Brendan O’Neill is tearing his hair out in frustration at the mystifying way gay marriage has suddenly puffed up huge and taken over all the things!!11 He just doesn’t understand. He’s baffled. He can’t figure it out. He’s amazed.
As I say, nothing in this debate makes sense. This is such a relatively overnight concern, and is so unrooted in political campaigning or historical substance, that it would make as much sense if, tomorrow, every politician and commentator in the land suddenly started talking about how important it is to give women the right to live in treehouses. After all, there are probably some women who want to live in treehouses, and the public might well support their right to do so while also arguing that making it happen should not be a parliamentary priority, so why don’t Cameron and the commentariat make a big deal of that?
Good point! Super super super good point! Or why don’t they make a big deal of giving dogs the right to wear orange Crocs? Because obviously the right to marry is every bit as wack and trivial and random as the right to live in treehouses or wear orange Crocs. So funny of Brendan O’Neill to spot that and say it.
Because it strikes me that what is happening here is that, under the cover of ‘expanding equality’, we are really witnessing the instinctive consolidation of a new class, of a new political set, which, lacking the familiar moral signposts of the past, has magicked up a non-issue through which it might define itself and its values.
The reason the gay-marriage issue can feel like it came from nowhere, and is now everywhere, is because it is an entirely top-down, elite-driven thing. The true driving force behind it is not any real or publicly manifested hunger amongst homosexual couples to get wed, far less a broader public appetite for the reform of the institution of marriage; rather it is the need of the political and media class for an issue through which to signify its values and advertise its superiority. Gay marriage is not a real issue – it is a cultural signifier.
Right! Because there totally are no homosexual couples who want to marry! Not one. All those ones you think you know, they are a hallucination. And Brendan O’Neill, who is a coal miner from the very rudest part of Glasgow, knows this because coal miners have a Deep Instinctual Knowledge of elite-formation and cultural signifiers, which they adeptly turn into think-pieces for scrofulous little outlets like Spiked.
But suddenly we leave the shit-stained cobblestones to veer into the laminated boardrooms of groups like Focus on the Family.
But even in its own terms, gay marriage is a bad idea, for many reasons. Primarily because, while it is presented to us as a wonderfully generous act of cultural elevation (of gay couples), it is more importantly a thoughtless act of cultural devaluation (of traditional marriage). An institution entered into by millions of people for quite specific reasons – often, though not always, for the purpose of procreation – is being casually demoted, with the Lib-Con government even proposing that the terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ no longer be used in official documents.
Godalmighty what an asshole. What’s he going to do next? Take over the running of Santorum’s campaign? Wot price Living Marxism, eh Bren?