On Sunday, men will marry men and women will marry women, by law, in the State of New York. As we see the photos — and watch the protests — we should ask how and why it matters to anyone but the same-sex couples who marry. What have we learned in the Empire State and what’s next for marriage, in New York and elsewhere? National Review Online asked some experts.
Brian S. Brown
Same-sex marriage comes to New York on Sunday. Whom will it impact other than the couples involved? The answer is: almost everyone. The New York legislature did not create a category of marriage called “gay marriage,” but instead redefined marriage for everyone. That means that anyone who doesn’t go along with this new politically inspired understanding of the historic institution of marriage will be treated under the law as the equivalent of a racist. Already, town clerks with deeply held religious beliefs about marriage have been told they will be fired if they refuse to sanction gay marriages. Some have already been forced to quit. We know from the experience in other states that professionals with strongly held moral beliefs about marriage will be threatened with loss of their professional licenses — and thus their livelihood — if they resist. Christian counselors will be put out of business unless they violate their religious principles and condone gay marriage. Wedding professionals who don’t want to be involved in gay weddings will be sanctioned. Most troubling, children as young as kindergartners will be taught in school that gay marriage is the same as traditional marriage — and parents will be powerless to do anything about it. In short, the consequences to society will be profound.
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