By now the news is out that President Obama has personally endorsed same-sex marriage.
At least President Obama is not dissembling anymore about his views on marriage. And even though we consider his support of redefining marriage a deep error, he has done the nation a favor by revealing the truth about his position. So did the vice president, days earlier, when he opined about “the simple proposition” that “this is all about” — “what all marriages, at their root, are about.” That is, the administration has created a long-awaited and much-needed platform for a national discussion of the core issue in the debate: What is marriage?
They go on to compare two views on marriage: the historic view and the revisionist view. An excerpt:
Now that the president has disclosed his view, he — like all revisionists — must confront some tough questions. And he, like they, will run into a problem. Something must set marriages as a class apart from other bonds. But on every point where most agree that marriage is different, the conjugal view has a coherent explanation — and the revisionist has none.
President Obama, like most, surely thinks that marriage is inherently a sexual union. But why must it be, if sex contributes to marriage only by fostering and expressing emotional intimacy? Non-sexual bonding activities can do that. Why can’t the tender platonic bond of two sisters be a deep emotional union, and therefore a marriage? Or, if marriage is primarily about the concrete legal benefits — of hospital visitation, or inheritance rights — should these benefits be denied two cohabiting sisters just because their bond can’t legally be sexual? To all this, the conjugal view has an answer.
Again, if marriage is essentially about emotions and shared domestic experience, why should it be limited to two people? Newsweek says the U.S. has half a million polyamorous households — where emotions and experiences are shared with multiple partners. Surely three people can be emotionally united, and some say that the variety of polyamory fulfills them as the consistency of monogamy can’t. So if marriage is about emotional fulfillment, why stop at two? The conjugal view has an answer.
Read the whole thing.