Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Posts for June, 2011

Frum on New York Marriage

Timothy Kincaid

June 27th, 2011

David Frum is a conservative Republican.

He served in the George W Bush White House, was a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, and wrote for the National Review. Although he has been, in more recent years, harshly critical of the Republican Party and some of their less intellectually competent political candidates, there is no questioning that Frum is a conservative Republican.

And Frum has been a vocal opponent of marriage equality. Noting the growing instability of the family and the associated social problems that statistically increase with divorce, single parenting, and out-of-wedlock parenting, Frum viewed same-sex marriage as but one aspect of a culture that had generally devalued marriage. And in 1997 he engaged in an on-line debate with Andrew Sullivan on the subject.

But those of us who oppose gay marriage, and we remain the majority at least for now, believe that these new values are not changing the family–they are destroying it, and harming those within it. As such beliefs become more widespread, so do divorce and illegitimacy. The proponents of gay marriage can only get what they want by weakening Americans’ attachment to the traditional family even more than it has already been weakened. And as such, these proponents are hastening a process of social dissolution that has already brought misery to untold millions of people, with children suffering most grievously of all.

So one might expect Frum to be furious – or at least saddened – by New York’s marriage equality bill. One would be wrong.

Writing in CNN today, Frum said

Yet I find myself strangely untroubled by New York state’s vote to authorize same-sex marriage — a vote that probably signals that most of “blue” states will follow within the next 10 years.

I don’t think I’m alone in my reaction either. Most conservatives have reacted with calm — if not outright approval — to New York’s dramatic decision.

Why?

The short answer is that the case against same-sex marriage has been tested against reality. The case has not passed its test.

The sky didn’t fall. As same-sex marriage gained recognition in a handful of states, the family structure didn’t continue to spiral into disarray. In fact, there have been no known negative social ramifications that can be directly linked to expanding the marriage institution to include same-sex families.

And so Frum did what an honorable person should do, he admitted his error.

In the heat of debate, it can sometimes be difficult to see our opponents as admirable. It’s much simpler to see them as vile bigots who are motivated by hate and religious extremism. And some are.

But there are also a good many people who oppose marriage equality out of a legitimate concern for the future of the family structure. They fear that same-sex marriage is another challenge to their efforts at restoring respect for the institution and the social contract that it entails.

They are wrong.

But while they are wrong, they are not bigots. And we will see a great many more who, like Frum, have publicly fought us but are honest enough to recognize – and admit – that they were wrong.

Let’s be gracious in welcoming them to our side.

Frum: Did California’s Marrying Gays Destroy Bristol Palin’s Marriage?

Jim Burroway

August 9th, 2010

Alaska was among the earliest states in the Union to pass a constitutional amendment in 1998 to ban same-sex marriage. Bristol Palin was nine years old at the time, which would be plenty of time to protect her marriage. Half her life, in fact. In another nine years she became pregnant and gave birth to Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston on December 27, 2008. She never married. She and the boy’s father, Levi Johnston have been off-again and on-again since then, but they are now back off again

And according to David Frum, this is precisely why last week’s decsision striking down Prop 8 is a danger to heterosexual marriages.  I kid you not.

Update: Frum’s last paragraph says, “The harm feared from same-sex marriage has already arrived: Whether same-sex marriage is accepted or not, opposite-sex marriage as a norm and expectation has already collapsed.” Maybe I misread, but I took this to mean that regardless of what the court finally decides, at least some of the “collapse” is attributed to same-sex marriage. That’s the premise he cited at the begining, and it’s where he appeared, to me at least, to be at the end — after having dismissed the racial discrimination claims pretty effectively. But of course that wasn’t NOM’s argument. In fact, in addressing NOM’s argument, he called their warnings about the supposed superiority of opposite-sex parents rasing children ”important and valid.”

Maybe I misread it, maybe he’s inelegant in wrapping this up. Thank God, being confused or confusing isn’t a crime. But I still find his position unclear, and I struggle to understand whether he thinks there’s any connection or not.