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April 10, 2005

The Gay Marriage Catagory

Jane Galt has revealed a GK Chesterton chestnut which is perfectly apt for a large number of situations. I had previously on that score referred to Ayn Rand in my mind, but I believe it shall now forever be thus:

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, "I don't see the use of this; let us clear it away." To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: "If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it."

So now I must gather my thoughts about Gay Marriage, which I am against, into a category which will not go away. Hers is probably the most magnetic essay ever in the blogosphere, to which I add very little at this point.

Posted by mbowen at April 10, 2005 07:08 PM

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Michael, are you saying that the issue of gay marriage won't go away? Maybe (shades of Chesterton) it would be worth reflecting on why it won't. :)

Posted by: Scott Ferguson at April 11, 2005 03:55 AM

p.s.: Linking to Jane Galt's article would be helpful. :)

Posted by: Scott Ferguson at April 11, 2005 03:58 AM

I'm saying the very idea of Gay Marriage will go away because it is a bad idea. But so long as the subject is going to be rehashed, I may as well have a category for it here at Cobb.

Posted by: Cobb at April 19, 2005 04:03 PM

What, specifically, is it about gay men and lesbians marrying one another that makes it a bad idea, Cobb?

Posted by: Tom Lore at April 20, 2005 02:38 PM

I say that gays and lesbians cannot, by definition, be Married. That any loving relationship or domestic partnership or arrangement they make between themselves can be 'something' but it cannot be Marriage.

I further assert that the primary moral grounds for the definition of Marriage is not secular. The state may some obligation to its citizens to protect certain rights and privileges to couples owing to its commitment to domestic tranquility and may within its bounds grant standing to civil unions to this end. But that will not make those civil unions Marriage.

I believe that in giving primary moral authority over the definitions of Marriage gives it a transcendent and spiritual context upon which the state should not impinge. Therefore I think it is beyond the authority of the state to make constitutional amendments in defense of what are essentially religious rites and blessings.

In practical terms, I believe that activists for the gay cause do damage to the institution of Marriage as well as pervert the 'legacy of Stonewall' in their efforts to stretch the definition of Marriage to accomodate gays and lesbians, and I think the empirical evidence of Scandinavian countries bears that out.

Posted by: cobb at April 20, 2005 04:28 PM