At the beginning of this political season, as our national political conventions were underway in the swing states of the southeast, I paid a visit to my home state of Minnesota, that liberal bastion of the frigid plains, where political passions were swirling like a January blizzard over a ballot initiative to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
I’ve known about the marriage amendment for some time thanks in part to the unsolicited opinions various Minnesotans have shared on that modern day heir to Plato’s Academy and Rome’s Forum—Facebook. Most of those favoring me with their opinions have supported homosexual “marriage”. I must say that I’ve been disturbed by many of these comments—not because I disagree with them, nor even because they employ the atrocious grammar that seems to be the common idiom of Facebook, but because of their increasing stridency and self-righteousness.
I can’t, to be sure, entirely fault the supporters of homosexual marriage for their erroneous opinions (or even for the sentence fragments with which they express them). While the argument for homosexual marriage is deceptively straightforward (it’s equality, stupid), that for defending traditional marriage is rather more complex and has not always been made particularly well.
Contrary to what our opponents often imply, those of us who defend traditional marriage do not do so because we are hateful bigots, nor because we find anal intercourse particularly distasteful, nor for any of the myriad ways our beliefs are commonly distorted. We do so because we think that privileging traditional marriage is conducive to the common good.