The facile libertarian argument that gay marriage is a trivial matter that affects only the parties involved is astoundingly blind to the complexity of human institutions and to the web of sometimes imperceptible meanings and practices that compose them.
Equally specious is the central theme in attorney Theodore Olson’s legal challenge to California’s Proposition 8: that only religious belief or animus towards gays could explain someone’s hesitation regarding gay marriage. Anyone with the slightest appreciation for the Burkean understanding of tradition will feel the disquieting burden of his ignorance in this massive act of social reengineering, even if he ultimately decides that the benefits to gays from gay marriage outweigh the risks of the unknown.
This argument becomes less and less compelling as states and nations embrace marriage equality, the unknown becomes known, and no ill effects result. Another section of the article contradicts her central objection:
Even if gays never gain the right to marry, the practice of gay conception will presumably continue apace. Given that continuation, gay marriage at least preserves one strand of traditional child-bearing arrangements: raising children within the context of marriage.
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