Todd Hartch on SSM and The Myth of Escaping the Body


Todd Hartch writes at Public Discourse that "Rather than trying to escape our bodies, we should see that our bodies make union with another possible". In doing so, Hartch confronts the underlying assumptions behind the pro-SSM arguments proposed by NYU Law Professor Kenji Yoshino:

... Yoshino’s own words reveal the failure to take seriously the embodied nature of human persons that is at the heart of his case for same-sex marriage.

... at the core of Yoshino’s argument is a desire. He never makes a philosophical defense of person-body dualism but nevertheless lets its implications infuse his political program. Same-sex marriage, for instance, is a classic example of an attempt to assert that bodies do not matter, that any two consenting adults should be able to enter into “marriage,” regardless of whether their bodies are complementary and oriented toward procreation. Yoshino’s dismissal of what he calls the “common procreation argument” for conjugal marriage is based not on a refutation of the argument in “What is Marriage?”—he does not engage the main threads of that argument seriously and refuses to offer his own definition of marriage—but on this desire to transcend the limitations of biology and to allow human beings to be whatever they want to be.