Sometimes I read something that is just so mind-blowingly irrational I don't know where to begin.
Robert P. George, in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece titled, "Gay Marriage, Democracy, and the Courts," begins by stating that it would be "disastrous" for the U.S. Supreme Court justices to rule on a federal lawsuit that "has been filed to invalidate traditional marriage laws." He continues, "They would repeat the error in Roe v. Wade: namely, trying to remove a morally charged policy issue from the forums of democratic deliberation and resolve it according to their personal lights."
Those of us who believe Roe v. Wade was a valid ruling made on the basis of sound legal reasoning will see the obvious error of the second statement. Let's also be clear that any federal lawsuit to invalidate the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) will not in any way, shape, or form "invalidate" traditional marriages. They will remain as legitimate and traditional as ever.
George then goes on to try and refute those who say the fight to legalize marriage for same-sex couples is similar to the fight to legalize interracial marriage. He says the two situations are not the same, however, because those who sought to permit interracial marriages did not question the concept of marriage "as a union that takes its distinctive character from being founded, unlike other friendships, on bodily unity of the kind that sometimes generates new life." He continues:
This unity is why marriage, in our legal tradition, is consummated only by acts that are generative in kind. Such acts unite husband and wife at the most fundamental level and thus legally consummate marriage whether or not they are generative in effect, and even when conception is not sought. . . . But as a comprehensive sharing of life--an emotional and biological union--marriage has value in itself and not merely as a means to procreation. This explains why our law has historically permitted annulment of marriage for non-consummation, but not for infertility; and why acts of sodomy, even between legally wed spouses, have never been recognized as consummating marriages.
He seems to be targeting those who have sarcastically suggested that if marriage and procreation are linked as a reason to ban marriage of same-sex couples, then couples who are childless after a certain number of years should be forced to divorce. He ends up trying to have his cake and eat it, too, though: claiming that a sex act with the potential for reproduction is what defines marriage, but that it still does even if conception does not occur or is not the end goal. That makes no logical sense.
He goes on:
Of course, marital intercourse often does produce babies, and marriage is the form of relationship that is uniquely apt for childrearing. . . . And only this view can explain why the state should regulate marriage (as opposed to ordinary friendships) at all--to make it more likely that, wherever possible, children are reared in the context of the bond between the parents whose sexual union gave them life.
If marriage is redefined, its connection to organic bodily union--and thus to procreation--will be undermined. It will increasingly be understood as an emotional union for the sake of adult satisfaction that is served by mutually agreeable sexual play.
Let's see. If children should be raised "in the context of the bond between the parents whose sexual union gave them life," then George must not be supportive of fostering and adoption, nor of infertile opposite-sex couples who used IVF or surrogacy to conceive. If "organic bodily union" is the determining factor for a legitimate marriage, does the fact that I donated an egg that was implanted into my partner's uterus count? That seems as organic a union as a man implanting his sperm into a woman's uterus. And what if a lesbian impregnates her partner using a turkey baster (read: medical syringe) while they're having sex? There is some evidence that the contractions of the cervix and uterus during orgasm have a salutary effect on causing sperm to reach their goal. Does that mean the women's sexual union gave their children life and their marriage should be permitted?
And can I have "organic bodily union" with that pint of Stonyfield yogurt I just bought? If so, can I marry it?
Not only that, but what on earth does the sexual union of the parents have to do with how good a "context" they provide for childrearing? I have railed before against the media focus on how lesbian parents create our families, because really, the method of their creation is much less important than the loving, teaching, and protective environment we provide over the course of our children's ascent to adulthood. The same applies to families of all types.
I know the Wall Street Journal leans to the right, but really, they should think twice before printing something that has so many inconsistencies and logical holes, and which insults so many families, LGBT and not.
I've only scratched the surface of the article's absurdity. Have at.