Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in the United States last Thursday where he essentially called for an alliance among conservatives to ‘take back’ institutions in Washington and Brussels from liberals who threaten western civilisation.
Orbán made it quite clear that progressives, with their unnatural policies, seek to separate Western civilisation from its Christian roots. This is why, he added, his government has taken a strong anti-immigration stance, introduced pro-family policies, and rejects gender ideology – precisely to resist those efforts.
With the US mid-term elections coming up this November–all 435 seats of the House and one-third of the Senate are up for grabs–the Prime Minister’s message, which was more of a wake-up call to conservatives, perhaps could not have come at a better time. This is because of the imminent passage of the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) by the US Congress. If it becomes law, it would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (1996), which defines marriage for federal purposes as the union of one man and one woman, and allows states to refuse to recognise same-sex marriages granted under the laws of other states.
If it becomes law, it would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act
The House already passed the RMA bill in July with a 267-157 vote, with 47 Republicans supporting the unanimous House Democrats; the Senate is still pondering. If the Senate passes the RMA, same-sex marriages will be recognised under federal law in all fifty states.
The LGTBQ+ proponents not only threaten the essential character of human civilisation and that of the institution of the family–which is based on the monogamous marriage between a man and a woman–but by getting the RMA ratified by lawmakers, they would be one step closer to eradicating family as the nucleus of society.
The Fallacy of Redefining Marriage
The affectation of a State sustaining same-sex “marriage” as a human right is what has ultimately misled so many–both homosexuals and heterosexuals–into believing that such legalised unions are equal to those between a man and a woman, and that therefore they must be equally protected under law; the rationale is that if two consenting adults love each other, they have a right to contract a marriage. From an anthropological perspective, this has never been accepted by society. Some Roman emperors, for example, had male lovers and yet did not campaign the Senate to adapt matrimonial laws so that they could marry them because they knew it would contradict the laws of nature.
Yet the US Supreme Court in Obergefell et al v. Hodges (2015) set a precedent for the West by re-defining the institution of marriage, thereby recognising two individuals of the same-sex as having the right to lawfully contract marriage–but it was still up to each individual state to apply. The Court’s stated:
‘States have contributed to the fundamental character of marriage by placing it at the [centre] of many facets of the legal and social order. There is no difference between same–and opposite–sex couples with respect to this principle…The right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment[;] couples of the same-sex many not be deprived of that right and that liberty. Same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry.’
Same-sex unions are confined to the ethical-personal relationship of affection
Naturally speaking, not all co-existing forms of relationships have some sort of relevance under the law, only those which acquire a structural social value, i.e., when they have an external character in their reciprocal rapport with society, as is the case with the institution of the family. And this objective structure is something that same-sex unions objectively do not possess within themselves, because they are confined to the ethical-personal relationship of affection, which does not lend to any social actions typical of law.
The claim made here is that there is a gain for society and such unions compel the State for a social protective intervention. What happens then, if one day a man wakes up and no longer has the same affection for his wife as he once had? Does this need to be protected if he decides to file for divorce under this pretence? If what follows is that what gives one pleasure must be protected and ensured by civil law, why can a man or woman not contract a polygamous marriage if it too gives him/her pleasure?
Salvaging Marriage Saves Society
Marriage between a male and a female, which begets the family, has always been socially and culturally seen as the only legitimate and acceptable haven for sexual activity and child-bearing. Subsequently, it has constantly been safeguarded and regulated by norms because it
- assured the birth of children into two-parent families as the natural result of human sexuality;
- provided the structure for socialising children by means of role division between the father and mother who contracted marriage;
- made parental role division possible by providing to economic security for the stay-at-home partner (traditionally the mother) through legal support obligations, in addition to moral, social, and severe legal strictures against divorce;
- ensured provisions for parents in their old age through their children’s reciprocal moral and legal support obligation.
In his dissenting opinion on the Obergefell et al v. Hodges ruling, the late Justice Antonin Scalia called to mind that the US Constitution, (and for that matter, any just law of any nation), places restraints on self-rule. Such measures include safeguarding that which has been culturally and socially accepted as part of human social order, i.e., the matrimonial consent between man and woman. Otherwise, there can be no family and, consequently, the fabric of human civilisation would falter.
What gives a man and a woman the juridical right to marry each other is not their mutual love, but–providing neither is bound by a previous union or religious vow–the intention to accept the unity and indissolubility of marriage with the end of procreating and properly raising offspring. Hence, the fallacy of same-sex “marriages.” And, notwithstanding the complexities that stem from both charismatic and visible dimensions of life, such irrevocable treasures of what a man and a woman can offer each other and to society in matrimonial union are to be continually approached and respected without any prejudice, with the understanding that they are not just an ideal.
What gives a man and a woman the juridical right to marry each other is not their mutual love
The family maintains its persona as a natural society, i.e., a type of aggregation, which should not be precipitously confused with any other form of artificial society that would threaten its stability. ‘To sum up,” stated Orbán, “the mother is a woman, the father is a man, and leave our kids alone. Full stop. End of discussion!’
Orbán’s wake-up call is an empirical one, especially with his challenge to uphold Christian democracy against an acrimonious European Union. This is why, given the success pro-LGTBQ+ activists and their political backers have had in implementing their abnormal and capricious ideas as law, Orbán said:
‘This war is a culture war. We have to revitalise our churches, our families, our universities and our community institutions.’
He also sternly warned:
‘The horrors of Nazis and communists happened because some western states in continental Europe abandoned that Christian values and today’s progressives are planning to do the same. They want to give up on western values and create a new world, a post-western world. Who is going to stop them if we don’t?’
The English-born American and political activist Thomas Paine, in a rally cry to the American colonists said: ‘These are times that try men’s souls.’ So are our times – the revitalisation of Western society that Orbán spoke of at the CPAC is not just imperative, it is vital.
 H. D Krause, “Comparative Family Law,” in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1112.