Is marriage doomed with the young?


The Deseret News recently ran a story on a new poll that suggests young people support same-sex marriage in high numbers. Shortly before this story came out, Gallup reported on a poll in which Americans were asked what percentage of the population was gay or lesbian. U.S. adults believe 25 percent of the population is homosexual. For young people the mean estimate was 29.9 percent.  In contrast, any reputable source would put the range between 2 percent and 5 percent (the pro-gay researcher quoted in Gallup’s story said 3.5 percent).

These data points suggest that the relentless effort to reconstruct reality to facilitate the sexual revolution, which is being carried out as a “permanent revolution,” in Karl Marx’s usage, is having some success. As Richard Weaver noted, the “first step” for revolutionaries “is to confuse and paralyze the opposition by sowing widely and ostensibly” the notion that the ideological account of reality is the only possible account. This first stage is clearly under way.

The next key revolutionary argument is that its eventual triumph is inevitable. That, indeed, is what the partisans of social changes like same-sex marriage are arguing. It is evident in their ubiquitous rhetoric about being on the “right side of history.”

Unfortunately for these advocates, the revolutionary changes they seek are anything but inevitable. So, as Dr. Weaver explains, the “second step is to regard this as nonsense as far as your own affairs go and to proceed to fashion the world according to your preferred concept of it,” thus exposing the claim of inevitability as “an expression of their will to power and their determination to overcome everything which stands in the way of the actualization of their dream.”

So far they have met with significant opposition. Thirty states have marriage amendments (Minnesota will vote on one in 2012) and traditional norms of family have proven resilient. Even the opinion polls of the young don’t provide reasons to despair. Michael New, writing at National Review Online, points out: “Plenty of data indicates that as people get older, they become more conservative on social issues. And there is a very good chance that the current generation of young adults will prove to be no exception.”

Whether the future of marriage and family can be kept secure for future generations will, however, depend on the strength of the counterrevolutionary effort. That means those who are older have their work cut out for them.