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Jewish World Review May 1, 2000 /26 Nissan, 5760

Don Feder

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Vermont storms citadel of marriage

http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- LAST WEEK, Vermont decided to repeal the laws of nature.

I'm only surprised that, as well as establishing "civil unions" for gays, the state didn't also formalize the liaisons of brothers and sisters or people and pets, against whose relationships society also discriminates. Gov. Howard Dean signed the first-in-the-nation law creating what's described as parallel marriage. Legislators rejected a move to postpone its operation until after the November election, to give voters a chance to reverse their judgment. Why should democracy stand in the way of equality?

In Vermont, homosexual unions are now recognized by law. Contracting couples will enjoy all the rights and benefits of marriage.

In March, 50 Vermont town meetings considered gay marriage. All rejected it, by margins of 60 percent to 80 percent. Civil unions lost in 26 of 30 communities. But then, on the matter of gay rights, courts and legislatures regularly tell the public to go to hell - and then proceed to take them there.

While the measure was pending, gays told legislators of their loving relationships. So what? They're not procreating; the future is not in their hands. (A statistically insignificant number of children are raised by same-sex couples.) And, frankly, this lifestyle should not be encouraged.

Period, end of story.

The revolutionary arrangement Vermont is bestowing upon them won't satisfy activists. The law gives them marriage in all but name. They will have the name, too.

Even gay marriage isn't the final step, but one more in the long march to remake society. An observer of the movement warns: "Gay activists are sexual Marxists. Legitimizing same-sex unions is a warm-up act. Ultimately, they want to eliminate any barriers, any signposts that limit or channel the exercise of human sexuality." Here are a few of signposts targetted for demolition.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the appeal of a New Jersey ruling that would force the Boy Scouts to accept homosexual leaders.

The Scouts are a private organization dedicated to inculcating traditional values. (Their pledge requires Scouts to be "physically pure and morally straight.") No matter. Even voluntary associations will be required to bow to the dogma that sexual conduct lacks a moral dimension.

Massachusetts is one of several states that, in the guise of promoting tolerance, is heavily involved in acclimating students to homosexual acts.

At a March 25 conference of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network at Tufts University -- partially funded by the Massachusetts Department of Education -- presenters coaxed children as young as 14 to talk about bedroom behavior in bathroom language.

Last year, the American Psychological Association Journal published a report suggesting that sex between adults and children really isn't all that bad, and should be evaluated on the basis of whether or not the encounters are "consensual" (as in consensual sex between a 40-year-old and a 14-year-old?). After Congress condemned the pedophiliac pleading, the APA disavowed the report.

The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging Utah's anti-polygamy law. Stephen Clark, the Utah ACLU's legal director, compares prohibitions against group marriage to bans on gay marriage and says his organization is committed to protecting both kinds of "living arrangements" against the bigots who would refuse them social sanction.

Once gay marriage is institutionalized, how long will it be before "homophobic" faiths (Catholicism, Orthodox Judaism) are compelled to perform ceremonies sanctifying these couplings?

And the day can't be far off when expressing disapproval of homosexuality is punished as a hate crime. But what of the First Amendment, you ask?

Constitutional protection of speech is only about 200 years old. Our definition of marriage goes back a bit further - to Adam and Eve. Marriage is the citadel. Once it falls, everything else will fall into place. Once you say that two men auditioning for the leads in "La Cage aux Folles" are the equivalent of a family conforming to G-d's law and maintaining the cradle of civilization, the fabric of society is irreparably rent and anything is possible.

JWR contributing columnist Don Feder's latest book is Who's Afraid of the Religious Right. Comment on his column by clicking here.


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