Notes From Babel

Derb’s Secular Defense Of Traditional Marriage

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Leave it to John Derbyshire to make the case for traditional marriage go over like Bob’s your uncle. Most notably:

(3) There really is a slippery slope here. Once marriage has been redefined to include homosexual pairings, what grounds will there be to oppose futher redefinition — to encompass people who want to marry their ponies, their sisters, or their soccer team? Are all private contractual relations for cohabitation to be rendered equal, or are some to be privileged over others, as has been customary in all times and places? If the latter, what is wrong with heterosexual pairing as the privileged status, sanctified as it is by custom and popular feeling?
. . . .
(6) There is a thinness in the arguments for gay marriage that leaves one thinking the proponents are not so much for something as against something. How many times have you heard that gay marriage is necessary so that gay people will not be hindered in visiting a hospitalized partner? But if hospitals have such rules — a thing I find hard to believe in this PC-whipped age — the rules can be changed, by legislation if necessary. What need to overturn a millennial institution for such trivial ends?

Though I frequently defend religion (I’ve been a Johnny-one-note lately, for some reason), religious justifications for laws are of the lowest order, and only hold up when there is no animus or are not otherwise demonstrably stupid. Derbyshire’s are the kinds of arguments that conservatives ought to be making.

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Written by Tim Kowal

April 30, 2009 at 1:32 am

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