4 Years On, ‘Marriage Equality’ Slogan Still Doesn’t Add Up

Here is Ryan T. Anderson on the faulty reasoning of so-called ‘marriage equality’:

Most everyone in America was and is in favor of marriage equality. Most everyone was and is in favor of marriage equality because most everyone wants the law to treat all marriages equally.

The debate in the United States in the decade and a half before Obergefell v. Hodges wasn’t about equality. It was about marriage. We disagreed about what marriage is.

Of course, “marriage equality” was a great slogan. It fit on a bumper sticker. You could make a red equal sign your Facebook profile picture. It was a wonderful piece of advertising.

And yet it’s completely vacuous. It doesn’t say a thing about what marriage is. Only if you know what marriage is can you then decide whether any given marriage policy violates marriage equality.

Before you can get to considerations of equal protection of the law, you have to know what it is the law is trying to protect equally.

Sloganeering aside, appeals to “marriage equality” betray sloppy reasoning.

Every law makes distinctions. Equality before the law protects citizens from arbitrary distinctions, from laws that treat them differently for no good reason.

To know whether a law makes the right distinctions, whether the lines it draws are justified, one has to know the public purpose of the law and the nature of the good it advances or protects.

After all, even those who want to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples will draw lines defining what sorts of relationships are a marriage and what sorts are not.

If we are going to draw lines based on principle, if we are going to draw lines reflecting the truth, we have to know what sort of relationship marriage is.

That’s why Sherif Girgis, Robert P. George, and I wrote a book a few years ago titled “What Is Marriage?” You have to answer that question before you talk about recognizing marriage equally.

And yet implicit throughout the court’s opinion redefining marriage in Obergefell is the assumption marriage is a genderless institution.

Read more: The Daily Signal

Image credit: www.dailycaller.com.