Monday, May 19, 2008

Defending the marriage defenders

Rick Esenberg takes on the critics of those that defend traditional marriage. The most relevant point, I think:

While I am not interested in making arguments about whether homosexuality is a sin (I don't feel that I can make such a judgment), I don't believe that those who do are "haters" or "homophobes." Nor am I willing to say that society has no interest in holding up heterosexual relationships as normative, What I don't think that the law or culture should do is condemn or ostracize those who are gay or lesbian. Refusing to redefine an institution that has arisen for other purposes to include same sex relationships simply doesn't do that.

I was struck by the comment of the California chief justice referring to the dissenting opinions:

George said he was even pleased with the dissents, which contended that a decision on same-sex marriage should be made by the people, not the court.

Some judges in other states that had considered same-sex marriage had written in ways that were "homophobic" and demeaning to lesbians and gays, statements "that you don't find" in California's dissenting opinions, George said. They were signed by Justices Marvin Baxter, Ming Chin and Carol A. Corrigan.

Unfortunately, the interviewer did not challenge the justice to name one judge or one place where this was so. It's too easy for that side of the debate to just attack the other side as mean-spirited and bigoted without answering the specific issues raised.