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Bloggers On Marriage


I’m answer Andrew Sullivan’s take on my latest gay-marriage article with a piece today on NRO. Let me also respond to what some other bloggers have said. Noah Millman, as usual, has some wonderful and thoughtful things to say on the subject of gay marriage. He’s right that there’s more at stake than the slippery-slope argument (I’ve never denied this). But Millman is wrong to say that I don’t specify how logic, language, and culture will force us down the slope. Suits that seek to legalize gay marriage on civil rights (i.e. Equal Protection) grounds, open the door for legalized polyamory. How is a gay person’s right to redefine marriage different than a polyamorist’s? You can make an argument that the danger to monogamy creates a compelling state interest in blocking polyamory, but I’ve shown that monogamy is a problem with gay marriage as well. I also specify the legal path from lesbian triple parenting to polyamory, and detail the intuitive cultural links that many people (including polyamorists themselves) feel between gay marriage and group marriage. Tom Sylvester notes that, even with gay marriage, the dynamics of heterosexual relationships may still incline more toward monogamy than do gay relationships. I think that’s true. But it’s also true that the preference for monogamy is always in conflict with the drive for sexual adventure. The monogamous ethos of marriage reinforces the most stable tendencies of heterosexual coupling, and weakening that ethos would inevitably harm marriage. Finally, Maggie Gallagher has some very useful things to say about my debate with Sullivan. But the important point is that you should bookmark Gallagher’s wonderful new blog (which has been featured as an NRO “cool site of the day”), which features intelligent and civil debate from both sides of the gay-marriage question. What a great addition to the blogosphere.


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