USA Today: Obergefell Was Never About ‘Freedom to Marry’

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The 2015 Supreme Court decision imposing same-sex marriage on the nation redefined society’s most important institution and undermined a traditional understanding of male and female, argues a stinging op-ed last week in USA Today.

In their analysis of the most momentous event for marriage in the past decade, Robert P. George and Ryan Anderson note how quickly public opinion on gay marriage has shifted and what sort of fallout this shift has produced.

Just one decade ago, President Barack Obama affirmed the common understanding that marriage unites one man and one woman, a conviction shared by 45 states as well as the federal government.

The law of the nation was dramatically changed in 2015, not by referendum or democratic legislation, but by a hotly contested act of raw judicial activism in the notorious Obergefell v Hodges case, which redefined marriage for the nation.

“Same-sex marriage advocates told the public that they sought only the ‘freedom to marry,’” the authors state. “Same-sex couples were already free to live as they chose, but legal recognition was about the definition of marriage for all of society. It was about affirmation — by the government and everyone else.”

Although they espoused the motto of “live and let live,” gay activists quickly abandoned this stance and began “working to shut down Catholic adoption agencies and harass evangelical bakers and florists,” the article observes, revealing that “live and let live” was never more than “a merely tactical stance.”

As tragic as these effects are, the deeper, more lasting consequences of Obergefell relate to the redefinition of marriage and family, the authors note.

“The law now effectively teaches that mothers and fathers are replaceable, that marriage is simply about consenting adult relationships, of whatever formation the parties happen to prefer,” they write.

Cutting any ties between marriage and male-female complementarity and the good of offspring, the ruling effectively undermined arguments for monogamy, sexual exclusivity, and permanence.

The aftermath of Obergefell has also thrown a spotlight upon the “T” in LGBT, which now dominates discussions of sexual identity and behavior. As sexual identity is increasingly perceived as a subjective, fluid concept, the human body has lost the significance it once held, the authors note.

“Implicit in the push for same-sex marriage was body-self dualism — the idea that we’re actually nonphysical entities inhabiting physical bodies, or ghosts in machines,” they write. “That’s why the ‘plumbing’ in sexual acts seemed not to matter.”

For many, the human body has been reduced to a vehicle capable of delivering “desirable sensations and feelings.”

“If the body is mere plumbing, then sex matters less than identity,” the article suggests.

The greatest negative impact of this horrendous social experiment has fallen upon children.

“Nearly unthinkable a decade ago, certain medical professionals tell children experiencing gender dysphoria that they are trapped in the wrong body, even that their bodies are merely like Pop-Tarts foil packets, as one expert explained,” the authors state.

Furthermore, rather than addressing the real psychological issue, some doctors now prescribe puberty-blocking drugs to healthy children in an attempt to make their bodies align with their so-called gender identities.

“As part of a government grant-supported study, doctors even performed double mastectomies on adolescent girls — including two 13-year-olds,” the essay observes.

Like so many bad ideas, the transgender movement and the havoc it has caused did not originate with the common people but with academic elites “wielding political, economic and cultural power to advance sexual-liberationist ideology,” the authors declare.

“The change has been top down — from Hollywood’s portrayal of LGBT characters to business executives boycotting states over religious-freedom laws.” Having lost over and over by democratic means, “activists found new avenues: ideologically friendly courts, federal agencies, big corporations.”

As one decade closes and another begins, one can only wonder how the debates on marriage and sexuality will evolve over the next ten years.

If the present trend continues, the LGBTQ wave can only leave more sorrow, confusion, and devastation in its wake.


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