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January 3, 2005

End Notes for "One Man's Marriage Trap"

Writing for blogs and other online venues, one becomes accustomed to the ability to present sources within the text. And even books have room for pages of end notes. Given the number of quotations in my piece about Andrew Sullivan, it would obviously have been impossible to provide sources for them all. So, I thought it only appropriate to remedy that limitation here, with the items in the order in which the appear in the piece.

Please note that current circumstances required me to compile this list of context-giving quotations and links under duress; my time is extremely limited. Consequently, I wouldn't be surprised if readers find an error or an oversight here or there.

In some sense, physical contact had, in a somewhat comic way, implanted itself in my mind. But it was still intensely abstract. I remember when I was around seven or eight seeing a bare-chested man on television one night and feeling such an intense longing for him that I determined to become a doctor. That way, I figured, I could render the man unconscious and lie on top of him when no one else was in the room.
Virtually Normal (1995), p. 7

I remember one day lying down on top of him to restrain him as his brittle, burning body shook uncontrollably with the convulsions of fever. I had never done such a thing to a grown man before—and as I did, the defenses I had put up between us, the categories that until then had helped me make sense of my life and his, these defenses began to crumble into something more like solidarity.
Love Undetectable (1998), p. 22

There is, however, as with Leviticus, one incontrovertible condemnation of homosexual acts. I'll quote it as well: "For this cause God gave them up into vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves the recompense of their error which was meet."

Here again, however, it's essential to ask what the reason is for Paul's condemnation of this clearly homosexual behavior. The reference is an analogy to the way in which Romans, having had the opportunity to follow the one true God, persist in polytheism. ... This is the end of the reference; once the analogy has been drawn, the main point can be engaged. ...

Could this condemnation apply to people who are by their own nature homosexual? Unfortunately, Paul never explicitly addresses this point, since he seems to assume that every individual's nature is heterosexual.
Virtually Normal (1995), p. 28-29

This is the alternative argument embedded in the Church's recent grappling with natural law, that is just as consonant with the spirit of natural law as the Church's current position. It is more consonant with what actually occurs in nature; seeks an end to every form of natural life; and upholds the dignity of each human person. It is so obvious an alternative to the Church's current stance that it is hard to imagine the forces of avoidance that have kept it so firmly at bay for so long.
The New Republic, "Alone Again Naturally" (1994)

Both Jews and homosexuals appear in the hater's mind as small, cliquish, and very powerful groups, antipathetic to majority values, harboring secret contempt for the rest of society, and sustaining a ghetto code of secrecy and disguise. ... The loathing of each group is also closely linked to fear, and the fear is fanned, in many ways, by the distortion of a particular strain in Christian theology.
Love Undetectable (1998), p. 19

I feel my own conscience getting closer and closer to making the same decision [of leaving the Catholic Church]. It tears me apart to see no prospect of the Catholic Church ending its war on gay people and their dignity in my lifetime.
Daily Dish (2003)

In my view, the religious right amendment is both extreme - in that it bans any state from granting civil marriage rights to gays - and premature - in that the need for it on purely federalist grounds hasn't been in any way proven.
Daily Dish (2004)

I think Frist is also implying that only churches grant true marriage and that the state subsequently merely ratifies or acknowledges that sacred institution. Huh? Cannot atheists have civil marriage and view it as a simple human contract and a mark of citizenship - with no religious connotations whatsoever? Does Frist even acknowledge the full civic rights of non-believers at all, I wonder? The fact that the good doctor cannot apparently see a deep distinction between a religious marriage and a civil one shows, I guess, how close to theocracy today's Republicans have become.
Daily Dish (2003)

The new moralism has been enforced with a rigidity that puts old-style leftists to shame. It is an orthodoxy, to put it bluntly, of cultural and moral revolution: a wholesale assault on the beliefs and practices of an entire post-1960's settlement.
The New York Times Magazine, "The Scolds" (1998)

That same order should, according to Neuhaus, apply today. For the theo-conservatives, the secular neutrality of modern American law and government is, in fact, no neutrality at all, but the willful imposition by liberal elites of what Neuhaus has dubbed ''secular monism.''
The New York Times Magazine, "The Scolds" (1998)

This is graffiti on a sacred document. The founders of this country would be horrified.
Daily Dish (2003)

