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We’re often told that “you can’t legislate morality.” But Anthony Esolen notes “there is one group in America that has been, perhaps inadvertently, conceding the point, that good laws not only reward good behavior but encourage it, and help people to become good. Who are they?”

The male homosexuals arguing for the right to “marry”.

Anyone who has paid attention to the self-described lives of homosexual men must be struck by the mind-boggling promiscuity — in fact, by the acceptance of promiscuity, and even group sex, as a matter-of-course part of the homosexual life. Yet, as the argument goes, such promiscuity is not simply the result of the desires of homosexual men themselves. It is also, it is said, the result of their inability to form legally binding marriages. If marriage were available to them — a biological absurdity, but let’s ignore that for the present — then that would not only recognize and reward those men who would have devoted their lives faithfully to one another in any case. It would encourage other men to do the same. It would restrain the promiscuity; it would change the world of the homosexual male.

Now I don’t believe that the marriage go-ahead would actually achieve these effects to any significant degree, because I don’t believe that the relations of male homosexuals are analogous to the relations of married men and women. I’ve written elsewhere that, from what I’ve read and from what homosexual men themselves have told me, it seems rather that the relations are sexualizations of male friendships, and friendship is a different thing, not necessarily a greater or even a lesser thing but a different thing, from what men and women experience when they give themselves to one another in marriage. Still, I’d like to note the presumption of the argument. It is not, “People will do whatever they do, sexually, regardless of the law.” It is, “Laws can make people better, not just by deterring the bad, but by encouraging and teaching the good.” For people who make this argument assume, tacitly, that it would be a good thing if the relationships of male homosexuals were more permanent, and since they would not be more permanent if the men involved did not want them to be so, we must conclude that the goodness includes the desire, now made more frequent, of the men to form permanent relationships. In other words, the tacit assumption is not simply that a law permitting male-male pseudogamy would be just, but that it would make many of the men themselves more virtuous.

And that, dear readers, gives the game away.

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