The Corner

No Offense

It seems to me that the mere fact that someone is offended by same-sex marriage is no reason at all not to have it, unless there are good and publicly cognizable reasons for that offense. The point Jonah makes reminds me of all the times one hears people complain that the use of religious language in politics makes atheists and agnostics “feel like second-class citizens.” Less often, one hears complaints that all the political talk about families and children “excludes single people.” Now I can work up a little respect for a single person’s complaint that he is paying a high tax load to pay for other people’s children. But this stuff about feelings leaves me feeling totally cold. If an injustice is being committed against people–to flip the point above, let’s assume that the denial of same-sex marriage is an injustice against gay people–that is reason enough to end the injustice. The fact that the injustice also makes people feel bad seems to me irrelevant. Otoh, I am something of a Vulcan.

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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