Maggie Gallagher

Gay marriage is the final step down a long road America has already traveled toward deinstitutionalizing, denuding and privatizing marriage. It would set in legal stone some of the most destructive ideas of the sexual revolution: There are no differences between men and women that matter, marriage has nothing to do with procreation, children do not really need mothers and fathers, the diverse family forms adults choose are all equally good for children.

One reason that all major world religions strive to channel human sexuality toward this relatively narrow definition of marriage -- fruitful, potentially procreative sex between men and women (while either discouraging or merely tolerating other forms of sexual expression) -- is that only societies that adopt this sexual ethic grow to become large, complex cultures in the first place. If I am right, gays as much as any other Americans have a stake in the re-creation of a functioning marriage culture.

The quiet, back-door demonization and harassment of Fauntroy is consistent with the ongoing attempt by certain gay organizations to shut down debate over this dangerous transformation that the courts are wreaking on our marriage laws. Increasingly, gay activists are the self-righteous zealots, stigmatizing any disagreement with their point of view, no matter how reasoned and civil, as bigotry, hate speech and discrimination.

In the civil rights movement, it was the racial bigots who engaged in such name-calling. In the gay marriage movement, it is increasingly the advocates of gay marriage who claim the right to hate and stigmatize Americans who have a different point of view.

I don't know what to call a group that feels free to dub a civil rights legend a bigot because he does not support same-sex marriage, and to circulate his home phone number over an Internet list so broad that one of them even ended up in my mailbox. Tolerant isn't the word that comes to mind.

Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.