Gay Marriage: The Myth of Governmental Neutrality
Often, when the topic of homosexual marriage comes up, there is an argument raised that suggests that even if we think marriage is between one man and one woman, we should not force our morality on others who disagree. The government, it is declared, should be neutral.
Now if we really spell this out, it quickly becomes apparent that governmental neutrality on this issue is impossible. The argument is essentially saying that since the government should be neutral, it should recognize, validate, and honor marriages between same-sex couples. But is a government that recognizes, validates, and honors same-sex marriages really neutral? Of course not, it is saying that same-sex marriages are valid, and if anyone refuses to recognize them the courts will step in to make sure that they do. In reality, the moral acceptance of gay marriage will be forced on people with differing moral views; the very thing that those who make this argument say the government should not do.
The crux of the argument is that the government should be neutral on controversial moral issues, but the absurdity of this becomes clear when we understand that the idea that “the state should be neutral on controversial moral issues,” is itself a controversial moral issue. Not everyone agrees with this. This would mean that the government should be neutral on whether it should be neutral or not, which is an absurd impossibility. Just like the idea that the government should be neutral on homosexual marriage.