The Conservatism Of Same Sex Marriage (Once More With Feeling)
John Culhane sinks his teeth into the DOMA ruling:
The one new justification that the government raised was protection of the status quo. The court demolished I mean, demolished this argument, noting that the “status quo” had been for the feds to recognize states’ definitions of marriage, so that DOMA radically changed that status. And the practice of recognizing, and deferring to, local law on marriage, had been unaltered throughout our history, even in especially contentious cases such as interracial marriage. That practice, in turn, was grounded in the long-standing recognition that marriage and family law is one of the most fundamentally state law issues of all.
And Joe Carter wonders why my case for marriage equality has always been a conservative one.
That case is as follows: it is conservative not to eject people from the fabric and tradition of their own families; it is conservative to support emotional and financial stability which the daily discipline of marriage fosters; it is conservative not to balkanize citizens into groups based on identity; it is conservative to discourage gay men and women from marrying straight men and women on false pretenses and then ending up in divorce; it is conservative to include everyone into the social institutions that stabilize society; it is conservative to promote mutual responsibility and care-giving to avoid too much dependence on government; it is conservative not to trample states rights and amend the federal constitution when such things are grotesquely unnecessary; it is conservative to adjust to social change by adapting existing institutions, like civil marriage, than inventing totally new and untested ones, like civil unions.
But Carter isn't listening. He's a Christianist, not a conservative. For him, doctrine is what matters. For Burke, unyielding doctrine in politics was the problem.