August 19, 2008

Federalist Society same-sex marriage "debate"

Here is an amusing online debate among some law professors on the question of same-sex marriage, hosted by the Federalist Society. Two participants are arguing the pro position, while two argue the anti (although one of them only shows up at the end to say goodbye and thank his partner for doing all the "heavy lifting").

The other anti proponent is Prof. Amy Wax, whom the Federalist Society praises for her "uniquely insightful approach."

Prof. Wax's opening salvo begins with, "a big part of the gay agenda for decades has been to repudiate what are regarded as overly restrictive expectations of monogamy and sexual fidelity," and then claiming, "the rise of multi-partner relationships as a way of life has been a major force in the decline of marriage."

Not even the other debate participants know what she's on about: "I’m afraid I've lost the thread of what all this has to do with the same-sex marriage question," says Prof. Andrew Koppelman.

Prof. Koppelman nevertheless helpfully breaks Prof. Wax's "argument" into its constituent premises and conclusions, showing both that the premises are entirely dubious and that even if they were sound, her conclusions don't follow from them anyway.

Prof. Wax responds: "Too logical for me! I guess I just don't agree that gay men will keep their non-monogamy to themselves."

Funny stuff, and worth a (quick) read.


Anonymous said...

Notably, one of the antis is Prof. Amy Wax

Can't...resist... as portrayed by Amy Sedaris

capper said...

As they say in my line of work, Prof. Wax has issues (must be pronounced with a highly sibilant s).

Rick Esenberg said...

It's reallly smuggy in here.

illusory tenant said...

Haha. Well come on. Her argument -- which is supposed to be a constitutional one -- is that the "gay agenda" is bent (pun intended) on destroying everybody else's marital fidelity?

Rick Esenberg said...

Wax works in the area of social welfare policy and the family. In the academy, there actually is a concerted movement to "deprivilege" the family and SSM is sometimes advanced as part of that effort.

That doesn't mean that advocates of broader advocates of SSM see it that way, but it does inform where she is coming from.

Emily said...

It may inform where she's coming from, but it doesn't make the argument she's making any less ludicrous. That's not being smug, that's just fact.

Anonymous said...

I've never bought into the notion that academia is a sort of welfare system, but damn!

I mean, come on:

"What's the bottom line here: if lots of homosexuals decide that monogamy is really not that important -- not an essential part of marriage, which is really just about 'rights' and getting 'equal recognition' -- that is not just 'their business.' Sorry, it just isn't."

It's like watching The View, for God's sake. The stupidity is aggressively palpable (not on can you reach out and touch it, but it can [and will] reciprocate).

Anonymous said...

It's reallly smuggy in here.

Yes, the one thing one must never, ever do, when someone says something incredibly stupid and apt to create harm, is say "That's dumb".

Uh, if it's a conservative that said the dumb thing.