Nor should there ever be. "It's not natural" is not an argument. "It goes against scripture" is at best an appeal to a non-universal authority. "Society is conducting a grand experiment that has not boded well for past civilizations" is spooky doom-saying based primarily on the idea that the movie Caligula was a historically accurate account of said "past civilizations."
The entire issue can be boiled-down as follows:
The entire issue can be boiled-down as follows:
- Point: Homosexuals would like US laws to treat their committed, life-long, romantic relationships the same way US laws treat heterosexual relationships.
- Counter-Point: That makes some heterosexuals uncomfortable.
A more conspiratorial libertarian than I might suggest that this debate is a statist tool to control the dialogue. In other words, so long as we are arguing about whether The Law ought to apply equally to hetero- and homosexuals, no one is considering disobeying The Law itself. The masses are thus fully controlled by their overlords, who will either choose to dole out the King's favors or not; but in any case, the authority of the King shall never fall under our scrutiny.
Well, I'm not sure I go for the conspiracy theorist's take on this issue. I think the "traditionalists," or whatever word we're using to describe people who feel that they and their religions own the word "marriage" and all its legal ramifications, are sorely out-numbered, out-reasoned, out-gunned, and out-smarted. They have nowhere else to go with this. They can duke it out in the Supreme Court all they want, but they will never win, because "it's a sin" is no more an argument against legalized homosexuality than it is an argument in favor of outlawing gluttony or adultery.
Countries don't draft laws according to which behaviors make you uncomfortable, but rather according to which behaviors infringe your rights. So, if you oppose gay marriage, then you are on the wrong side of philosophy and the law, and you can provide no more justification for this than "but it makes me uncomfortable." Balderdash.
Perhaps more importantly, though, is not the fact that you are on the wrong side of philosophy nor of law, but rather history:
The gradual development of equality of conditions is therefore a providential fact, and it has the principle characteristics of one: it is universal, it is enduring, each day it escapes human power; all events, like all men, serve its development.
And, I might add that the phrase "providential fact" is a reference to god. You can crank against the gears of logic, and the legal system, and of society itself, but you cannot overturn a providential fact. No one can. Gay marriage already exists; legalized gay marriage is inevitable. Stop fighting the inevitable and instead turn your attention to the TSA, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Education, and Department of Defense, all of whom are groping you, spying on you, turning your mind to mush, and brutally killing you in the name of upholding these arcane laws that you refuse to extend to people whose romantic choices are less like your own.
Gain some perspective, for heaven's sake.
""It goes against scripture" is at best an appeal to a non-universal authority."ReplyDelete
And you have a universal authority to appeal to?
"Countries don't draft laws according to which behaviors make you uncomfortable, but rather according to which behaviors infringe your rights."
An odd claim for a libertarian to make. Did you leave out the word "should?"
"Perhaps more importantly, though, is not the fact that you are on the wrong side of philosophy nor of law, but rather history:"
That sounds like what is sometimes called the Whig theory of history--that it is a story of continual improvement in political institutions. It's hard to square it with the fact that the 20th century contained some of the most murderous regimes in history.
And, so far as the particular issue of homosexuality is concerned, social and legal attitudes have varied back and forth across time and space. If you accept Boswell's account, which I think is at least in part correct, Europe in the early middle ages was quite a lot more tolerant of homosexuality than, say, England in the 19th century.
For my view of the gay marriage dispute, see an old post on my blog:
Well, a couple of things.Delete
The first and most important thing is that I completely agree with what you wrote on your blog, and so there is not for me to dispute. :)
Regarding the appeal to authority, my point was that appeals to authority are generally considered fallacious, especially when not all sides agree that the authority referenced is a credible one.
As to how countries make laws, you've definitely got me there.
Regarding the de Tocqueville quote, I like to think of it this way: Once you let certain freedoms "out of the bag," you can't put them back in very easily. Society certainly lost a lot of freedom over the 20th Century, but gained substantial amounts as well. It would require a major shift in social perspectives to reverse, for example, women's suffrage, which I see as being highly analogous to gay marriage.
But, as I said, I am in complete agreement with your take on the issue. Thanks for posting that link. I hope my readers take the time to read it, as I think you've made the case much better than I have.
I did read the link David posted. It's an extremely enlightened position. I can't wait for this to be the non issue it should be.ReplyDelete