Roger Scruton: Because of Intimidation, “Shallow Reasoning” Behind Gay Marriage Push


English philosopher Roger Scruton writes in the UK Times in devastating fashion against the push to redefine marriage:

If we ask ourselves how it is that the advocacy of gay marriage has become an orthodoxy to which all our political leaders subscribe, we must surely acknowledge that intimidation has some part to play in the matter. Express the slightest hesitation on this score and someone will accuse you of “homophobia”, while others will organise to ensure that, even if nothing else is known about your views, this at least will be notorious. Only someone with nothing to lose can venture to discuss the issue with the measure of circumspection that it invites, and politicians do not figure among the class of people with nothing to lose.

Yet it is unlikely that the ordinary conscience will find itself entirely at ease with a change that overthrows social norms on which people have depended throughout recorded history. In this, as in so many things, people of conservative temperament look around for the person who will speak for them and find only an embarrassed silence. Strident minorities, acting on the growing disposition to censor their opponents, ensure that the deeper the question, the more likely it is to be settled by shallow arguments.


  1. Randy E King
    Posted December 29, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    As it turns out, the face of tyranny is as ugly as it has ever been.

    Changing the meaning of the words severs our connection to historical truths and serves no public good whatsoever.

    More to the point, how can consider a moral wrong to be a civil right?

    Moral: regarded in terms of what is known to be right or just, as opposed to what is officially or outwardly declared to be right or just.

  2. Barb Chamberlan
    Posted December 29, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Like all other political issues, the subject of "gay identity" politics is an inch deep. For those willing to think beyond the catch phrases it makes so sense at all. And for those who dare to use the brain God gave them marriage redefinition is very destructive.

    Pseudo-marriage advocates don't want anyone to go beyond the catch phrases, and for good reason. No thinking person could support it.

  3. Englein
    Posted December 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    December 29 is the anniversay of my parents' wedding (in 1938). I've always thanked God for a sensible mother and father - God-fearing parents.
    I'm so tired of the homosexual organizations and their bullying tactics. That's what they are: bullies. They intimidate the politicians and they push their way into our public schools in order to confuse and indoctrinate our children. Call me a "homophobe"; it doesn't bother me. Their "cause" cannot be compared in any way with racial justice. They have done considerable harm to our culture and our society.

  4. Posted December 30, 2012 at 1:48 am | Permalink


    If you respond with the word "heteroactivist" when someone calls you a homophobe, it completely takes the wind out of their sails.

  5. Zack
    Posted December 30, 2012 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    The left has a utopianist attidute, where there is dissent, they see evil. So it makes sense that anyone who disagrees with them is seen as "evil" where the dissenters simply think they're wrong.

  6. Son of Adam
    Posted December 30, 2012 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    Yes, Zack. It just goes to show how open minded and tolerant they are.

  7. Posted December 30, 2012 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    "Call me a "homophobe"; it doesn't bother me. Their "cause" cannot be compared in any way with racial justice. They have done considerable harm to our culture and our society."

    I totally agree. It's also nice to remind anyone throwing the "homophobe" slur around that the Associated Press has nixed the word "homophobia" from its texts - the term "Homophobia" will be stricken from the organization's 2013 stylebook. Most often than not, the attitude behind the use of
    "homophobic" is rancorous, biased, and uncouth.

    It is a type of ad hominem attack, because it's objective is to reduce the entire character of the person targeted to a simplistic (and often false) intensely negative characterization.

  8. grandmaliberty
    Posted December 30, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    hetroactivist..... I LIKE it...sounds like someone willing to fight for their cause... from here on out, I am no longer a proud homophobe... I am an even prouder hetroactivist ...thanks a million mantonikk... I can't wait to lay that on my grandkids.....

  9. John Gramstadt
    Posted December 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    People should be able to discuss the subject politely and charitably without threat. We are supposed to live in a civil society after all? I support the teaching of marriage as declared in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This should not be taboo:

    1601 "The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament."84

    This is not hate speech! This is the truth! I agree with Mr. Scruton the campaign of intimidation is overwhelming especially in academia

  10. LonesomeRhoades
    Posted December 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    A phobia is an irrational fear. I fear no person who chooses to act out in immoral ways.
    I find it rather disgusting.
    I am actually angry that these people are forcing America not only to tolerate but accept their aberrant lifestyle.
    I am also angry that they are destroying marriage.
    So call me homoangry or homodisgusted or something like that.

  11. Chairm
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    The shallow reasoning is accompanied by stubborness in the face of prodound and sound reasoning.

    The SSM idea is a rejection of the marriage idea.

    The gay emphasis of the SSM advocates boilsdown to the assertion that the union of husband and wife is a sexual type relationship. It is heterosexual by definition, they say, when they complain about supposed discrimination based on sexual orientation. They have in mind a type of relationship thaat is same-sexed. They have in mind a same-sex sexual relationship. Otherwise their complaint makes no sense.

