NOM BLOG

On SSM, Professor Araujo v. Professor Tribe

 

Prof. John Araujo, SJ at the Loyola University School of Law in Mirror of Justice:

Professor Tribe also makes passionate arguments [in his SCOTUSblog symposium contribution] for the “constitutional inevitability of same-sex marriage,” and some of them are based on polls, evolving consensus, and the transformation of culture. In this context, he asserts that arguments contrary to his on these points necessitate “the Court to cut this baby in half.” I wonder if he would employ this phrase in the arguments he has made in defense of abortion (for there, the baby—millions of them—has been and is plainly cut in half)? He also derides the use arguments against same-sex marriage that rely on what he labels “pseudo-scientific claims.”

He does not identify the reasoning underlying these claims, but I wonder how he would consider this argument: Let us assume that two planets which have not yet been inhabited by humans are to be colonized by them; on Planet Alpha, heterosexual couples only are assigned; on Planet Beta, only homosexual couples. In one hundred years, will both islands be populated assuming that reproductive technologies are not available to either group? I suggest that Planet Alpha will be; but Planet Beta will not. Why? The basic answer is to be found in the biological complementarity of the heterosexual couple necessary for procreation that is absent in same-sex couple. This is a scientific argument, but perhaps it is, in Tribe’s estimation, counterfeit.

20 Comments

  1. Roberto
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Weak planet argument: gay people can still reproduce and would certainly do so, by design or need.

  2. Valerie
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Not to mention the fact that the planet on which we actually reside is suffering from chronic problems related to overpopulation, all due to those pesky heterosexuals.

  3. Bruce
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    This hypothetical is ridiculous on so many levels. We're so far from being able to travel to another planet, let alone finding one that could support human life. And why in the world would it make any sense to colonize one with heterosexuals, and one with gay people? Even if you get past all that silliness, as Roberto correctly points out, I think we'd figure out what to do.

  4. Badger
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Is he really a professor? That has to be one of the silliest statements on the subject that I have ever seen.

  5. Marty
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    What are these "chronic problems related to overpopulation" Valerie? Because I've been looking now for decades, and what have I found? Across the globe people are living longer, healthier, wealthier lives.

    Anyway as Roberto reminds us, homosexuals can and will reproduce heterosexually -- so you can't lay it ALL at the feet of those "pesky heterosexuals".

  6. AM
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    "Anyway as Roberto reminds us, homosexuals can and will reproduce heterosexually -- so you can't lay it ALL at the feet of those "pesky heterosexuals".

    Marty, what kind of reproduction isn't heterosexual?
    :-)

  7. mike
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Am-you don't see the sarcasm in Marty's message? lol

  8. Valerie
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    It was a joke, Marty, lighten up. But we could well be facing problems related to overpopulation in the future - pollution, depletion of natural resources, inadequate fresh water etc. You know, us gays are good for the environment :P

  9. Marty
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    I gave up on the preachers of doom and gloom the 47th time they were wrong. ;)

  10. Daughter of Eve
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Over population is a myth. You might enjoy the following:

    http://unitedfamiliesinternational.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/what’s-this-“momentum”-thing/

    or these really fun and informative videos:
    http://overpopulationisamyth.com/category/categories/pop101

  11. David in Houston
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Gay people procreate when society coerces them into pretending to be straight:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/14/jim-swilley-gay-pastor_n_783279.html

    Pastor Swilley was married for 20 years, and fathered 4 children. He was gay the entire time.

  12. Patrick Hogan
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    And if we were to populate a planet entirely with priests or nuns (of the celibate variety), they would also be gone in a generation. Should we not allow people to take vows of celibacy?

    The same would apply to heterosexual couples where one or both individuals is infertile -- should we not allow them to marry?

    Araujo's argument is silly.

  13. John Noe
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    The planet analogy is a brillant argument in that it proves and debunks the other sides argument of equallity.
    The other professor in arguing against marriage as one man and one woman tried to use the liberty and equallity argument. Simple fact of the matter is the planet analogy proves that homosexuals are not equal to hetreosexuals. Why give equallity to something that is not equal?

