The law could require that hippos and crocs always be housed in the same enclosures at zoos.This is how I feel about gay marriage. Marriage is older than Law, older than the State which makes Law, older even than Religion. For as long as we have been human, marriage has been a part of our social nature, and despite all the variations one finds in it, it has always remained more or less the same.
The law could require that textbooks would always refer to hippos as a subspecies of crocodile, and could require teachers that taught otherwise be fired.
The law could make maintaining the distinct, mammalian nature of hippopotamuses a hate crime.
But it couldn't actually, really make a hippo into a crocodile, could it?
Defining gay relationships as marriages is certainly possible. The legislature can certainly pass such a law, or the courts can simply decree it. They've done similar things in the past.
And yes, the law can require that all relationships called "marriage" be treated the same by government.
And it can require that textbooks and teachers conform -- or else.
And it can make maintaining a contrary view, even one that is arguably over a hundred thousand years old, a hate crime.
But none of those things will change the nature of humanity. Marriage might be wounded by such actions -- which means, the people of our society might be wounded by the law's effects -- but marriage, as such, will outlast the State's attempts to make it something it isn't.
You might think, I suppose, that my analogy is a stretch, but it's not.
In the early 20th Century, there was a leading biologist in the USSR, one Trofim Lysenko, who claimed that he could induce genetic change in wheat through adjusting environmental factors. If true, this would enable greater harvests for the USSR, but that's not why the Commissars bought into it. That's not why they punished those who disagreed with it. That's not why they spent so much money and effort ballyhooing a "science" that didn't work.
The reason Lysenko's theories were so valuable to the Communists, and why they were made part of the orthodoxy -- the official lies -- that governed that society, is because they upheld the mutability of humanity. Communism taught that there is no inherent human nature, no part of human society that cannot be made whatever you want: under the right conditions, Man is changeable -- perfectible -- and the State has the power and the wisdom to make of humanity whatever it ought to be. Both of those ideas are crazy -- and dangerous -- and arrogant in the extreme.
This arrogance is intrinsic to revolutionary movements of this type. The most radical leader of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine, said, "We have it in our power to begin the world over again." America did not follow him down that path, but France did, and the desire to begin the world over again was typical of the French Revolution. Tom Paine was elected to the revolutionary government of France, which proclaimed a new Year One, made up a new religion, and so on.* In fact, the main difference between the American and French revolutions lies precisely in this, that the American Revolution was a rebellion to go back to rights and relationships of long standing that had been violated by the tyranny of the king, while the French Revolution was a rebellion against everything, including the king. Progressivism is another such movement, equally arrogant, and equally convinced that reality can be made whatever one wants it to be, using only the ordinary means of the State: laws, police forces, schools, social pressure.
Now, it should be said that I don't care what gay people do, not on a personal level. I don't care what they call their relationships, stable or ephemeral as they might be. And if government sees fit to give gay partners some benefits as regards insurance or pensions or whatnot, I may disagree but so what. But when somebody starts relabeling the ordinary reality we all share in order to convenience their desire for "equality," then that may wind up inconveniencing me mightily. In the end, its only lasting effect will be the punishment it heaps upon those who disagree, for I don't see it changing the essential nature of humanity or society. So, if that's what you mean by "equality," then put me down for
*The "so on" includes the Terror -- not a bug, but a feature, of the Revolution.