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Aberrant reactions

10 August 2010

The news that the Mexican Supreme Court had recognized that same-gender marriages in the Federal District are perfectly valid marriages throughout the republic, a less sweeping legal finding, in the United States District Court for Northern California (which only affects part of one state) dominated the news, and the discussion.  As a mentioned before, there really hasn’t been much discussion of the impact of the Supreme Court ruling here… although the arguments against it (which is a done deal here, not one ruling by one court which will be appealed) are much the same as those raised in the California case.  In other words:  stupid.

Glenn Greenwald, the civil rights attorney and widely known writer on these issues, comments on one particularly banal argument raised by some guy nobody reads in the New York Times:

Without pointing to any concrete or empirical evidence, Douthat insists that lifelong heterosexual monogamy is objectively superior to all other forms of adult relationships:  such arrangements are the “ideal,”  he pronounces.  He argues that equal treatment of same-sex marriages by secular institutions will make it impossible, even as a matter of debate and teaching, to maintain the rightful place of heterosexual monogamy as superior.

First, the mere fact that the State does not use the mandates of law to enforce Principle X does not preclude Principle X from being advocated or even prevailing.  Conversely, the fact that the State recognizes the right of an individual to choose to engage in Act Y does not mean Act Y will be accepted as equal.  There are all sorts of things secular law permits which society nonetheless condemns…

The State’s official neutrality on the question of marriage does not even theoretically restrict … freedom …to convince others of the superiority of heterosexual monogamy.  They’re every bit as free today as they were last week to herald all the “unique fruit” which such relationships can alone generate, in order to persuade others to follow that course.  They just can’t have the State take their side by officially embracing that view or using the force of law to compel it.

Norberto Rivera made much the same argument as the New York Times opinion writer in his sermon last Sunday.  Aguachile writes:

I do understand and also respect that people oppose gay marriages due to their personal religious or moral convictions, as defined subjectively. For instance, Cardinal Rivera stated:

“These de facto or legalistic unions of persons of the same sex are intrinsically immoral, as they contradict the divine proyect, distorting the nature of marriage.”

OK, I don’t agree with it, but if that is Rivera’s reading of the bible, fine. But it is what follows that truly puzzles me:

“Such immoral activity can never be equivalent to the sexual expressions of the love of married life, as it puts into danger the dignity and the rights of the family, which constitutes the common good of society.”

This is what I can’t understand…

I can’t understand how the marriage of one couple threatens the marriage of another either, but both the New York Times writer and the Cardinal are trotting out that line of reasoning, with one important difference.  The New York Times guy is somebody I’ve never heard of outside of being a New York Times opinion writer, and one who doesn’t seem to have much of following even within conservative political circles in the U.S.  and in commentary on his columns by “progressive” writers.  The other is the Primate of the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico, and — while admitting that the State can make what laws it wants — comes dangerously close to calling for extra-legal action against the state.

After making reference to Thomas More, basically the British Secretarío de Gobernacíon under Henry VIII, who is a Roman Catholic Saint for his refusal to follow the secular laws of his country, the Cardinal referred to the Law of Christ as the supreme law to free Christians from the power of evil, “present in the exacerbated violence that includes the elimination of the most vulnerable in their mother’s wombs and multiplies into organized crime and the immoral laws which serve as the instrument of [evil]. ”

What I find aberrant is that the man in skirts — who has lived with other men in skirts since he was fifteen years old — who is much more influential than some opinion writer — is openly stating that the law and the court itself is leading to organized crime.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary O'Grady permalink
    10 August 2010 3:00 pm

    Actually, the federal court decision in California affects all of California, because it was a state law, passed by referendum for the entire state, which was struck down. (That decision cheered up a lot of Texans, too.)

  2. 11 August 2010 7:12 pm

    Falling Behind

    Equal Protection
    Above and below
    First the Canucks
    Now Mexico

    RBC Aug 2010

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