Slate’s Nathaniel Frank explores the reasoning of the Oklahoma judge who, for now, struck down the state’s gay marriage ban. Last para:
What courts really mean — or should mean — in barring “moral disapproval” as the basis for laws is that arbitrary moral disapproval is improper, not all moral disapproval. The taboo against homosexuality is an arbitrary moral disapproval. Homosexuality harms no one. It’s not, it turns out, a morally bad thing at all. It’s just that lots of people and lots of big religions have subscribed to this taboo for so long that it became acceptable to simply deem gayness immoral. What people really mean when they call homosexuality immoral, for the most part, is either that they find it icky or that their religion forbids it—and for no discernable reason, or at least not one that has any capacity to help make life better or worse for people in today’s world, the true basis of morality. Indeed, despite huge recent advancements in tolerance of gay people, homosexuality stands virtually alone as the one thing Americans are comfortable calling “immoral” without ever having to explain why.
Key passage: “What people really mean when they call homosexuality immoral, for the most part, is either that they find it icky or that their religion forbids it — and for no discernible reason, or at least not one that has any capacity to help make life better or worse for people in today’s world, the true basis of morality.” Which is to say, what is morality, if not merely appeal to a rulebook of bronze-age sheepherders (whose ‘morality’ was apparently to maximize the size of the their tribe, thus proscripting any male sexual activity that would not lead to children — and approving of others we would not, like wedding one’s brother’s widow.)
For more along these lines, see the website of ‘gay moralist’ John Corvino, http://johncorvino.com/, and his numerous videos. I read his book a few months ago, but I’ve been negligent about blogging it, that and several other recent reads.