BY: B. Keith Plunkett @Keithplunkett

Earlier this week, homosexual Mississippians descended on clerk’s offices across the state to apply for marriage licenses. The stunt was organized by a liberal organization calling itself the Campaign for Southern Equality. The group is out of Asheville, North Carolina and is intent on pushing for “marriage equality” for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. They knew full well the people they were egging on to go through with the request wouldn’t be issued a license, and said as much in comments to the media. That was the point.

It’s impossible for someone to fully understand the life experiences of another person no matter how well you think you know them. There is simply too much going on in that gray matter between someones ears that affects how we individually feel, think and react.

There is no way I can know if my friendships and connections with people of different backgrounds is above or below average in terms of the “normal” experience–and I’m unaware of a standard definition of what the “normal” experience is anyway. What I can say is I have, what seems to me, a large number of friends and family of varied backgrounds, experiences and opinions. I’ve had the good fortune of traveling quite a bit across Mississippi and the country and meeting many people. As such, I have met and know a number of people–friends, family, and family of friends–who are gay.

These are people in some cases who I speak to regularly with no ill-will or unease, no judgement and no similar feelings of the same in return. I have attended dinner parties, family reunions and cookouts with them. I have grown up with them. I have done business, and trusted their judgement in many and varied ways. I won’t judge them. I don’t believe it is my place to do so. I know their lifestyle already must bring them a great deal of stress. After all, in today’s world why would anyone “choose” to be gay?

As a conservative I believe the less government intrudes in peoples lives, then the better off we all are. If you have read some of what I have written over the past few years then you know I am an unapologetic defender of that belief. I am also an unapologetic believer in Christ, and the promise that this world, this experience, is not the end-all and be-all. I know there is More.

I know it is not thought to be trendy these days to couple the issues of Faith and Politics. But, the Truth as I know it, that the gift and fundamental human right of free-will comes from God, informs my political belief. No government or group should ever be allowed to inject a collective man-made idea of what is and is not acceptable into that equation. It is up to me, my God and my conscience. In short, I will never accept anything based solely on the fact that someone else told me I had to. That is my idea of freedom.

I could get off in the weeds quickly on the subject of personal freedom and responsibility, so I’ll leave it at that.

As I read of the publicity stunt I couldn’t help but think about the political ramifications and wonder why some in our state would subject themselves to it for the sake of being turned down at the behest of an outside political group.

The question I have of my liberal friends on the subject–those that support the “legal” recognition of gay marriage as equal– is this:

Despite where one falls in the more government vs. more freedom debate, and despite whether one believes in God or not, how can same-sex marriage ever truly be equal?

The conclusion I come to is that it can’t. No matter what mere mortals say, no matter what institutions men concoct and devise, gay marriage will never be equal to the marriage between a man and a woman.

Contrary to what some may say to that statement, it is not an assault on anyone. It is not an attempt at forcing on others the status of “second class citizen.” It is a basic truth.

The argument for “marriage equality” has sometimes veered into discussions of rates of divorce and the status of modern marriage between heterosexual couples. But, it’s difficult to understand how human flaws that have deteriorated relationships between married men and women somehow make a homosexual marriage equal or more acceptable. That seems a bit like knocking someone down to make yourself feel better. All humans are flawed. We all have the ability to be abusive and self-serving.

Marriage is not a government institution. It is, despite the flaws of those who enter into it, a fundamental building block of humanity itself. It is the basic foundation of our very existence. Ultimately, even those who enter into a same-sex relationship must come to the same conclusion. In their heart of hearts they know this to be true. Because they too have a Mother and a Father, otherwise they would not exist.

Neither governments nor society can define marriage. Marriage is already defined. It is as basic a truth as the sun, the moon and the stars. It is as natural an occurrence as the tides and the seasons. It predates and preempts any government ever devised or established. It is the first ever and most basic “social contract”.

Mankind is powerless to redefine it no matter what societal movements exist to convince us otherwise.

I wish those who think otherwise well. I don’t wish harm on anyone because of their sexual orientation or political beliefs. I hope they will afford me that same consideration.

So, the same-sex marriage political battles will rage on, defenders of “traditional marriage” will attempt defensive legalities in the halls of pearly-domed capitols, and the high-and-mighty political rhetoric will continue to soar from both sides of this futile argument.

It doesn’t change the fact, the truth, that it is all a great deal of noise for nothing.

Society, governments, politicians and “social justice” groups can no more change the definition of marriage, nor defend it against a perceived “enemy”, than remove the sun from the sky.

It doesn’t make a difference who yells loudest. Truth is truth. It is concrete and unchangeable for all time, no matter what any man or woman may decide, or want others to believe.

