There are many who claim that the demise of traditional marriage is inevitable, and that those who seek an “expanded” definition of marriage will eventually and irrevocably triumph, since the “tide of history” is on their side. Some of this is of course wishful thinking, but in the short term, the adoption of same-sex marriage is likely to become a reality in the foreseeable future.
Let’s assume that the adoption of same-sex marriage in America is inevitable, and the definition of marriage in America will be altered to include same-sex couples in around 5 years or so. What happens next?
In the short term, very little. The world accepts same-sex marriage, and… nothing will happen immediately. People will keep living their lives, as people usually do after changes come, as though nothing ever happened. Lightning bolts will not descend out of the sky to destroy America.
And it is also likely that a consensus will begin to form around same-sex marriage. It is difficult to say exactly what percentage of the American population will embrace same-sex marriage, but it seems probable to say that 75 to 90 percent of the American population will eventually accept the redefinition. Protestant fundamentalists will most likely adhere to the Biblical prohibition against homosexuality, while faithful Catholics, Orthodox (Christians and Jews), and a few contrarian natural law proponents will continue to oppose homosexual marriage on natural law grounds. Everyone else who has not already done so will accept the status quo.
For the fight for same-sex marriage is part of a much larger attempt to change the purpose of marriage to legitimize any consensual sexual relationship and to de-emphasize the role of the family in society. It is a retreat from the Christian view of marriage in favor of a new view of marriage as societal recognition of any consensual behavior.
So the adoption of same-sex marriage is less about “civil rights” and more a symptom of society’s larger embrace of a post-Christian vision of marriage, where the place of the family and of children is rendered secondary (or irrelevant) to the pleasure of multiple consenting individuals. Other “restrictions” to marriage will fall in turn; the next barrier to fall will most likely be that of only two partners in marriages. “Open marriages” will be the next frontier (no one will call it polygamy, which carries with it a stigma).
But the change in the definition of marriage will have far-reaching consequences on society. The fertility rate will continue to plummet, as children become increasingly viewed as strains on an overburdened and overpopulated society and hindrances to the pleasure of consenting partners. As the years take their course, government institutions designed to assist the old and the disabled will be strained to the point of collapse, as the taxpayer base grows smaller and the pool of retirees grows larger and larger.
Meanwhile, a soft persecution of Christians will take place, in which Christians adhering to traditional marriage will be restricted from holding political offices and government positions for their views on marriage. No, they will not be expressly prevented from office; but they will be constantly demonized for holding "intolerant" views of marriage by the media, to the point where election will be impossible. Opposition to same-sex marriage will be viewed as a civil rights violation, and treated accordingly.
It will take two or three generations for this state of affairs to fully play itself out. (For a sign of what is to come, look to Europe, which is farther down this road than America and graying rapidly.)
This state of affairs will continue until society comes to a crucial crossroads. The leaders in charge of society will grow older, and will have few children to replace them. Faithful Christians, meanwhile, will grow in numbers. Childless individuals will be repressing the very people keeping the systems they depend on barely functional. Childless individuals, as they age, will become increasingly dependent on government social systems to keep them alive, yet the systems they depend on will become dependent upon those who have held to the traditional view of marriage.
The eventual result will be the restoration of traditional marriage, as the proponents of the new view of marriage commit demographic suicide. The proponents of the shift in marriage may triumph for a day, but will destroy their cause by destroying their descendants.
There is now an addendum to this article.