Saturday, December 13, 2003
Thursday, December 11, 2003
One of my readers sent in a long Email disagreeing with my take on gay marriage. Here is a partial quote:
First, allow me discuss your essay on gay marriage. You start out by claiming that "[heterosexual, monogamous] marriage is...a universal practice of mankind" and "a practice that is quintessentially human." This is a frequent claim, but is not borne out by scholarship on the issue. Historians and anthropologists have documented many occurances of group marriage, marriage separated from monogamy, and marriage separated from child raising. All evidence seems to suggest that marriage is entirely culturally defined.
While it is true that us humans are an adaptable bunch, and cultural customs can arise that are in opposition to our biological instincts, I'm afraid the reader is vastly exaggerating in order to make gay marriage seem like a sensible thing.
Cultures in which there exist weird practices such as group marriage and children not being raised by parents are the exception, and not the rule. Hindus in India, Buddhists in China, and Christians and Jews in the West all get married and raise children.
Having children, and raising children, is something that is obviously biologically programmed into us, otherwise we, as a race, would have died out. The forming of monogamous relationships is also something that is programmed into us. The social custom of marriage acknowledges what we want to instinctively do, but it also serves a greater purpose than that. It acts to prevent the either member of the married couple from straying, which would be detrimental to their children and to society as a whole. "Gay marriage", on the other hand, wouldn't serve any of these purposes at all.
This is not an argument, on my part, that sodomy should be made illegal. Although I do confess to having a hard time understanding why sodomy is a constitutionally protected right, but smoking marijuana isn't. After all, the disease transmitted through sodomy, AIDS, has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, while it's not clear that marijuana has killed anybody.
Sunday, December 07, 2003
I wrote an essay explaining that libertarian principles require that gay marriage not be made the law.