A Change We Can Hope For
By Ken Blackwell
Ken Blackwell is Senior Fellow, Family Empowerment at Family Research Council. This article appeared on Townhall.com, June 15, 2012.
Vice President Joe Biden is almost casual about ending marriage. It's "inevitable," he says. He thinks it's not such a big deal.
But it is a big deal. Recognizing same-sex couplings as marriages will mean the end of marriage. That's because saying yes to two men or two women marrying opens the door to polygamy.
Those who have delved into the issue know this. George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley believes that conferring legal status on same-sex couples will lead to polygamy-and he says he's for that.
When Turley told a packed house at the Newseum in 2008 that he was for polygamy, his audience cheered wildly. Those cheering for the end of marriage included federal court clerks, grad students, congressional staffers, and journalists--the Inside-the-Beltway elite. With same-sex couplings and polygamous arrangements recognized, where would that leave marriage? Ended, that's where. When everyone can marry, no one can marry. There is no marriage left.
Advocates for same-sex couplings have never agreed to bar polygamous groups being granted marriage rights. After all, if "marriage equality" is the real goal, then three or four marital partners are even more equal than two.
Democrats might want to think twice before adopting a platform plank to end marriage.
When they meet in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 3-6, they may want to look deeply into the numbers from the North Carolina marriage referendum.
Those numbers prove that polls are not votes. The latest public opinion polls showed marriage winning by a margin of 55-39%. But the final vote tally-61-39%--shows clearly that marriage scores consistently better in the voting booth than in the public opinion polls.
In North Carolina, we saw the heaviest turnout for a primary election. With no opponent for President Obama on the Democratic side, and with the GOP contest already wrapped up for Gov. Romney, this fact alone should command attention.
The American Enterprise Institute recently blogged on the marriage issue. Lazar Berman and Daniel Berman wrote "Why Young Voters Won't Tip the Gay Marriage Debate Anytime Soon."
Democrats should seriously study what the Bermans found in the election returns. Delegates may learn some amazing facts about the voters of that state-and the 32 other states that have voted to support true marriage.
Democrats in North Carolina voted 53% to end marriage. But fully 46% of Democrats voted for true marriage. Independents broke 54-46% for marriage.
Women voters supported marriage by a healthy 59-41%. Who's really waging "a war on women"? Apparently, women don't think it's those of us who defend true marriage.
The racial breakdown was fascinating. Whites voted 59-41% for marriage, but blacks scored even higher, at 65-35% for true marriage. The category "other" must have included Hispanics, Asian-Americans, and Indian tribes. This demographic voted 66-34% for true marriage.
Yes, young voters were a better group for the marriage enders. But even here, the 18-29 year olds broke just barely for ending marriage, 49-51%. Much media talk about how young people support same-sex couplings does not translate into votes. There is a silenced minority here. Young people are constantly told it's not cool to be against same-sex demands.
With Americans waiting longer to get married, it should not surprise us that the youth cohort is the least supportive of true marriage. They're not married yet. But what political movement would be prudent to move ahead with a radical social experiment based on such a slender majority--51-49%--among the 18-29 year olds?
Candidate Barack Obama did an amazing thing in 2008. His uplifting talk of Hope and Change truly inspired the youth. He was able to bring a surge of young voters to the polls to support him.
Defenders of true marriage need to be equally bold in speaking with younger audiences. Candidates need to tell the young the truth: that if they support marriage rights for same-sex couplings, they will be voting to end marriage.
The young, according to all polls, are disproportionately pro-life. That may be because so many of them and their friends have experienced the tragedy of abortion. They know how heartbreaking a choice it is.
We need to share with the young this hopeful message: Marriage is the best protector for unborn children that we have. Four out of five unborn children who are killed in abortion are the children of single parents. If you really care about unborn children, protect the institution that best protects them.
Candidates who embrace the pro-life position, and who defend true marriage, are not driving a wedge between age groups or ethnic groups, between men and women. These issues are not wedge issues at all; they are bridge issues. They bring us together. That's a change we can hope for.