Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cant and the law

The problem underlying the concept of same-sex marriage had nothing to do with law, nor did it have anything to do with rights. The problem with same-sex marriage was one, put simply, of language.

In this matter, as with so many others, the zeitgeist confused means with ends. (Or perhaps I should say that it confused meaning with ends.)

The law (and the rights that it protects) depends on language and not the other way around. Thus, a man may swat a fly and rest assured that he will not be charged with murder.

So long, that is, as the definition of murder remains intact.

Alter language--even if it is for so noble-seeming a purpose as the protection of rights--and you are not amending the law, but blasting at its foundation. Should that foundation crumble, so too, with time, will the law, rights, justice.

A compromise was necessary on this issue, and was possible. The greater loss in not doing so was the relegation of all men to one of only three types: hysterics, opportunists, and bigots.