Gay marriage debate about social structure - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Gay marriage debate about social structure

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Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2008 7:08 pm | Updated: 9:25 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

So here we are, a world facing a paradigm shift so massive that the implications cannot be calculated. The value of our traditional families is discounted as minority groups seek to claim heterosexual systems as their own. Yes, I'm speaking of gay marriage.

Really, society's shift is no surprise, considering the breakdown of values, but what is stunning, almost impossible to comprehend, is the weak response from citizens who fully value the heterosexual lifestyle as the gold standard for raising children.

There are lots of reasons why people shrink from standing strong, even in the face of the destruction of a vital, social norm. In the case of opposing gay marriage, fear of giving offense ranks right up there with public speaking. And, then there are those concerned about their gay friends and family members, who many of us embrace and love. But, they don't understand. It's not about tolerance or judging. It's about the heterosexual cradle, the most basic system by which children are molded, blessed and formed into adults; the touchstone, set up by nature. What happens when the model is smashed and forgotten?

In a world where researchers dissect most every level of living, why isn't this Issue No. 1 among social scientists? I mean, real research, not skewed reports from gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender groups which assure us that kids do well no matter who they call mommy and mommy. Indeed, where was the uproar when rampant divorce and the flood of out-of-wedlock babies replaced personal responsibility in the past half century; a time "the ideology of instant gratification" ( became our worship center?

History teaches us there's a direct link between solid civilizations and intact, functioning families. And, we wonder why we wobble. Check out Massachusetts, where the gay marriage experiment began nearly a half-dozen years ago - where today, the next targets are language, legal documents and text books in regards to gender identification.

Take note: This isn't just about public benefits, folks, it's about our very basic social structure: Standards, criterion and systems. For it to slip away, without intense focus, without deep examination of the repercussions, tragedy among mankind is predictable. Where are the alarms bells?

It took some work, but finally Arizona's Legislature approved a pro traditional marriage amendment to the state constitution. Voters will consider it in November. This is the simple amendment that will appear on the ballot: Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. The last effort was defeated because it included a phrase that was alleged to have threatened public, financial benefits for civil unions.

Ironically, polls do show that most Americans support civil unions and benefits, as do I. That says a lot. One has to wonder why that's not good enough. When the minority show little concern for the system that serves the stability of the majority, when desire to attain heterosexual legitimacy overrides what's best for civilization, narcissism comes to mind.

Gay marriage advocates have their own stats, but those from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life show that 55 percent of American respondents oppose gay marriage; 36 percent are in favor. Not much movement from polls five years ago. Interestingly, Arizona ranks even stronger in favor of traditional marriage. A recent survey (Kellyanne Conway polling) conducted for The Center for Arizona Policy ( found 2-to-1 in favor. But, will those same respondents cast their ballots - and will you? Is this someone else's problem or ours?

Come November, at least three states will address the issue: California, Florida and Arizona. A slew of others have already banned gay marriage, but the doors are being pried open, one at a time, as we found in the recent California Supreme Court decision granting gay marriage.

It's up to us to lock heterosexual marriage down; put it in the constitution, while keeping in mind that though we love our gay family members and friends, it really does matter that marriage of a mom and a dad is society's desired standard.

Linda Turley-Hansen is a syndicated columnist and former veteran Phoenix television news anchor who lives in the East Valley. She can be reached by e-mail at

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