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November 9, 2004

Encouraging Maturity by Example

As I've noted twice before (here and here), Jeff Jacoby writes with a rare clarity about same-sex marriage, especially for a New Englander. In yesterday's column, he politely suggested that same-sex marriage activists would do well to leave behind a bit of their radical zeal for some mature consideration of their countrymen:

The gay political leadership does itself no good when it pretends that a campaign to shake marriage to its core is a quest for "fundamental human rights." Men no more have a fundamental human right to marry other men than fathers have to marry their daughters, and no one ought to be called a bigot for saying so. When tens of millions of Americans, in state after state, vote against remaking society's core institution, their views are entitled to a modicum of respect.

After all, a large and growing majority of Americans treats same-sex relationships with respect. Gay and lesbian couples are widely accepted as part of the social landscape, they enjoy many legal rights and privileges, and no one challenges their freedom of private conduct. But civic equality goes only so far, and most Americans draw the line at saying that sex should be irrelevant to marriage, the core function of which is to unite the sexes. That is hardly an outlandish position. What is outlandish is for the head of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force to declare that courts shouldn't "give a damn" about deeply rooted American values.

Posted by Justin Katz at November 9, 2004 2:04 AM
Marriage & Family

Attempting a segue from an earlier thread, this quote from Jacoby's article summarizes the issue nicely:

"Fundamental human rights should never be put up for a popular vote."

Jon, do you agree with that? And if so, how should we determine fundamental human rights, other than by popular vote?

Posted by: Ben Bateman at November 9, 2004 4:18 PM