Friday, June 19, 2015

An Argument Against Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage

Because of the highly sensitive nature of this issue, the highest levels of respectful communication between all parties who choose to comment is expected. No trolls will be allowed. This is a post for thoughtful, contemplative interaction, not shoot-from-the-hip polemics. Your comments are welcome - please allow extra time for my travel schedule this weekend. 

One of my great fears is that we are reaching a place in American discourse where people who disagree with each other cannot even understand one another, much less truly reason with each other. My modest goal in this post is to offer an argument that same-sex marriage is not a good idea for public policy reasons. I will not be making this case on religious grounds. That isn’t because religion is unimportant to me. I am a Christian, and the central confession of my faith is that “Jesus is Lord.” That is a confession I cheerfully make, and very imperfectly follow. But the argument I will be laying out is not specific to Christianity, or to any religion. Indeed, this issue does not always follow cookie-cutter stereotypes. I have gay friends who oppose SSM because “marriage” is too conventional, and I have extremely conservative Christian friends who support SSM on libertarian political grounds. In my case, the argument I am going to make comes from millennia of philosophical reflection on the meaning of marriage itself.