"I, nor the government and state, are not limiting who can be in love. No one determines who can couple up according to their affections. The objection based on love is an explicit fog claim about privacy, which turns out not true, but it's really an implicit claim about Social approval. By social approval, I mean the government passing law, which then ought to be recognized by the State, and therefore the people."
The appeals before the state and federal courts, on behalf of same-sex marriage advocates, promote as their strong case that the rights of homosexual couples are being infringed upon because "what [they] do in private is [their] own business." Take, for example, an acquaintance of mine who happens to be a homosexual. Him and his partner argue that people and government won't let them do what they want to do. Why? Because the state refuses to give them a license certificate affirming their relationship. The liberty they seek, on the surface, seems to have been thwarted in an act of unequality. Really? Let's look at the situation closer. Their is not a limitation of freedom being withheld from homosexuals. Men and women can marry men and women by walking down the isle in many places all over the nation and pledging their vows to one another. A restriction on doing that does not exist. The legal liberty remains equal to all men and women to marry someone else of the opposite sex. Whether you are homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, or omnisexual the liberty given to each individual does not vary upon sexual orientation. However, some choose to not afford themself this legal right to marry someone of the opposite sex. That's fine. No one forces them to choose this option. If they choose not to marry someone of the opposite sex, it leaves them single. On the otherhand, homosexuals would rather pursue a relationship with someone of the same sex. That's fine, too. No legal limitation forbids them from doing that either. See what I'm getting at? No limational freedom is being withheld. If you want to love a member of the opposite sex, then do so. Care to move in with them and tell their friends and family to congradulate them? Wonderful.
Something else is behind this objection to limitational freedom being limited or withheld all together. Their is a demand from those who choose members of the opposite sex as partners in a relationship that the rest of society agree with them. It is not enough for homosexual couples to be married in their own eyes. Most of them already are, if you ask them. Even the couple I mentioned earlier that I knew affirmed to me that they believe that they are married. The liberty to love each other and remain in a relationship already exists. Same-sex marriage advocates want the eyes to be the Law, not just their own. They want cultural validation and respect tacked on to their loving relationship. This enterprise is not about liberty; it is about recognition and respect. What's unique about respect and recognition is that we, as a society and individuals, are free to give them where and when we please.
Offering a marriage license for same-sex couples would testify a governmental declaration that homosexual unions are no different than heterosexual unions in the eyes of the law. Earlier, I noted that families are about children. And this is why the government recognizes their unique kind of relationship:
"Family, and therefore, marriage aren't terms that apply to any relationship between human beings. But only to particular kinds of relationships; those that at least, in principle, can form the foundational cornerstones of society, which are families. This is why governments have gone out of their way to facilitate a safe envirornment for these families, which are started by marriages, which families are the foundational building blocks to a stable society. The other relationships in society, as valuable as they may be, don't need this kind of social support because they don't function in the same way as mother, father, and their kids function in society."
Now this does not mean that all marriages and/or heterosexual relationships take advantage of the opportunity to have children. Nor does it mean all that are physically capable to produce kids. If there are no children, then there is no reason for soceity to comment on the relationship in question.
Watch as culture faces this issue and debates about the merits of each side. When you are able to talk about same-sex marriage, point out the distinction between limitational liberty and social approval. One is a red-herring, the other remains a faulty crutch. Make sure not to bash the individual. Remember, their ideas and arguments are what you're after. Use good thinking skills, and make sure to present yourself in a compassionate demeanor, willing to listen to what the other person has to say. There's grounds for future impact here. Don't jump the gun.
Do you have comments, questions, or objections? I welcome you to leave comments or, if you would like, send me a personal email and share your thoughts and convictions.
Cross-blogged at Apologia Christi