Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Legal precedents 

Assignment: make a legal argument on how gay marriage (which I'm in favor or) can be legalized without setting a precedent for legalizing incest and polygamy. If a court decision states that discrimination against gays on marriage would be unconstitutional, wouldn't the same arguments in that case be used to argue that discrimination against polygamy be unconstitutional too?

I think that a comparison between gays and polygamists on marriage is instructive for two reasons. One is that moral arguments are legitimate in lawmaking. Most of the legal arguments for gay marriage can be used for polygamy, and yet many people who favor gay marriage are opposed to polygamy. For all the legal arguments gay marriage proponents make, it comes down to their feeling that gay marriage is moral while polygamy is not. The other lesson to be drawn is that it is absolutely not desirable for gay marriage to come via a court mandate instead of legislation, because court-imposed gay marriage is the first step to court-imposed polygamy.
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