The impact of gay marriage on a culture

By Tom Quiner

Pope Benedict XVI made his annual “State of the Church” address.

He spoke briefly about gay marriage, characterizing it as destroying the very “essence of the human creature.”

The media exploded.

Although the subject of gay marriage was a small part of his speech, that is all the media reported. The headline for the article in the Des Moines Register was:

“Pope attacks gay marriage in annual address.”

The Catholic Church is under attack for standing by Christian principle that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.

A practical question comes to mind. What are the long term effects of gay marriage on a culture?

We can look to Canada to get a feel. There, gay marriage has been legal for a decade.

Canada has similarities to the United States as well as differences. What happens in Canada may not happen here. Nonetheless, let’s take a look at the Canadian experience with so-called gay marriage.

Here’s what did not happen: polygamy. The concern was that if marriage is defined by feelings rather than function, polygamy would be the next natural step in the restructuring of marriage.

One attempt was made in Canada, and it failed.

However, gay marriage has had a significant impact in other areas. Dissent is viewed as bigotry. Government commissioners who protested and refused to issue marriage licenses were fired.

Catholic organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus (of which I am a member), were fined when they refused to rent their facilities for same-sex wedding receptions.

Clergy now have to be careful what they say from the pulpit regarding human sexuality, or face the risk of censure or worse from human rights tribunals. People who speak out against the new orthodoxy have this speech defined as “hate speech” and have been fined, forced by government officials to make public apologies, and coerced into never speaking out again against so-called same sex marriage.

The financial cost is staggering if you run afoul of Canada’s Human Rights Commission. The cost to defend yourself for alleged “hate speech” is simply too much for most ordinary folks, who are beaten into compliance through sheer financial intimidation.

Associations, such as bar associations, have the power to censure and discipline members who disagree with gay marriage laws.

Teachers, in particular, put themselves at risk if they are critical of gay marriage, even if their remarks are made outside of the classroom. This kind of talk “creates a hostile environment for gay and lesbian students,” and is not tolerated.

Parents in Canada have long had a right to veto contentious educational practices. They no longer do on the contentious subject of gay marriage, which must be portrayed in a positive light and as natural and normal.

Will any of this happen in the United States? It’s hard to imagine that it won’t.

Free speech will surely be affected.

With this administration’s disdain for religious liberty, it’s hard to imagine that religious freedom doesn’t take a major hit.

And, of course, public education will be transformed even more by the leftists who dominate the teacher’s union.

How will America look if gay marriage continues to spread? Simply look to Canada.



  1. Robert on December 22, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    I am not a dogmatist, but marriage is based upon creation. You get married and you create a family, you have children. I am not against gay coupling, but indeed it can never be a marriage!

  2. Robert on December 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Extending marriage rights to gays makes a mockery of marriage in my mind.

  3. Lisa Bourne on December 22, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    It’s one of the left’s sacred cows. All hail, and don’t dare speak of it unless it’s in support, or else. What the Holy Father said was plain, simple and the truth. God bless him for speaking it, on this and in other areas. The U.S. Church could stand to take a look at his playbook. Of course the media exploded, of course he’s being painted as a hater. Knock us all over with a feather. The Mayans didn’t call the Apocalypse right, but Cardinal George has likely nailed it with his prediction of imminent martyrdom for the faithful who stand for and with the Church. A very real and painful separation of the wheat from the chaff is probably in our near future, leaving just a few things in question: specifically when this will occur and on which side each of us will be.

    • Robert on December 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      I am a secular thinker so I cannot share your religious position, only reason. And gay marriage is ridiculous, we already have enough of them in the priesthood don’t we?

  4. Shawn Pavlik on December 20, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    I know this post is a year old, but still very relevant. Read this story about a baker who was forced to accept baking cakes for gay couples: