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Scaring the Horses: Britain's Tories Back Unmarriage

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Editor's Note: This column was co-authored by Bob Morrison.

Britain’s Conservative Party, the Tories, lost an empire when America rebelled against their tyranny and foolishness. Edmund Burke said then: “Great empires and little minds go ill together.” Now, the Tories are preparing to lose Britain itself.


How so? The Tories are ending marriage. Of course, that’s not what they think they are doing. They think they are simply acknowledging that Sir Elton and his significant other are as “married” as any other British couple. It used to be said of the Britons with their stiff upper lips that they don’t care what you do so long as you don’t scare the horses. But the Tories bid to end marriage should scare all of Britain—horse, foot, and dragoons.

Why does this move end marriage? Marriage foes say they only want to make us recognize the coupling of two men or two women as the legal equivalent, for example, of the marriage of Will & Kate. Hollywood’s original blonde bombshell, Mae West, knew better. She said: “Marriage is a great institution; I’m just not ready for an institution.” Yesterday’s fading starlets from Tinseltown had a better understanding of marriage than do today’s Prime Ministers and prelates.

The Tories are counterfeiting the institution of marriage. They are creating unmarriage and saying it is the same as true marriage. Our opponents in this cultural clash say we should not call it “gay marriage.” For once, we agree. They prefer their term “marriage equality.” But this will be a true statement only when 0=1.


Voters instinctively understand what the powers that be do not. You cannot counterfeit marriage without grave harm to society. In state after state in America, voters give thumbs up to marriage and vote down counterfeit marriage. Even liberal states like Hawaii, California, Oregon, and Wisconsin say YES to marriage. In every debate, marriage foes make us the NO party. Social conservatives are forced to say NO to their counterfeiting.

But we are the YES party. We are the I DO people. We understand that when everyone can marry, no one can marry. There is simply no marriage left.

The U.S. Secret Service was founded not to protect presidents, but to stop counterfeiters. Since there are innumerable ways to counterfeit money, agents are not taught to spot them all. Instead, they are taught to recognize real money.

Counterfeiting marriage works like counterfeiting money. What will be the value of the twenty-dollar bill in your wallet if your neighbor is allowed to print them in his garage?

Edmund Burke was no Tory in Parliament. That great Irish statesman described families as “those little platoons in which we move” in society. Those little platoons are being shelled daily by the Hollywood subculture. Legal recognition of same-sex couplings is one of most unreal products of Hollywood’s dream factories.


We love the creativity of Hollywood’s imagineers, but taking counsel on marriage from Hollywood is like having Bill Clinton counsel teens on abstinence. (What’s that you say? President Clinton did lecture teens on abstinence? Well, you take the point.)

It’s a grave mistake to treat marriage as some “wedge issue.” Even our friends sometimes make that mistake. Marriage is a bridge issue. It brings together Americans of all races, creeds, and ethnicity. Marriage is the bedrock of society. It is the “unit cohesion” of those little platoons that Burke spoke of so eloquently.

Bruno Bettelheim was one of the leading child psychologists of the last century. He came here from Austria just as Hitler was fastening his iron grip on that wretched country. Bettelheim never lost the heavy accent that came to be synonymous with Viennese psychiatry. Bettelheim famously said: “Zumbuddy must be cr-r-razy about ze child.”

Social conservatives can offer convincing proofs that that Zumbuddy is most likely to be the child’s own mother and father, joined in marriage. We also know that if that married family worships regularly, the outcomes for the child’s health, education, and welfare are even better.

Every day in America we see four in ten children born out of wedlock. We bless their mothers for choosing life. But social science findings are unambiguous. Children growing up without married parents are disadvantaged. They have lesser prospects in their pursuit of happiness.


The idea that two men or two women pairings can substitute for this natural family is illusory. To accept that idea we must agree to the proposition that fathers don’t matter. Or mothers don’t matter. We must agree with radical Gloria Steinem that “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.”

Fish? Bicyles? Is this logic? Is this reason? Is this even sanity? Let’s step back from the brink. “There’ll always be an England” is a popular saying in Old Blighty. Will there? For the sake of those little platoons, and for the sake of great nations: Let’s defend true marriage. It has certain ring to it.

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