Sexuality and Gender

Kolodny: I Will Dance on Traditional Marriage’s Grave

Author Amy K. Hall Published on 02/25/2014

This isn’t the first time a proponent of same-sex marriage has been open about her ultimate goal of destroying marriage, but it’s certainly one of the most straightforward. Carina Kolodny writes in “Marriage Equality Is Destroying ‘Traditional Marriage,’ and Why That’s a Good Thing”:

To the enemies of marriage equality:...

For years and years I’ve strategically bit my tongue.

Had I not, I would have sided with you. I would have agreed with you. Marriage equality will, in time, fundamentally destroy “traditional marriage,” and I, for one, will dance on its grave.

It’s not a terribly difficult conclusion to draw.

As same-sex couples marry, they will be forced to re-imagine many tenets of your “traditional marriage.” In doing so, they will face a series of complicated questions.... As questions continually arise, heterosexual couples will take notice—and be forced to address how much “traditional marriage” is built on gender roles and perpetuates a nauseating inequality that has no place in 2014....

So yes, I told a white lie while soldiering on toward this inevitable outcome. I bit my lip in favor of dignity and equality....

It’s Kolodny’s view that the existence of genderless marriages will introduce new patterns of living as a couple and new ways of getting children (or not having them at all) that opposite-sex marriages will begin to emulate. I think she’s correct that this will happen, but I disagree that it’s something to celebrate.

Kolodny is specifically hoping for a rejection of all gender roles (which has its own problems, apparently); but ignoring the objective differences between men and women—and disconnecting marriage from the comprehensive union between them that creates new life—will have serious consequences beyond just this. Ryan Anderson has been arguing for a while now that the result of leaving behind the opposite-sex component of marriage will be a breakdown of the three major aspects of marriage: monogamy, sexual exclusivity, and permanency. Since a same-sex union and its public consequences are different from an opposite-sex union (as it’s not a type of union that naturally produces children), the needs and concerns of those in same-sex unions are different, which means the ideas that naturally arise as to how to manage those unions will also be different. Along these lines, it comes as no surprise to discover that “monogamy is not a central feature for many” of their relationships.*

And while these changes to marriage will happen to suit the preferences of those who aren’t part of an opposite-sex union, the new perspective will (as Kolodny happily claims), change the way everyone views marriage, and children will be the ones to suffer; for the institution that emerged to give stability to the unique union that creates them will have been destroyed.

In the end, the results of divorcing marriage and children from complementary biology will include unprecedented government intrusion, increasingly dubious technological practices, the viewing of children as commodities, serious legal complications, and the unethical use of women’s bodies. Indeed, these results are already underway. This isn’t something to be happy about.


*From the New York Times: “A offering a rare glimpse inside gay relationships and reveals that monogamy is not a central feature for many. Some gay men and lesbians argue that, as a result, they have stronger, longer-lasting and more honest relationships. And while that may sound counterintuitive, some experts say boundary-challenging gay relationships represent an evolution in marriage—one that might point the way for the survival of the institution.”