The legislature, for its part, holds a different view of the matter, having responded to the court’s decision by passing a law unambiguously reaffirming the limitation of marriage to male-female couples.
No one knows what will happen in the coming trial, but the odds are that the Hawaiian version of the equal-rights amendment may control the outcome.
Lifting bans in those areas, while also disallowing anti-sodomy laws and providing information about homosexuality in publicly supported schools, would put an end to the harm that gays have endured.
Beyond these changes, Sullivan writes, American society would need no “cures [of homophobia] or reeducations, no wrenching private litigation, no political imposition of tolerance.” It is hard to imagine how Sullivan’s proposals would, in fact, end efforts to change private behavior toward homosexuals, or why the next, inevitable, step would not involve attempts to accomplish just that purpose by using cures and reeducations, private litigation, and the political imposition of tolerance.
On simple utilitarian grounds it may be hard to object to incest or adultery; if both parties to such an act welcome it and if it is secret, what differences does it make?
But very few people, and then only ones among the overeducated, seem to care much about mounting a utilitarian assault on the family.
To this assault, natural-law theorists respond much as would the average citizen—never mind “utility,” what counts is what is right.
In particular, homosexual uses of the reproductive organs violate the condition that sex serve solely as the basis of heterosexual marriage.
_____________ The second argument against homosexual marriage—Sullivan’s conservative category—is based on natural law as originally set forth by Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas and more recently restated by Hadley Arkes, John Finnis, Robert George, Harry V. How it is phrased varies a bit, but in general its advocates support a position like the following: man cannot live without the care and support of other people; natural law is the distillation of what thoughtful people have learned about the conditions of that care.
The first thing they have learned is the supreme importance of marriage, for without it the newborn infant is unlikely to survive or, if he survives, to prosper.