Monday, March 01, 2004

Gay Marriage

Lisa Schiffren, the author of an editorial in yesterday's New York Times, would have done well to take a look at Ted Barlow's CT post from last week -- particularly some of the (long) comments section. Schiffren defends President Bush's new War on Homosexuals with her editorial, "How the Judges Forced the President's Hand". The first claim is that Bush didn't want to make a big issue out of gay marriage, but he was forced to throw his weight into the new culture war that was started by a bunch of mean judges in Massachusetts. Let's go to the line-by-line. (I'm going to liberally excerpt passages. I won't use ellipses to show that I'm cutting sentences or paragraphs. As usual, I'm being honest and fair in my clippings, but you should check the context if you want to be sure what she has to say. Emphasis is added by me.)
George W. Bush is not a culture warrior by inclination. And he clearly did not seek this fight over gay marriage. I'd guess that he, like most Americans, wishes it would go away.
I won't pretend to know the man's private desires, but it strikes me as possible to think that President Bush saw that his polls were dropping, and that a lot of big voting block is on his side of -- and feels strongly about -- this issue.
More ominously, four Massachusetts judges, looking to bring about radical social change from the bench, decided that their commonwealth must begin performing same-sex marriages this spring.
I guess in a sense this is true, but I love the use of 'must' here -- it makes me think that the judges started telling people they had to marry others of the same gender, whether they like it or not! It's cute.
Whether you favor gay marriage or not, it should be a concern when judges and officials decide to circumvent the democratic process on a core issue.
Yeah, don't you hate when the judicial branch does anything?
Marriage, defined as one man and one woman, has been a foundation of our culture for millenniums [sic]. It is society's basic institution for raising children. It expresses the unique relationship between men and women, an ideal based on love and care that is harnessed to the future: the next generation. It is how we protect children from the pain and frequent poverty of fatherlessness and family breakdown. Like private property and the rule of law, marriage is one of a few institution [sic] that hold up democracy.
If there's supposed to be a connection between the last line and the rest of the paragraph -- or any justification for the last line whatsoever -- I have no idea what it is.
The virtue of the amendment process is that it requires the consent of the governed. It forces nationwide debate and examination. Why are so many liberals now trying to keep that debate from happening?
I'm genuinely not sure what she's talking about here (and not in a smug, superior way). Liberals are trying to stop the debate from happening? Who? How? And if she's right about this claim, I join her in asking Why? I agree with the others who've commented that this is a historic opportunity for any group to get on the right side of an important issue. There are dividends to be earned once now is history. Update: Oh, now I get it! I think this is her 'argument':
1. If the amendment goes through, there will be discussion. 2. Liberals oppose the amendment. 3. Therefore, liberals oppose the discussion.
No wonder she didn't spell the argument out clearly. What was it Roderic said? "Humph! These arguments sound very well, but I can't help thinking that, if they were reduced to syllogistic form, they wouldn't hold water."

No comments:

Post a Comment