Sunday, June 25, 2006

Virginia's Compelling interest in traditional marriage

(I lifted this from a comment by James Atticus Bowden over at TooConservative to a thread where TC is once again unable to make up his mind about the marriage amendment. I thought it was an excellently written argument for the amendment, and with the permission of the author I put it here.)

The Commonwealth of Virginia has a compelling interest in defining and supporting the family.

Every government is built from a civilization which rises from a culture (not a multi-culture - but one defining culture). Since our government is neither monarchy, oligarchy, plutocracy, democracy, dictator, theocracy, tribe or clan - but a federal republic, the government must set in law the definitions of family for inheritance, legal responsibilities, etc. which have existed since the rise of recorded civilizations 5,000 years ago.

The health and welfare of the family, as a primary institution in history of every culture (and recognized in the Bible in Genesis before the pre-Abrahamaic covenant) is vital to the survivable of the state.

Every culture that ever existed from tiniest tribe to greatest civilization had, and has, three categories of sexual behavior. Sex which is honored, that which is tolerated and that which is punishable. The lines between those categories have moved widely across continents and centuries to include polygamy, polyandry, temple prostitutes, and homosexuality and really weird stuff.

No culture, ever, confused homosexual sex with marriage. Ever. Even civilizations that had rampant homosexuality in their declining, falling years. None.

Only today’s Liberals, modern Pagans and sissy Christians - essentially Liberal Human Secularists, confuse homosexual sex and relationships with marriage, children and family.

The compelling interest of the Commonwealth to preserve marriage as one man - one woman is because to do otherwise opens the gates to anything as marriage. When you reject 400 years of Judeo-Christian culture for a made up standard, then you can NOT deny bigamy, polygamy, polyandry, group marriage, pediophilia, incest or bestiality except for your own, private bigotry for homosexual and heterosexual monogamous exclusive sex and marriage - and rejecting all others. There is no written statement of morality or ethics in any culture that ever existed that establishes such a bogus standard. Liberals are just making it up as they go along - based on feelings.

Since the SCOTUS pretty much declared a right for consensual sodomy in Lawrence v Texas, a Morman in Utah has sued to have multiple marriages, and a father and grown daugther in KY (or was it OK?) sued for consensual incest marriage.

See, when you trash the 400 year old standard of American Civilization in Virginia , then you must replace it with a new standard of morals and ethics. So, where is this new standard? The front page of the New York Times or recorded blather from Oprah? Show us the new standard that says homosexual marriage is right but a devout Muslim can’t have 4 wives or an old time Mormon 40 wives? Why can’t adult family members marry? Who says the age of consent is 16 or 18 or 12 or 10 - why with what authority?

The bad behavior of heterosexuals doesn’t invalidate the standard (one of those three sexual behaviors) as most honored is one man and one woman exclusively for life. The repeated, eternal bad behavior of criminals to lie, cheat, steal, rob, rape and murder doesn’t mean you should destroy the laws which sanction against such behavior.

The Commonwealth and the US should pass amendments to our Constitutions to preserve marriage and the family from the invidious tinkering of tyrannical judges - the would be black robed priest-kings - who will destroy American Civilization if they aren’t stopped.

Another reason is the political agenda to surpress Christian free speech (Homosexual behavior is sinful), but that is for another post and, frankly, not the fundamental argument for preserving marriage.

James Atticus Bowden


Cory Chandler said...

I'll be happy to rebut Mr. Bowden's comments here the same way I did on Mr. Bowden's own site (

While I distance myself from Ambivalent Mumblings's confusion of "case law" with "legislation," this post is still rubbish.

First of all, you've done as badly as Ambivalent Musings has done at mixing your legal metaphors. Compelling interest is legal jargon, and when it's at home where it belongs it constitutes half of the test imposed when state action is subjected to strict scrutiny in an Equal Protection challenge. While some may argue that the Virginia marriage amendment violates federal Equal Protection, I've never been one who did. And even if I were, we're not debating whether the Virginia amendment would survive federal constitutional review; we're debating whether the people of Virginia ought to enact the thing.

You should undertake more care, too, in framing so broadly Lawrence v. Texas. Just because you can find instances of idiots citing Lawrence to mean what they want it to mean doesn't make them right. Lawrence stands for the proposition only that the state has no legitimate interest in the criminalization--not of "consensual sodomy," as you inaccurately put it--of private, non-commercial sodomy between consenting adults.

And while you may characterize this holding as inconsistent with 400 years of Anglo-American, Judeo-Christian civilization, you would be wrong to do so. Blackstone wrote that "human laws can have no concern with any but social and relative duties; being intended only to regulate the conduct of man, considered under various relations, as a member of civil society. All crimes ought therefore to be estimated merely according to the mischiefs which they produce in civil society: and, of consequence, private vices, or the breach of mere absolute duties, which man is bound to perform considered only as an individual, are not, cannot be, the object of any municipal law . . . . Thus the vice of drunkenness, if committed privately and alone, is beyond the knowlege and of course beyond the reach of human tribunals: but if committed publicly, in the face of the world, it's evil example makes it liable to temporal censures." 4 William Blackstone, Commentaries at *41-*42.

So the principle enunciated in Lawrence is hardly innovative, and if you're hanging your argument on the peg that Lawrence opened a pandora's box of sexual perversion and threatens to legitimate it all, no matter how public--as indeed marriage must be, and why marriage was explicitly distinguished in the opinion itself--then your peg is too weak to support your argument.

Ultimately, while you are right that society may join together to declare that same-sex relationships may not be recognized, you must necessarily concede that society has the same right democratically to join together and declare that same-sex relationships may be recognized (as has occured in Connecticut). While you may disagree with the public policy, you simply cannot consistently disagree with the competence of the body politic to decide the issue.

Charles said...

I was unaware that James had since posted this to his site (or previously), if so I would have linked to his site to help direct the discussion to a common point.

It does us no good to have separate conversations scattered through the blogosphere.

For those who follow, head on over to Virginia is for Lovers and Marriage and have at it.