    However, two persons of the same-sex are ineligible to marry even if they'd assert that one or both of them is/are heterosexually oriented. Even of they declare no sexual attraction toward each other or to their same sex. Even if they'd insist that they bother were born heterosexually oriented.

    They might still demand eligibility because they desire the same legal status as others who are eligible. They might declare their desire and willingness to commit and to express their mutual love as the basis of their mutually supportive relationship. And if they'd openly disavow the expectation that their love was homosexed, their ineligibility would not change under the marriage law.

    So none of these aspects of their relationship makes them ineligible. Not sexual orientation, certainly, nor an emphasis on gay identity.

    Why then would two persons of the same sex be ineligible?

    SSMers insist that procreation is not compulsory by law for those eligible to marry. Their point is rather odd. Marriage law does not mandate premarital procreation nor does it force married people to procreate. That is not a flaw in marriage law. The law is limited in its scope, sure, but marriage law is for marriage and not for other things such as nonmarital types of relationships. Marriage is oriented to procreation; it is a sexual type of relationship based on the procreative kind of sexual behavior ... ie coital relations of mand and woman. It is a type of relationship that has a reality independent of the law. The law merely recognizes this type of relationship as distinguishable from other types and as worthy of a special status.

    Sexual orientation is not the decisive factor and marriage supporters would do well to argue this obvious point firmly.

    A man and a woman might show up to marry. They might be eligible even if one or both declared themselves homosexually orientated. They might disavow sexual attraction toward each other and toward the opposite sex. They might also disavow mutual love and mutual support. They might publicly denounce the expectation that they'd engage in sexual relations with each other.

    But they would be eligible to marry anyway. So sexual orientation is not decisive.

    The law is not the font of wisdom on marriage. Just as marriage is not homosexually oriented and just as the law does not mandate procreation, neither does the law create and own each marital relationship. There is no government mandate to force participants to fulfill the essence of this type of relationship. There is no mandate to intrude so bizarely.

    On the other hand, contrary to the SS rhetoric and legal requirements, marriage law does entail consent to the sexual basis whereby children born to the wife during their marriage will be the children of both husband and wife. This is the marital presumption of paternity. To this the participants consent freely. Its sexual basis is subject to this mutual consent ... and society consents also via the marriage law.

    The two-sexed sexual basis is in the law as other requirements found in provisions regarding sexual consummation, annulment, adultery/divorce and harm. This sexual basis is an essential of this type of relationship. This is what makes marriage a public type of sexual relationship.

    Marriage does what SSM cannot do. The husband and wife form their comprehensive relationship and the acknowledges this. The relationship is more than a physical communion, of course, for human beings are sexually embodied and our minds and bodies are inseperable. This volitional relationship depends on the essence to which the participants (and thus its public status) are oriented by entry into a comprehensive relationship. Marriage shapes them. The bodily union is two-sexed as per its sexual basis. There is no one-sexed analogue. The husband and wife become more closely related to each other than they'd be related even to those who are born too-closely related to marry. No one sex short scenario can do this for the participants.

    Here is where the SSMer will insist that the law is magical. The SSMer assumes that SSM law would do what the participants connot done on their own. Namely, make the participants very close relatives. Yet the one sex short scenario ... homosexed or not ... is not comprehensive for there is obviously no true bodily union. There is no same-sex sexual basis for presumption of paternity and none for sexual consummation and so forth. No same-sex sexual basis for a law that would presume the participants have formed a sexual type of relationship.

  12. Chairm
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    It is worse than shallow reasoning.

    The SSM campaign's leading voices offer unreasoning obstinancy. They off false equivalencies that they refuse to give up even as sound reasoning stares them in the face.

    Indeed their own rhetoric and argumentation are so contradictory that it is reasonable to observe they they are stuck on stupid.

    Hence to various ways and means of the SSM campaign which rely on abuse of judicial review, the arbitrary exercise of governmental power, assertion of the supremacy of (gay) identity politics, and the corruption of the public understanding of marriage and sexual morality.

    There is no pro-marriage argument in favor of the SSM idea (even if that idea is shorn of its gay emphasis) which is an outright rejection of the marriage idea.

    We know this because the SSM campaign has told us as much while hiding behind the superficial facade they misname "same-sex marriage" or "gay marriage". The type of relationship they tell us they have in mind is not the moral equivalent of the union of huusband and wife.

    They would insist that the law do, unjustly, what cannot be done by sound moral reasoning. But marriage law is for marriage and not other stuff.

  13. Posted December 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    It is impossible to argue generally on the basis that we "have" the truth:
    a) If someone agrees with our truth already, we would need no debate.
    b) If someone disagrees with our truth, simply stating it will not convince them.
    Governments need to experience the consequences of redefining marriage, if legislators cannot foresee those social consequences.

    Understand this article points to the weakness in our system of government - that legislators can be threatened by special interest groups. This is more general than simply about same-sex marriage. How does our system of government protect us from special interests? By voters becoming active in the political process. That is why NOM's work is so important, and why SSM advocates hate NOM. True information is the Achilles' heel of the SSM propaganda.

