The Epidemic of “Gay Marriage”

State laws permitting homosexual “marriage” are void as a violation of natural law.  No one has the power to change the meaning of words.

Thus the epitaph of this dead age:

Age, thou art shamed.*
O shame, where is thy blush?**

-Shakespeare, Julius Caesar,* Hamlet**

Published in: on March 27, 2012 at 7:08 pm  Comments (7)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: http://douglassbartley.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/the-epidemic-of-gay-marriage/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Merton: “Legislatures are not required to adhere to the definitions in Dr. Johnson’s dictionary; they are free to redefine the term “marriage” if they wish.”

    B: Who says? Could Indiana have rightly redefined Pi? Could Minnesota rightly change the definition of “ex post facto”; or “man” to mean “beasts of the field”? Or could a legislature, like the villains in 1984 (or was it Brave New World?) say “war is peace”. Or change the definition of “theft” to exclude thefts from people making over $100,000 a year. The suggestion of mutability is uncommonly absurd and even dangerous.

    M: “Your explication of Aquinas doesn’t follow his principle of subtraction — “so that what previously was according to the natural law, ceases to be so.” Heterosexual marriage is still according to natural law and has not ceased to be so.”

    B: Again, you didn’t read his words carefully. I repeat them again:

    I answer that, A change in the natural law may be understood in two ways. First, by way of addition. In this sense nothing hinders the natural law from being changed: since many things for the benefit of human life have been added over and above the natural law, both by the Divine law and by human laws.

    Secondly, a change in the natural law may be understood by way of subtraction, so that what previously was according to the natural law, ceases to be so. In this sense, the natural law is altogether unchangeable in its first principles: but in its secondary principles, which, as we have said (4), are certain detailed proximate conclusions drawn from the first principles, the natural law is not changed so that what it prescribes be not right in most cases. But it may be changed in some particular cases of rare occurrence, through some special causes hindering the observance of such precepts, as stated above (Article 4). See http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2094.htm

    M: “The law is also not required to impose the Catholic Church’s rule that permanent sterility is an impediment to marriage, any more than it is required to define marriage as a sacrament performed by a priest. Indeed, were it to do so, it would be unconstitutional. Unions between one or two infertile people and unions performed by a civil authority are still marriages in the eye of the law.”

    B: Marriages between “infertile people” are valid, because the marriage is still open to life, as there is always the chance that the infertility can be corrected or will subside naturally. One cannot say that in the case of homosexual “marriage”.

    • The point is that the law has never required the potential for procreation as a condition to marriage. The objection to calling a same-sex union a “marriage” based on the impossibility of procration is therefore spurious.

      Yes, it’s quite true that the word “marriage” has traditionally denoted a heterosexual union. But marriage is a legal concept as well as a religious one, and like most legal terms the qualifications for a “marriage” can change. It used to be the case in some States that “marriage” didn’t include a mixed-race union. Did the word become adulterated after Loving v. Virginia?

      In other areas of the law: it used to be that “voter” was restricted to men; was the word adulterated when the franchise was expanded? It used to be that the term “wife” encompassed the lack of authority to manage one’s property; did the word become adulterated after married women received greater property rights and the husband lost his absolute control?

      • You are totally ignoring the original referent of the very term. It denotes hetero-gendered relations that constitute the natural family, which is the proto-political society.

        To bring up the issue of arbitrary restrictions of terms such as ‘voter’, which lacked any foundation in nature as such, is a canard. In fact, it was because such came to be understood to be an arbitrary restriction of that which is signified by what is implied by the term, to vote, which is to choose, and hence, which is an act that any competent human may exercise (leaving aside historical issues of varying qualifications in different cultures and contexts for the franchise), which is to ignore the very nature of human beings, that the franchise was expanded.

        Attention to that which is the referent, that which is signified by the term, in nature, whether such be real relations, operations or functions and conditions, is always pertinent in determining whether a term has been arbitrarily restricted in meaning. However, matrimony and marriage are functional-relational specific.

        If one wants to bastardize language and speech that is well founded in long-lived historical experience, go ahead, but be prepared for further erosions of intelligible coherence. However, if one is honestly seeking to refer to ‘x’ that is truly distinct or other than ‘y’, then a different designation or term, or set of terms ought to be sought and used.