And the case for public neutrality is—equally clearly—very different from that of social stability. I invoke both, because, simply, they are such powerful arguments in their own right as to be irresistible. But in so far as they do conflict, it is clear that my argument for public neutrality and private difference is the essential one; and that it is essentially liberal. ... The book, then, in many ways, is a profession of faith in liberal politics, for all its inherent contradictions.
Virtually Normal (1995), p. 214

The second issue is whether his point about a "slippery slope" from non-procreative sex to incest to polygamy, and so on, is valid. Where do we draw the line in policing private sexual behavior? My golden rule in matters of limited government is an old and simple one. It is that people should be free to do within their own homes anything they want to, as long as it is consensual, adult and doesn't harm anyone else. Bigamy and polygamy are therefore irrelevant here. Bigamy means being married to more than one woman; polygamy, likewise, means being married to more than two women. [Emphasis his.]
Daily Dish (2003)

Once you acknowledge the dignity of gays as a social class, once you have conceded that their private sexual and emotional lives cannot be reduced to a single sexual act, once you have made the law equal with respect to the private sex lives of heteros and homos, the logic of same-sex marriage becomes hard to resist ...

Equality under the law means something. And now, it inescapably means the right to marry - for all citizens and not just those with power.
Daily Dish (2003)

Then came the punchline [of Hawaii]. The American constitution stipulates that every state has to give "full faith and credit" to the laws of every other state. So if marriage between two women is legal in Hawaii, it will have to be recognized everywhere else. Gay marriage will soon be the law of the land.
Sunday Times, "US marriage maketh man" (1996)

If there is a question about the full faith and credit clause of the constitution, let the Supreme Court decide, as it alone can, the constitutionality of the matter.
Testimony before the Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution (1996)

They're worried that if a state decides, even by legislative action, to grant marriage licenses to gay couples, then those couples will sue the federal government for federal benefits. As they should. That will then conflict with the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, which the social right knew at the time and still knows is unconstitutional. So the Supreme Court, upholding states' rights to determine marriage and wary of a federal law that obviously singles out gay people for discrimination, will strike DOMA down. Then we essentially have same-sex marriage on a state and federal level.
Daily Dish (2003)

If you merely want to stop one state's marriages being nationalized, you have the power already. It's called the Defense of Marriage Act, alongside the long established precedent of states being able not to recognize out of state marriages for public policy reasons.
Daily Dish (2003)

No serious legal scholar thinks that one state can impose marriage rights on another, under current law. Despite disingenuous attempts to claim otherwise, the Full Faith and Credit Clause has never applied to marriages and still doesn't.
Daily Dish (2003)

Robert George, a political philosopher at Princeton and chief intellectual guru of the Catholic right, laid out the case for banning all civil recognition of gay relationships in the federal Constitution last Friday. It's such a tenuous case - and requires unbounded paranoia with respect to courts and a disingenuous attempt to argue that the Full Faith and Credit Clause applies to civil marriages (it never has).
Daily Dish (2003)

If all legal precedent fails, if DOMA is struck down, if one single civil marriage in Massachusetts is deemed valid in another state, without that other state's consent, I will support a federal constitutional amendment that would solely say that no state is required to recognize a civil marriage from another state.
Daily Dish (2004)

I believe individual states should be able to decide for themselves. I believe that state courts - where marriage questions rightly belong - should also rule on a state-by-state basis.
Daily Dish (2002)

First off: the entire premise of the piece - that marriage for gays is legal in Norway, Denmark and Sweden - is factually untrue. There are no marriage rights for gays in the countries he cites. There are, instead, what are called "registered partnerships." ...

