The civilization-level question may point toward a technologically enabled defeat of organic kinship or, alternatively, its resurgence amidst the collapse of the Western or liberal-progressive model, but it may take a very long time for such a deep-going process – a matter of “generations” in more ways than one – to work itself out. At our moment, marriage equality remains a peculiar twilight phenomenon, part revision, part eclipse.
The traditionalists do not believe that the word “marriage” merely should be taken to refer to the union of a man and a woman, and they do not admit of a distinction between a popular or common usage and a legal one: They insist, over and over if rarely with explanation, likely under instruction by pollsters and spin-sters, that marriage simply is between a man and a woman – period. State and the law, they believe, should reflect this primary denotation, not merely because a one-to-one correspondence between common or traditional usage and the law is preferable in the abstract, but because the heterosexual union is biologically and organically the basis of human life, making any attitude towards it other than reverence both inhuman and morbid, all the more ominous as a principle of the state.
The bigot is the individual whose beliefs are so contrary to the fundamental commitments of an egalitarian culture that they are not and cannot be worthy of serious discussion, but only of scorn and ridicule – or, for those whose political sensibilities are still impaired by remnant sympathies, of mandatory confession, self-criticism, and disassociation.
“Marriage, and essentially monogamy, is one of the absolute principles on which the ethical life of a community is based; the institution of marriage is therefore included as one of the moments in the foundation of states by gods or heroes.”