GQ: Is the strategy shifting because social conservatives are losing on those core issues? Ten years ago, it would have been unimaginable to have gay marriage even in liberal Massachusetts. Now it’s there.
Huckabee: I don’t think the issue’s about being against gay marriage. It’s about being for traditional marriage and articulating the reason that’s important. You have to have a basic family structure. There’s never been a civilization that has rewritten what marriage and family means and survived. So there is a sense in which, you know, it’s one thing to say if people want to live a different way, that’s their business. But when you want to redefine what family means or what marriage means, then that’s an issue that should require some serious and significant debate in the public square.
As Devilstower accurately notes, lots of civilizations changed the rules of marriage and not only didn’t suffer for it, they flourished under it. The Mormons rejecting polygamy stands out as an example.
But he neglects another one: Judaism. In the 11th century, Rabbi Gershom ben Judah issued a ruling banning polygamy, which was relatively common during Biblical times. It only applied to Ashkenazic Jews, but became the practice for Sephardic Jews as well. Somehow, I think we’ve done okay after changing it.
This is Exhibit Number 347 in the “Opposition to gay marriage is simple bigotry” case.