These kinds of unsubstantiated correlations, slippery links and simple associations would be laughed out of a freshman social science class. Did no one edit this?
Daily Dish (2004)

Yes, the Ontario Court ruling really is a big deal. And yes, it really does represent the first actual, living, breathing gay marriage. Holland and Denmark have legal gay partnerships almost indistinguishable from marriage. But the Canadian precedent is the actual thing; marriage; the same thing as hetersoexuals take for granted.
Daily Dish (2003)

And today in Denmark and Sweden different compromises have been made that affect the meaning of marriage itself.
Same-Sex Marriage: Pro and Con (1997), p. 4

Take Denmark, which has had such "registered partnerships" longer than any other country. During the first six years in which gay marriage was legal in Denmark, the rate of straight marriages went up by 10% and the rate of straight divorces went down by 12%.
Sunday Times, "Marriage a la mode: a game for everyone" (2001)

In Denmark, where de facto gay marriage has existed for some time, the rate of marriage among gays is far lower than among straights, but, perhaps as a result, the gay divorce rate is just over one-fifth that of heterosexuals. And, during the first six years in which gay marriage was legal, scholar Darren Spedale has found, the rate of straight marriages rose 10 percent, and the rate of straight divorces decreased by 12 percent. In the only country where we have real data on the impact of gay marriage, the net result has clearly been a conservative one.
The New Republic, "Unveiled" (2001)

Is this some sort of radical revolution? Will it lead, or has it led, to the dissolution of the family as we have historically known it? Many conservatives seem to think so and their worries should not be dismissed as bigotry or fustiness. The importance of the family in society is indisputable. But there is a far stronger case which says that far from undermining family life, giving support for solid relationships between two committed individuals who meet all the requirements of marriage bar the piece of paper strengthens the family.
Sunday Times, "Marriage a la mode: a game for everyone" (2001)

[Virtually Normal's politics of homosexuality] allows homosexuals to define their own identity and does not place it in the hands of the other. It makes a clear, public statement of equality while leaving all of the inequalities of emotion and passion to the private sphere, where they belong.
Virtually Normal (1995), p. 186

There is nothing in Virtually Normal which posits that certain ways of life are always and everywhere better for every gay man and lesbian. There is merely an argument that until the conditions of political and legal equality are met, gay and lesbian outsiderdom is not a cultural choice; it is making a virtue out of necessity.
Virtually Normal (1995), p. 211

Our battle, after all, is not for political victory but for personal integrity.
Virtually Normal (1995), p. 186-187

I came to revere sexuality not just because it was so long forbidden to me, but because I could not control or nurture it, or even fully own it. ...To give this up, even under the threat of death, would have been to give up being fully human.
Love Undetectable (1998), p. 58

It is also true, however, that homosexual relationships, even in their current, somewhat eclectic form, may contain features that could nourish the broader society as well. ... The mutual nurturing and sexual expressiveness of many lesbian relationships, the solidity and space of many adult gay male relationships, are qualities sometimes lacking in more rote, heterosexual couplings. Same-sex unions often incorporate the virtues of friendship more effectively than traditional marriages; and at times, among gay male relationships the openness of the contract makes it more likely to survive than many heterosexual bonds. Some of this is unavailable to the male-female union: there is more likely to be greater understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman; and again, the lack of children gives gay couples greater freedom. Their failures entail fewer consequences for others. But something of the gay relationship's necessary honesty, its flexibility, and its equality could undoubtedly help strengthen and inform many heterosexual bonds.
Virtually Normal (1995), p. 202

But in case my point is not clear enough, let me state it unequivocally so that it cannot be distorted in the future: it is my view that, in same-sex marriage, adultery should be as anathema as it is in heterosexual marriage.
Virtually Normal (1995), p. 221

The timeless, necessary, procreative unity of a man and a woman is inherently denied homosexuals; and the way in which fatherhood transforms heterosexual men, and motherhood transforms heterosexual women, and parenthood transforms their relationship, is far less common among homosexuals than among heterosexuals.
Virtually Normal, p. 196

But within this model [of marriage], there is plenty of scope for cultural difference. There is something baleful about the attempt of some gay conservatives to educate homosexuals and lesbians into an uncritical acceptance of a stifling model of heterosexual normality. The truth is, homosexuals are not entirely normal; and to flatten their varied and complicated lives into a single, moralistic model is to miss what is essential and exhilarating about their otherness.
Virtually Normal, p. 203

There is something unique and miraculous about the connection between male-female sex and the creation of new life. Its connection to a marital structure in which that new life can be nurtured, protected, and elevated is also one that is obviously vital to defend.
The New Republic, "Unnatural Law" (2003)

this is a classic civil rights issue and it's time to stop the mealy-mouthed talk about civil unions as some sort of option for homosexual citizens.
Daily Dish (2002)

