"We do know, however, that if the state suddenly creates the institution of gay marriage by fiat, the result will lack most of the features that make marriage unique—and uniquely beneficial. It will not be the same institution that has won the unanimous endorsement of social scientists. It will be a novel and revolutionary institution owing its existence to the devaluation of an old and settled one. Should we assume that the former will confer the same social and personal benefits as the latter, the two being different in such fundamental ways? The only honest answer—the only intellectually respectable answer—is, Who knows?"
Writes Andrew Ferguson, in The Weekly Standard.
But that "only honest answer" is a question, and that question — "Who knows?" — invites another question: Who decides? Is it a matter for majoritarian or individual choice? That's the legal question to be decided by the Supreme Court.
And speaking of honesty and intellectual respectability, restricting myself to the paragraph I've quoted, I question all of the following words/phrases: state suddenly creates... fiat... lack most... unique... uniquely... unanimous... and devaluation...
Tell me: Did the state create marriage? If marriage is not the creation of the state, but a relationship the state built various welfare, pension, tax, and child custody policies around, then it would not be the state creating gay marriage, but the state readjusting its programs to accommodate more people who've made their personal, private decisions to form committed relationships. These relationships have been around for a long, long time. There's nothing sudden about them.
There's been a pretty quick social change from disparaging gay relationships to treating them with tolerance or even honor. That's been so sudden that some of the people who'd felt complacent and comfortable in their disparagement are taken aback to find themselves disparaged.
But that's not state fiat. That's freedom of thought and freedom of speech.