I think that legally, it is justified to outlaw gay marriage on the grounds that it violates the sanctity of marriage.
In the past, I posed a question to feminists that was related to this subject. I asked them if we should legalize incestuous marriage. Contributing writer (and assumed feminist) Emily Driscoll responded to my question.
I think Driscoll’s response was interesting. She clearly had some moral opposition to incestuous marriage, but could not come up with any rational reasons why she harbored this opposition. I find this interesting because this is the same way conservatives react to gay marriage.
When I originally posed my question, I argued that there are no logical reasons for a feminist to oppose incestuous marriage.
Sex-positive feminism (the predominant viewpoint in American third-wave feminism) posits that all norms and mores surrounding sexuality are social constructs designed to oppress women. They believe that all of these social constructs need to be eliminated as a way of liberating women from the patriarchy.
This means that all forms of sexuality need to be permitted so long as both parties are consenting adults practicing safe sex. In theory, incestuous marriage should be permitted under this system of ethics.
Driscoll never answered whether she thinks incestuous marriage should be legalized or not, despite her opposition to it. I suspect this is because the idea of incestuous marriage violates her sense of sanctity.
People become irrational when their sense of sanctity is violated; Driscoll is no exception. This is because sanctity is not rational. It is based on our subjective perceptions.
Driscoll argued that all forms of incest are rape, therefore incestuous marriage should be outlawed. She did not provide any evidence to support this claim. She even tried to change the definition of sex-positive feminism so that she would not have to answer my question.
This is similar to the reasoning conservatives use to oppose gay marriage.
I have heard conservatives oppose gay marriage on the grounds that all gays are pedophiles or that all gay marriages end in divorce. Neither of these claims are true.
If you point out all the flaws in their arguments, eventually conservatives will admit that they have no rational reason for opposing gay marriage; they just know they are morally opposed to it.
There is an important lesson behind these debates: all humans have an irrational sense of sanctity. There is a certain point when people become morally opposed to something.
Unfortunately, everyone has different, and often conflicting, senses of sanctity. I think this is the unstated cause of many human conflicts.
In addition to the gay marriage debate, some other sanctity conflicts include: drug laws, obscenity in the media, sexuality, abortion, profanity, cleanliness and eating habits.
This leads to a moral conundrum: how do we peacefully resolve these conflicts?
I do not have the answer for this; I can only point out that these conflicts exist.
I do think that liberals (in particular feminists) are handling this situation poorly. They are unfairly imposing their own irrational sense of sanctity onto everyone else and labeling all other forms as hatred.
This needs to stop. We need to come to terms with the fact that sanctity is a critical component of human morality. It is insane to act like it does not exist.