Tag Archives: unintended consequences

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
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.

The Conservative Case Against Innovation

Courtesy of Economist’s View, this Tom Tomorrow piece on what happens when you let exotic new instruments grow rapidly: unexpected consequences.

While Tom Tomorrow is a Leftist, here he is making a conservative case: what happens when we create a new institution and rapidly expand it? What are the social consequences.

Of course, we “do not know” until a disaster occurs. Then we know to well.

There was a conservative case to be made against the rapid expansion of mortage-backed securities. Likewise, there is a conservative case to be made against things such as homosexual marriage laws. These are new things we do not know the consequences of.

On one side are libertarians, who say, “You can only stop these contracts through violence, and the first rule of civilized society is never to initiate violence.”

On the other side are conservatives, who say, “The state exists to protect against against the chaos of nature. We are at war with uncertainty, becauese bad choices can lead lost lives of innocent people who were caught up in your innovations.”