Dear Ross Douthat, You Make No Sense

Same topic, different pundit, similar casuistry.

Ross Douthat of the NYT:

In this landscape, gay-marriage critics who fret about a slippery slope to polygamy miss the point. Americans already have a kind of postmodern polygamy available to them. It’s just spread over the course of a lifetime, rather than concentrated in a “Big Love”-style menage.

If this newer order completely vanquishes the older marital ideal, then gay marriage will become not only acceptable but morally necessary. The lifelong commitment of a gay couple is more impressive than the serial monogamy of straights. And a culture in which weddings are optional celebrations of romantic love, only tangentially connected to procreation, has no business discriminating against the love of homosexuals.

But if we just accept this shift, we’re giving up on one of the great ideas of Western civilization: the celebration of lifelong heterosexual monogamy as a unique and indispensable estate. That ideal is still worth honoring, and still worth striving to preserve. And preserving it ultimately requires some public acknowledgment that heterosexual unions and gay relationships are different: similar in emotional commitment, but distinct both in their challenges and their potential fruit.

But based on Judge Walker’s logic — which suggests that any such distinction is bigoted and un-American — I don’t think a society that declares gay marriage to be a fundamental right will be capable of even entertaining this idea.

Marriages are only celebrations of romantic love. There is no law requiring marrying couples to procreate or raise children. Indeed I believe most of us would agree this would be unconstitutional and impossible for many couples, so your “unique and indispensable estate” is bogus; it doesn’t exist even today.

Furthermore, “support” for heterosexual marriage by keeping homosexual marriage banned does not create incentives for further traditional marriages. No heterosexual couple is not going to get married because their gay neighbors next door wear wedding bands.

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