Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Gay marriage and institutions

1. Matthew Yglesias writes:
In Stanley Kurtz's nightmare scenario once gay marriage is legal, then polygamous Mormon fundamentalists will get their rights, which in turn will lead to widespread adoption of polyamorous lifestyles leading, in turn, to massive "swinging" and the general breakdown of Western Civilization. That all seems odd to me. Aren't conservatives supposed to believe in human nature? Don't they think there's probably a reason most people don't live like that that's a little deeper entrenched than legal non-recognition of gay couples?
No. Conservatives believe in human nature, but they believe it is inherently bad; at least according to Thomas Sowell's Conflict of Visions. People are just naturally nasty, so we must have institutions in order to constrain them. Like markets and, ostensibly, marriage. The conservative argument FOR gay marriage is that society has excluded a significant portion of its members (gays) from an important institution (marriage). Extending that institution should be a good thing. Of course one need not accept the premise about human nature.


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6:34 PM  

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