Mary Cheney's new world

Posted: May 22, 2006 12:05 AM

Anyone still harboring doubts that we need a Federal Marriage Amendment should read what Mary Cheney has to say about it in her new book. No, you don't have to buy it. A five-minute skimming session in the bookstore is all it will take.

In a few breezy sentences, Mary Cheney confidently relegates a few thousand years of religious tradition regarding the nature of marriage to an historic footnote and curiosity. According to her, legal formalization of this traditional arrangement would abrogate freedom and be discriminatory.

Cheney effortlessly transforms traditional marriage and family from the core institution on which our free society is built into an instrument of oppression.

With little thought, she glosses over the truth that this is not about freedom but about the exchange of one source of authority for our laws and values for another. Will it be the bible or Mary Cheney's youthful passions and impulses?

Now, admittedly, I come from a different place than Mary Cheney. Sure, there are lesbians in the ghetto. But they generally don't "discover" their sexuality one post-pubescent day and break the news to their doting parents, amidst tears and hugs. Growth in black lesbianism is generally the product of a culture where families already have been destroyed. These aren't pioneers venturing out of an intact family that has given them a good life, to discover a new "lifestyle." The injustice and discrimination they feel is to never have had the opportunity to grow up in an intact family and to understand what it means to have a man in your life who is responsible and from whom you can receive love and respect.

So, as conservative black activists like myself work to put humpty dumpty back together again in the way of the black family, we now have Vice President Cheney's daughter working to get the message out that there really is no point to it. By her standards, the inner city is utopia. Give vent to every impulse, legitimize every feeling and, by all means, don't be judgmental.

What Mary Cheney calls oppressive and straight, blacks call white.

It's hard to figure out whether Mary Cheney is simpleminded or just disingenuous.

Here is an exchange between her and Chris Wallace of Fox News:

Wallace: ... Look at this quote from the Weekly Standard. "Once we say that gay couples have a right to have their commitments recognized by the state, it becomes next to impossible to deny the same right to polygamists, polyamorists, (which I learned means group marriage) or even cohabiting relatives and friends." How do you respond to the slippery slope argument?

Cheney: It's one thing that I don't take very seriously. You know, look: What we are talking about are relationships between two consenting adults. I think that is the debate that we need to have. That is the discussion that our country needs to have."

Now it is absolutely clear that legalization of gay marriage opens the door to every imaginable possibility. Once the authority for defining marriage moves from biblical tradition to politics, marriage will be defined by whatever might be deemed so by a court or that can be passed into law.

Such changes would impact every institution of our society, and Ms Cheney's uninformed casualness about the scope and seriousness of this is frightening. We've already seen the impact in adoption. How about in our public school system, our military, our churches, or our corporations?

We can look at Europe as a laboratory for what to expect. George Weigel of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington reports in the current issue of Commentary Magazine, for instance, that in Spain, where gay marriage and adoption is now legal, the words "Father" and "Mother" are being replaced on birth certificates to "Progenitor A" and "Progenitor B."

In European countries, a public statement critical of homosexual behavior is deemed "hate speech" and "a French parliamentarian was fined for saying that heterosexuality is morally superior to homosexuality."

Judge Robert Bork has laid out clearly the logic pointing to the fact that without a Federal Marriage Amendment, legalization of gay marriage nationwide is inevitable.

I don't know what the president's wife, Laura Bush, had for breakfast the other day when she suggested that the marriage amendment should be played down politically. Her husband was elected by deeply concerned citizens for whom this is critically important.

The gay movement is but a new chapter being written by liberal elitists who brokered the displacement of tradition and personal responsibility with disastrous welfare state policies. Blacks paid dearly and still are paying.

The formal marginalization of the traditions and truths upon which America's greatness sits is something no one can afford. The fight must go on.