Harry R. Jackson, Jr.
For most Americans, the meaning of marriage is simply common sense. Marriage as the union of one man and one woman is at the heart of what most of us believe family should be. Even if we don’t all manage to live out that belief as perfectly as we would like, not everyone who opposes the redefinition of marriage to include homosexual couples has a detailed explanation for their position. Just because someone is divorced, for example, does not mean he or she does not believe in traditional marriage. Everyday folks understand that society needs strong ideals to bring out the best in imperfect people.

When I ask regular people why they are not comfortable with calling homosexual relationships “marriage,” I find it has nothing to do with fear or hatred. Although homosexual marriage advocates constantly slander the rest of us as irrational, hateful bigots, most people’s objections are quite sensible. When average people look at the facts, they are concerned with the “new reality” that legally sanctioned homosexual “marriage” will undermine the moral instruction of their children. They do not want schools teaching their children ideas about homosexuality that will disrespect their religious convictions. They are also concerned that if we “loosen” the definition of marriage once, we may do it again. Almost no one is comfortable with legalized polygamy, for example, but if marriage no longer means one man and one woman, what’s to say it won’t mean three or four people? Would such a trend be modernity or cultural degradation?

Such objections are always dismissed by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) activists as ignorant fear mongering. They scold us for being stupid and reassure us that all they want is the right to love whomever they choose. As homosexual marriage advocate Jonathan Rauch put it to NPR, “We are not asking, [as] gay marriage advocates, for the right to marry everybody or anybody, just to marry somebody.” What could sound more innocent? And so concerns about polygamy or school-led indoctrination are mocked as if we are worried about the Boogie Man or a monster under the bed.

But what about the rest of the world? Other countries who have submitted themselves to the wishes of LGBT advocates; where has it led them? Let’s start with Europe. Most LGBT activists praise many European countries for supposedly being “far ahead” of the United States regarding the legal privileges afforded LGBT individuals.Many Scandinavian countries such as Denmark, for example, which was the first country to recognize civil partnerships for same-sex couples in 1989. Many other countries, like Great Britain, have implemented extensive diversity measures praised by LGBT activists worldwide.

Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.