As everyone knows, on June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___(2015). At issue was whether “marriages” between gay couples would be recognized legally. By a narrow majority, the Court found that homosexual marriages were in fact a “fundamental right” worthy of societal acceptance.

The concluding paragraph of the majority decision rose to a disturbing level of opaque sentimentality. Inappropriately condescending to identify emotionally with one of the litigants, the Court issued this maudlin pronunciamento:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

And that was it. With one stroke of the pen, the Court found fit to overturn the definition of marriage (as a union between man and woman) that had attended humanity for thousands of years. The arrogance and presumption of the opinion was truly breathtaking. To understand why Obergefell was wrongly decided, we must do something the Court studiously avoided doing: we must trace the experience of history.

Historical Background

As an institution, marriage indeed appears to predate man. Biologists tell us that in certain bird species, males and females will live together for long periods. Gorillas and orangutans live together as males and females, with their offspring, in familial units.

Among humans, marriage has had a long and variable history among different cultures. Anthropologists tell us that among many primitive tribes (e.g., the Yakuts of Siberia, the Orang Sakai of Malacca, and certain Tibetan peoples) the marriage union could be freely terminated by either man or woman at any time.

In old Tibet, we even find “mass marriages” between groups of males and females, unifying collectively at once. Polygamy has seen institutional acceptance in some Middle Eastern societies, within certain boundaries and limitations.

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The modern conception of marriage, as between man and woman, apparently arose to address a number of social needs: (1) care and rearing of the young; (2) the need to regulate sexual activity within acceptable bounds, so as to prevent social disorder; and (3) the need to pass on property to one’s kin in an ordered fashion. These practices predate history. We can conclude that marriage as the union of man and woman has existed for tens of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, of years.

Always, the union of marriage has been defined as the relationship between a man and a woman. As we survey the peoples of the globe, we cannot find one single society, primitive or modern, in which marriage was ever accepted as a union between man and man, or woman and woman. It simply has never existed. We do not find gay marriage historically among Europeans, Asians, Africans, American Indians, Polynesians, or native Australians.

Social institutions develop in response to the needs of humanity. Those institutions that stand the test of time do so for a very good reason: they have served as a net benefit for social order.

This is not to say, of course, that homosexuality has not existed since the dawn of history. Without doubt it has. Whether through environment or genetics, or a combination of both (the question is not one I am qualified to answer), some humans find satisfaction in what may be called “sexual inversion”: that is, the inverting of sexual desire from the opposite gender, to one’s own gender.

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But even though homosexuality has existed in every society, it has always been confined within specific limits. It was never permitted to gain official sanction as actual “marriage” co-equal to a normal marriage between a man and woman.

Proponents of gay marriage like to toss around historical “examples” of institutionalized homosexuality in history as somehow supporting their arguments. History does not support their argument.

Homosexuality was tolerated, for example, in the classical world, as well as in ancient China, India, and Persia. It also makes its appearance in the medieval period in nearly every civilization on record. But it was permitted to go only so far, and no further. This makes all the difference.

Among the ancient Greeks, we find an acceptance of the practice in all the major city-states; it was not stigmatized, but at the same time, the thought of two men living together as “husband” and “wife” would have been unthinkable. Aristotle himself puzzled at the practice’s ubiquity; he believed it was a social defense against overpopulation.

More likely it was an outgrowth of the strict segregation of the genders in Greek society, where both men and women spent most of their time with their own genders.

In any case, the point here is that we must distinguish between homosexuality as a practice, and homosexual marriage as an officially-sanctioned institution. The former has a long lineage; the later has never existed in history. In the classical world, the attitude towards homosexuality was generally this: it was accepted as a fact of life, and as long as its practitioners did not proselytize their views or threaten the established social order, they were generally tolerated.

Again, the point needs to be made here—which was lost on the Obergefell majority—that there has not been a single society, ancient, medieval, or modern, that has extended the definition of “marriage” to mean a union between two men or two women.

This is the fact that proponents of gay marriage have no answer for. They have no answer because there is no answer. If a social institution—marriage—has been defined for countless thousands of years as between two different genders, then this fact carries authority. It cannot be brushed aside. We cannot say that we, in the past fifteen years, have suddenly gained a greater insight and wisdom into human nature than all the generations before us.

Rationales

Same-sex marriage

It is characteristic of the feebleness of gay marriage proponents that they refuse to respond to this fact. When pressed on why they think gay marriage is appropriate, their answers are always a version of these arguments:

1. “It doesn’t matter anyway, because marriage itself is a ruined institution.” This is not a meaningful answer. One does not refute a flawed proposition (gay marriage) by stating that the object of that proposition (marriage) is a ruined thing. Despite all its flaws and abuses, marriage remains what it always has been: the cornerstone of social order.

2. “They have a right to be happy.” Civil unions could have given homosexual couples nearly everything they claim to have wanted. Yet it was not enough; they wanted to become co-equal with traditional marriages. One cannot get everything one wants in life; the hard reality of life is that some behaviors are socially acceptable, and some will remain only acceptable within certain boundaries.

The Court’s ruling will now be used as an invitation to further test the boundaries of acceptable conduct. The Court’s decision claims that religious institutions need not fear they will be forced to perform homosexual marriages; yet it is difficult to see exactly how this can be squared with their ruling.

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The Obergefell decision undermines the status of both men and women. It denigrates the roles each of them play in a traditional marriage, and presumes to assert that two men can act as husband and “wife,” and that two women can behave as “husband” and wife. The indoctrination will now commence with greater intensity in the schools, the media, and in other spheres of social activity. Dissenters will be marginalized, and then penalized.

The Real Winners

One wonders how the collective experience of many thousands of years could be consigned to the trash bin so easily. The answers are there, but are deeply unsettling. The reality is that those who hold the levers of power do not really care about homosexuals. They care, in truth, very little about the “rights” of the gay community. Gays are being manipulated and used by the power structure, which has its own agenda.

What is this agenda? Control. The power elites want to see the traditional institutions of society neutered. They want to see the educational system shaped to serve their needs; they want the curricula dumbed down to accommodate the needs of the compliant masses. They want traditional morality (as espoused by religions) undermined, as it stands in the way of creating the perfect consumer zombies that they love so much.

When the social bonds which preserve order become frayed, the state is forced to step in and impose its own rules.  In this way creeping authoritarianism moves forward, slowly but steadily, under the guise of liberation and empowerment.

And finally, they want to see the family unit, with the roles and authorities of the father and mother, neutered. They want the real mother and father to be them, the state. Marriage has now become meaningless with the Obergefell decision. By undermining marriage, they enhance their own power over their consumer-driven citizens, and replace themselves as every citizen’s surrogate parent.

They gay community thought it won a big victory with Obergefell, but they lost along with the rest of us. It will turn out to be a hollow victory. Authoritarianism is laughing. Obergefell opened the door to yet more government intrusion into the personal lives of individuals and families; for when the family unit is weakened, only the state wins.

The gay community got played. They got used. They just don’t know it yet.

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