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Marriage promotes ‘white supremacy’: George Mason professor

But scholars say marriage benefits society, minorities included

“Marriage fundamentalism” advances “white supremacy,” according to a George Mason University professor.

“I theorize that marriage fundamentalism, like structural racism, is a key structuring element of White heteropatriarchal supremacy,” Professor Bethany Letiecq wrote in the Journal of Marriage and Family.

“Marriage fundamentalism can be understood as an ideological and cultural phenomenon, where adherents espouse the superiority of the two-parent married family,” she (pictured) wrote.

She did not respond to two emailed requests for comment on her views sent in the past three weeks. The Fix asked if she would support government support for marriage, such as tax breaks, if they were better tailored to benefit all racial groups.

Letiecq employs “critical family theorizing…to delineate an overarching orientation to structural oppression and unequal power relations that advantages [white heteropatriarchal nuclear families] and marginalizes others as a function of marriage fundamentalism.”

Letiecq says the government has coerced “its citizens to enter into an institution built upon White heteropatriarchal supremacy.” Letiecq says marriage as an institution has allowed white heterosexual couples “to gain access to benefits, rights, and protections.”

She cohabitates with her partner and their children “in a committed heterosexual union outside the institution of marriage.”

Letiecq concludes that only white heterosexual couples reap the social and financial benefits of marriage subsidized by the government while minority Americans do not gain any such benefits.

MORE: Letiecq critiques ‘family privilege’

Marriage scholar Brad Wilcox disagrees with the George Mason professor.

“Marriage is an institution that has advanced the common good in many civilizations, from Europe to the Americas, and from Asia to Africa,” Wilcox told The Fix via email.

“Marriage benefits children of all racial and ethnic backgrounds,” the University of Virginia sociologist and director of the National Marriage Project wrote. He also recently published a book about the benefits of marriage.

He pointed The Fix to several articles he wrote that show the importance of married fathers and the harms of single-parent households.

The paper is “terrifying” according to Terry Schilling, the president of a pro-family group.

The paper “suggests far-left academics are ramping up their attacks on the family, the most important institution in society,” the American Principles Project leader told The Fix via an emailed statement.

“Although the social science on the immense benefits of strong, intact families is unimpeachable, this author simply waves them away,” Schilling said. “She ignores the extreme harm that has come to minority Americans as a result of family breakdown in their communities.”

He also criticized her for “paradoxically” blaming “the government for ‘reproducing’ this ‘family inequality’ in America, even as she also admits the welfare state’s privileging of families hasn’t arrested the drop in marriage rates.”

He said it is “dangerous” to “attempt to degrade the family” since “it is already in serious decline.”

“We need to be doing what we can right now to shore up the family, not tear it down. Otherwise, our society won’t be ‘reproducing’ much of anything in the very near future.”

MORE: College students should embrace marriage

IMAGE: NBC Washington

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Benjamin Vogel is a student at Hope College studying political science and philosophy. He is an active member of Hope Catholics and Hope Students Cherishing Life and serves on the executive board of Hope Republicans. He has written for the Bell Tower, a student journal of Christian theological scholarship launched in 2020.