John Milbank: Gay Marriage a “Strategic Move” That Has Nothing to Do with Gay Rights

John MilbankBy Matthew Schmitz, First Things

The push for gay marriage is part of the state’s “drive to assume direct control over the reproduction of the population”writes radical orthodox theologian John Milbank:
Heterosexual exchange and reproduction has always been the very “grammar” of social relating as such. The abandonment of this grammar would thus imply a society no longer primarily constituted by extended kinship, but rather by state control and merely monetary exchange and reproduction.
Milbank begins his argument by pointing out the impossibility of defining gay marriage in traditional terms of “consummation” and “adultery.” The impossibility of doing so means that marriage will “inevitably be redefined even for heterosexual people in homosexual terms.”
Consummation and adultery would cease to be valid categories even for straight unions. Thus would end “the public legal recognition of a social reality defined in terms of the natural link between sex and procreation.” This, says Milbank, “reveals what is really at issue here.”
There was no demand for “gay marriage” and this has nothing to do with gay rights. Instead, it is a strategic move in the modern state’s drive to assume direct control over the reproduction of the population, bypassing our interpersonal encounters. This is not about natural justice, but the desire on the part of biopolitical tyranny to destroy marriage and the family as the most fundamental mediating social institution.
“The recipe for psychological confusion, family division and social conflict,” Milbank writes, “is all too evident and cannot be averted.”
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