Reaching for the levers of the law

What's the point of the struggle for same-sex marriage?
It is a fable drugging the mind to suggest that the activists are seeking simply to be left alone in their “personal” relations. When they seek the levers of the law, they are moving beyond things merely “personal.”

They are seeking the public and moral approval that the law bestows, along with the moral condemnation of those who will not share their views. The purpose now is to use the law to withdraw that freedom of others to object; to punish people who would dare speak or act in ways that honor a moral understanding at odds with same-sex marriage or the homosexual life; and to make it finally unrespectable, even legally perilous, to express certain moral sentiments, in settings public or private. For the media, the story line is of people in love, now hurt and bewildered. But serenely unnoticed are the accounts of the repression, in things large and small, all offered in the cause of “love.” Surely it is 1984 once more with the inversion of words: Under the banner of love there is loosed a barrage of hatred, and in the name of freedom, repression.
- Hadley Arkes

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