Monday, February 23, 2015

Marriage equality

President Obama told BuzzFeed News Tuesday Feb 10, “Same-sex couples should have the same rights as anybody else” under the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

The case for same-sex marriage flying under the banner of "marriage equality" seems to have just about won the day here in the United States. The Supreme Court might stand against the direction the wind is blowing, but that seems unlikely to me.* This post probably won't change any minds. Rather I place it here as a testament of where I stand. Proponents of same-sex marriage say this stand is “on the wrong side of history.” But, as Dennis Prager wrote, “history is very long. Our grandchildren, or their grandchildren, will judge whether this is true.”

The concept of "equality" has captured the minds and hearts of many. What American wants to oppose equality? But what is marriage equality? Is marriage equality equal? Does marriage equality require accommodating every interest group that disagrees with the marriage laws that a state adopts? Are these laws so unequal after all? In our state (as it has been in all states) any citizen is free to marry anyone the law allows any citizen to marry. It applies equally to all citizens. The law doesn't discriminate against your "attraction" -- because it doesn't take it into account. If a man is "attracted" to ten year old girls, no matter, he can't marry one. Neither can the man who is not attracted to them. Why? Because the law is unequal? No. Because the law is equal, regardless of one's attraction. Now you may not agree with that law, but your disagreement doesn't make it unequal. If a man is "attracted" to his sister, no matter, he can't marry his sister. Neither can the man who is not attracted to his sister. Why? Because the law is unequal? No. Because the law is equal! You may not agree with that law, but your disagreement doesn't make it unequal. If a man is "attracted" to other men, no matter, he can't marry one. Neither can the man who is not attracted to them. Why? Because the law is unequal? No. Because the law is equal! You may not agree with that law, but your disagreement doesn't make it unequal. It is the same law for everyone who resides in the state of Texas.

But, you say, laws against same-sex marriage target a group of people -- people who are attracted to the same sex. Well, if so, in the same sense laws against marrying someone under a certain age target those who are attracted to someone under that age. Laws against marrying close relatives target those who are attracted to those close relatives. Laws against polygamy target those who are attracted to multiple partners. But these laws target all equally because they do not target the attraction but the license to marry.

Well, you raise the analogy or comparison between laws against interracial marriage and laws against homosexual marriage. If laws against interracial marriage were unequal and wrong, aren't laws against homosexual marriage also unequal and wrong? The comparison is false and inapplicable. There is no pertinent difference between black and white humans. Differences between male and female humans are significant -- physical, physiological and morphological, some more obvious than others (even legal, as in certain different necessary accommodations for men and women).

To believe in the superiority of marital union of a man and a woman one does not have to believe in the superiority of heterosexual men and women over homosexual men and women as individuals. It is simply a recognition that the basic building block of society is a marriage between a man and a woman. This is not some strange new idea. You may believe that same-sex marriage is the right thing to do. You cannot insist that it is it not radical. In recorded history marriage has always been regarded as a union between a man and a woman -- even in societies where homosexuality was regarded sympathetically.

The revision of marriage reduces it to sanctioning adult desires, emotional bonds, and sexual attraction with certain legal privileges. Deep below the surface of this is the intense need to recognize the relationship as "normal" -- that is, that the same-sex relationship is in no way radical or different from the opposite-sex relationship. But we all know that is not so, even when we do all we can to act if it is.

In "When ‘Redefining Marriage’ Meant That Women Had To Be Treated Like Human Beings," Ian Millhiser argues “this objection (to redefining marriage) makes little sense. The reality is that the way we define the concept of 'marriage' bears little resemblance to the way it was defined just a few decades ago...” But in reality Millhiser redefines the discussion of redefining marriage. His references are variations within the male-female marriage relationship (selectively choosing those which he expects modern Americans to reject as "outdated") rather than the thing itself. Yes, the nut and bolts of marriage relationships have varied from time to time, and will continue to do so. In one place it might include child brides; in another polygamy. But it was always between males and females. To include two parties of the same sex is a redefinition not of the inner workings within a marriage relationship, but of the very relationship itself.

No, homosexual marriage  isn't the destruction of family values. But it stamps the seal of approval on the destructive sexual revolution that raged in the 20th century. The redefinition began with approving temporal emotional bonds for opposite-sex couples, which might be changed nearly as easily as changing a flat tire. It will (logically) end in the all-out approval of all strong emotional bonds that might be entered into by those who feel them.

I've noticed article after article in which same-sex marriage advocates whine about the "slippery slope" argument. The "slippery slope" argument points out that redefining marriage for two persons of the same sex on the basis of "marriage equality" will logically lead to polygamy, polyamory and so on. If marriage must be redefined for one interest group, it must be redefined for all interest groups. If not all-inclusive, the law is discriminatory and unequal for the others who are not included. If there is something wrong with including these relationships on the basis of marriage equality, then the premise is wrong for supporting same-sex marriage as well.

* In fact, it seems to me that they have carefully and deliberately placed themselves in the wind's direction.

No comments: