February 24, 2004

Gay v Conservative: Andrew Sullivan's Internal Struggle

A new article by Andrew Sullivan talks about the need to reduce government redistribution to improve tolerance of diversity. The goal, in the end, is to make "marriage becomes less explicitly religious as a social institution and more explicitly civil" as he puts things.

The problem is that there is remarkably little examination out there of what are the civil requirements of marriage and why are we doing civil marriage at all. If there is any reason to provide licenses and contractual advantages, it is not to legitimate love, a sense of acceptance or belonging. None of these are valid state purposes to spend money on or rearrange our legal, economic, or social affairs with the force of law behind them.

If gay marriage has any merit behind it, it is in a shared sense of love to our partners (no matter the morals of choosing that particular partner). The question really becomes why should love be supported in the civil structure, especially in such an extensive manner (hundreds of laws, remember?) as we do for marriage.

Gay marriage really hasn't passed that test and its advocates have not even begun to make the case. Conservatism and gay marriage are not reconciled by a mere propensity of gay marriage to reduce the redistributive impulse in society. There must be a positive case made civilly why such marriages strengthen society. All the love and shared hopes of people in the world don't justify it.

Posted by TMLutas at February 24, 2004 11:12 AM