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Monday, January 03, 2011


Charles E Flynn

I have often wondered if any scholars of the law believe that while the state has the right to regulate marriage, it has no right to redefine it, and whether such a belief comes from the fact that marriage as an institution predates all forms of government.

Nancy D.

It is precisely because our Founding Fathers were aware that the precedent for Marriage predates our form of Government, that it is absurd to claim that all sexual acts are equal and that our Constitution provides for the protection and affirmation of the equality of sexual acts and sexual relationships.


It's a pity the full article is not available online.


Oh forget I just wrote that. One can download it - for free too.


As it happens, I went to college with Barry Deutsch, the critic to whom the response at the penultimate link above is directed. I recall that we discussed same-sex marriage at the time (late 1980s). As a Protestant, I had not yet come to appreciate the natural law principles involved, and thought that

A thought on the key paragraph from "What is Marriage?" to which Deutsch's argument is directed:

"In coitus, but not in other forms of sexual contact, a man and a woman’s bodies coordinate by way of their sexual organs for the common biological purpose of reproduction. They perform the first step of the complex reproductive process. Thus, their bodies become, in a strong sense, one—they are biologically united, and do not merely rub together—in coitus (and only in coitus), similarly to the way in which one’s heart, lungs, and other organs form a unity: by coordinating for the biological good of the whole. In this case, the whole is made up of the man and woman as a couple, and the biological good of that whole is their reproduction."

In a recent online discussion, I expressed this point what a number of people have since found a helpful turn of phrase: In coitus, the male and female reproductive systems unite to form a single reproductive "supersystem"; a system in which the spouses carry out a single, shared reproductive act in which the individual reproductive functions of each is completed by the other.

Even if actual reproduction does not take place or is not possible, it is still an act with a shared reproductive teleology -- a shared act, biologically speaking, of attempted reproduction. The male system attempts to deliver seed into the female reproductive tract, which attempts to receive them so that they can attempt to flagellate around in a quest for an ovum that the vast majority of them will certainly not find, and that may not be there at all, but that it is nevertheless their purpose to seek, and which will be there if it is anywhere to be found.

This is a radically different act than acts that merely juxtapose the reproductive system with, say, the digestive system (at either end), or which involve mutual, separate stimulation of reproductive organs (e.g., by means of toys). With all such acts, the teleological unity of conjugal union is not merely forbidden, it is not possible.

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