Although Harmon has refused to respond to my questions about the possible time, subject, and readings for the next philosophy group, I assume it will be in later June or early July; I also assume it will concern Gay Marriage/Rights in America. I hope Harmon or someone has at least two good texts to read and discuss.
I thought I would introduce the topic – or at least introduce it in the way that I personally find problematic and/or intriguing. The question in my mind runs as follows: 1) What reasons does the US have for limiting marriage or rights to gay couples other than religious reasons? 2) Should religious reasons such as these be enough to create laws in a country that has separated Church and State? Let me elaborate upon and clarify both questions briefly.
1) “Reasons” for disallowing gay marriage or rights cannot be personal, trivial, or nostalgic. For example, if you say gay marriage doesn’t continue the species, well, neither does the priesthood per se. Also, economic arguments, in my opinion, are not plausible enough. We don’t disallow things at a basic level because they may not be economically feasible in the long run. We need an important, strong, and sufficient reason for saying gay marriage should not be allowed.
2) I understand that separation of Church and State does not mean that the Church has no influence on the State; this is a hasty conclusion made by many anti-religious liberals. However, we should distinguish between two types of laws/rules/morals: A) laws like abortion that simply go against the dignity of the human person, and B) laws of specific religions that should NOT be set-up as federal laws, i.e. making it a law for Catholics to attend Church on Sunday. In my opinion, you should not have to appeal to religious tenants for any specific federal law.
As usual, I’ve probably made a certain amount of this too complicated, while hyperbolically simplifying everything else. This is where everyone else’s voices need to be heard. Speak to me peoples!