Alan Keyes on “Hannity & Colmes” about Effect of Homosexual “Marriage” on Presidential Election
May 4, 2004

The former American Ambassador to the United Nations, Alan Keyes, was asked a week or so ago, April 22, whether homosexual “marriage” will be as important during the upcoming Presidential election as the war in Iraq and our economy

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: First, the fight over gay marriage. It becomes legal in Massachusetts in a few weeks, and it may not be over there. Other states around the country are debating similar laws, but should gay couples have the same right to marriage as straight ones? Joining us now, former Republican presidential candidate Ambassador Alan Keyes. Ambassador, good to see you, my friend.

ALAN KEYES: Good to be with you. How are you?

HANNITY: You know, we look at the top two issues in the presidential campaign. Certainly, the war on terrorism, number one. Number two is the fact that we've had this huge recovery. How big a role will debates like this be in the election?

KEYES: Well, I think they will play an important part. I think it's important in mobilizing the base of the Republican Party, because a lot of people in that Republican base are deeply concerned about the moral status of the country, particularly when it comes to the foundational institution of family life. So, I think the president's going to have to make clear his commitment, and be able to articulate it in a way that reassures them that in the future there will be an effective step forward in protecting the institution.

HANNITY: In once sense, I think the gay and lesbian activist community has been very clever, in as much as, they understand that if they got this decision in Massachusetts, under the Constitution, other states would have to recognize what was the law and what was ordained, if you will, in the state of Massachusetts. It seems like a well thought out strategy. First, you get the court decision, then you'd have the beginning of the marriages taking place in San Francisco and elsewhere.

KEYES: Well, I think this has been part, Sean, of a long-term strategy that's been going on throughout the country for several decades, in fact. I think it's the culmination of an assault which is not just about gay marriage, it's actually about an effort, I think, to undermine the very concept of marriage and the system of family that is based upon marriage.

And so, the whole assault that is taking place now isn't really about gay rights, it's about the destruction of the fundamental idea of marriage as a social institution.

HANNITY: Hey, marriage is what it is. You go to the definition, it's a legal bond between a man and a woman. What I think is happening here is they want to change the definition.

KEYES: Well, no. Marriage isn't based, Sean, it's not based upon a legal definition. Throw out all of that for a minute. Marriage is the society's recognition of a natural fact that predates society.

HANNITY: I understand that. But what should the president do? Let me ask the political question. Should the president put issues like this, cultural, moral issues, in the forefront of his campaign? Clearly, he's running on his record on the economic recovery, and he's going to run on the defense of this country in the wake of 9-11. Should he also put issues like gay marriage and abortion on the front burner in campaigning?

KEYES: Well, I think that the moral crisis of the country is actually still the foremost crisis we face, but I also believe that the president has as his first responsibility right now the national security of this country, and I think that's going to be the decisive issue in the campaign, and I don't think he should let anything detract from that in the first instance.

But part of that national security is to make sure that we move forward in the war against terror with the moral confidence of a people who still believe in the values that they're fighting for--and of course family, and the marriage-based family, and the sense of obligation and responsibility to the future that it represents, these are a fundamental part of the moral fabric of the country.

ALAN COLMES, HOST: I don't think people are voting on this--good to see you, by the way. It's Alan Colmes. I don't think people are voting on this issue. Some may. The election's not going to turn on the issue of gay marriage.

The president did flip-flop on it, by the way, because when the issue of Vermont came up, and Massachusetts, and when he was governor of Texas, he said it should be a states' rights issue, and now they're favoring a constitutional amendment. So, he has flip-flopped on this, hasn't he?

KEYES: Well, I think one of the problems is, first of all, this is not about politics. It's about the survival of our . . . .

COLMES: Oh, sure it is.

KEYES: Well, let me finish. It's about the survival of our civilization. If we retreat from society's respect for the natural marriage institution, that represents a fundamental breach of the social contract, and it will lead to the dissolution of our civil society. We are playing with the most fundamental kind of fire here, and it's the kind of fire that transcends politics and leads to the destruction of civilizations. And that's where we're headed, if we don't deal with this effectively.

COLMES: Well, you didn't answer my question about whether he flip-flopped, but look, but look, if somebody is married, how does the fact that other people with other sexual orientations can also get married, how does it effect my marriage or your marriage?

KEYES: Meaning no offense, you are talking nonsense to me. The word marriage . . . .

COLMES: Well, what else is new, Alan, I hear that from you every time you're on the show. So, what else is new?

KEYES: No, I'm talking bad about you personally. The application of marriage to this situation where procreation cannot take place is simply absurd, and you can't through the law establish some understanding of marriage that contradicts the natural phenomenon that is the basis in fact for the belonging of parents to children and children to parents. Civil society comes into existence to secure our belongings, among other things, and if they disrespect that institution through which this sense of belonging is made possible, they are destroying the basis of civilization.

COLMES: Alan, to me--this is a lot of rhetoric to me. You haven't answered my question. I'm asking you how the fact that gays can get . . . .

KEYES: That's not rhetoric. I'm sorry, Alan, that's logic.

COLMES: If gays can get married, how does that destroy my marriage or your marriage? How does giving those rights--how does giving rights to one particular group take away rights from another group?

KEYES: Meaning no offense, it destroys the very concept of marriage, and by destroying the very concept of marriage, it destroys the possibility of effective respect for that institution.

And that's what's going on here. You're treating marriage as if it's some kind of personal whim. Marriage is in fact the recognition of an institution that predates civil society, predates government, predates positive law, and that is in fact the basis on which people come into civil society.

Now, if this society is going to retreat from respect for that fundamental institution, it will be dissolved, and we need to stop playing games with this.

HANNITY: Ambassador, it's always good to have you. Thank you for being with us. We'll have you on often throughout the campaign.

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