In the last three weeks alone, two (and soon likely to be three) more states have determined that sexual complementarity—that is, non-sterility—is not an essential feature of marriage.
Recent juridical and legal decisions in New Jersey and Illinois bring the total of states that grant marriage licenses to 15 (as well as Washington, D.C.). Over one third of Americans live in states that have buried any distinction between sexual-romantic relationships between members of the same and opposite sex, at least as far as the law is concerned.
Same-sex marriage legislation and jurisprudence continue to gather steam, and as this movement’s momentum grows, the logical corollaries to recognizing same-sex relationships as marriages are becoming increasingly apparent.
This summer, I wrote an essay in response to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s claims that the legalization of same-sex marriage has had no impact on daily living in his state. In my piece, I pointed out that as the reasoning of same-sex marriage unfolded, deep and fundamental change would ensue almost mechanically.
Advocates of conjugal marriage have long been arguing that the only way to fail to see any essential difference between same-sex and opposite-sex couples is to ignore or even erase specific, immutable realities of human embodiedness, such as sexual identity and the sexual complementarity between those identities. Those advocates seem to have been correct: The federal government is now debating a bill that would enshrine such ignorance or avoidance within employment law.
The Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) of 2013 is unlikely to pass a Republican-controlled House. But the fact that it has gathered as much political and social support as it has is deeply troubling.
If ENDA passes, it will affect much more evil than good. Masquerading as anti-discriminatory legislation, this bill will codify the corporeal subjectivism that sees the body as fungible to self-identity; that treats sexual identity as an “assignment,” given at birth, that may or may not accord with one’s “true” identity (the concrete features of which non-bodily identities are unfailingly evasive when one attempts to define them); and that will further seek to obviate the normative features of the body insofar as those features are or are not convenient in the execution one’s plans.
If ENDA passes, the truth that “male and female he created them” will be further buried beneath an ideological mass that is proving more and more intolerant of common sense and its allies.
Ultimately, if ENDA passes, occasions of really unjust discrimination—most discrimination is not unjust—will indeed be eradicated; but so too will be basic civil liberties and conscience rights of many employers. Then again, it is telling that employers are now forced to take shelter under the mantle of “conscience protection” in order to avoid being prosecuted for not wanting to acquiesce to the wishes of grown men who demand, as a matter of right, to use the lady’s room.
Those who think like Deval Patrick could not have been more wrong about the cultural and moral destruction that the machinery of same-sex marriage policy has accelerated, and swiftly at that.
Ideas have consequences. Certain premises proceed logically to certain conclusions. Laws like ENDA represent a terrifying prospect for the future of common sense, those truths that were once—and not so long ago—self-evident to men and women alike humans.