On simple utilitarian grounds it may be hard to object to incest or adultery; if both parties to such an act welcome it and if it is secret, what differences does it make?
But very few people, and then only ones among the overeducated, seem to care much about mounting a utilitarian assault on the family.
In her review of it in (January 1996), Elizabeth Kristol asks us to try to answer the following question: what would life be like if we were not allowed to marry?
To most of us, the thought is unimaginable; to Sullivan, it is the daily existence of declared homosexuals. _____________ Sullivan recounts three main arguments concerning homosexual marriage, two against and one for.
That litigation may be powerfully affected by the second case. If its decision upholds the Colorado supreme court and thus allows homosexuals to acquire a constitutionally protected status, the chances will decline of successful objections to homosexual marriage based on considerations of public policy.
It concerns a Colorado statute, already struck down by that state’s supreme court, that would prohibit giving to homosexuals “any claim of minority status, quota preferences, protected status, or claim of discrimination.” The U. Contemporaneous with these events, an important book has appeared under the title .” The two key areas where this change is necessary are the military and marriage law.In many cultures—not only in Egypt or among the Canaanite tribes surrounding ancient Israel but later in Greece, Rome, and the Arab world, to say nothing of large parts of China, Japan, and elsewhere—homosexual practices were common and widely tolerated or even exalted. If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.The Torah reversed this, making the family the central unit of life, the obligation to marry one of the first responsibilities of man, and the linkage of sex to procreation the highest standard by which to judge sexual relations. Sullivan acknowledges the power of Leviticus but deals with it by placing it in a relative context. Is it like killing your mother or stealing a neighbor’s bread, or is it more like refusing to eat shellfish or having sex during menstruation?But apart from this, Sullivan—an English Catholic, a homosexual, and someone who has on occasion referred to himself as a conservative—has given us the most sensible and coherent view of a program to put homosexuals and heterosexuals on the same public footing.His analysis is based on a careful reading of serious opinions and his book is written quietly, clearly, and thoughtfully.But Sullivan cannot deny that Paul singled out homosexuality as deserving of special criticism.He seems to pass over this obstacle without effective retort.To this assault, natural-law theorists respond much as would the average citizen—never mind “utility,” what counts is what is right.In particular, homosexual uses of the reproductive organs violate the condition that sex serve solely as the basis of heterosexual marriage.The legislature, for its part, holds a different view of the matter, having responded to the court’s decision by passing a law unambiguously reaffirming the limitation of marriage to male-female couples.No one knows what will happen in the coming trial, but the odds are that the Hawaiian version of the equal-rights amendment may control the outcome.