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May 29, 2006

Rauch Should Know Better

Perhaps the most discouraging aspect of contemporary discourse emerges when one gets the feeling that others really aren't interested in coming to an objectively correct conclusion — merely in promoting their own causes. I suppose it may sound naive to lament such a thing, but it's difficult not to shake one's head when somebody seemingly interested in honest consideration and compromise betrays a disinterest in understanding the other side. Consider this from Jon Rauch:

Two questions for anti-gay-marriage, anti-abortion Republicans: If states can be allowed to go their own way in defining human life, why not allow them to go their own way in defining marriage? Where constitutional amendments are concerned, why is preventing gay couples from marrying so much more urgent than preventing unborn children from being killed?

Do you really need these questions answered for you, Jon, or would a five minute delay in your publication deadline provide the time to think it through? Well, for the benefit of passing readers, I'll take the five minutes:

  • Qualitative difference. Respecting question one, the key legal difference between marriage and death ought to be obvious: one creates a continuous legal relationship defining the people involved that must be addressed in many of their public dealings throughout their lives, while the other is a finite act that needn't be addressed, from a public perspective, in the future (until such time, of course, as we decide that there ought to be a punishment for it).
  • Political difference. In some ways, the push for a marriage amendment indicates a lesson learned on the abortion issue. It is the sort of preemptive action that pro-lifers wish had been taken back before so many of the nation's citizens had become complicit in murder. Same-sex marriage would not be tantamount to murder, of course, but it would surely be prohibitively difficult to remedy the situation, even with evidence of social harm, once such marriages exist.
  • Judicial difference. The judiciary has already penned its own constitutional amendment in the case of abortion. It has yet to do the same, in such a sweeping way, in the case of marriage, but it will, we all know it will, and it is difficult not to suspect that such commentators as Rauch seek merely to delay action until it does so.
Posted by Justin Katz at May 29, 2006 9:11 AM
Marriage & Family
Comments

Rauch doesn't need the questions answered for him. He's using a rhetorical technique where one attacks an opponent through the use of questions that paint his opponents logic in a self-contradicory light. Unfortunately, he runs into an obvious trap common for users of such a technique. He has set up a straw man of the conservative argument where the conservative movement is unable to multitask. This is obviously obsurd because his own logic (this is an extrapiliation) probably allows liberals to multitask. Also, different people in reality are allowed to have slightly different views and still be allies. This implies that a many-membered orgaization is predisposed to having many concerns important to it. Those two combined provide the will and ability to multitask.

Posted by: Bookstopper at May 30, 2006 5:03 PM

My response to Rauch's two questions:

If states can be allowed to go their own way in defining human life, why not allow them to go their own way in defining marriage?

Two words: Roe vs Wade.

Activist judges can and will attempt to force their morality across state borders. Legal attacks on state autonomy by gay activists have not dissapeared. Nor will they, until their agenda is enforced nationwide, just as it was with the pro-abortion agenda.

Where constitutional amendments are concerned, why is preventing gay couples from marrying so much more urgent than preventing unborn children from being killed?

Because politics is the art of the possible. Your friends put gay marriage on the front burner -- not mine.

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Rauch is acting alot like Sully these days isn't he? Denying the obvious truth, to protect a lie he knows (and is too smart to actually believe) is completely false.

Posted by: Marty at May 31, 2006 10:49 PM

Marty said:

"Because politics is the art of the possible. Your friends put gay marriage on the front burner -- not mine."

Not to mention that the impetus of the Marriage Amendments is not to "prevent" "Gay/Lesbian" couples from marrying so much as it to establish the proper format or parameters for them to marry under, like one man and one woman.

The proponents willfully ignore this because it behooves their cause to change the dialog from protection of the family to protection of individual rights.

Posted by: smmtheory at June 1, 2006 10:46 AM

At least the last draft of the marriage amendment I saw would not strictly prevent gay marraige. I thought all it did was allow a state to decide for itself whether such marriages will be recognized by it, sort of innoculating a nonrecognition state from full faith & credit and equal protection challenges.

Posted by: c matt at June 1, 2006 10:55 AM