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Dubious Gay Marriage Logic

Local law professor Dale Carpenter muddied the usually reliable waters of the National Review Online yesterday with fables of conservative debate on the issue of gay marriage. Carpenter asserts that there are “interesting” and possibly “fruitful” discussions going on in conservative circles. Carpenter states:

“Beginning in the 1990s, a few prominent gay intellectuals like Andrew Sullivan and Jonathan Rauch began making what Sullivan called the ‘Conservative Case for Gay Marriage.’ This ‘conservative case’ has rested on the idea that marriage would benefit gays, generally by encouraging long-term commitment among gays and particularly by settling gay men. It would therefore benefit our whole society.”

The sophistry here is redeemed neither by its subtlety nor by its general effectiveness. Framing the alleged debate this way asserts as an accepted truth what is in fact the core of the real debate in our society. This “conservative case” assumes that homosexuality is acceptable, and looks ahead to how best to integrate it. But that assumption is not proven merely by the strength of sheer repetition. The real debate is about the nature of homosexual behavior itself. This battle, like abortion before it, is being inexorable cut off from the public square by a federal judiciary that marches in lockstep with the liberal elite. But we should not let it go without a fight.

Carpenter seems to believe, with Sullivan and others, that being homosexual is like being left-handed. Though its genetic, psychological or environmental origins are unclear, it is a natural occurrence whose only consequence is the difficulties sometimes encountered in a predominantly right-handed world.

The better analogy, however, is to say that being homosexual is like being alcoholic. It causes are indeed unclear, but its consequences are not. Homosexuality is a condition of intrinsic disorder, an affliction like other disorders such as alcoholism, bulimia or kleptomania. It is a burden to bear, and for those who live the lifestyle its appetites demand, it is destructive. To argue that gay marriage would benefit homosexuals is absurd. Society does not seek to benefit alcoholics by delivering liquor to their front doors. Society benefits homosexuals by evincing disapprobation and offering help. To say that married homosexuals in society is better than unmarried homosexuals is like saying its better to have four fingers than three. Better yes, but not right.

The day is coming when a federal court will settle the question of homosexuality for us, handing down its benediction on the homosexual lifestyle in the “sweet mystery of life.” Any disapprobation of homosexuality will then be anathema and countless souls, both heroic and pathetic, will move from the ranks of the afflicted to the ranks of the debased. Until that day, however, it is disingenuous to speak of a gay marriage debate at all. The true debate, whether Carpenter and other want to admit it or not, is the legitimacy of the actively homosexual lifestyle. The burden of proof rests with those who seek to cast aside traditional moral values derived from natural law. Their efforts to misrepresent the disagreement reveal their lack of success in the public square.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 26, 2005 9:15 AM.

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