Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The woman I breed with

It's articles like this that help me to understand why conservatives often have problems with academia.

In the article, we argue that as a moral reality, marriage is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other of the type that is naturally fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together, and renewed by acts that constitute the behavioral part of the process of reproduction.

In other words, gays should not be allowed to marry because to have a "real marriage" (those aren't scare quotes -- the authors actually use that term in the paper) you have to make kids, or at least go through the motions.

To form a real marriage, a couple needs to establish and live out the kind of union that would be completed by, and be apt for, procreation and child‐rearing.53 Since any true and honor‐ able harmony between two people has value in itself (not merely as a means), each such comprehensive union of two people—each permanent, exclusive commitment sealed by organic bodily union—certainly does as well.

Any act of organic bodily union can seal a marriage, whether or not it causes conception.

How fortunate for infertile heterosexual couples. But what about people who choose not to have children and implement that choice with artificial birth control? Should they too be barred from getting married?

Funnily enough, the paper doesn't address that question. It also doesn't address the question of whether, say, a couple that puts their child up for adoption should have their marriage annulled.

This paper appears in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy an apparently respectable academic journal. I am not impressed by their standards of scholarship. (I am, however, impressed by their euphemisms. "Organic bodily union" has got to be the most highfalutin' way I've ever heard of saying "fuck.")


Danston said...

I have a new pickup line:

Hey baby, your body-mind composite of your person's being is looking mighty fine, how's about we form a bodily union to extend our relationship (of two friends) and unite in the comprehensive way proper to marriage. I think you know that I mean we're gonna unite organically (among other things) that is, in the bodily dimension.

Ron Buckmire said...

"organic bodily union"! Heh.

So why can't two guys have an "organic bodily union"?

Isn't this really Catholic theology dressed up in bullsh*t?

Martin said...

I'm reminded of my mother who said, when I came out to her, that heterosexuality was "natural" because of how well men and women fit together, in an organic bodily union sort of way.

Well, she asked for it. I pointed out that two men fit together exceedingly well. As I was revving up for details, she quickly changed the subject.

Organic bodily union, indeed.

Martin Farach-Colton said...

Did you know that this article is by undergrads? Stupid undergrads, but undergrads nonetheless. The journal itself is a student journal. And it's a notorious right wing thing, not part of Harvard.

Ron said...

Two of the three authors are listed as "Ph.D. candidates." But I'll buy the "stupid" part.