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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Denying The Inevitable

When the gay marriage debate began sometime ago, the observation was made that allowing same sex marriage would inevitably lead, on the grounds of comity, to the necessary recognition of other "unions". That argument was summarily dismissed by advocates as simply a foolish, straw man unrelated to the issue. I have argued that the stated basis for same sex marriage necessarily opens the door to all other sorts of living arrangements to be sanctified in the same fashion. Indeed, it ultimately compels that result. Specifically, the argument in favor of same sex marriage, when distilled to its essence, is that persons have the right to have their relationships recognized by society as a "marriage" under certain circumstances. Those are that they have committed themselves to each other no less than a heterosexual couple, and love each other no less than a heterosexual couple. Therefore, what right does society have to deny them the opportunity to marry and avail themselves of all the benefits of that institution? Putting aside for the moment issues of what is in the best overall interests of a society and of its children, the question I and others have raised is: if that is the standard, what compelling interest does a society have to prevent a brother and sister from marrying? or two brothers? or an adult daughter and father? ...or three or more persons? This last "foolish" example is precisely what is being debated in England as we speak, and of which Mark Steyn writes so eloquently. Under Sharia law, Muslim men may take more than one wife. English law, under which polygamy is illegal, recognizes only one wife for inheritance purposes. However, in the interests of "fairness" Muslim men are asking that England recognize up to four wives so that inheritance can be divided up among the multiple wives. The inevitable is simply..inevitable.

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