About Keith: Keith Plunkett has worked on communications issues with a range of public officials from aldermen to Congressmen, and a variety of businesses, governmental agencies and non-profits. He serves or has served as a board member of several non-profit, civic and political organizations. Contact him by going to or follow him on Twitter @Keithplunkett

11 thoughts on “PLUNKETT: The “Marriage Equality” myth.

  1. You are right on, Keith. No government, no law, no policy will ever define marriage. It was defined when God ordained it as union between one man and one woman.

  2. Two persons of the same sex can co-habitate, sleep in the same bed from now until doomsday and not produce what the ONLY INTEREST THE STATE SHOULD HAVE IN MARRIAGE. THAT is to produce more taxpayers. On that Natural Law will never yield no matter how loud the Liberals scream “Equality”!

  3. There is no myth to marriage. Nor is this issue a liberal/conservative one. If conservatives chose to allow government’s acknowledgment of marriage, bestowing special benefits to its creation, and not just protection a private-voluntary contract, then why should we allow individuals to use government as a force to restrict that voluntary contract to anyone else? It’s an issue of force, and in my humble opinion, government should not be in the marriage business.

    Private individuals and organizations, like churches(here’s where your truth goes) and businesses, should likewise be free to recognize or not recognize any type of marriage as they see fit. The liberty perspective on marriage is a simple recognition of the fact that we all should have the freedom to hold differing opinions and to act however we please, so long as we refrain from harming others in the process. Conservatives and Liberals should learn the non-aggression principle, it would serve you well.

    1. I think we agree, Cory. Getting government out of the business entirely leaves room for people to accept or not accept based on their own belief. My basic premise is that it doesn’t matter what government does. It is what it is regardless. But, I do have one question of you. You mention that there should be refrain from harming others. If a business refuses to recognize a marriage and that leads to a couple not receiving spousal benefits, would you consider that “harm”? Or are you just speaking of physical endangerment?

      1. To your hypo, which benefits? Private or Government? Keep in mind, no one must adhere to the end all be all non-aggression policy (NAP), but as a metric to gauge policies, it can be useful. While it also can be used to win quick arguments, NAP might serve as the dreaded “circular” logic when trying to defend a certain sociopolitical order, especially if our view of “harm” and property differ as your question raises here. But it can exist given those differences and understanding the hierarchical context. Even so, NAP doesn’t end with physical endangerment, but coercion: voluntary, nonviolent, and non-invasive actions et al according to Hayek (Rothbard and Hoppe disagree). Some would argue you would be harming the couple you mentioned, particularly if that business action is to block government benefits. But I would tend to disagree if private benefits from the employer are at stake. A private employer is free to restrict any benefits to employees it wants, and employees can relocate elsewhere if they prefer one company’s benefits over another. Nor should the government force businesses to do so (aka healthcare). Of course, some would also argue that the couple may have no options, or alternatives. etc. But Rawlsian principles and even anti discrimination laws are murky territory, and those laws are generally seen as the “answer.” I have my doubts–look at race relations today. If peaceful cooperation of NAP is desired, why then do businesses need to restrict benefits to the couple just because they disagree, especially if the employee is producing positive economic outcomes? But then we’d be getting away from philosophy into personal ethics. Happy to chat anytime sir.

  4. Oh how easy it must be to sit in an ivory tower and conduct journalism class for an audience where 86% of the attendees are goIng to smile and nod and go, “we don’t need them queers getting married round here!”
    Although I found your article well written, I would challenge you to go back to the gay friends you have met at parties, business, and family reunions and ask them what marriage equality is all about. While you are comfortably hanging out with these folks who’s lives must be so miserable, ask them what it’s like to have no protection from getting fired or kicked out of their apartment for being gay in Mississippi.

  5. “Neither governments nor society can define marriage. Marriage is already defined. It is as basic a truth as the sun, the moon and the stars. It is as natural an occurrence as the tides and the seasons. It predates and preempts any government ever devised or established. It is the first ever and most basic ‘social contract’.”

    This statement is anthropologically ignorant. If marriage were some natural occurrence “as the tides”, then we could expect it to take a similar form cross-culturally. Centuries of ethnographic work clearly shows that is not the case. From the polygamy of the Barabaig to the polyandry of the Tibetan Plateau, marriage has taken many different variations including that between same sex couples. Some Native American tribes recognized marriages between people of the same sex. For that reason, it could be sad that same-sex marriage predates Christianity in the Americas. Even the Christian’s bible demonstrates that marriage has not always been between “one man and one woman” as many conservative activists claim. These arguments consisting of a vague appeal to naturalism are just a thin veneer for a disdain towards queer peoples.

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