James Forsyth

Debating gay marriage

Debating gay marriage
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There’s an intellectually enriching debate going on at the moment between Ross Douthat and Andrew Sullivan over gay marriage. It was all started by an eloquent and heartfelt column by Ross arguing that the idea that “lifelong heterosexual monogamy at its best can offer something distinctive and remarkable — a microcosm of civilization, and an organic connection between human generations — that makes it worthy of distinctive recognition and support” and that is incompatible with gay marriage. Andrew Sullivan, who along with Jonathan Rauch, deserves a huge amount of credit for moving the argument for gay marriage into the mainstream, wrote a powerful set of rebuttals.

Personally, I subscribe to the Brooksian social conservative position on gay marriage that, “We shouldn't just allow gay marriage. We should insist on gay marriage.” But there’s no doubt that a social change of this magnitude should be accompanied by as much reasoned and respectful debate as possible.