Prof. Matthew Franck on the Weakness of the Case for SSM


Prof. Matthew Franck writes in the Public Discourse on the false framing that looks past the fundamental weakness of the case to redefine marriage:

"The trouble for [Prof. John] Corvino begins with the tissue-thin brevity of the positive case he makes for “marriage equality,” as he calls it. In a mere eight pages or so—constituting just a tenth of his opening “case for same-sex marriage”—Corvino tells us that marriage, more than any other arrangement or institution in which two people can take part, “promotes mutual lifelong caregiving.” This, he would have us believe, is the core, the irreducible purpose of marriage, its true raison d’être.

Some homosexual couples really want to enter into such an arrangement, and to have it called “marriage” under the law with all the attendant rights and recognition that accompany the label. For Corvino, their desire for this recognized arrangement supplies them with a presumptive right to it, in the name of equality. And so for the remainder of his main statement, and his reply to Gallagher’s statement, Corvino devotes all his space to attempted rebuttals of the opposing view.

... The case in its favor is so undeniably weak, as Corvino’s contributions to this book demonstrate, that the progress the same-sex marriage “movement” has made is an amazing tale of the incantatory power of the word “equality.” When the incantation fades, and sense returns to those who have been bewitched by it, the idea of same-sex marriage will once again retreat to the margins of society. That will be a victory of justice over tyranny. The only question is, will we resist the disastrous error of an experiment with a lie, or will we try to live the lie and then have to recover from it? Human societies have experimented with lies before. It is better to avoid them in the first place."