Friday, September 17, 2010

Debate: Should the Gay Lobby Use the Courts to Impose Gay Marriage on the Nation

Today at Marquette . . .

It’s not a debate about whether gay marriage is good or bad, or whether the Constitution can reasonably be interpreted to require gay marriage, but rather a debate about whether using the courts (as opposed to legislatures) is a good strategy for the gay lobby.

It will be at noon today, in the Appellate Courtroom of the new Law School building.

Arguing “yes:” Laura Beth Nielsen, Associate Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University.

Arguing “no:” our colleague Steve Engel.

We expect it to be a good debate. We know little about Nielsen, but Engel is extremely well informed about gay politics, and we expect him to do a fine job upholding his position.

At first glance, it seems good that there is an actual debate. Most of what goes on at Marquette having anything to do with homosexuality is one-sided indoctrination.

In another sense, however, it continues the pattern of bias, since the debate will assume that gay marriage is a good thing, and merely contest how the gay lobby should go about getting it.

This is the first of a series of events this year at Marquette that will deal with “GLBTQ” issues.

What will follow if this is really a university where all points of view can be heard? A debate on whether it is reasonable to interpret the Constitution to require gay marriage.

And a debate on whether gay marriage is in fact a good thing.

Given Marquette’s track record on gay issues, we are skeptical. But this, at least, should be a good debate.

3 Comments:

Blogger Nick said...

Even I would not argue that the Constitution requires Gay Marriage. What the Constitution does require, is that if you create state benefits to Heterosexual Marriage, then you have to allow Homosexuals the ability to get those same benefits, with the same ease that Heterosexuals can. That is what Equal Protection Under the Law means.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

I would likewise add, that if you believe in Equal Protection Under the Law, then not only should the Gay Lobby use the courts instead of the Legislature, that is the only way it should be done.

To do otherwise would acknowledge that a majority is able to refuse Constitutional Equal Protection to a minority, and that its ok to do that. To do otherwise would be to acknowledge that a minority should have to to grovel to the majority (represented by the Legislature) to be treated the same as everyone else.

In effect, the courts are the guardian of the Constitution, and the principles which reside in that document. It is the court's job to defend those principles.

1:44 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

A few things, Nick:

Equal Protection does not require equal treatment. When the term was written, it really meant "protection."

As for equal treatment: the ethical doctrine is that people who are similarly situated should get equal treatment.

If marriage is about shacking up and having sex, and that's all it is, gay couples and straight couples are similarly situated.

But in fact, heterosexual sex typically produces children. The state has a legitimate interest in policies that conduce to the nurture and protection of children.

If you don't buy that marriage is about procreation, the genuinely libertarian position would be to entirely privatize marriage.

4:35 PM  

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