If coupling isn't the de facto meaning of that relationship, what else is? That's the living, breathing reality of civil marriage in America. Given that reality, how can civil marriage be denied gay couples? ... is it fair to deny one tiny group these benefits, simply as a means to promote an ideal that most heterosexuals don't live up to anyway?
Daily Dish (2004)

The basic problem for the anti-gay marriage forces is that they are upholding a marital standard for gays that no one any longer upholds for straights. And this obvious inequality - recognized even by Scalia, for example - cannot withstand judicial scrutiny under any reasonable standard of equal treatment under the law. Thats why I think it's hyperbole to describe the Massachusetts court of judicial "activism." The argument of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was that gays couldn't marry because they couldn't procreate. Once it was obvious that this standard did not apply to heterosexuals, the court had no choice but to strike down the inequality. It was not a radical decision at all. It was an inescapable one. And that's why even a conservative court like Alaska's upheld it. And that's why you really do have to amend a state constitution to prevent its guarantees of equality from being applied to gay citizens.
Daily Dish (2004)

For Kudlow, there is no distinction between private and public life - and immoral people have no right to have any privacy at all. "Judeo-Christian religions teach that marital fidelity and faithfulness are the building blocks of a civilization and society," Kudlow writes. "Without them, there can be no stability. This is not a trifling point. It is a major point. It's not merely that he covered up the affair, but that he had the affair." He goes on: "Flimsy distinctions between private and public behavior ignore all this and serve merely to muddy the waters of proper conduct. ..." Wow. Kudlow even looks kindly on a law in the District making adultery a crime. ... Give me an adulterer over an ayatollah any day.
Daily Dish (2001)

When those in favor of traditional marriage start proposing measures that would infringe on heterosexual abuse of marital privileges, I'll take them seriously. Until then ...
Daily Dish (2004)

Why can we not hold up marriage and committed loving relationships as the goal but not punish and stigmatize the non-conformists or those whose erotic needs and desires are more complex than the crude opposition to all non-marital and non-procreative sex allows.
Daily Dish (2002)

And why, for that matter, can sexual expression only ever be legitimate within a single human relationship? What is so bad, after all, with mutual objectification? If both parties are willing and equal and adult, why is sexual pleasure--that isn't related to some ulterior social good--so wrong?
TNR Online, "Natural Bias" (2003)

Gay men are certainly more sexually active with more partners than most straight men. (Straight men would be far more promiscuous, I think, if they could get away with it the way gay men can.) Many gay men value this sexual freedom more than the strains of monogamous marriage. But many also yearn for anchors for their relationships, for the structure and family support and financial security that come with marriage.
Sunday Times, "Marriage a la mode: a game for everyone" (2001)

Many gay men value this sexual freedom more than the stresses and strains of monogamous marriage (and I don't blame them).
The New Republic, "Unveiled" (2001)

While I support civil marriage for homosexuals, and believe such marriage should be monogamous and will probably reduce sexual adventurism, I have never condemned other relationships, those who choose not to marry (which would include me), sex before marriage, and I have written positively about casual and even promiscuous sex.
Daily Dish (2002)

Sexual experience, from the beginning, seemed to me almost a sacrament of human existence, a truly transforming experience in the adventure of being human; an insight into both what love may possibly be and what death almost certainly is. In the modern bourgeois world, it may even be the only avenue for true self-risk that is still available.
Love Undetectable (1998), p. 57

Sex is messy and dangerous. But it's also one of the greatest and most exhilarating gifts our nature has given us - and free societies respect the freedom to explore it.
Daily Dish (2003)

My argument for the moral neutrality of homosexuality, for example, for the moral good of some homosexual sexual activity, and for the moral evil of abusive sexual activity, whether gay or straight, is not based on pure blind emotion. It's not wish-fullfilment. It's an argument that the reduction of human sexuality to pure, heterosexual, procreative sex strikes me as excessively strict, given the not-so-terrifying moral dangers of other forms of human sexuality. It's an argument that other forms of sex - pre-marital, contracepted, same-sex, masturbatory - are not always the 'evils' the Church claims them to be - and indeed might be legitimate and humanizing ways to express sexual freedom.
Daily Dish (2002)

