Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Kameny responds:

Frank Kameny, one of the earliest and most distinguished gay rights activists, responds to my last post on legislating morality:

First, morality AS MORALITY should not be legislated and cannot be.

Matters of morality and immorality are ones of personal opinion and individual religious belief, upon which each person may make up his or her own mind but which government may not properly EXPLICITLY define -- that is, government may not properly say in so many words, that something is moral or immoral. The term and the concept have no place at all in law and public policy.

If public policy is to mandate or proscribe anything, there must be ancillary substantiv reasons, not merely that it is moral or immoral. For example, that it imposes upon others against their will (e.g. theft; murder). That is, there is a nonconsenting victim.

In short, public policy and law should protect citizens from each other, and maintain order. Morality, qua morality, is irrelevant. The word should not even be used in this connection.

The Supreme Court, in discounting Texas' arguments in Lawrence, got it exactly right.

Second. The objectionable essence of adultery is not sexual at all, and, conceptually, it is not a sexual "sin" or even a sexual act. Adultery is a breach of contract, with a victim, unlike actual consensual sexual activity as such.

Third. Who decides who is a false god and who is a true one? The god of the Bible, and of fundamentalist Christians is a false god who is an irrational homophobic bigot and an abomination. In point of fact, there are no true gods because there are no gods at all. There is not a shred of valid, credible, persuasive evidence for the existence of anything supernatural at all, so all gods, being supernatural by nature and by very concept, do not exist, and so ALL claimed gods are false gods.

Frank Kameny

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