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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

He is so gay

From Andrew Sullivan-

Once you have accepted that there is no moral difference between homosexuality and heterosexuality, the arguments against same-sex marriage collapse.

True. Even if gay marriage hurts society, that's no excuse to ban it. My blogging hurts society more than the average gay marriage. Denying them a certificate won't make them heterosexual.

And since the only coherent moral difference is the likelihood of non-procreative sex, and that is now the norm in traditional heterosexual civil marriage, there is no moral case against allowing gay couples to have civil marriage.

I don't really follow this. Sounds like utilitarianism to me- equating moral good with material good. I suppose if you interpret "be fruitful and multiply" to mean that every individual has a duty to reproduce, and see that as the basis for marriage, then a sterile heterosexual marriage is morally equivalent to a gay marriage. However, that would only mean that both are morally wrong, not that gay marriage suddenly becomes acceptable.

The rest is fear and prejudice and religious conviction. None should have a place as a legal argument in the courts.

I agree with this statement, except for "the rest." He seems to think that morality can be separated from religion. I disagree. What other basis for morality is there?

I consider ethics to be the rules we can derive from our own mind, and morality to be that handed down arbitrarily from God, but I won't try to force my definitions on Sullivan. We also have things that we feel guilty about, which were evolved or ID'd into us. For example, we feel guilty about murder because attacking other humans isn't a good way to stay alive. That gives us three distinct sources for ethics/morality- divinely inspired, survival, and rational. Sullivan discounts religion, which shouldn't be a part of the lawmaking process. If a religion is true, then its legally enforceable parts should be attainable rationally as well. Survival morality is usually not considered except by Burkean conservatives. Even then, it is only considered because it has become part of the tradition.

That leaves us rational ethics. Lockean natural law, ie rights ethics, libertarianism, and some Republican segments, doesn't say anything about gay marriage. It would seem to be against government-sponsored marriage of any kind, which is the position I take. Sullivan seems to be arguing against the utilitarian ethical argument against gay marriage. Utilitarians could claim it's bad for society and should be stopped.

The thing is, marriage is not a right that is given by the government and taken away by the government. The rights that should be protected for gays are not the rights to be 'married,' because that's a personal thing between them, God, and Webster's dictionary. The rights they should have are the rights everyone should have, namely, to give medical decisions over to trusted individuals and to.. well, I'm not sure what married people can do, except adopt a kid. Turns out single people can do that too... What's the debate about? Oh well.

Get the government out of marriage now!

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