The following I find an

The following I find an apt, if short, commentary on the Defense of Marriage Age, and more particular the proposed Constitutional amendment opposing gay marriage:
“Paul Bradshaw, a scholar of liturgy and the history of the early church, has published ten principles for interpreting early Christian liturgical evidence. One of these seems particularly germane to the present-day efforts to prohibit gay marriage. It says: ‘Legislation is better evidence for what it proposes to prohibit than for what it seeks to promote.’* The Celtic tradition in Britain serves as a case in point. If the so-called Synod of Whitby (663 AD) created a standardized form of Christianity throughout Britain, why did other gatherings, meetings, and synods need to repeat over and over again this same demand for standardization? Answer: the legislation requiring uniformity actually serves as evidence that things were not, in fact, uniform! You don’t have to make a law against something that is not actually happening, right? Given this principle, what do you think future historians will think of the Defense of Marriage Act and similar legislation?”**
I suspect historians will conclude that gay-marriages were already being conducted, and the new laws or amendments were to stop and condemn them, not so much as the proponents of the laws claimed them to be about the positive elevation of the institution of heterosexual marriage and family. However, in the same way subsequent meetings, synods, and gatherings had to continually demand uniformity in British Christianity, because there continued not to be, those opposed to gay-marriage will continually have to demand by force the prohibition of gay-marriages, because they will continue to occur! Slaves found ways to marry, even when their masters and society denied them the legal recognition – marriage was a covenant based on mutual adult intent acknowledged and supported by their peers, not on pieces of paper. It wasn’t until much later that their marriages were recognized by law and society with all the legal rights and responsibilities provided for the rest of the citizenry.
Of course, since the DMA has already passed nationally and in most states, and with the possibility that an amendment might be successfully added to the Constitution, historians will decide the rightness or wrongness of the laws and amendments depending on who gets to write the history, and when.
Much of what I hear and read from the politicized Religious Right prohibitionists claim to positively uplift the institution of heterosexual marriage, as we understand it in the late 20th and beginning of the 21st centuries, for the sake of families and society, but if we apply the standard suggested by Bradshaw and emphasized by Bates, then it seems to be more about their negative demand to rid the nation of gay-marriages.
* Paul Bradshaw, The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship: Sources and Methods for the Study of Liturgy (New York: Oxford, 1992), 68.
**Father Barrie Bates, A Rhetorical Editorial, Life at Ascension Parish Newsletter, vol 35, no 1 (New York: Church of the Ascension, 2004), 2.
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