    (1) Heterosexuals reproduce while homosexuals do not. Therefore the two are not equal. The planet analogy is great example of this.
    (2) Homosexuals also have higher mortaility rates and higher disease rates, so again they are not equal.
    (3) Homosexuals already have equal marriage rights as the rest of us, as long as they obey the laws equally like everybody else. They want special rights.

    The planet analogy is valid and biologically scientific. It is the other sides that makes the counterfeit argument.

  14. Louis E.
    Posted September 3, 2011 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    If there is a genetic component to homosexuality,it is appalling that anyone would transmit it to future generations.Celibacy is to be preferred for "carriers".

  15. Little man
    Posted September 3, 2011 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Hey, read Mr. or Dr. Araujo's philosophical paper in draft form. It has some systematic thinking few of us could follow entirely, yet it provides a common sense example of what "equality" really means. Equality is not equivalence and vice versa. Watch out with the activists of homosexual persuasion, They argue like little girls, wanting to keep their cake and to eat it too. Logic goes out the window, but it is their Aquiles' heel. Dr. Araujo really develops the topic in a friendly way. It might take you a couple of cups of coffee to read it in-depth, but it is certainly worth the time and caffeine :) I just put it mathematically: "We are different,... but we require to be treated equally." (Actually what's wrong with giving each stable household cell some kind of civic value? "Homeowners" paying a home loan already get a tax deduction, because owning a home correlated with economic stability, empirically. What's wrong with giving single mom's a hand? It is already being done. We cannot as a State or Country promote single mom's as optimum, but it has its civic value. But to call it marriage is illogical. Call it something else and let Congress give it its worth. That's the best way, because society will recognize it. Not through Judges, because that's dictatorship. Try to force it on society, and you'll see why homosexual people were discriminated against.

  16. Guglielmo Marinaro
    Posted September 3, 2011 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Well, here’s an argument. Let us assume that two planets which have not yet been inhabited by humans are to be colonized by them; on Planet Alpha, couples only are assigned, the vast majority being heterosexual couples, but a minority being homosexual couples, just as here on Planet Earth; on Planet Beta, only people – including priests, monks and nuns – who, whatever their sexual orientation, are vowed to perpetual celibacy. In one hundred years, will both planets be populated, assuming that reproductive technologies are not available to either group, and that those on planet Beta have faithfully kept their vows of celibacy? I suggest that Planet Alpha will be, its population continuing to include both heterosexual and homosexual couples; but Planet Beta will not. Why? The basic answer is to be found in the sexual activity necessary for the perpetuation of both the heterosexual and the homosexual populations that is absent from the lives of celibate people.

  17. Patrick Hogan
    Posted September 3, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    And why is that, Louis E.? I thought you opposed allowing same sex couples to marry because you consider same sex attraction to be unnatural (hence, no genetic component) and because same sex couples are incapable of reproducing; now you're arguing that we shouldn't reproduce even when capable.

    I'm just trying to understand your thought process on this...

  18. Louis E.
    Posted September 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    The cause of same-sex sexual attraction is irrelevant.The important thing is that ACTING on such attraction is UNREASONABLE,and always to be discouraged.I have never hinged things on reproduction,which is a private matter,only on the public interest in maintaining a uniform ideal of only opposite-sex sexual relationships.

  19. Paul Mc
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Is it just me, but I can't see what argument this supposed knowledgable person is putting?

    His statements just amount to, 'gay couples' can't reproduce'. The scenario is in any case, wholly unreal. It can tell us nothing about whether marriage should or should not be allowed in contemporary human societies on Planet Earth.

    It isn't an argument AT ALL when it is clear that societies can thrive in terms of population regardless of the % proportion of homsexuals.

  20. Patrick Hogan
    Posted September 8, 2011 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    My apologies, Louis -- I forgot that you subscribe to a Paul Cameron type of reality to justify your disapprobation of gay men and lesbians (which is odd, since I've not yet heard a claim other than "It's wrong" as to why you would consider lesbian couples to be worthy of disapprobation) rather than the normal NOM "two great halves of humanity for the children" argument.