Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Marriage whatever-ism

Eugene Robinson not only is wrong about everything, but is wrong about the reasons he is wrong:

The court’s refusal to take up cases brought by five states seeking to overturn appellate court rulings in favor of gay marriage—Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin—was a surprise. It does not mean that Chief Justice John Roberts and the conservative majority have gone all “Kumbaya.” But it can be seen as a surrender to the inevitable.

Three conservatives, one libertarian (Kennedy), and one cypher (Roberts) a conservative majority do not make. Four liberals and one libertarian do make a liberal majority. But I digress.

Same-sex marriage was indeed “inevitable.” Allowing marriages to end in no-fault divorce transformed it from a one-flesh union into a mutual exchange of beneficence and convenience. That was the new logic, and it’s led us this far. Polygamy is the next step. After that, who knows? All big terrible ideas gestated as small terrible ideas. “Two and two is five” is not a temporary abandonment of mathematical fact, but the defenestration of logic and reason altogether.

The atheist has a point. Under the utilitarian understanding of marriage—in which commitments to one another can be dissolved when they cease to be useful—the marriage contract is an ornament of the relationship.

It’s absurd that Massachusetts can reach into Texas to change Texas law under the equal protection clause:

“What should typically be a joyous time in any married couple’s relationship will instead be fraught with uncertainty and insecurity that no married heterosexual couple must endure,” the motion states. “If the State of Texas refused to recognize Dimetman and DeLeon’s marriage, validly performed in Massachusetts, DeLeon will not be recognized as the child’s parent absent formal adoption. As a result, Dimetman and DeLeon will suffer the substantial uncertainty and cost required for DeLeon to legally adopt the child.”

(Notice the positive rights case that has to be made for the “parents.” When children go from an exclusive blessing of marriage to an optional appendage of any kind of relationship, parental rights fundamentally change.)

This is what federalism is supposed to prevent. But the toothless Constitution has let the courts decide law against good sense and the will of the people. There is no law unique to a state’s democratic identity that is safe from leveling in the name of equality.

A certain wing of the Republican Party is happy about this:

“There’s now a constituency in both parties in favor of this. You have, of course, many liberals [who] favor it. They constitute most of the Democratic Party. And you have the libertarian element of the Republican Party, an important part of the Republican Party, favoring it as well. So it’s been a fast movement, but a bipartisan one.” –Brit Hume

Civil disobedience, secession, adoption of a new Constitution, or a religious revival are the only plausible scenarios in which one-flesh marriage survives in America.

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