        Civic unions is quite adequate for homo-gendered relations. But marriage is not only well-tried, but truly proper to designate hetero-gendered relational bonds.

  2. The Judge is only using Dr. Johnson’s dictionary as a convenient authority. He, and Johnson, are fully aware of the well-known fact that:

    The English term “marriage” derives from Middle English mariage (1250–1300 A.D.), that is derived from Old French marier, and remotely Latin maritare = to provide with a husband or wife, and maritari = meaning to get married. The adjective, marīt-us -a, -um = matrimonial or nuptial, used in the masculine as a noun for “husband” and in the feminine form for “wife.” The related English word “matrimony” derives from Old French word matremoine (circa 1300 A.D.), and remotely from Latin matrimonium, which combines mater = “mother” and he suffix monium = “action, state, or condition.

    Designations that are well-established over centuries, although conventional in origin, are not able to be dismissed or arbitrarily altered in denotation without important consequenes, especially concerning custom and law. Moreover, that which terms such as ‘marriage’ denotes are actions, relations, properties and things that are in and from nature.

    There is no eradication of the term’s long-lived application to hetero-gendered unions, for it is through hetero-sexual conjugal relations that the proto-society of all states is formed, the family, from which and in the context of which all natural generation occurs, unless exceptional factors intervene.

    While one might coherently argue for legitimizing ‘civic unions’ between homo-gendered persons to confirm certain legal claims or rights, not only is there no need to do so, it is even ill advised to adulterate the very words that have acknowledged and offered a continuity of understanding concerning the primary personal union that constitutes human political societies, the family, as arising from hetero-gendered complementary relations that are patently the dominant and hence normative measure of begetting and forming children within the natural order (no matter how relatively common aberrations or exceptional failures may occur to said relation).

    Not only the words, but also that which is signified is essential to acknowledge, both in custom and in law.

  3. Legislatures are not required to adhere to the definitions in Dr. Johnson’s dictionary; they are free to redefine the term “marriage” if they wish.

    Your explication of Aquinas doesn’t follow his principle of subtraction — “so that what previously was according to the natural law, ceases to be so.” Heterosexual marriage is still according to natural law and has not ceased to be so.

    The law is also not required to impose the Catholic Church’s rule that permanent sterility is an impediment to marriage, any more than it is required to define marriage as a sacrament performed by a priest. Indeed, were it to do so, it would be unconstritutional. Unions between one or two infertile people and unions performed by a civil authority are still marriages in the eye of the law.

  4. 1. As discussed in your post on Aquinas’s view that Natural Law may be added to but not subtracted from, why isn’t gay marriage simply adding to Natural Law by expanding the class of people who may marry? Allowing gays to marry doesn’t affect heterosexual marriage in any way, so it can hardly be viewed as a subtraction.

    2. The meanings of words change all the time. No one has a copyright on the word “marriage”, so if the law wishes to expand the definition there is absolutely no legal principle that says it can’t.

    3. Although parts of the Constitution were based on Natural Law principles, there is absolutely nothing in the text of the Constitution that voids laws allowing gay marriage. Whether the Constitution requires states to allow gay marriage is another matter.

    • MA’RRIAGE.n.s The act of uniting a man and woman for life. Dr. Johnson’s Dictionary, 4th Ed.

      Aquinas: “Secondly, a change in the natural law may be understood by way of subtraction, so that what previously was according to the natural law, ceases to be so. In this sense, the natural law is altogether unchangeable in its first principles: but in its secondary principles, which, as we have said (4), are certain detaitled proximate conclusions drawn from the first principles, the natural law is not changed so that what it prescribes be not right in most cases.

      So you see natural law is unchangeable except in its secondary principles–that is principles that don’t depart from the core principle, but that are further expositions of the core principle. The core principle of marriage is man and woman. So gay “marriage”, is an illegitmate subtraction from that core principle.

      Beyond that, marriage is a biological union. Homosexual marriage is not a biological union, for it can produce no offspring. As Dr. Charles Rice put it, “[H]omosexual activity is a dead end. It rejects life and focuses on excrement which is dead.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25 other followers

%d bloggers like this: