Marriage: Where Do We Go From Here?
National Review Online 22 May 2014
In the media’s portrayal, people defending marriage as the union of a man and woman have been getting routed ever since the Supreme Court decision last June — if not before. They point to a string of lower-court rulings striking down state marriage amendments and to public-opinion polling, especially of my peers in the Millennial generation. Many also point to the forced resignation of Brendan Eich and the defeat of Arizona’s religious-liberty bill.
Some people would like me and the millions of Americans who continue to believe that marriage is what societies have believed it to be throughout human history — a male-female union — to get with the program and accept the inevitable. We’re clearly, they tell us, on the Wrong Side of History.
But we should avoid the temptation to prognosticate about the future in lieu of working to shape that future. We are citizens in a self-governing society, not pundits watching a spectator sport, not subjects of rulers. We are participants in one of the most significant debates our society — any society — has ever faced.
So, the question is, where do we go from here? How do we best advance the cause of marriage as the union of a man and woman, husband and wife, father and mother?
Some say we should abandon the defense of marriage and retreat to only protecting religious-liberty exemptions. They argue that this is the best course of action in light of what they take to be an inevitable defeat. Others go further and suggest that we should simply disengage with politics entirely, retreat to our own communities, and rebuild a marriage subculture there.
As tempting as these plans may be, they aren’t the right answer.
We must continue to witness to the truth about marriage, find new ways to make the reasoned case about what marriage is, and work to protect our freedoms to do so for the next generation. All of this must be done in service of the long-term goal of restoring a culture of marriage.