What did homosexuals and the Progressives gain from the Supreme Court ruling on marriage?
There are of course some financial benefits of being married – even over civil unions. Consumer Reports spells them out nicely: pointing out that “no matter where they live or were married, [gay] couples can file their state taxes jointly, file for spousal and survivor benefits through Social Security, and enjoy other financial perks that previously belonged only to heterosexual couples or same-sex couples living in states that recognized their marriages.”
But no one argues that those who fought so long and hard for gay marriage found the often minor financial benefits of marriage to be anything more than a secondary consideration. If gay marriage were primarily motivated by the financial bottom line of gay people in civil unions, there were other routes – probably easier routes – they could have taken.
One route would have been to expand the financial protections for those in civil unions so that they would be more equitable to those in traditional marriages.
Another route that gays could have taken interestingly enough would have been to vote Republican in greater numbers. Most of the financial penalties of not being married which homosexuals can now happily avoid were created by the very same Progressives now celebrating their right to marry. For example, a homosexual can now inherit his or her partner’s estate if that estate is $2M or higher without paying the federal estate tax. However, Conservatives have long called for the elimination of this “death tax” for all people; homosexual and heterosexual, only to be called “lackeys of the rich” by the Left.
Married homosexuals can now enjoy higher Social Security benefits when his or her spouse dies, the argument goes. But as many Conservatives argue, these benefits are artificially lowered by our inability to utilize Social Security private accounts. Progressives are adamantly against any privatization of Social Security accounts. Some Conservatives would even argue that holders of Social Security private accounts should have the ability to bequeath those account to heirs whomever they choose without the inheritor having to endure an additional tax.
It can also be pointed out that marriage itself can be financially disadvantageous. Many gays will not find themselves inheriting their spouses $2M estates. Rather, many will inherit, or incur, their spouses debts, which he or she will be liable for, depending upon where he or she lives.
There is also the specter of divorce and alimony. The divorce rate for same-sex couples have thus far been lower than that for traditional marriages. But that is in part because of the difficulty same-sex couples had in obtaining divorces. A gay couple married in a state that recognized same-sex marriage, but who decided at some point to live in a state that does not, would have to at some point move back to the original state to be granted a divorce. For example, if Thelma and Louise married in, say, California (which recognized same-sex marriage) and moved to Texas (which did not), they would have to move back to California for as long as a year to qualify for a divorce. With this in mind, it was not only cheaper to keep her (or him), it was probably a lot less work. But without this burden, it is very probable that the divorce rate for homosexuals to catch up to the divorce rate of heterosexuals.
Not only do the financial rewards of marriage seem to be an underwhelming motivator for the fight for gay marriage, so does the value of marriage itself. In fact, one of the most perplexing things about the spectacle of so many Progressives celebrating the right of gays to marry is that marriage in our increasingly Progressive society is becoming less common, and less important, as evident by our declining rate of matrimony. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of married households, which was at 72% in 1960, fell to 50.5% in 2012. Even couples who become parents together are feeling less compelled to marry. According to the CDC, 40.6% of all births are to unmarried women today.
So, if they were not motivated by money, and the social value of marriage itself is in decline, I ask again, what did homosexuals and the Progressives gain from the Supreme Court ruling on marriage?
Keep in mind that Progressivism and Christian faith are essentially incompatible, which the Left recognizes far more readily than Christians. Christian belief, to the Left, is the Enemy, and those who hold to it must either coerced to abandon their views.
Karl Marx, whose writings much of today’s Progressivism is based upon, certainly knew this, said once “The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion.” Margaret Sanger also spent much of her career railing “against the Church,” as has Noam Chomsky and a number – perhaps the majority – of influential Progressives. Barack Obama, before he was to become our current president, characterized many Americans as ‘bitterly clinging to religion.’ Hillary Clinton, who may be our next president, has announced that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” Both Obama and Clinton claimed to be People of Faith in the past, and both spoke out against gay marriage, but both are enthusiastically celebrating the Court’s pro-gay marriage decision today.
So great is the Progressive hatred of Christianity that the far left Salon ran a story on the day of the Supreme Court ruling titled “Antonin Scalia is unfit to serve: A justice who rejects science and the law for religion is of unsound mind.” The story was subtitled “The justice claims to be an originalist, but his real loyalty is to religion and a phony man in the sky.”
Let’s remember the Chick-fil-a – a fast food chain so Christian that they close on Sundays – controversy in which the restaurants were boycotted, and told by several mayors that their business was not welcome in their city after its COO said spoke in favor of traditional marriage. Chick-fil-A, hires gays, promotes gays, and treats their gay customers fairly, as far as anyone knows. But they were targeted by same-sex marriage advocates, smeared as being homophobic, and punished for Christian views.
John Roberts, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and Chief Architect of Obamacare, wrote most clearly of the consequences of the same-sex marriage ruling in his dissent: “Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage – when, for example, a religious college provides married student housing to only opposite-sex marriage couples, or a religious adoption agency declines to place children with same-sex married couples. Indeed, the Solicitor General candidly acknowledged that the tax exemptions of some religious institutions would be in question if they opposed same-sex marriage.”
Justice Clarence Thomas largely agreed with Roberts in his dissent: “Had the majority allowed the definition of marriage to be left to the political process—as the Constitution requires—the People could have considered the religious liberty implications of deviating from the traditional definition as part of their deliberative process. Instead, the majority’s decision short-circuits that process, with potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty.”
My view is, rather than being intended to add any benefit to homosexuals, the same-sex battle was waged as an attack against People of Faith. The result of the Supreme Court decision is significant not so much for what homosexuals gained from it, which in a sense is very little, but rather what People of Faith lost from it; namely, a diminishing of their religious liberty to define marriage, not as a mere ‘contract between adults’, but as the sacred union between a male and a female, as they are taught to by their faith, and by the Man in the Sky.