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Ken Blackwell / Dec. 21, 2009

Abolishing Marriage in Washington, D.C.

The liberal newspapers are hailing the passage of a counterfeit marriage bill by the District of Columbia city council as a breakthrough, as a step forward for what they call “marriage equality.” It’s not. It’s abolishing marriage.

That’s because when everyone can get married, no one can get married. Remember, we’ve all been schooled in that LGBT formulation. That means Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered. The advocates of counterfeiting marriage cannot leave out their B and T. So, what will that mean? How can they deny “marriage equality” to a bisexual person who wants to marry two significant others? Or what about a person who has attempted through surgery and drugs to change his sex? Should such a person, if married, be denied the right to marry another person?

If love and commitment make a marriage, why cannot brothers and sisters marry? Or fathers and daughters? What the District Council has done is to open the door to polygamy, to incest. There is no basis in law or logic for denying such persons their desire for so-called marriage equality.

The reason I call this measure counterfeit marriage is because these false marriage bills have the same effect on true marriage that counterfeiting money has on real money. Secret Service Agents are trained to spot counterfeit money. They can’t follow all the possible forms of counterfeiting, so they’re trained to know real money when they see it. In a similar way, the voters know real marriage when they see it.

Abraham Lincoln once posed a question: Suppose we agree to call a horse’s tail a leg; then how many legs does a horse have? His hearers answered five. No, said Lincoln, our agreeing to call a tail a leg does not make it a leg. Similarly, the District Council’s action in calling something marriage cannot make it marriage.

Why is this so serious? It’s important because marriage is social justice for the poor. Every social science indicator we have shows that children raised by a mother and father who are married have the best prospects in life. If we really care about health, education, and welfare, we cannot destroy marriage.

But that’s exactly what we are doing when we counterfeit marriage. Most Americans oppose this. In 31 states—including liberal states and conservative states—marriage has won when put on the ballot. In three liberal states—Washington, New York, and Maryland—the Supreme Courts have ruled that true marriage deserves protection because it is essential for the raising of children.

Counterfeit marriage will also constitute a grave threat to religious liberty and the rights of conscience. Think you’re immune? You will be forced to accept these counterfeit marriages in hundreds of ways—if you’re an employer, if you’re an employee, if your church is like the Catholic Church and provides vital social services to many of the neediest. You’ll have to go along or be ostracized, called a bigot. This is truly dangerous to us all.

Congress should act to protect marriage in the nation’s capital. At the very least, Congress should require that the people’s voice be heard. Let people vote on protecting marriage.

Lincoln’s Republican Party knew something about human rights. The first platform ever crafted by the party—in 1856—called slavery and polygamy the “twin relics of barbarism.” We all agree about slavery being barbaric. It’s time to see that overturning marriage is also barbaric.

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