It will take time and persuasion and argument and experience, but that's the genius of a federal system, a system Kurtz wants to upend. I want that slow federal process to take place. Kurtz wants to pre-empt it now by writing an anti-gay plank into the Constitution of the United States. He wants to prevent the process even starting. I think that's unconservative, anti-federal, extremist and deeply divisive. Which is as good a description of some elements of the far right (and the far left) in this country as you can find.
Daily Dish (2002)

One of the unfounded scare tactics of the anti-gay right has been the notion that civil marriage rights for gays in any one state will automatically mean their exportation across the country. Constitutional scholars know this is extremely unlikely.
Daily Dish (2002)

That's why this move is far less radical than some are suggesting - and why it wasn't crazy for the court to find no rational reason to maintain the exclusion. Sure, it would be a radical move in parts of the South, where gay families also exist, but do so in a climate of fear and hatred and widespread hostility. But that's the point of federalism, isn't it? It can be tried out in one state before it is tried out in another. The flip-side of leaving Mississippi alone is that we should also leave Massachusetts alone. Deal?
Daily Dish (2003)

I don't believe people's basic civil rights should be up to a majority vote. That's why we have courts at all - to check majority tyranny. (When was the last time you heard a conservative worry about democratic tyranny?) I do believe in the process of debate, winning over the public, and doing this legislatively if at all possible - because it makes the reform more stable.
Daily Dish (2004)

Slowly but surely, as courts are staffed with judges who reflect contemporary understanding, the restrictions [against homosexuals] have begun to collapse.
Sunday Times, "Gay marriages could be a Tory vote-winner" (2003)

I imagined that I would want the anti-sodomy law to be struck down on the narrowest possible grounds, for several reasons: I'm a skeptic of judicial activism; I feared a backlash if the ruling was too sweeping; I felt more powder should be kept dry for the gay-marriage fight. ... I changed my mind. I changed it not because I got carried away with emotion (although I'd be a fool not to admit some). I changed my mind because Kennedy reminded me of something I already believed: that, as long as you acknowledge that gay people are human beings with no choice over their orientation, there can be no constitutional or moral defense of sodomy laws, period.
The New Republic, "Citizens" (2003)

The text [of Goodridge] is well worth a good and thorough review. It shows, to my mind, how impossible it is that any reasonable court, given the existing rules for civil marriage, can deny one small group of citizens one of the "basic civil rights of man."
Daily Dish (2003)

You could believe all those things and still think that individual states should decide for themselves on legal civil marriage and that this issue should be dealt with slowly and with democratic deliberation, rather than in one single, polarizing campaign for an amendment.
Daily Dish (2003)

The only way the religious right will succeed with this radical step [i.e., the FMA] is by a hysterical and polarizing campaign.
Daily Dish (2003)

A reader sends this piece of information in, which, to tell you the truth, shocks me. Maybe it's not true. But it seems to check out. Maybe other readers can help cast light on it. In 1866, America was in the middle of another, far deeper, conflagration in part over the role of a minority. The Vatican weighed in on the debate ...

Somehow, it comforts me to know that this inerrant institution, held up today as a moral arbiter, compromised on something as fundamental as human slavery. It makes dissent today easier.
Daily Dish (2003)

It also appears that the 1866 limited defense of slavery was and is genuine.
Daily Dish (2003)

The guarantee of minority freedom [from Neuhausian theocons], in other words, would be majority benevolence. It is perhaps unsurprising that when Neuhaus gathered a group of public thinkers and ministers to endorse a statement reflecting this orthodoxy, in October 1997, there were no Jews among the signers.
The New York Times Magazine, "The Scolds" (1998)

But the result is clear, at least for those who care about the Constitution and care about civil rights. We must oppose this extremism with everything we can muster. We must appeal to the fair-minded center of the country that balks at the hatred and fear that much of the religious right feeds on. We must prevent this graffiti from being written on a document every person in this country should be able to regard as their own.
Daily Dish (2004)

No homosexual child, surrounded overwhelmingly by heterosexuals, will feel at home in his sexual and emotional world, even in the most tolerant of cultures. And every homosexual child will learn the rituals of deceit, impersonation, and appearance. Anyone who believes political, social, or even cultural revolution will change this fundamentally is denying reality.
Virtually Normal, p. 13

Posted by Justin Katz at January 3, 2005 2:33 PM