Thursday, 21 June 2012

What does ‘equal marriage’ really mean?

Ever since David Cameron said ‘I support gay marriage because I'm a Conservative’, (formerly?) conservative publications have been rushing to agree with him. An editorial in The Times back in March described the resistance to any redefinition of marriage, by orthodox Christians, as ‘a demeaning, unconscionable and ultimately futile defence of injustice’. Meanwhile, writing in The Spectator (The Spectator!), Douglas Murray had this to say:

Then there is the slippery-slope argument. Tory MP Edward Leigh worries that if gays are allowed to marry, ‘There is no logical reason why the new alternative institution should be limited to two people. Why not three?’ he asks. ‘Or 33?’ All of which tells us more about his imagination than his logic.

People who lack Edward Leigh’s ‘imagination’ should have a look at the website of the campaign for ‘Full Marriage Equality’, which is

Advocating for the right of consenting adults to share and enjoy love, sex, residence, and marriage without limits on the gender, number, or relation of participants. [emphasis added]

claiming that

Full marriage equality is a basic human right.


The global definition of marriage should be as follows: "The uniting of consenting individuals in a witnessed ceremony."

The campaign website has a helpful section dealing with ‘discredited, invalid arguments’ against affording polyamorous or ‘consanguineous’ (incestuous) relationships the legal status of a marriage.  If you think that it would be OK to make marriage gender-neutral, but not to go as far as this group is asking, then you can try your arguments over there.  (You can also try out your arguments for not redefining marriage at all).  Quoth the campaign:

7. “What’s next?” “Where do we draw the line?” Freedom for consenting adults. Who has a problem with that?

So clearly, it is Murray’s logic that is at fault, not Leigh’s.

The Facebook group supporting this campaign has 204 members as of the time of this post.  That’s not a lot, but it isn’t zero either.


Ilíon said...

Paraphrasing something I read somewhere recently, "'Slippery slope argument' is the preferred modern/leftist term to disparage the correct discernment of the logical implications of an argument in favor of ‘X’ as applies to ‘Y’"

Abecedariusrex said...

What many in support of "equal marriage" seem to lack is a sense of history. Egyptian Pharaohs married their sisters; Jewish widows married their (married) brother in laws; English gentry married their cousins until recently. Whether gay marriage is "right" or "wrong" isn't necessarily the issue - whether we sanction it legally as a society (and all the other forms of polygamy, consanguinity, pedophilia, etc.) will change the nature of our society - just as changing from polygamy to monogamy changed human society or outlawing prima nocte changed society or forbidding the coveting of sheep changed society. What appears righteous in the liberal mind, caring and inclusive, does not seem to take into account that perhaps this might not be the direction our society ought to go.

Abecedariusrex said...

IDK what things are like on your side of the bathtub but here in the States the Catholic Church has unfortunately scuttled this argument already by allowing pedophilia priests to have a heyday and then taking a legalistic CYA approach to pedophilia while simultaneously depleting the Mass of beauty and majesty and favoring charismatic ecstasy over intellectual accuracy in faith formation. "We shall have no mo' marriage! It hath made me mad! Those that are married, all but one, shall live. The rest shall keep as they are."