Fred Barnes, co-founder and executive editor of The Weekly Standard and regular FOX News Channel contributor, denied that he and fellow conservatives have argued same-sex marriage will "destroy the institution of marriage," even though The Weekly Standard has trumpeted the argument repeatedly. In an exchange with Roll Call executive editor and regular FOX News Channel contributor Morton M. Kondracke on the July 13 edition of FOX News Channel's Special Report with Brit Hume, Barnes distanced himself from the argument after Kondracke attacked it. (Barnes and Kondracke co-host the FOX News Channel show The Beltway Boys.)
From the July 13 edition of Special Report with Brit Hume:
KONDRACKE: [T]he fact that gays who want to -- who want to declare fidelity to one another, it seems to me, will strengthen the institution of marriage. After all, Britney Spears goes and gets married one day and two days later she gets divorced. If that's not trouble for marriage, I don't know what is. ... [Y]ou guys say that allowing gays to get married is going to destroy the institution of marriage. I think Britney is doing it.
BARNES: I've never mentioned that. I don't think we've said that.
But in the last year alone, at least four articles in The Weekly Standard have argued just that.
- In a July 14, 2003, article in the conservative magazine, then-associate editor Lee Bockhorn lamented that the traditional understanding of "an institution [marriage] necessarily based on mutual fidelity, sacrifice, permanence, and, crucially, the sexual complementarity of men and women ... must now be gutted further in order to legitimize same-sex marriage."
- Three weeks later, on August 4, 2003, Hoover Institution research fellow and National Review Online contributing editor Stanley Kurtz opened an article on gay marriage with the question: "After gay marriage, what will become of marriage itself?" He then outlined his fears:
- Kurtz repeated his anti-gay marriage views in a February 2, 2004, article, declaring in the first sentence, "Marriage is slowly dying in Scandinavia." A sentence later, he wrote, "Not coincidentally, these [Scandinavian] countries have had something close to full gay marriage for a decade or more."
- On March 29, 2004, The Weekly Standard published an article by Maggie Gallagher, president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, in which she warned, "The very ideas that are being used to promote single-sex marriage are a dagger pointed at the heart of the marriage culture."
Among the likeliest effects of gay marriage is to take us down a slippery slope to legalized polygamy and "polyamory" (group marriage). Marriage will be transformed into a variety of relationship contracts, linking two, three, or more individuals (however weakly and temporarily) in every conceivable combination of male and female. A scare scenario? Hardly. The bottom of this slope is visible from where we stand.