The initial “intellectual opening” to the notion of a so-called “gay marriage” came about, I believe, with the widespread introduction of the birth control pill around 1960. The relation to same-sex “marriage” has to do with the fundamental purposes of things, and what is natural as opposed to unnatural.
The primary, essential purpose of marriage is procreation: producing of children as the fruit of the sexual oneness of a married couple.
Obviously, this can only occur between a man and a woman. Thus, to counter this truth, it was necessary to break this immemorial and instinctive connection between sexuality/marriage and procreation.
Just as ‘Natural’
Legal child killing (a.k.a. abortion) came along in the US in 1973 by judicial fiat, precisely like this Supreme Court ruling. This was the decisive Step Two in separating both marriage and (heterosexual) sexuality from children.
Once that was accomplished, then homosexual acts and homosexual “marriage” became far more thinkable. After all, if sexuality need not have any intrinsic connection to children, then homosexual sex is just as supposedly “natural” or defensible as heterosexual sex. It simply took a while for society to get used to the inexorable “diabolical logic” involved.
In strictly legal terms, the notion that government could no longer say anything about sexuality or what goes on behind closed doors came about with the Griswold Supreme Court case in 1965 (contraception), which was a direct legal precursor or precedent to Roe v. Wade in 1973 (the so-called “right to privacy” nonsense). We observe this notion also in things like physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia, and drug use.
The related myth is that none of these things affect anyone else. It’s thought that it does no harm to anyone else, even though we know for a fact that homosexual sex (whatever one morally thinks of it) has dire health consequences (that go far beyond the conquered AIDS virus).
The ‘Big Lie’
Cultural acceptance of same-sex “marriage” was accomplished by propaganda and re-education in the public schools, combined with an increasing cultural moral relativism. The old tactic of the “Big Lie” was used; that is, if you repeat something often enough, people start to believe it, wholly apart from rational argument and fact and previous tradition.
Specifically, how this is done is to appeal to cases where homosexuals have been treated abominably. We Catholics utterly condemn that. But what happens is that kindness and charity become confused with accepting immoral acts. In our society today, no one can disagree with what anyone else does (especially in this area) without being accused of being “hateful” and “intolerant.”
To disagree is to be a bigot and a hater: a bad, wicked person. That is the fruit of moral relativism. These tactics work.
The “argument” that homosexuality is “genetic” and, therefore, cannot be resisted, was also front and center. The problem here is that there is no compelling scientific evidence for a genetic inevitability. Studies of separated twins have confirmed it.
We also know that homosexual sex can be a learned or environmental thing. There is much evidence that disruption of the proper relationship with one’s father has a direct causal relationship to later active homosexuality. But we’re not allowed to even bring up such things anymore.
The second problem is that the Bible casually assumes that the sin of homosexual sex can be resisted, since it is assumes that it is serious sin, and God doesn’t forbid what is impossible for human beings to avoid. It would be like God condemning the drinking of water. But since our society as a whole couldn’t care less anymore what the Bible teaches (it’s regarded as an outdated, outmoded irrelevancy from ancient times), it doesn’t have any societal effect on the discussion.
Disciples and Demographics
On the flip side, we Christians have failed to explain why contraception is wrong; how it led to abortion and now same-sex marriage; and have failed in our task to convey a full, vigorous, proactive case for abstinence until marriage and the wrongness of sex outside of heterosexual marriage.
Children have taken in what our society and the public schools offer them, and no one wants to go against the grain. The sad irony is that Pope St. John Paul II has given us the gift of his magnificent teaching on the Theology of the Body. But our society (and even many compromised Catholics) no longer cares enough to even read, let alone accept it.
To counter all this, we have to live and share our faith and above all, have lots of children, raised as true disciples of Jesus Christ, to alter demographics. That would transform our society.
Let’s pray for revival, and in the meantime continue to boldly, charitably defend traditional moral teaching.