I don’t care much if homosexuals, a small percentage of the population, gain the right to marry. (The right to marry? What kind of a right is this?) In general, I don’t like the idea that an activist minority can use the armed power of the state to force a cultural change at all, on a well identified majority. (Why n t have a court decree that lies are now included under the definition of “truth,” subject to fines and even to jail terms for recidivism?) I also don’t get all that agitated by the realization that civil union contracts can achieve the same objective, concrete ends, as marriage without hurting deeply the many.
At the same time, I think that both fear of the new and a simplistic reading of the Bible motivates many opponents of homosexual marriage. (By the way, given the California large majority vote on Proposition Eight , it has to include many Democrats, not just Republicans.) I am no theologian but I have trouble imagining a God who loses sleep over the fact that some men love men (and act upon it) or that some women love women (and act upon it). After all, that was His indifferent design that did it.
I am not much concerned either about the example it will set if the right to homosexual marriage becomes the law in the whole country as it is already in several states. I don’t think we are on the eve of seeing a woman marry her two Chihuahuas, one male, one female, for example. The spread of polygamy is a greater possibility. One form, polygeny, might turn out to be OK because there is a shortage of functioning males, I hear. I do believe in slippery slopes though. I have to because I am a three-times former smoker.
Whichever way the Supreme Court decision comes down, I will easily live with it. My friendship for the homosexuals of both sexes I have known and who care about the decision makes this acceptance even easier. (That’s the way it is: Principles regarding abstractions tend to melt a little in contact with the warmth of flesh and blood of real people.) Homosexual activists are not, however making friends with me by their insistence of having the Court (or the courts) overturn the results of a well established democratic process. I mean California Proposition Eight ( against which I voted).
Deep inside my brain, there is also a vague notion that the issue does not reduce to morality or to tolerance. It has to do with some very basic structures of human thought based on dualities. I don’t have a good grasp of this. I will wait until I do to discuss the topic (unlike some visitors on this blog who will say anything twenty seconds after it comes to mind.)
Update on 4/1/13. I listen to comments on talk radio and I read letters to the editor. I find myself slowly switching from passionate indifference to being a favor in a change in the laws (plural). I still do not think it’s desirable to have the courts effect such change.
Some of the comments on this posting by libhoms are self-defeating.
The fact thgat it took Supreme Court intervention to erase the remaining racial segregationist apparatus was not a good thing. It was a last resort. It would have been much better if it had happened through local action as it had in the upper Midwest.
If social policy by court action is so great, why not do anything that way? Why bother with the messy processes associated with parliaments? Do elite liberals sometimes daydream about that kind of social arrangement? Merely raising the question is rude. I wish I had not. I am ashamed!
Comparing the deprivation of homosexuals who are not allowed to be married to the suffering of black citizens under a vicious, pointedly cruel system of segregation is silly. Some comparisons would make me believe that there is such a thing as criminally silly.