Diary

Gay marriage...not religion but intellectual honesty


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When it comes to politics, one of my quirks is a belief in the importance of, unemotional reasoning to yield intellectual consistency of ideas. Perhaps it is a leftover attribute from my days as an engineering student or mathematics minor in college.

Hence, while I deeply respect the position of many churches that marriage is, by definition, a union of man and woman, such a religious principle has little bearing on my take on the issue in a political context. And I suspect that by returning the verdict that they did on Tuesday, the largely secular people of quite liberal Maine took the same approach.

The only political question, when it comes to gay marriage, is whether a legitimate government has the right to regulate marriage between consenting adults? Both an affirmative answer or a negative answer to that question is a logical one. What is highly illogical, though hypocritically satisfying to many self-proclaimed progressives and conservatives, is a dithering answer of yes…but or no…but . In Maine, of all places, I suspect it is that lack of clear reasoning that cost the losing side some of its support. The people of that state really do not care who you claim to love or want to live with or go to bed with; nor do I. For all I care, six men and six women could be all living together, each in love with the other eleven in some exotic, tolerant, sophisticated polyamorous arrangement. Would the supporters of gay ‘marriage’ be willing to press for the recognition of this twelve person marriage since all of these are in love and of consenting age? Or will these supporters want the state to limit marriage to just two consenting adults?  I think we all know the answer to both those questions. And therein lies the logical dilemma of gay ‘marriage’ advocates and supporters: their battle cry of ‘government out of the bedroom’ is totally compromised by rank hypocrisy.  Ultimately, the only fundamental difference, in terms of legislation, between the two opposing sides this: the traditional marriage crowd wants to limit marriage to two individuals of opposite sex, and the gay marriage group wants to limit marriage to two individuals of any gender.

For the record, I do believe that duly elected legislatures do have a right to regulate marriages, just like they have the right to regulate contracts, conduct of professionals, and business activity. A legislature’s decision on the tax code or business regulation may or may not be a wise one and voters get the chance to keep or change their legislators at the subsequent elections.  There are those of a more libertarian bent who sincerely believe and, more important, powerfully reason that a state has no business regulating marriage between consenting adults, no matter the numbers or proximity of relationship involved. With such a permissive view of marriage I do disagree but find no intellectually dishonest reasoning behind that view itself.

Either you believe in a government’s inherent power to regulate marriage between consenting adults or you do not. Both beliefs are legitimate and stand to the strictest scrutiny of reason. Unfortunately, the platform of the current generation of gay marriage advocates does not.