Face it: Marriage is in trouble

Mike Gallagher
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Posted: Jun 02, 2006 12:07 AM
The NBC-TV reporter had a huge smile on his face while asking the “newlyweds” about their lives together. “Who gets up earlier?” he said. The young “groom” grinned and said, “Oh, I do.” The “bride” giggled and blushed. Just a warm, fuzzy interview on NBC’s “Dateline” about a nice, young married couple, right?

Wrong. This is no ordinary couple. This was an interview with Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau, the notorious ex-schoolteacher and her young “husband”, the boy she raped when she was his grade school teacher and he was 13 years old.

It has been positively mind-boggling to observe the fawning by the national news media over the one year “wedding anniversary” of these two pitiful people. Last week, the beaming couple was on the cover of People Magazine. In addition to the “Dateline” segment, they appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” with Matt Lauer slobbering all over them. Their sordid story has been featured in newspapers all over America this week.

But rather than telling the sick tale of a child predator who wound up pregnant by her victim, the media seems positively enamored by the relationship these two have, now that they’ve been officially married for a year. Instead of asking Letourneau probing questions about why she engaged in such sick, depraved behavior, they want to know if the couple argues very much. Rather than ask the young man about what it’s like to be the victim of a sexual predator, reporters and broadcasters ask him things like what it’s like to be famous, if he’s recognized when he goes to the grocery store.

Once again, the American media wallows in a moral cesspool and tries to glamorize a degenerate.

If it weren’t so tragic, it would actually be a bit comical to consider the double standard involved here. If a 40 year old man raped a 13 year old girl and she became pregnant and they ended up married, it’s not likely they’d be featured on “Dateline” or on the cover of People Magazine. In fact, if a man sexually molested a 13 year old boy, I doubt that reporters would be clamoring to cover the story 8 years later if the boy moved in with the man.

Calling the relationship between Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau a marriage is a slap in the face to just about every single man and woman who ever made the lifelong commitment to love, honor and obey one another.

It seems pretty obvious to me that marriage is under siege. Not only are Americans divorcing in record numbers, but activists are determined to undermine the very definition of marriage as the covenant between one man and one woman.

Next week, the U.S. Senate will vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment. It will be a fairly simple decision. The Senate will decide whether marriage is important enough to declare that marriage in America is between one man and one woman and literally say so in our Constitution.

I’m trying to remain optimistic. Our government has a rare opportunity to show the world that our country understands that marriage is truly a foundational way of life for us. We have always considered marriage as being exclusive to one man and one woman. And yet, considering the way the Senate has misfired over the issue of illegal immigration, I’m afraid that it might lack the backbone to do the right thing on marriage, too.

This is an event that desperately needs the voice of the people. If an average American has never called his or her U.S. Senator’s office, yet feels strongly that marriage between one man and one woman needs to be preserved, now is the time to make that call. This doesn’t have to be a partisan effort. I know Democrats who are in favor of the Marriage Amendment and Republicans who are uncomfortable with it.

Ultimately, we’ll need to decide together, as Americans, whether marriage matters.

Sadly, some will consider this position to be a “homophobic” one, an ugly attempt to discriminate against gays and lesbians who want to get married. But that’s just not true. This isn’t “anti-gay”, it’s “pro-marriage.” I hold a majority belief that marriage in our country should be exclusive to one man and one woman. If we don’t officially declare marriage to be this way, there really is no stopping the possibilities.

When Senator Rick Santorum suggested that marriage could be diminished into all kinds of different permutations if we don’t preserve it, he was right. If we call the union between two men or two women a marriage, what stops the bigamist from taking four wives?

If marriage doesn’t mean what we know it to mean, let’s face it: anything goes. Failing to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment might lead to the proverbial slippery slope.

Many would argue that we’re already there.

Make that call.