Bench Memos

Obama’s Incoherent Case for Fatherhood

In this Public Discourse essay, law professor Adam MacLeod explores the “patricidal logic of same-sex ‘marriage.’” As he explains, it is difficult to reconcile President Obama’s emphasis on the importance of fatherhood with his Administration’s successful attack on the Defense of Marriage Act, which attack “eliminate[d] the legal office of fatherhood from federal law.” More broadly, “the plain logic of the new definition of marriage [is] that fathers and/or mothers are dispensable”:

In order for a government to call a same-sex couple’s relationship a “marriage,” that government must eliminate the offices of father and mother from law, because it must eradicate the requirement of sexual complementarity. To create same-sex “marriage” in law is to remove from law the requirement that one man and one woman are participating in every marriage.

MacLeod weaves in some important passages from Massachusetts justice Martha B. Sosman’s dissent in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health (the 2003 ruling that invented a right to same-sex “marriage” under the state constitution), including this one:

Aside from an act of heterosexual intercourse nine months prior to childbirth, there is no process for creating a relationship between a man and a woman as the parents of a particular child. The institution of marriage fills this void by formally binding the husband-father to his wife and child, and imposing on him the responsibilities of fatherhood. The alternative, a society without the institution of marriage, in which heterosexual intercourse, procreation, and child care are largely disconnected processes, would be chaotic.

Read the whole thing.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Great Misdirection

The House Democrats are frustrated, very frustrated. They’ve gotten themselves entangled in procedural disputes with the Trump administration that no one particularly cares about and that might be litigated for a very long time. A Washington Post report over the weekend spelled out how stymied Democrats ... Read More
World

Australia’s Voters Reject Leftist Ideas

Hell hath no fury greater than left-wingers who lose an election in a surprise upset. Think Brexit in 2016. Think Trump’s victory the same year. Now add Australia. Conservative prime minister Scott Morrison shocked pollsters and pundits alike with his victory on Saturday, and the reaction has been brutal ... Read More
NR Webathon

We’ve Had Bill Barr’s Back

One of the more dismaying features of the national political debate lately is how casually and cynically Attorney General Bill Barr has been smeared. He is routinely compared to Roy Cohn on a cable-TV program that prides itself on assembling the most thoughtful and plugged-in political analysts and ... Read More
Culture

Cold Brew’s Insidious Hegemony

Soon, many parts of the United States will be unbearably hot. Texans and Arizonans will be able to bake cookies on their car dashboards; the garbage on the streets of New York will be especially pungent; Washington will not only figuratively be a swamp. And all across America, coffee consumers will turn their ... Read More
Film & TV

Game of Thrones: A Father’s Legacy Endures

Warning! If you don't want to read any spoilers from last night's series finale of Game of Thrones, stop reading. Right now. There is a lot to unpack about the Thrones finale, and I fully understand many of the criticisms I read on Twitter and elsewhere. Yes, the show was compressed. Yes, there were moments ... Read More
National Security & Defense

The Warmonger Canard

Whatever the opposite of a rush to war is — a crawl to peace, maybe — America is in the middle of one. Since May 5, when John Bolton announced the accelerated deployment of the Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the Persian Gulf in response to intelligence of a possible Iranian attack, the press has been aflame ... Read More