Thursday, May 10, 2012

So What Are These Ethical Issues Around Gay Marriage?

With North Carolina's enshrinement of bigotry into their state constitution and Obama's evolution to accepting the need for gay men and lesbians to receive fair and equal treatment under the law, there has been lots of talk about the ethical dilemma of gay marriage.  O.k., sure I teach and write professional articles about ethics, so one would expect that I could clearly enunciate the conundrum that accompanies this issue.  But I've got to tell you, as far as I can see -- there just ain't one.

The question is whether we should discriminate against a minority and make sure that they have second class status or whether we should afford all citizens equal treatment under the law with all the rights, protections, and responsibilities that come with it.  Ummmm...o.k., so where's the hard moral question?

Is it contrary to some theologies?  Yeah.  But being theologically problematic does not make it moral so. Orthodox Jews won't drive on Saturday.  Doing so isn't immoral, it just means you're not a good orthodox Jew.  Catholics won't eat meat on Fridays during lent.  Doing so isn't thereby immoral, it just makes you not a good Catholic.  Theology and morality are completely different subjects.

Abortion?  Yeah, hard moral issues.  Balancing security and privacy?  Yeah, hard moral issues.  Balancing social justice and economic growth?  Yeah, hard moral issues.  Gay marriage?  Where are these hard moral issues?

Someone please help.  Where, oh where are these moral issues in the gay marriage debate?