I'm old enough to remember when the radical proposition behind gay liberation was that it would remind us that marriage was a social construct designed to reinforce existing power relations and that therefore gay marriage was a profoundly reactionary attempt to 'do it like the straights'. So, apparently are Roger Scruton and Philip Blond:
We have profound reservations about same sex marriage not just because of the harm it does to a vital heterosexual institution but also because we reject the implication that in order to be equal and respected homosexuals should conform to heterosexual norms and be in effect the same as heterosexuals. In this sense we believe same sex marriage to be homophobic – it demands recognition for gay relationships but at the price of submitting those relationships to heterosexual definition.
Well, Roger and Philip, I am proud to present you with the political transvestites of the day award.
I wonder how much the curent infighting over gay marriage reflects Tory debates over extending the franchise in the 19th century. On the one hand you had the reactionaries who said that the unfranchised were a worthy estate of the nation who should be spared the burden of governance which they would be likely to exercise irresponsibly anyway, and on the other those who said that the people of Britain were 'basically sound' and should be granted the right to embrace conservative principles through the ballot box, a proposition which turned out to be at least partially accurate when tested.
At least that was a genuine gamble. What seems to have happened here is that the old radical energy behind gay rights seems to have dwindled to the point where the movement, such as it is, wants nothing more than to embrace existing insitutions and the idea that these should change only to the extent that this embrace is accepted. In other words, that they should change in order to stay the same. And of course the people who reject this basic conservative stance are more or less all Conservatives, though I don't suppose many are impressed by Rog and Phil's inversion of seventies movement thinking. It's more that antinomian beastliness/encroaching chaos thing they'e worried about, I'll be bound.