WHAT will be the consequences of last weekend’s decision of the American Supreme Court allowing same sex marriages throughout the country? Is America prepared for the fallout? Are we in St Lucia or anywhere else, for that matter?
Supporters of same sex marriage are busy patting themselves on the back and claiming “victory”, but are they looking in the future?
Ever since the five of nine judges who delivered this so called landmark decision last Friday, that in effect says that same sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, the debate has shifted to new ground: the consequences of that decision. The predictions have been coming thick and fast, from civil disobedience and an anti-gay revolution to the collapse of civilization; from the official sanctioning of polygamy to the complete moral destruction of the country over the long run and the possible attempts by some states to secede from the Union.
One American evangelist predicts that the next step will be agitation for the acceptance of bestiality—sex between man and animals—and as awful as this might sound, let us consider that the idea of same sex marriage was not mooted even 20 years ago.
There are other possible consequences which are more realistic, like the initiating of civil and quite possibly, criminal charges against persons, including ministers of religion who refuse to perform same sex marriages and the upheaval that will follow in churches, a situation that is already beginning to unfold.
These are among the predictions for the United States, but what about the rest of the world? One presumes that there will be mounting pressure on governments almost everywhere to follow in the footsteps of the United States and make same sex marriages legal. Some countries had already gone that route, but the anticipation is that many more will do so.
And what of countries like St Lucia? Some years ago, little states like ours came face to face with the bullying power of the powerful when some big and so called “developed” countries began tying their aid to human rights issues like the death penalty. Imagine what would happen if the mighty United States decided to discourage its citizens from visiting St Lucia as tourists because we refused to allow same sex couples on our shores or perform their marriages here. Does this sound far-fetched? Not at all. Did they not sideline St Lucia from assistance over the still unproven alleged human rights claim that our police engaged in extra judicial killings? The good news, though, is that not all Americans subscribe to the same sex marriage agenda.
Are our Caribbean countries with their long-standing practice of, and adherence to Christian principles—including the divine declaration that marriage is between man and a woman—going to allow themselves to be bullied into changing their stance for fear of an economic backlash? What about the consequences of civil strife from opposing forces on this issue?
Above all, the question will have to be asked: What next after we accept gay marriage? What is the next big lifestyle demand that will be made on humanity? In St Lucia, we have already experienced agitation for decriminalization of abortion, prostitution and marijuana and have legislated organized gambling. Now, we must prepare to deal with the impact of this latest moral issue because there is no running away from it.