Robert P. George, Sherif Girgis, and Ryan T. Anderson expose sloppy thinking in their article, “The Argument Against Gay Marriage: And Why It Doesn’t Fail.”
“Professor Yoshino’s response is long on rhetoric designed to stigmatize a position he opposes, and short on arguments that might actually cast doubt on its soundness.”
. . .
“At one point, Yoshino concedes that we have a “serious point,” but he distorts it in a manner that works to the advantage of his own critique: “They are contending that sexual activity has been privileged over other kinds of bonding activities in determining who gets to marry.” Notice the question-begging implication of the phrase “who gets to marry.” Yoshino assumes (and assumes that we assume) that the institution of marriage inherently has nothing to do with sexual complementarity, and that we are merely supporting a historical tendency to “privilege” certain activities in determining who gets access to marriage (seen as a gender-neutral institution) under the law.”
. . .
“Professor Yoshino’s rhetoric is thus, to all appearances, designed to exploit caricatures of conservatives as mean-spirited bigots out to thwart those not like themselves. But our argument is either successful or not. If it is successful, pejorative labeling cannot harm it; if it is unsuccessful, a clear explanation of its flaws—for example, by showing that it rests on a false premise or a fallacious inference—gives people all the reason they require for rejecting it.”
. . .
Finally, having ignored our central arguments, made unwarranted linguistic associations, indulged in pejorative labeling, and studiously ignored every challenge we pose, Yoshino ends with a resounding declaration of victory: Even the best argument available against gay civil marriage fails, because it “denies” marriage to same-sex partners only by “denigrating” and “demeaning” the marriages of many opposite-sex couples. But Yoshino would be warranted in declaring victory only if he had given good reasons for rejecting our actual arguments, and provided his own answer to the central question of what marriage is. He did neither.”
Read the whole thing.