Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Same Sex Marriage: a reminder

I plight thee my troth...
As the legislation for Same Sex Marriage (SSM) makes it way through Parliament, there has been another splurge of bad arguments against it.

SSM is bad for the Tory Party. True, but not really to the point.

SSM has no democratic mandate. True, but that is not an argument against it. At best it would be an argument for a brief delay. That gets us nowhere.

SSM is going to be bad for Religious Freedom. True, but as I've said a number of times here, what religions can demand in the way of freedom depends on what is regarded as just by society as a whole (or: the law), and not the other way round. You can't use Religious Freedom as a card to trump Justice. If stopping gays marrying is unjust, the religions opposing it are unjust and will have to change.

People should stop using these arguments. There are much better ones which have been articulated with great clarity by a number of people. Here is the central one:

In order to accommodate same-sex couples, the legal concept of marriage will have to shed the distinctive characteristics which make it useful and important for heterosexual couples starting a family. It will no longer be understood in terms of an exclusive sexual relationship, geared towards children, which is difficult to escape.

Same Sex Marriage will destroy marriage as it currently exists; marriage as it currently exists is a vital and irreplaceable institution of civil society for the protection and education of children.

Here are a series of posts I did about the Defence of Marriage when the legislation was first proposed. (The first one is at the bottom, the last at the top.)

The best full-length account of the case against SSM is the Girgis, George and Anderson paper, What is Marriage? (A revised and expanded version is available as a book to buy.)

1 comment:

  1. From what I have read of the pre-conciliar Popes, I have reached the conlusion that civil marriage has already undermined the true nature of marriage: the current legislation has simply brought the ball out of the long grass where the Catholic Church tried to kick it 50 years ago.