Sunday, April 7, 2013

Gay Marriage? Wrong Question?

There is a lot of talk about same-sex marriage (a better term than "gay marriage." I just used the former for its search phrase value.) People argue about whether same sex marriage is licit, is okay. But we should be asking a slightly different, more basic question: Is sex between persons of the same sex (confusing sentence) okay?

I read an article (I forget the name) by someone about whether the purpose of marriage is procreation. But the first question to ask is, Is the purpose of sex procreation? Everyone knows yes, that is it's biological purpose. Procreation is the reason humans have sexual instincts in the first place.
That being said, Is it ethical to engage in non-procreative sex? More specifically, is it ethical to engage in sexual-type action with someone of your own gender? This is sex that is not geared towards procreation at all. One could question whether it should be given the same name. Sex between persons of opposite gender who are infertile is not the same.

I am not presenting an argument as to what is moral or immoral. I am simply presenting the correct questions that should be asked. I have my views, but this article is not about them.

If you determine that same-sex sex is licit, is moral, okay things are simple for you. If you are uncertain, or think it is not moral, there is still another question.

The next question is: What is the relation of sexual actions to marriage? Are sexual actions intrinsic to marriage? Essential to marriage, I should say. Or rather, is the morality of possible sexual actions essential to marriage? This last question means that, even if the couple does not actually engage in sexual actions, is it necessary that it would be morally okay for them to do so? Is the moral correctness of the potential (even if not carried out) sexual actions between them necessary for marriage?
Strangely, I have never heard anyone raise this question.

I am not referring to whether sex is essential or is the most important part of the emotional relationship between the spouses. Many married couples say that it is not the most essential part of their relationship. But it is presumed that it is normally there, or at least the potential for it.

Everyone seems, however, to already agree that the sexual act  is so essential to the definition of marriage, that in the case of marriage between two persons between whom sex is unthinkable, marriage is also unthinkable. For instance, marriage between brother and sister, marriage between an adult and child, etc. We're not forcing spouses to have sex with each other. However, no one may marry if sex between them is absolutely wrong and immoral.
Everyone seems implicitly to agree on this. However, I am surprised at never having heard it discussed.

If sexual intercourse is essential to the nature of marriage, than the question of the licitness of same-sex marriage depends on the licitness of same-sex intercourse.

No comments:

Post a Comment