The Corner

Frum On Gay Marriage

As I understand it, David Frum’s argument against gay marriage is not that it is bad in itself but that, since religious conservatives will never allow full-fledged gay marriage, the campaign for it will end up creating a bunch of new marriage-lite institutions that will weaken marriage. If I were Jonathan Rauch (or someone else who supports gay marriage and opposes marriage lite), I would respond: “What you’re saying, David, is that we can’t get gay marriage because of the obstinacy of religious conservatives, and therefore should settle for nothing. Why isn’t the answer instead that religious conservatives should stop being obstinate? Why are their views taken as given, and ours as variables? Why shouldn’t we press ahead for what we want (which is what justice requires)? If religious conservatives’ resistance results in marriage lite, that’s their fault, not ours.” I don’t think, therefore, that Frum’s argument is likely actually to change the minds of gay-marriage advocates.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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