With the state primaries underway, it is more important than ever that Republican voters know this: When it comes to marriage, Ron Paul is no conservative. Never mind, for the moment, that in his nearly three-decade-long congressional career Paul has written little of legislative consequence, or that a good deal of the Paul platform could only be accomplished with serious, game-changing amendments to the Constitution. Purely from a conservative values standpoint, a Ron Paul presidency would spell disaster for marriage in the United States.
Paul is the only major GOP contender for president not to sign the National Organization for Marriage “Marriage Pledge,” a document that commits signatories, if elected, to taking specific actions to protect traditional marriage. Paul once replied “sure” when asked by an interviewer about legalizing gay marriage. Should he be elected president and an activist federal judge succeeds in redefining marriage for the entire country, Paul won’t lift a finger to protect the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. While Paul famously declared on the House floor in 2004 that he opposed “federal efforts to redefine marriage as something other than a union between one man and one woman,” he has long refused to support a federal marriage amendment. Such an amendment is a last line of defense against radical judges like U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who declared in 2010 that our historic understanding of marriage is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Our nation’s framers must be rolling over in their graves at the radical conclusion that the Constitution they wrote contained a right to gay marriage, yet Paul either lacks the courage of his supposedly strong convictions to correct this grievous judicial error, or he is gunning for the presidency at the cost of traditional values — you know, those pesky things most Americans still hold. Neither prospect is a good one.
But it gets worse than that for the institution of marriage, a cornerstone of civilization. Paul actually wants to abolish civil marriage entirely. Not even President Obama holds such a radical view. Paul has said on many occasions he believes states ought to stop sanctioning marriage entirely. In his latest book, “Liberty Defined,” he takes this cockamamie idea even further, landing squarely in relativist territory.
“Everyone can have his or her own definition of what marriage means, and if an agreement or contract is reached by the participants, it would qualify as a civil contract if desired,” Paul writes. “Why not tolerate everyone’s definition as long as neither side uses force to impose its views on the other? Problem solved!” Except, problem not solved. If we fundamentally alter the definition of “marriage” as we have known it for centuries, we start at once down that proverbial slippery slope. Marriage would instantly be transformed from a child-centered institution — one that exists to connect any children born of the union of man and woman to their natural parents — to one focused entirely on the demands of adults.
A 2011 Family Process study found that affairs outside of marriage and/or committed relationships had declined in recent years among both heterosexuals and homosexuals — but the staggering reality is that the percentage of cheaters among homosexuals remains nearly 50 percent higher than the percentage for heterosexuals. If we sanction gay “marriage,” we are, practically by definition, sanctioning extramarital affairs as a societal norm.
Indeed, an often-integral part of the gay “marriage” push has less to do with the right to wed than the desire to see traditional values wither and die. As author Andrew Sullivan writes in his book “Virtually Normal,” “there is more likely to be greater understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman.” Writer and homosexual activist Michelangelo Signorile wrote in Out magazine that gay marriage “is also a chance to wholly transform the definition of family in American culture. It is the final tool with which to … get education about homosexuality and AIDS into public schools, and, in short, usher in a sea change in how society views and treats us.”
With the winnowing down of the GOP candidate pool has come a score of op-eds — many by left-leaning publications — discussing why Democrats and liberals should consider supporting Paul. (Witness such recent pieces as The Huffington Post’s “Why Liberals Should Consider Ron Paul” and the About.com article “Liberal Guide to Ron Paul in 2012 Election.”) According to a Fox News poll, Paul has the support of more liberals than any other GOP candidate. And a Public Policy Polling survey in Iowa found Paul polling at 70 percent favorability among Democrats.
There’s a reason Paul is polling so well among the political left. On marriage, he’s part of it.
Brian Brown is president of the National Organization of Marriage, which is sponsoring the website WrongOnMarriage.com, informing Americans about Ron Paul’s views on traditional marriage.