June 18, 2003
NRO's internal split

Last week, Stanley Kurtz wrote an article for National Review that was a typical social conservative rant against any form of "gay marriage". The occasion was the result of the Canadian court decision that prohibiting gays from marrying was not permissible under Canadian law. Kurtz urges passing yet another law that defines marriage as an explicitly heterosexual endeavor. Andrew Olmstead pointed out the article and blogged it, pointing out that the federal government really has no business regulating marriage.

In the comments thread of that post, I made a somewhat negative statement about NR's views on gay marriage, painting them as monolithically neagative. Lawrence Haws highlighted an interesting quote from Kurtz's fellow NRO'er Andrew Stuttaford:

Stanley, John, I hate to wade into this controversy, but surely comparing the ‘stability’ of homosexual relationships against some presumed heterosexual standard (is there such a thing?) is impossible in the absence of a legally recognized form of gay ‘marriage’. And that’s just the point that some of its supporters (quite reasonably) are making. As to the effects of such unions on the institution of marriage, I would think that they would be minimal. After the initial flurry of publicity, I’d be astonished if heterosexuals would pay much attention.
The real issue here is that the current state of the law makes it far less likely that gays will be able to establish and enjoy the advantages of long-term relationships, long-term relationships that would be good for the individual and, for those who see such matters in utilitarian terms, society. Worse still, it has to be recognized that the failure of the law to recognize such unions can lead to injustice in some rather more prosaic areas, such as the absence of the death tax exemption rightly enjoyed by all surviving spouses unless (ahem) they are foreigners married to Americans. I can’t see how such ending such inequities could be a threat to anyone – other, of course, than the IRS.
And who cares about them?

Thanks to both Andrew and Lawrence for supplying the links.

posted on June 18, 2003 08:55 PM


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