Homosexual “marriage” is just the beginning

Liberalism is not finished with the family yet. That is what Mark Richardson realizes after reading an article by law professor Laura Rosenbury. Marriage should receive no priority in family law, Rosenbury argues, because it does not well serve the aim of individual autonomy. What serves the aim of individual autonomy better than marriage is friendship, because friendship involves no obligation beyond what the friends want, and friendship does not subordinate the individuality of the friends to their friendship, as marriage subordinates the individuality of a husband and wife to their marriage. Therefore friendships should be recognized and receive priority in family law.

Rosenbury’s ideas are both surprising, because they are so extremely radical, and not surprising at all, because they simply carry the logic of liberalism forward to its inevitable next step. After all, how can people be truly free if they can only enjoy the privileged status incident on marriage by giving up their freedom and becoming part of a couple which limits their personal autonomy? Consistently applied liberalism (as I have often said) must dissolve every traditional institution and community. from the nation state to marriage, from the ethnic group to the church. Therefore, Richardson concludes, “We have to recognise the dissolving logic of liberalism and reject it at a level of principle.”

I’ve only hinted at how far-out (and how logical, from a strictly liberal point of view) Rosebury’s argument is. Be sure to read Richardson’s entire post.

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Lydia McGrew writes:

What you report about the new move to prioritize friendship over marriage is very interesting. Not long ago I saw a friend of a friend on Facebook post an odd rant about how friendship should be more important, and sexual relationships, including marriage, less important. Knowing that this person is a strong political liberal, I found the whole thing puzzling. For one thing, homosexual activists are among the worst offenders in terms of destroying the notion of asexual friendship. Now male-male friendships are scrutinized for possibly being homosexual relationships. For another thing, she was saying strange things to the effect that friendship could be just as strong a bond as marriage or sexual attraction, apparently meaning between a man and a woman.

Now, this is generally just false. If there isn’t any familial relationship, such as brother and sister, you will generally not find a Platonic male-female friendship that has anything like the level of commitment and enduring quality that marriage has. Sex is likely to complicate things—either one of the two will want the relationship not to be Platonic anymore, creating tensions related to unrequited love. Or one or both will marry someone else, who quite naturally won’t want the old friendship to have the same priority anymore. Or the man and woman will develop a sexual relationship after all, possibly even including marriage. Or their friendship will remain Platonic but will also retain a degree of distance that makes the difference between it and marriage self-evident. However, knowing the ideological commitments of the person making the statements on Facebook, I didn’t even bother trying to say any of this, because of course it assumes that (a) most people aren’t homosexual and that (b) heterosexual urges are especially complicating to male-female friendships, all of which I was sure she would reject.

Now, given your post, I’m inclined to think that her rant was prompted by this “friendship over marriage” movement among the liberal pundits. Funny thing: The homosexuals first acted like marriage is this wonderful thing, so incredibly important that it is wronging them not to grant it to them. Now the new move is to say that marriage really shouldn’t be very important at all and friendship should be elevated to its place.

In actuality, the homosexual agenda will gravely harm both marriage and friendship, which is a sad thought.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 02, 2012 09:19 AM | Send

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