Sunday Morning Thought

Jon Rowe

Jon Rowe is a full Professor of Business at Mercer County Community College, where he teaches business, law, and legal issues relating to politics. Of course, his views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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11 Responses

  1. I’m very much in support of legalizing gay marriage, but I think you’re equivocating a bit. Those who claim that gays have an “equal right” to marry….heterosexuals of the opposite sex are not, in my only anecdotal observation, referring to “natural right,” but to legal right (and from there, such a legal right is said to meet the requirement that state policies provide equal protection of the laws).

    Of course, you are very upfront that you mean “natural right,” so in that sense, you’re not equivocating, and I suppose that in everyday conversation, conservatives ()and everyone else) jump back and forth between the two kinds of “rights” all the time anyway.Report

  2. tom van dyke says:

    As someone who’s familiar with Robert Georges general train of argument

    “— sex must be both procreative and unitive. Prof. George explained to me that Henry VIII’s marriage where he truly did not seek to unite with his wife, but rather used her in an instrumental sense to sire an heir was not valid under this theory.}

    …there are pieces missing here for me.

    My best guess is that he’s saying that Henry entered his marriage with Catherine in bad faith [with “unitive” not in mind], and therefore the marriage could have been annulled, therefore heading off Henry’s split from the Roman church. But that’s only a guess.

    The first argument

    “One that strikes me extremely shallow is gays already have an equal right to marry — someone of the opposite sex.”

    seems to be only a formal legal one re the 14th Amendment.Report

  3. the innominate one says:

    Didn’t Loving v. Virginia invalidate the analogous reasoning for race-based discrimination that tvd purports for sex-based discrimination?Report

  4. tom van dyke says:

    It’s an explicit counterargument to applying the logic behind Loving.Report

  5. Heidegger says:

    Tom, very interesting comment: “One that strikes me extremely shallow is gays already have an equal right to marry — someone of the opposite sex.”

    TvD “seems to be only a formal legal one re the 14th Amendment.” Excellent!

    Very interesting Tom. I think this inevitably leads to the interracial analogy, a very weak analogy I think, regarding same-sex marriage and interracial marriage. The two could not be more different. Regarding the Loving v. Virginia case, the laws enacted in Virginia in 1924 were for the purpose of affirming (and maintaining) the idea of racial superiority and purity of whites over blacks. It was adding a new condition–race–in order to be legally married. This was a clear case of discrimination because they were being denied the exact same rights enjoyed by whites. Unlike same-sex marriage, allowing a black man to marry a white women, or a white woman to marry a black man, this does nothing to redefine marriage as being the union of one man and one woman. Thus, like it or not, homosexuals have the exact same marriage rights as heterosexuals. And I’m not trying to be a wiseguy. And then there’s the Amsterdam study that shows the length of male homosexual relationship as being approximately 1.5 years –also, average sexual partners per year outside their marriage 12. Is that a healthy environment to rear children? It would represent to only time in human history that the state would intentionally subject a child to be raised in a motherless or fatherless household. Let the activists try their guinea pig experiments on guinea pigs.

    A Harvard sociologist has this to say:Report

    • Jon Rowe in reply to Heidegger says:


      1. I can’t say much about those studies without examining them myself; but caution accepting any study on the gay issue from either side; they tend to be dubious.

      You also have to keep in mind that kids often solidify relationships and add to their length. There are many couples who would have otherwise split up, did they not have children.

      2. Re the analogy; every analogy has differences. The “children” were at issue with interracial marriages as well. Opponents had as one of their chief concerns race mixing in procreation. I’ve even heard some well intentioned folks (that is, folks who don’t seem to be Jim Crow bigots) worry about mixed race kids having a schizophrenic racial identity.

      3. Gay couples already are raising kids. You are putting the cart before the horse. If same sex couples ARE going to be raising kids, wouldn’t it be better to do so in a “marriage”?Report

    • Pat Cahalan in reply to Heidegger says:

      > And then there’s the Amsterdam study that shows the length of
      > male homosexual relationship as being approximately 1.5 years

      Citation, please.

      People bring up “that (foo) study” all the time in public policy discussions. Usually the reference is not to the study itself, but to some other representation of the study. This can be due to bad science reporting, but there is also many, many cases of deliberate misrepresentation of the entire study (quoting some subsection of the study without quoting the relevant limitations section, or other forms of cherry picking), and it is *very* common for these misrepresentations to become part of the “general knowledge” of many subjects.

      In short, I would bet you $1 that the study you refer to does not in fact say what you think it says. I’m up, $78 to $17, in the historical track record of this bet, fwiw 🙂Report

  6. Heidegger says:

    Forgot the Harvard sociologist:

    “Harvard sociologist, Pitirim Sorokin, analyzed cultures spanning several thousand years on several continents, and found that virtually no society has ceased to regulate sexuality within marriage as traditionally defined, and survived.”Report

    • Pat Cahalan in reply to Heidegger says:

      Citation for this, too, would be good.

      Also, I’m not certain it is relevant in any way. Virtually no society has ever ceased to regulate any one of “a large number of things” and survived. Most societies are dead, just like people.

      Virtually every post-agricultural society has historically trended to disarming their majority of populace. Does this lead to the collapse of those societies? Or do they collapse in spite of it?

      If societal collapse is inevitable, “gay marriage” doesn’t matter, except as a rights issue for fellow passengers on Society America until we hit the inevitable iceberg. If societal collapse isn’t inevitable, but due to a single factor, and that factor is gay marriage, then this obviously matters.

      If societal collapse isn’t inevitable, but is due to a confluence of factors, this only matters if (a) it is part of the confluence and (b) it can’t be mitigated in any way. I highly doubt it is causal, and if it is, it’s highly doubtful that it is a root cause, merely a proximate one.Report