Followup to the long

October 19, 2003


Followup to the long thing just posted.

The Public-Private dichotomy helps explain why same sex marriage is so disconcerting to many people. Marriage is a public celebration and recognition of private acts. It creates a legal protection around intimate human behavior. And, while the precedent of this legal protection stems from concerns about property and inheritance, not about individual privacy and happiness, the institution has changed.

It is possible to feel that same-sex sexual contact is acceptable in private, like pooping, without wanting to see it in public. If someone has internalized the notion that same-sex romance is filthy or disgusting, then they will respond to two people holding hands on a city bus in much the same way that the rest of us would respond to someone defecating on that bus. It helps me understand the distaste with which some people view actions that have never bothered me. It also explains the surprising popularity of the military's "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" policy. That policy pretends that sexuality is a completely private matter, that people who work together never develop friendships and never discuss intimate matters - remember that "who are you going out with on Saturday?" is an intimate question.

Posted by Red Ted at October 19, 2003 10:34 AM | TrackBack