A Facebook friend is in hot water from his left-leaning classmates for a short essay that he wrote defending marriage. It was published in his college newspaper. In it, he makes a case that society has an interest in promoting marriage because the state has an interest in the development of children.
He writes (in part):
Marriage is a comprehensive union with a special link to children. It is a private union with a public purpose.
Private in that comprehensive union exemplifies the love of the spouses. Public in that their comprehensive union is intrinsically directed toward a purpose beyond the love of the spouses: children.
The state regulates marriage because it has an interest in children. Marriage produces and cultivates the development of future citizens within a family unit held together by norms of fidelity, monogamy, exclusivity, and permanence. The state incentivizes marriage both because it recognizes child-rearing to be a difficult task and because it wants to encourage men and women to form family units. Not all marriages have children; some are infertile. Nevertheless, all marriages between men and women are still capable of engaging in the kind of unitive act that is intrinsically directed toward children.
The essay is a 500-word version of a longer essay that he posted before.
I wanted to bring this up because if you read some of the comments on his post, you will find that most of them seem to be unable to even understand the case that he was trying to make in his small, short 500-word version of the longer essay. Yet, even though these people could not understand what he was saying, they nevertheless went ahead and insulted him personally, over and over and over again.
Take a look at some of these comments, and ask yourself – are they trying to engage with his arguments? Are they bringing new research to bear on the problem? Or are they just offering personal attacks and emotional outbursts?
The argument in the letter has been debunked time and time again. Ultimately, it implies gay couples aren’t human. At the very least, it implies that gay people aren’t already parents, which is false. I’m absolutely disgusted at your discretion in publishing this trash. You have stooped to an unbelievable low this time. As a side note, I’m embarrassed for [the academic department you belong to].
If it’s been debunked so many times, then we can’t he explain what’s wrong with it instead of becoming insulting?
Here’s another from that same person, right after the first one:
You don’t like gay people. How original. As a side note, I did offer arguments against the ridiculous fallacies in logic that you presented. But it’s not like you’re here to have a discussion. I’m sure you’ve made up your mind re: profile pictures and such.
Um, he never did post any arguments. He just posted about his feelings “disgusted” “embarassed”. That’s not an argument.
And here’s the same person again:
Your article is an insult to anyone who’s LGBT– yes, even your “friends.” It’s an affront to humanity. See Perry v. Schwarzenegger for an obliteration of your argument. I can’t even bother when the facts are all there in Supreme Court records for your easy consumption.
And the funny thing is – people keep clicking like on his comments. Why is that? Why do they think that he has said anything of value?
And here is the point I want to make about this. I do not recommend to people, and especially to students, that you write about social issues under your real name. I also recommend that even if you use an alias, that you do not make it widely known what your real name is to people who you meet casually online. You do not want to be in a situation where someone can just do a web search for your name before a job interview or a school admission. People who are on the left on these issues are not exposed to other points of view, so they do not tolerate other points of view. Often, they are coming from a position where they already have made lifestyle choices (I mean straight people, too) where they cannot allow themselves to consider the possibility that they would have to regulate their sexuality for the good of children or society.