So why have social conservatives opposed same-sex marriage? As usual, Columbia University Press is where to find clarity. Here’s the summary of its new book, Ludger H. Viefhues-Bailey’s Between a Man and a Woman?: Why Conservatives Oppose Same-Sex Marriage.
“Focusing primarily on texts produced by Focus on the Family, a leading media and ministry organization informing conservative Christian culture, Viefhues-Bailey identifies two distinct ideas of male homosexuality: gender-disturbed and passive; and oversexed, strongly masculine, and aggressive. These homosexualities enable a complex ideal of Christian masculinity in which men are encouraged to be assertive toward the world while also being submissive toward God and family. This web of sexual contradiction influences the flow of power between the sexes and within the state. It joins notions of sexual equality to claims of ‘natural’ difference, establishing a fraught basis for respectable romantic marriage. Heterosexual union is then treated as emblematic of, if not essential to, the success of American political life—yet far from creating gender stability, these tensions produce an endless striving for balance. Viefhues-Bailey’s final, brilliant move is to connect the desire for stability to the conservative Christian movement’s strategies of political power.”
Thank goodness we don’t have to be confused about this anymore.