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Monday, March 25, 2013

A few thoughts for the Supreme Court on same-sex "marriage"

More a bunch of questions really...

Are couples the subjects of rights? Do "couples" per se have rights, or do rights really belong to individuals? If a couple is not yet married, what is the bond that constitutes it legally speaking as having rights? Do all friendships have rights?

If same-sex marriage is allowed, would a straight man be able to marry another straight man, if they so chose, for the legal status involved? (say, for health benefits or tax breaks or citizenship or to unite their families' fortunes.) If so, do marriage laws at present prevent a homosexual man from marrying a woman also for the legal status they would share?

In other words, at present the law prohibits two people of the same sex from "marrying" each other whether or not they want to, regardless of their sexual orientation, and it permits two people of the opposite sex to marry, again regardless of their sexual orientation, and whether or not they want to. This is a noncontroversial fact. So, in what way is the law discriminating against homosexuals as homosexuals?

Here's what I mean: Theodore Olson said in arguments, "the California Supreme Court decided that individuals had a right to get married irrespective of their sexual orientation in California." Is that what the California Supreme Court decided? Or did it decide that a person has a right to marry someone of the same sex? There's a big difference, and it seems lost even on Justice Scalia.

Is what an opposite-sex couple does really just the same as what a same-sex couple does? Is it a mere legal difference or an ontological one about the relationships themselves? Can a same sex couple actually "do" what marriage is?

Has the debate focused so much on the similarities that the differences have been neglected and inadequately appreciated? Doesn't every friendship, indeed every bond or ever commitment between people from contracts to BFFs, bear some resemblance to marriage without actually being marriage? Why is what a same-sex couple does the same thing as marriage?

Would two brothers be able to marry each other? If not, why not? The laws against incest pertain mostly to prevent inbreeding and birth defects, but these are not an issue for homosexual couples. If same-sex family members can marry, then does that not discriminate against opposite-sex family members who choose to use effective contraception? And does not that also discriminate against opposite sex relatives who want to have children together?

If the state changes the definition of marriage, by what principle do they restrict marriage by consanguinity or species or age or even require licensing or a civil authority to do it? Surely there will not be marital chaos immediately, it may take decades, but is there any reason not to assume that the state will simply get out of the marriage business altogether eventually?

Ever since the state has usurped the authority of religion over marriage so as to liberalize divorce laws, permit contraception, permit abortion, and the like, the result has been a progressive increase in unstable marriages, single motherhood, cohabitation, absentee fatherhood, abuse of women by men, abuse of children by parents, the number and rate of sexually transmitted diseases, and the growing acceptance of pornography, prostitution, and promiscuity by increasingly younger people. And very little of what the government has done to address these issues has had any real effect.

So if the Supreme Court decides in favor of same-sex marriage, what will be the effect on society?

I'm just asking questions here.

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