On Gay Marriage Arguments
A short while ago, a friend told me about a graduate student he knew who was teaching an undergrad philosophy class on love and sexuality and was soliciting arguments against gay marriage. A left-leaning feminist, she herself supported gay marriage, but she wanted to present, discuss, and philosophically analyze the arguments for it and against it. She didn’t just want to impose her own views on her students and was seeking to understand the arguments contrary to her own, specifically those that appealed solely to reason.
I don’t know what arguments she was able to gather, but upon hearing about her search, I thought about how most of the arguments that I hear against gay marriage appeal to scripture, theology, and church documents, hardly recognized authorities in our postmodern, pluralistic society. Moreover, I noted that the argument over gay marriage seems to be one that opponents are losing. Not long ago Ellen DeGeneres coming out on her show was a big cultural deal. Today some states in the union recognize same-sex unions. If I were a betting farmer, I’d bet the farm that our society will generally come to see gay marriage as a moral, legitimate, and socially-beneficial institution. Then speculations about its effects on society will be put to the test.
I pose two questions to our readers and to my fellow contributors:
1. What are the most persuasive arguments against gay marriage that appeal to reason and not to religious belief? I’m looking for arguments that appeal to history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and so forth, but not to theology or revelation.
2. How would opponents of gay marriage most likely succeed in turning the cultural tide against gay marriage?