November 30, 2003

Andrew Sullivan Buries the Lead

In his latest gay marriage broadside Andrew Sullivan invokes David Hume's essay against polygamy. He buries the lead though by omitting Hume's first paragraph.

AS marriage is an engagement entered into by mutual consent, and has for its end the propagation of the species, it is evident, that it must be susceptible of all the variety of conditions, which consent establishes, provided they be not contrary to this end.

If you don't agree with the lead, the rest of the essay makes no sense. The entire essay follows from the opening premise. It's a great essay but does no service to Sullivan's cause.

Fidelity in friendship exists without sex and without marriage. Some of the great friends of history are claimed as homosexuals (by those obsessed over the matter) because these dear friends speak of their friendship in such close terms. Marriage is, as Hume wrote, fundamentally about the propagation of the species. You can't take out the core of it and rely on the hollow shell to support your arguments.

Posted by TMLutas at November 30, 2003 06:52 PM