Now that New York, financially struggling and seeing its people bail to avoid its high taxes, has legalised same sex civil marriage, they need to do one more thing to complete the act. When Governor Cuomo signs this bill, he should issue an apology to everyone–heterosexual and homosexual alike–who are cohabiting without civil marriage, especially those who are doing so on a long term basis (and they are out there, trust me). It is the least he can do in this situation.
Why? Some of us, having eschewed brain-cell destroying substances, have long memories. We remember the days when marriage was considered a bourgeois, sexist and feudal institution, and good people shacked up. We remember being told that we were judgemental to even note–let alone object–when our friends and family lived together without civil marriage. We’ve watched as marriage rates have declined as a result of the aforementioned sexual revolution, to say nothing of the practice of serial monogamy that permeates our society and enriches our divorce lawyers.
Yet behind this face of triumphant social liberalism there’s “backfield in motion” going on. The desire of at least some of the LGBT community for same sex civil marriage dates back to the Stonewall years, ridiculous as that sounds in view of what heterosexuals were going through at the time. And marriage’s decline is most pronounced in the lower socio-economic strata of our society. Civil marriage is still very much alive in the upper reaches. Our elites learned their lesson from the likes of Russell Firestone and John Cleese not to marry those below their station and get taken to the cleaners when things didn’t work out. Today they celebrate the fact that cross-class marriages have all but vanished (a major shift from the “Greatest Generation”) as part of the “equality” of marriage. Such equality further divorces them from the realities of the rest of society, to say nothing of accelerating the general inequality of income and wealth (sorry, progressives, it’s more than tax increases on the rich).
But if this is their idea of equality, I want no part of it. A sexual revolution worth starting is worth finishing, and the spread of same sex civil marriage is a tacit admission that it was neither. In our tonier suburbs we’ve replaced the cries of “judgemental” with subtle–and sometimes unsubtle–pressure to those who live without civil marriage to “tie the knot”, even when tying that knot is punished by our tax code and government benefit structure. It’s a classic case of “voting left and living right”, and it should be called for what it is: hypocrisy.
It is for all this and more why I think civil marriage should be abolished. It’s time to return marriage to the civil part of our society rather than leaving it in the political one. It’s time to admit once and for all that our pursuit of “rights” like same sex civil marriage–to say nothing of the sexual revolution that preceded it–are just mutable games in a society where changing the rules for the convenience of a few is the principal objective of just about every movement out there. As for me, I’d rather stick with my Saviour’s high standard of marriage rather than gamble on the state’s low one.
It’s unlikely that Governor Cuomo will issue the apology to the cohabiters or anyone else. But he should. It nothing else, it would be good practice for the day when he throws many of his base groups over the side to keep the state which acts as God each time it marries someone from going broke.