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The Corner

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What Gay Marriage Means



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The always interesting and honest E. J. Graff has a three-part response to David Blankenhorn’s change of heart on gay marriage.

The money graph:

Two days ago I wrote about David Blankenhorn, longtime “traditional” marriage proponent who reluctantly announced he will no longer oppose same-sex couples’ freedom to marry. I examined his reasoning, because I believe it’s important to understand the logic of those with whom we disagree. And I took issue with Richard Kim’s response at The Nation, which I took to represent the radical/progressive wing of the LGBT movement, which has long groaned at the focus on marriage equality. I got some heated critiques about that post. And so yesterday I dug up my longtime agreement with Blankenhorn that allowing same-sex couples into the institution transforms its meaning, furthering the institution’s philosphical and legal shift toward symbolizing gender equality and the separation of sex and babies. My goal yesterday: explain how progressive this shift actually is.

Criticizing David for not radically embracing progressive family ideology is unfair. Or at any rate irrelevant. But Graff also acknowledges that Blankenhorn’s (and mine!) core concern is not irrational. Gay marriage furthers the disconnection of marriage from procreation; it helps in an ongoing way to sever the link between sex and diapers.

On that link, a lot of sex difference rides. 



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