Ben Shapiro

Within the next few months, Justice Anthony Kennedy will likely rule that same-sex marriage is mandated by the Constitution of the United States. The ruling will offend both common sense and Constitutional law. But it will nonetheless become the law of the land. With it, states will be forced to recognize same-sex marriages; same-sex marriage will enter the public school lexicon; religious institutions will be forced to recognize same-sex marriages or lose their tax-exempt status. Religious Americans will be forced into violating their beliefs or facing legal consequences by the government. The First Amendment's guarantee of religious liberty will largely become obsolete.

There is only one way to stop this development: Get the government out of the business of marriage. Right now.

States and localities originally gave tax benefits and crafted specific legal systems in order to incentivize Americans to get married and have children within the context of marriage. But those legal institutions have been undermined over the past several decades by a culture that degrades marriage and child rearing. Incentive structures that used to provide the cherry on top of good moral decision-making no longer matter enough to drive such decision-making.

That gap between culture and the legal system has led to a cycle of defining deviancy down, with government taking the lead. The view of the value of marriage in American life changed in the 1950's and 1960's; the left used that cultural shift in order to legitimize no-fault divorce laws, legal custody and child support arrangements that incentivized divorce and social welfare systems that incentivized unwed motherhood.

The last bastion of the old value system was the state's approval of traditional marriage. But thanks to a decades-long cultural shift away from marriage, the left is now in position to use the levers of government to redefine the institution once and for all -- and in the process, destroy the American religious culture that under-girds American freedom.

Unlike the movement to retract laws restricting sexual behavior, the same-sex marriage movement has never been about freedom in any real sense. The push for same-sex marriage is not about wanting freedom to copulate; same-sex copulation has been effectively legal in this country for decades, and formally legal since Lawrence v. Texas (2003). The push for same-sex marriage is not about wanting legal benefits available to heterosexual couples; same-sex couples are largely able to make contractual arrangements to achieve those benefits, and in many states, civil unions equate legally with marriage.


Ben Shapiro

Ben Shapiro is an attorney, a writer and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center. He is editor-at-large of Breitbart and author of the best-selling book "Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV."
 
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