Economist believes young people persuadable on gay ‘marriage’comment (0)
May 2, 2013
Jennifer Roback Morse, an economist, rejects the notion that increasing support for homosexual “marriage” among young people means that its legalization is somehow inevitable.
She is founder and president of The Ruth Institute, a pro-marriage group that promotes traditional marriage to college students and other young adults. The arguments for marriage can work with that group because they’ve never heard them, she said. Presented well, the case is “extremely powerful.”
Following is a transcript of an interview Les Sillars did with her for World News Service:
Q: Do you focus on college students because they seem to be shifting in favor of homosexual “marriage”?
A: When I started The Ruth Institute in 2008, Prop 8 was going on around me in California, but I have always wanted to talk to young people about the whole range of issues. ... Certainly young people have been swept away with the argument that gay “marriage” is inevitable. Also they know kids who are openly gay. ... But that doesn’t in any way diminish the case for man-woman marriage, that the essential public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children, and to one another. That is still true no matter how much you love your gay neighbor or your lesbian classmate.
Q: What kind of a reaction do you get when you step onto the campus of some place like Berkeley?
A: To go to a secular university and make a scientific argument, to make natural law arguments, it’s extremely powerful, both for the students who are inclined to agree with you and for the students who have never heard anything like it before. Often they’re sitting there with their mouths open, and they’ll come up to me afterwards and say, “I didn’t know these arguments existed.” That makes it worthwhile.
Q: How do you approach the issue?
A: Often with young people I’ll start off with no-fault divorce. Marriage is no longer presumed to be permanent. It’s a huge structural shift and young people have already been wounded by divorce. You go on any college campus, religious or not, and kids in that audience have been hurt by two or three divorces, or their mom going through a series of boyfriends. A lot of the arguments for homosexual “marriage” today are quite comparable to the arguments for divorce in the late 1960s.
Q: You’ve said that the cultural left is determined to abolish marriage and gender differences. Why? And what are the “fiscal and freedom” consequences of this agenda?
A: Let’s start with the second question. I saw as an economist that the whole society is depending on the family getting the job done. If children have been in too much foster care or in orphanages too long often they have difficulty developing a conscience and developing attachments to other people. If that happens, you’ve got a person who is a real social problem. ... By one estimate we’re spending over $100 billion a year on dealing with the consequences of out-of-wedlock childbearing and family breakup and family breakdown.
For people on the radical left, equality is their primary value. But it doesn’t even make sense to think about families in terms of equality because babies are never the equal of the parents and men and women can never be equal in the sense of baby-making and childrearing and development. So if egalitarianism is your biggest thing, this whole enterprise of baby-making is offensive and disruptive to your ideology. ... The home itself becomes politicized. To level all differences between men and women they have somehow to sterilize the sexual act, which is why so many of them see abortion and contraception as absolute values.
Q: What happens if the Supreme Court rules in favor of homosexual “marriage” in the recent cases on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 in California and the federal Defense of Marriage Act?
A: It would be the Roe v. Wade of the marriage issue. ... It will tell millions of people that they don’t matter in the political process — go home, sit down, shut up.
Also the pro-marriage movement will have to figure out how to deal with the fallout of the redefinition of marriage. Just as the pro-life movement has spent a lot of effort helping women deal with the physical and psychological fallout of abortion, we need to deal with the victims of the sexual revolution and help them to be whole so that we can move forward in society, whatever the political structure may turn out to be.