A California judge tonight “refudiated” proposition 8 in California. There will be much commentary in the news tomorrow, but three initial items struck me as significant.
1. The judge said that “Proposition 8 harms the state’s interest in equality, because it mandates that men and women be treated differently based only on antiquated and discredited notions of gender.” What exactly are these “antiquated and discredited notions of gender”? That seems to be a rather pejorative, condescending, and even arrogant claim. Is he saying that in the past few years we suddenly became far wiser about gender than most everyone else who has ever lived?
2. And if any two people, regardless of gender, are sufficient to constitute a marriage, then why stop at two? If gender doesn’t matter, then why does number? If number does matter, on what grounds? How would an argument for gay marriage even begin to mount a case against polygamy? If gay marriage becomes law (and it surely will), won’t we also have to allow polygamy? If not, why not?
3. Many people suspect that the critique of the “antiquated and discredited notions of gender” is ultimately an attack on men. Some women have shown that they don’t think they need men around. They can now get pregnant without men, get married without men, and raise their children without men. They may even think that their children are better off for having two nurturers rather than a nurturer and an authoritarian parent (there’s an antiquated notion of gender for you). Those excited for the right for homosexuals to marry should pause and consider if “progress” for one group isn’t coming at a high cost to another.
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