Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Imposing" same sex marriage?

Unless you force people to marry someone of the same sex, you can't really be said to be "imposing" same sex marriage on them. On the other hand, by preventing you from marrying your partner, they are certainly "imposing" on you.

It's time to challenge this language used by the bad guys. The Economist opines,
OPPONENTS of legalising gay marriage find it difficult to stay away from formulations that imply that legalisation would entail forcing other people something or other. Here's Thomas Messner at National Review online, for instance: "Activists hope that federal courts will use this case [Perry v Schwarzenegger] to impose same-sex marriage nationwide." Impose same-sex marriage nationwide? Clearly, no two adults of the same sex will be forced to marry each other regardless of how the court rules.

This isn't just a cute word game. Mr Messner's use of the word "impose" goes to the heart of the issue.....

Opponents of same-sex marriage may feel, subjectively, that something would be imposed on them by the state's decision to recognise same-sex marriages. But what is that something, exactly? It's much easier to show how the state is concretely imposing on gays by denying recognition for same-sex marriages. In a pluralistic society, you can't claim to have been harmed when the state declines to impose your religious norms on those who don't share them. And without some such claim to justify it, Proposition 8 is looking pretty constitutionally shaky right now.

No comments: