Jonathan Chait, in The New Republic, demolishes the anti-gay marriage demagoguery of Carrie Prejean and other “anti-gay marriage intellectuals.” The ‘argument’ that “Marriage should be between a man and a woman” is really a non-argument, equivalent to any other argument which says that you oppose something because, well, you don’t support it. And attempts to articulate reasons, e.g. the idea that it threatens the sanctity of heterosexual couples’ marriages or weakens the relationship between marriage and procreation, are either wildly illogical or prejudicial or both. To begin with, how in the world does it diminish my rights one bit if those rights are extended to another, previously disenfranchised, segment of society?
Chait suggests quite reasonably that the ‘nonarguments’ constitute “a body of opinion held largely by people who either don’t know why they oppose gay marriage or don’t feel comfortable explicating their case.” (While few opponents of gay marriage are so bold as to admit that they are not concerned with the rights of gay members of our society, that is what it amounts to.)
I have long proposed that the proper answer is not to legalize gay marriage but to ban all marriage, including heterosexual. I am only being half-facetious. What I mean is that marriage be restored to its position as a sacrament in whatever church it occurs, not a function of the state. Civil unions, for the purpose of conferring the civil rights of domestic partnership, are the only role of the state.