Pro “gay marriage” and pro-life?

Another correspondent asks whether I think it’s possible to be pro-gay marriage and pro-life: whether logically, rationally, ultimately, the two positions can be reconciled. She had noticed some conservatives going that way.

It seemed to me you could give multiple answers depending on how you took the question:

  • Of course they can be reconciled. You can be right about the nature and value of life in general and wrong about the nature and value of sex in particular. There’s no necessary conflict.
  • Of course not. “Gay marriage” is an incoherent conception, because the importance and social position of marriage, which is the point of wanting “gay marriage,” results from sex as the source of new life and principle of union between complementary sexes. Since it’s incoherent it can’t be reconciled even with itself let alone something else.
  • Not really. Sex, pregnancy, babies, and marriage are all foundational aspects of human life and they’re all closely connected. If you subordinate some of them radically to human will while keeping the others authoritative your overall position is going to be pretty shaky.

So I suppose I’d say the two pull in different directions but don’t strictly contradict each other. As a basic political matter though the combination is not going to hold up. If you can do whatever you want with sex you need abortion as a backstop to get the untrammeled freedom you’re looking for.

I suggested the question was like asking whether you can favor women’s ordination to the priesthood and be orthodox in all other respects. I said that the two come from different intellectual and moral worlds and they’re not going to live together as a long-term practical matter. My correspondent agreed instinctively that she felt the contradiction but couldn’t see how to explain it. She asked why you couldn’t logically be for female priests and orthodox in every other way.

I responded that basic concepts matter. The Incarnation isn’t going to make much sense to you if you don’t think the human body is saturated with intrinsic meanings, and you’re not likely to think that if you think men and women are symbolically interchangeable. You’ll tend toward a Cartesian mind/body split that makes the material world meaningless and therefore not capable of manifesting God’s presence. Nor will the doctrine of Creation (God made the world and called it good) seem persuasive to you. A world that’s neutral and meaningless isn’t a world that’s good. So you’re going to veer away from two absolutely fundamental doctrines.

7 thoughts on “Pro “gay marriage” and pro-life?”

  1. Queer vs. trans
    What should we make of the simultaneous push by progressives towards, on the one hand, ‘recognizing’ supposed ‘rights’ of those said to be born homosexual, for whom we are told we should just accept them according to how they were born, and let them do whatever they want, get ‘married’, etc., while, on the other hand, their ‘recognizing’ ‘trans’ to be whatever they claim to be, regardless of what they were born as, as if God or nature somehow made a mistake? If they allow for the latter possibility, why don’t they apply the same logic to homosexuality, and see the orientation as a mistake, an aberration, instead seeing it as right?

    Are they inconsistent (a typical liberal unprincipled exception), or are they somehow consistent within their worldview of ‘equal freedom’ for all desires?

    • Interesting question
      Both “trans” and “gay” mean that your self-identification determines what you really are and everyone should accept that. “Trans” means that you look like a man, but you’re a woman, because that’s how you think of yourself. And “gay” means that you look like a man, but you’re some special kind of man, who’s oriented sexually toward men rather than women, for the same reason. So I don’t think the two are really opposed.

      The odd situation is transracialism, like the NAACP lady in Spokane. I think at present someone like Barack Obama has a certain amount of choice and could identify as either multiracial or black. Other people have much less choice. George Zimmerman even got forcibly categorized as white, although it’s hard to know what that shows since the Left treated Trayvon-related facts as irrelevant. I don’t know what the theory is going to be, if it becomes enough of an issue to require one.

      • Ah yes…
        … the ever-present American obsession with racial classification, and the left’s typical hypocrisy in not allowing people to ‘self-define’ in this, even forcing those like Zimmerman to be considered ‘white’ just to fit the prog racial narrative…

        The prog organ HuffPo has done their best to try to explain why that NAACP woman is different from Bruce ‘Caitlyn’ Jenner:

        So now all good leftists know what their talking points should be, in defending the party line.

        • The basic argument seems to
          The basic argument seems to be “it’s different because it’s different, and besides, it’s disruptive.” The background thought seems to be that “black” comes closer to pure victim status than “woman,” it’s harder to see what other reason someone would have for wanting to be black, so what she did was steal other people’s victim status and that’s really bad.

          • It’s odd though
            The response is predictable and in fact inevitable so there must be some internal logic that makes it so. If they can’t say what it is then that shows their position depends on recognitions they don’t want to recognize.

            It seems to me the recognition is that femininity is immensely valuable to human life and in fact constituitive, while blackness is something that everyone else could do without just fine (even though in some respects and settings it can add something). So the lady’s actions come a lot closer to trying to intercept the benefits of victim status and take them herself than aspiring (however absurdly) to a genuine good. Bruce Jenner doesn’t claim he’s a woman because he wants to complain about how abused he is because everyone picks on women. And Rachel D. doesn’t claim to be black because she really really likes Duke Ellington or the greater immediacy of black life or whatever.

            Nobody can say that of course because it implies that women are not simply victims of men, and black is not really all that beautiful.

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