- - Wednesday, July 11, 2012

On Saturday, Rep. Barney Frank took marriage vows with his partner, Jim Ready, at a Boston ceremony attended by 300 guests and scads of media. One might have thought the congressman, his partner and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who officiated the nuptials, might have wanted to use this high-profile event as an opportunity to combat negative public opinion about and increase the legitimacy of same-sex marriage. They accomplished the polar opposite. Red flags should be hoisted up flagpoles across the country.

Here are the vows, which Mr. Patrick as the presiding official, posed to Mr. Frank and Mr. Ready:

“Do you promise to love each other and be each other’s best friend,

In sickness and in health,

In Congress or in retirement,

Whether the surf is up or the surf’s flat,

For richer or for poorer,

Under the Democrats or the Republicans,

Whether the slopes are powdery or icy,

Whether the book reviews are good or bad,

For better or for worse,

On MSNBC or on Fox,

For as long as you both shall live?”

The entire ceremony lasted just a few minutes.

Most Americans - yes, even those who may have a divorce in their past, view marriage as something sacred. It’s a solemn moment of commitment before God or, if not God, in front of their families and the community. Clearly, the intelligentsia in attendance were not mostAmericans.

An irreverent display, this was a scene from a cheesy comedy movie, skewering the very concept of marriage. No one would mistake this for a solemn moment when two souls are joined together for eternity. Instead, it was an absurd frolic, an “Alice in Wonderland” moment.

The politicos and pundits who aggressively promote same-sex marriage, many of whom were present at this event, have revealed something about themselves they perhaps didn’t intend to show: Same-sex marriage is a joke to them. It’s nothing more than political opportunism, straight from the liberal Democrats’ timeworn, dog-eared playbook - an attempt to corral and cordon off yet another minority group for the Democrats, adding yet another square to their patchwork AstroTurf quilt.

Putting their personal seal of approval on this act of contempt toward marriage by virtue of their attendance were House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, former Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry and House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer.

Mr. Frank’s vows are emblematic of the problem with the same-sex marriage lobby in this country: For them, it’s not about homosexual rights, nor is it about equality, fairness or freedom. It is about the weakening of the two most hallowed structures of civil society - family and faith - which often stand in the way of government making further inroads into our lives. The ideal world for liberals would be one where we all became like “Julia” on BarackObama.com - individuals deprived of the influence and support of family and faith. In that way, government can more easily have its way with us.

The New York Times wrote, “Ms. Pelosi said at the reception on Saturday that it was appropriate that a landmark same-sex wedding take place around the Fourth of July. ‘It’s about expanding freedom.’ “

Far from a cherished milestone in the advancement of American freedom, the Frank-Ready wedding was a mockery, a parody, a staggering caricature of the most funda- mental and towering of American Institutions.

If this is how Washington’s political class views marriage, we should run - not walk - from its counsels.

The boisterous laughter and snickers among the 300 gathered guests evoked by Mr. Frank’s frivolous vows were a display of the contempt our liberal establishment harbors for Main Street America.

Doug Mainwaring is co-founder of the National Capital Tea Party Patriots.