For Atwood it is as “inconceivable” to not support same-sex marriage as it is to not support interracial marriage, and he assumes that evidence of opposition to same-sex marriage is proof of racism. Bans against interracial marriage and bans against same-sex marriage are in the same basket of “old fashioned ideas”, unsupportable by reason, logic, evidence or right thinking people. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Bans on interracial marriage had nothing to do with marriage and everything to do with racial discrimination. They have actually been fairly rare in history, and have only shown up in societies that enslaved another race. They have no basis in common or natural law. They have always been part of a panoply of laws specifically designed to oppress a specific group of people in a specific time and place. Race is not part of and has never been part of the definition of marriage in any society at any point in history. It was precisely because interracial marriage is in fact real marriage that it had to be explicitly banned. When bans on interracial marriage were lifted, it was indeed progress, but only the sense that repealing the 18th Amendment was progress: It removed bad law and restored things to the way they had always been. Removing bans on interracial marriage in no way changed the definition of marriage.
The same is not true of same-sex marriage, which fundamentally alters the definition of marriage, and indeed much more. Traditional marriage between a man and a woman is a universal human institution that has developed in all societies in all parts of the world in all cultures. Some of these cultures have been very tolerant, even supportive, of homosexual behavior, yet all shared the definition of marriage. Marriage is a universal human institution for one reason: children. If human beings could reproduce asexually by clipping a fingernail and placing it in water, marriage would never have been invented.
It is honest but erroneous to argue that same-sex marriage is a good thing. But it cannot be maintained that it does not change the very definition of marriage, and will have profound effects on the institution and much else. Let’s examine just one aspect of this change. Same-sex marriage means nothing if it does not mean that same-sex marriages are equal to opposite sex marriages. They cannot be second class marriages or treated differently in any way. This means that when married couples want to adopt children no preference can be given to opposite-sex couples. It cannot be argued that having a parent of each sex is a benefit to children. It cannot be argued that a woman, as a female, brings a unique and valued perspective to raising children. The same of course holds for men: It cannot be argued that a father, as a man, a male influence, is important to a child’s life. To hold any of these ideas is to be a bigoted homophobe. Motherhood and fatherhood are two of the immediate casualties of same-sex marriage. (Of course there are countless studies over that last 70 years that show the importance of fathers and mothers that must now be discredited and superseded.)
It is supremely ironic that the only place progressives reject the benefits of gender diversity is marriage. Nothing can make a marriage more diverse, in a truly meaningful way, than a man and woman (except an interracial marriage! – which makes beautiful children too!). For progressives a woman, as a female member of the human species, brings untold benefits to an all-male corporate boardroom, to an all-male congress, to a student body, to an all-male workforce. But a woman brings nothing (nothing at all!) to a marriage. To deny this is to condemn same sex marriage to second class status. There is only one way to eliminate this cognitive dissonance, and that this to call into question and then destroy very concept of male and female itself. And as night follows day this is happening. It is no accident that the transgender activists leapt into action as soon same-sex marriage became accepted. These activists are not just looking for a safe, private place to use the bathroom. The very labels male and female, men and women, ladies gentlemen are anathema to them and must be destroyed. For example at Vassar College, the transgender activists are not satisfied with additional single use bathrooms that the college has provided - they deface the bathroom doors by taping over the men and women signs. At campuses nationwide there is an assault on the English language itself with respect to pronouns. At Michigan, students can request a pronoun of choice, and professors can be disciplined for not using it. This is a logical outcome of same-sex marriage. Indeed it is an attempt at a post-implementation fix for a flawed concept.
Same-sex marriage changes everything. It changes everything because it alters the definition and thus the institution of marriage beyond recognition. It is nothing like interracial marriage, which always was and always will be true marriage, despite unjust racist laws.