Tag Archives: Gay Marriage

Right, Dangerous, and Chaotic

Juda-Maccabaeus

The lessons we should learn from all
the fighting in the Days of Old
when Providence bestowed Divine,
the Sanctuary purified:

“Let the let encircle all you hold
and don’t uproot the olive grove.”

So now Jerusalem, you know it’s not right
After all you’ve been through, you should know better than
To become the wicked ones
Almighty God once saved you from.”

– Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn, “Jersualem“

It is wrong to use violence against people who are living peacefully. Sometimes we have to, because we don’t know ways to solve our problems that don’t involve being violent to peaceful people, but that assault remains wrong.

Likewise, it is dangerous to take actions that have unknowable costs. Sometimes we do so anyway, because the alternative is so wrong or is itself dangerous, but those excuses do not erase the danger that we introduce.

Finally, it is chaotic to introduce changes against the wishes of a democratic majority. This is does not mean doing so is necessarily wrong or dangerous, but it randomizes the purpose of elections (which are to allow the people to fire officials who they find unbearable), generates annoying social movements, and distracts the broader society from the more important goals of economic growth.

In Washington State, where I live, the people directly voted on, and approved, laws to legalize both marijuana and gay marriages. These are certainly dangerous (and gay marriage more so, as for most of American history marijuana was legal). But banning the right to contract in both cases is certainly wrong. Fortunately, Washington State’s legalization of both forms of contract was orderly, without judicial fiat or even legislatorial arrogant bullying the process.

In California, on the other hand, unelected judges took the dangerous and chaotic path of legalizing gay marriage (but not marijuana) by fiat. One wrong was undone — the one that was the most dangerous — but in a chaotic way.

This case is now before the Supreme Court. The nearest analogy I can think of is Roe v. Wade, which likewise was a dangerous and chaotic method of abolishing a wrong (violent persecution of post-conception birth control). Of course, Roe v. Wade also legalized another wrong, infanticide, so it is unlikely that the dangerous chaos ensuing from even a reckless ruling on the California gay marriage case will be as bad as what was caused by the Roe v. Wade decision.

Gay Marriage

 

“We celebrate the wars we won
The blood of history’s ancient sons
We followed Judah Maccabee
We fought against inequity

We saved ourselves with help from One
Who loves His children everyone
everyone
everyone
everyone
every one.”
– Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn, “Jersualem

The stupidest arguments for the legal recognition for gay marriage comes from those who support it.

Some say, this secures benefits. But how is expanding the welfare state a nobel goal? They say this as if its a benefit of legally recognizing gay marriage, but it is surely draw back.

Some say, this makes hospital visitation easier. But if someone does not understand the law enough to know what a durable power of attorney is, or how one might be constructed, or complemented, a good argument can be made that such a person is not competent to form a marriage contract.

Rather, the strongest argument for the legal recognition of marriage contract between two gays (male homosexuals or female homosexuals) is the same as free commerce in spirits, or marijuana, or prostitution: the right to contract. Since ancient days society has recognized “marriage” as a type of contract. If individuals are not harming others in their contract, it is morally wrong to deprive them of that contract.

The greatest argument against legal recognition of gay marriage (putting aside the ghastly feature of expanding the welfare state) is unintended consequences. The second and third order impact of legal recognition are unknown, and this is not a trivial concern.

Our Constitution allows our nation to handle this through federalism. Different States enact different laws, and the consequences of these different laws can be observed. Some of these laws, like prohibition, do not work out. Others, such as welfare reform, eventually become a model for the nation.

Legal non-recognition of gay marriage has the flaw of taking away the free contract rights of the individual concerns. It has the benefit of not expanding the welfare state. It has the potential benefit of avoiding unintended consequences.

As such, the present political conditions — “gay marriage” is recognized in some places, “civil union” is recognized in others, neither is recognized in yet others — are reasonable. Our political system is working as it should.