Those who have been closely following my blog will know that I have recently written a number of articles about gay marriage, trying to show that there are legitimate concerns that need to be raised – concerns that avoid the harsh fundamentalism of the far right or the shrill demands for tolerance of the political left. In fact, my arguments against same-sex ‘marriage’ have largely been based in the principles of classical liberalism and the concern to avoid government encroachment.
Those who have been interacting with these arguments mostly abuse me and call me names, but occasionally I will receive some thoughtful questions. The other day I had an opportunity to interact with some questions at the Christian Voice website. You can read the discussion here.
From the Connecticut Chronicle:
Legalizing gay marriage will affect every family in the land, claimed Christian Voice.
The UK-based lobby group issued the controversial remarks following news that the way has been cleared for same-sex marriages to proceed in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The Supreme Court’s decision not to intercede in the wave of gay marriage rulings will almost immediately increase the number of states allowing same-sex marriage. But Christian Voice has warned that as this happens it will undermine the integrity of every marriage in the land by rearranging the family’s relationship to the state.
Robin Phillips, who wrote the controversial Christian Voice report, stated that “A government that recognizes such a thing as gay marriage is one that has assumed the god-like power to determined which collections of individuals constitute a ‘family.’ But by this assumption government declares both marriage and family to be little more than legal constructs at best, and gifts from the state at worst.”
Phillips, who is the author of the book Saints and Scoundrels and has campaigned widely against same-sex marriage in both American and Britain, added that “without the intervention of government, there are no pre-political, existential state of affairs that mark certain types of same-sex relationships out as being marriage within a state of nature.”
Read the entire article in the Connecticut Chronicle
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Someone asked me on Facebook whether I favored the removal of government from marriage completely.
Given that I have been making noise recently about the way same-sex ‘marriage’ intrudes the government into family life, it would be logical for me to advocate the libertarian position of removing government from marriage law completely, right?
I have been arguing that the statist implications of same-sex marriage emerge when we consider that without the intervention of government, there are no pre-political, existential state of affairs that mark certain types of same-sex relationships out as being marriage within a state of nature. Unlike heterosexual marriage, which exists in nature and is then recognized by the state on the basis of intrinsic goods attached to it (including, but not limited to, the assurance of patrimony), homosexual marriage is an abstract legal entity with no natural or existential existence. Since neither consummation nor biologically-derived intrinsic goods are viable concepts among same-sex couples, it follows that the only way a consensual relationship between two people of the same sex can be upgraded into marriage is if the state steps in and declares that relationship to be a marriage, in much the same way as the state might declare something to be a corporation or some other legal entity. It is here that we see just how radical gay marriage really is.
Although I am a staunch opponent of gay marriage, I don’t think everything in the campaign to legalize gay marriage is bad. The push to legalize same-sex marriage has brought some important truths to the public consciousness, such as the importance of equal protection under the law, the understanding that marriage has never been a static concept, and the limitations involved in trying to impose religiously-derived concepts onto a pluralistic society.