with three or more partners, to many other family forms.

In Part I of "The Confession," I showed that the united political front behind same-sex marriage is sustained by a pattern of censorship and self-censorship regarding the ultimate policy preferences of the movement. Here in Part II, I show that Rotello was right. Many, if not most, of the gay and lesbian organizations which have signed on to the battle for same-sex marriage do not take marriage itself as their goal. Instead, these advocacy groups are broadly supportive of the radical family agenda announced in the Beyond Same-Sex Marriage manifesto. By following the public response of gay-marriage activists to the Beyond Same-Sex Marriage manifesto, we can see that the policy goals of family radicals are largely shared, even by most mainstream supporters of same-sex marriage.

Read the entire article on the National Review website (new window will open).

Posted: 04-Nov-06

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