My post on the contrasting grounds for objecting to repeal of DADT on the one hand, and to state recognition of same-sex marriages on the other has, as expected, generated many comments by readers. I thank each reader who took the trouble to write.
I can’t address all of the comments, so let me focus on two strands. First, one reader points me to an assessment by Stanley Kurtz of the empirical evidence regarding the effects of gay marriage in European cultures. Another discusses experience in Canada.
I wasn’t aware of Stanley’s work on this subject and I take no position on his analysis. For what it’s worth, I’ll observe that In the European culture I’m most familiar with, France, marriage is in a bad way for reasons having nothing apparent to do with gay marriage.
Other readers have said that gay marriage is objectionable because, in the words of one, the essence of marriage is a union between a man and a woman. This is, indeed, a common objection (though not one mentioned in the article by Prof. Eskridge that prompted my post).
Since this argument is, for me, a quintessentially ideological one, it reinforces my thesis that the main arguments against the state recognizing gay marriage differ in kind from the arguments against repealing DADT.
As I tried to say in my initial post, the fact that an argument is ideological does not mean it should be rejected. Personally, however, I am less persuaded by ideological arguments against gay marriage than by pragmatic arguments for retaining DADT.
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