  14. Tribune
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Little Man - a very good perspective on the truth on how government is really working and on, most importantly, how the truth is hated by SSM advocates (and even possibly destroying them).

  15. Posted January 2, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Chairm. Very well put and interesting analysis. Your posts are worth saving for re-reading. You could write a book !

  16. Posted January 2, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Little Man wrote: Thanks Chairm. Very well put and interesting analysis. Your posts are worth saving for re-reading. You could write a book !
    I know! I second that. I'd love to work on such a project.

  17. Posted January 2, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Alessandra: Someday, i hope to help build a blog which provides rational answers to the most common arguments for adding SSM to the civil marriage institution - providing succinct or elaborate answers to each. (The opposition does the same, vice versa.) For this purpose, and to not 're-invent the wheel', i believe it is essential to get the premises or definitions set down from the beginning. Therefore, i separate the issue into Religious, Civil, and Homosexual (so called 'gay') marriage. The latter is not legislated in the USA.

    I have started a prototype (see link under my pseudonym on this comment string), and though good answers abound, it is not easy to write them succinctly. Also, often the arguments are not worded concretely, and it is easy to answer a badly worded argument without really answering the spirit of the argument.

    By religious marriage, i mean that which does not require a State's license (USA) to marry. Christians, for instance, can marry before God, or before a church (group of believers) and might believe not even a minister is essential. In Christianity, the vows are before God, essentially; the breaking of a Christian vow is not against the partner, but against God, making marriage much more enduring.

    I believe real marriage is the union of not just a couple, but the union of two families, or the promised support from a religious brotherhood/congregation. The next generation supported this way, and in turn the present generation is ultimately rewarded. To my knowledge, there is no web page with answers to SSM from the triple set of perspectives i see as categorically practical, though there are many books on the subject.

    I'll read some of your blog. Thanks.

  18. M. jones
    Posted January 3, 2013 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    Chairm needs to present a court brief before the SCOTUS, the arguments are the basis of common civil marriage law.

  19. Chairm
    Posted January 4, 2013 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the kind remarks.

    When this basic argument is presented in courtrooms, marriage wins and SSM loses. Others more attuned to legal presentations than I have made the case before judges. Only the abuse of judicial review can impose the abolition of marriage in favor of the impoverished SSM idea.

    Girgis, George, and Anderson have made this argument for years. Their book, What S Marriage?, puts it all in one book. They cover the philosophic arguments as well as the politicial, anthropological, and historical arguments. The truth about marriage matters to policy and law.

    SSMers insist otherwise. That, they say, is a positive feature of their complaint against the marriage idea and in favor of their SSM idea.

    The legitimate role of the judiciary is not to legislate for or against the marriage idea. Judgemade law is the common law butin the USA statutory law has encoded common law and supersedes common law on marriage.

    This is not an insignificant point. The Massachusetts high court acknowledged that the bride+groom requirement had always been the law in that state ... even on colonial times and right up to themarriage statutes. Thus the people of that state had affirmed the two-sexed basis of marriage -- via common law and via statutory law. But the pro-SS majority abolished that and did so as an act of judge-made law. It was an illegitimate rewrite of statutory law.

    No judge is empowered to do what the Massachusetts judges dictated. The man-woman criterion of marriage law was unambiguous. They acknowledged that much. The state constitution includes the word, marriage, and so its meaning could not be changed without a pro-SS amendment to the state constitution. The statute affirmed the common law and both provide meaning to the state constitution's text.

    The judiciary is expressly forbidden to legislate on the issue. But they did. And did so knowingly. And with sophistic rhetoric that failed to muster a majority on that court to sustain the claim that the bride+groom requirement was unjust sexual orientation discrimination. Ikewise for the claim of unjust sex discrimination. So they rigged the legal question and used a false judicial majority to legislate from the bendh.

    That is how SSM was first imposed in the USA. It has been one abuse of judicial review after another.

    This is to say that the best arguments for marriage easily defeat the SSM idea, however, the SSM campaign depends on defeating us through the arbitrary exercise of governmental power. That makes the marriage fight about far more than marriage -- as important as marriage is.

    We stand as witnesses to the corruptive influence of gay identity politics -- among other things -- that has lowered standards of public discourse, governance, and much else. Our act of witness must be an act of substance and good form. Form and substance sustain the marriage project.

  20. Posted January 5, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Little Man wrote: Someday, i hope to help build a blog which provides rational answers to the most common arguments for adding SSM to the civil marriage institution - providing succinct or elaborate answers to each.

    That is a project that is so needed right now. But it's big and it needs to be done really well. More like a group project.

    Little Man wrote: " Also, often the arguments are not worded concretely, and it is easy to answer a badly worded argument without really answering the spirit of the argument."

    I totally agree. I often copy debate extracts from discussions in other blogs to my blog and that's what happens as well.

    p.s. I hope you will enjoy my blog - I left a comment on yours.

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