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Web Letter

Christine Smallwood says Martha Nussbaum "argues that opposition to gay equality is rooted not in legally defensible reason but in an anxiety of contamination." Now why would a humanist and philosopher and writer (such as Martha Nussbaum would have herself to be) say of a certain group of humans and philosophers and readers that they're acting in response to something other than reason, and that they are, therefore, more animal-like than she (and you)?

Nussbaum: "Then there's finally the argument that legalizing same-sex marriage will degrade or defile straight marriage. What's that about?" I suspect that any folks who make that argument (they need not all be straight and married, incidentally) are concerned about a specific effect that state-sanctioned same-sex marriage would have on them personally (and not any effect that such sanctioning would have on the institution of their marriages, if they're married).

On one and the same day, a member of Nussbaum's group of lesser beings might witness both a parade in which gays and lesbians are celebrating their differences from others, and then later a television show about a same-sex couple who are raising the biological child of one of the two partners in the marriage, and which child may or may not have been conceived by means other than heterosexual sex. Who, now, is denying what they asserted about themselves earlier in the day, during the parade: Nussbaum's lesser beings, or the gay or lesbian who isn't as purely gay or lesbian, as different, as he or she earlier wanted others to believe he or she was?

Why can't a person who'd be a member of a same-sex marriage, a marriage in which there would be children, have sex (even reside) forever with whomever he or she pleases, and (still like the heterosexual) marry the only person in this world who might have more riding on his or her child's future than he or she does?

Is it, as Nancy Pelosi says, about the children?

Nussbaum: "Then there's another class of arguments that look public, but they always have a flaw, like the argument that marriage is about procreation. That's not something we've ever believed in our history or, in our case, law."

J.E. Bernecky

Westover, PA

Mar 7 2010 - 1:42pm

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