Corvino’s goods of same-sex relationships:

  1. Pleasure
    1. Objection: But is pleasure always good, or only when one takes pleasure in an independent good?
  2. Interpersonal communication
  3. Emotional growth
  4. Stability
  5. Undercutting of stereotypes
    1. Objection: Chastity does that even more effectively.



Rajczi’s argument:


The opponents of same sex marriage (SSM) think SSM can be prohibited because:

  1. homosexual activity is immoral
  2. allowing SSM spreads false ideas
  3. SSM results in further harms


Rajczi’s responses:

  1. Even if homosexual activity is immoral, we do not think it is OK for the state to deny opportunities to people because the people engage in immoral activity.
    1. Objection: What about adultery / fornication laws?
    2. Objection: Surely we wouldn’t want to have a kindergarten teacher who continually lied to the students or broke promises.
    3. Objection: You might lose your driver’s license for buying cigarettes under-age.
  2. The state cannot deny anybody an opportunity simply because allowing that opportunity results in the spread of false ideas.
    1. Objection: There are many counterexamples to this:

                                                              i.      Math teacher in public school who thinks 2x2=5, which we don’t want precisely because it would spread ideas.

                                                            ii.      My being the denied the opportunity to receive letters from the government addressed “Barack Obama”, precisely because that’s not in fact my name.

                                                          iii.      Kindergarten teacher who teaches that promises may be freely broken.

                                                          iv.      All sorts of slander, fraud and misrepresentation laws: including laws against faking money, falsely representing oneself as blind, representing oneself as a police officer, etc.

                                                            v.      Surgeon General promoting harmless quackery (e.g., promoting the idea that one decreases one’s chance of getting cancer whenever one touches red objects).

                                                          vi.      Holocaust denying head of Department of Transportation.

  1. Objection: Rajczi doesn’t consider the intrinsic harm of SSM to the persons getting married—that by publicly committing themselves to a relationship that is understood to be sexual in nature, they commit themselves to something that is intrinsically harmful to one.  If one agrees with Socrates that the worst thing that can happen to one is that one becomes  immoral, this outbalances the benefits of SSM to the couple.


Rajczi dismisses the argument that marriage by definition is between a man and a woman.  He also argues that it is wrong to deny the use of the word “marriage” to persons of the same sex.  But consider this hypothesis which Rajczi has not argued against: There is a natural kind of relationship which is only between a man and a woman, which relationship is different in kind from any relationships between persons of the same sex.  In that case, it makes sense for the government to mark the distinction between this relationship and other relationships by having a term reserved for it.  We should not think the equality of men and women is violated by the fact that masculine pronouns are used for men and feminine pronouns for women.  I have no right to have government functionaries talk about me as “she” if I am in fact a man (leaving aside the question of a sex-change operation), or to say that I am a “wife”.  Likewise, a Vietnam war veteran has no right to be called by a Korean war veteran, nor is there any obligation for the government to adopt a neutral term for both, even if both deserve equal treatment.  Where there is a genuine difference, we allow the use of different terms.