Homosexual Marriage (Updated 4/3/13)

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.

 

About Jacques Delacroix

I write short stories, current events comments, and sociopolitical essays, mostly in English, some in French. There are other people with the same first name and same last name on the Internet. I am the one who put up on Amazon in 2014: "I Used to Be French: an Immature Autobiography" and also: "Les pumas de grande-banlieue." To my knowledge, I am the only Jacques Delacroix with American and English scholarly publications. In a previous life, I was a teacher and a scholar in Organizational Theory and in the Sociology of Economic Development. (Go ahead, Google me!) I live in the People’s Green Socialist Republic of Santa Cruz, California.
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14 Responses to Homosexual Marriage (Updated 4/3/13)

  1. Terry Amburgey says:

    “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.”

    Yup just like those democratic processes forbidding interracial marriage, blacks riding in the front of the bus etc. When “…an activist minority can use the armed power of the state to force a cultural change at all, on a well identified majority.” you end up with all kinds of horrible outcomes like equal rights. What next, women getting to vote?

    • David says:

      How about Polygamists? Or NMBLA? Hell, the USA told the Mormon church to get rid of the practice or forget joining the union. Where does it start/stop and how does one decide the criteria for it?

      I’m all for government staying out of consenting adult marriage, period. Hetero, homo or otherwise.

      As an aside, since prevalent thought is that marriage is an undesirable/terrible way to live (which is partially why people are opting to forgo marriage entirely) why do homosexuals want in sooo badly to an institution that many argue is failing? It’s kinda like moving to the Soviet Union from America in the late 80’s, why do it?

      • Yes, David. If we had collective sense. we would take the opportunity to decree that marriage is two things: 1 a contract (enforceable by states), 2 a sacrament to be dispensed by churches, chess clubs, drinking circles, etc. By the way, that’s the French system and it works well overall . But, it does not stop the French from being (currently) very exercised about homosexual marriage. I think it’s because of the adoption issue attached to it.

  2. Bruce says:

    Our U S Constitution does not mention the institution of marriage of any kind. The U. S. Supreme Court has no business rendering decisions outside of that document. To do so requires judicial activism. If you can’t get what you want through legislation, do an end around and have the courts handle it. The only way separation of powers works is when all three branches take responsibility for their roles under our founding documents. That this case even went to the court is evidence that our legislative branch is a bunch of spineless wimps. Until they do their jobs instead of worrying about losing votes because they offended a special interest group we will have an environment ripe for activist judges to legislate from the bench.

    • Terry Amburgey says:

      “Our U S Constitution does not mention the institution of marriage of any kind. The U. S. Supreme Court has no business rendering decisions outside of that document.”

      Luckily, the framers were not brain dead and worried about ‘enumerated rights’ so they included the 9th amendment.

      The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

      • David says:

        I’m still trying to figure out whether or not the institution of marriage is in fact a right of any kind. It’s been around since civilization began, to be sure, but does that make it a right? If it being around since then makes it a right, then the definition that it has been since then ought to be firmly attached to it. (It was likely made for the purpose of making and raising young humans.) You can choose a life partner/partners outside of the confines of a marriage contract; sure, you don’t get the same tax breaks as officially sanctioned marriages, but you don’t the the same tax breaks that rich get when you’re poor either. Biologically speaking same sex unions differ from their heterosexual counterparts since two persons of the same gender are unable to reproduce on their own. (Two ovum cannot create offspring nor can two sperm.) (This distinction differs from sterile couples in that it is obvious from the outset.) Does this mean that they cannot be afforded the same status? No, but it does bring to question what compelling interest the government has in marriage. Is it a matter of reproduction? Companionship? Is it raising offspring? Is there even a reason? IF there is a compelling reason, can certain groups be denied it? Which groups and what criteria? Most importantly, why? Marriage isn’t the only subject that has this kind of fragmentation, so does the Second Amendment.

        The right to defend oneself (directly mentioned in our constitution) has a wide range of difficulties associated with it. Why aren’t carry permits valid across state lines (similar to a marriage certificate)? So there is precedence to states not recognizing rights from other states. As a practical matter (in the state of CA) you can’t carry/use a gun outside of your house or a gun range, which doesn’t make much sense realistically. (If you get attacked on the street, what good is a gun in a carrying case going to be, especially if the ammo has to be in a separate case?) The point of carrying arms is to be ready and able to defend oneself at all times, not just when you’re in your house or at a gun range. The state of CA has effectively nullified the ability of a person to exercise their second amendment right without technically denying it. Therefore, if an enumerated right (right to bear arms) can have fragmented (and legal) enforcement/application, then a non-enumerated right (such as marriage) ought to be able to have fragmented (and legal) enforcement/application.

        For what it’s worth, I suspect the Supreme Court is going to punt on these cases.

      • David: I think you have got it. The real question should be what compelling interest the government has in any form of marriage. There are several possible answers. the current debate does not seem to get us closer to the fundamental issue. I think it’s a distraction.

        I am beginning to feel passionately indifferent to the resolution of the current crisis!

    • Bruce: The Constitution does mention equal protection. That’s the principle, homosexual activists invoke. I would not be quick to decide that it has no merit.

      Equal protection really matters, it seems to me, maybe more than anything else.

  3. Terry Amburgey says:

    “I’m all for government staying out of consenting adult marriage, period. Hetero, homo or otherwise.”

    I couldn’t agree more. Marriage is a religious ceremony and government should have no role whatsoever. There is however a contractual component, the civil union aspect of ‘marriage’. Government can & does get involved in contracts. There should be no discrimination in contracts based on sexual orientation or, for that matter, number of people involved in the contract. If 2 lesbians, 2 gay men, 3 heterosexual men, 2 heterosexual women, and a bisexual women want to form a civil union so be it. If any religious organization refuses to perform a religious ceremong for them so be it.

    • David says:

      I don’t have any qualm with the government getting involved in contracts, since that’s part of the purview of our judicial branch. If individuals decide to be involved in a union of any sort, they ought to make documents (a pre-nup of sorts, i would suppose) detailing how assets are to be split and how children are to be handled if there is a dissolution of the union. If they decide not to make documents detailing this info, it will be very similar (if not identical) to how the court system already deals with non-married separated persons.

  4. Pingback: Homosexual Marriage | Notes On Liberty

  5. Terry: Way back there: The “cultural change” forced by a political minority I mention is simply the right to change the language by threat of state sanction. You could have the behavior and the law, and all the misery of marriage without forcing me to call it “marriage.”

    It’s no a matter of hostility. I loved my first dog more than I loved my first wife. Yet, I was not married to the dog; I was married to the bitch.

    Your contempt for the results of democratic processes comes as no news to me. Scratch a liberal and find a _______.

    I am sorry you did not understand.

  6. Terry Amburgey says:

    “Your contempt for the results of democratic processes comes as no news to me. Scratch a liberal and find a _______.”

    I don’t think I have contempt for democratic processes. I just don’t believe that all outcomes of democratic processes are good. For example I don’t think the victory in Gaza of Hamas was a good thing even though it was the result of a democratic process. The founding fathers of the US were big believers in checks & balances hence the legislative branch has 2 components only one driven by pure numbers.

    I can’t speak for all liberals; in the one case I know well, scratch the liberal and underneath you’ll find an ex-conservative that now knows better.

    “I am sorry you did not understand.”

    No need for an apology. I’m a living case-in-point of the concept of bounded rationality.

  7. Michael says:

    There are three marriage rings:

    The Engagement Ring
    The Wedding Ring
    And…
    The Suffering.

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