Natural Law Argument Can't Stop Civil Process

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 27, 2000 | Go to article overview

Natural Law Argument Can't Stop Civil Process


"Natural law" is the only arrow left in the quiver of those misguided souls aiming to legislate homosexuals out of the American way of life.

In a society where lesbians can be good moms, gay teens can become Eagle Scouts and homosexuals of both genders can give their lives for our nation in battle, it's tough to justify such discrimination.

So when the Vermont legislature passed a bill granting gay couples benefits similar to those afforded heterosexuals who marry, critics resorted to labeling the new legislation an affront to natural law.

"Natural law theory has been kicking around for a long time," notes John H. Robinson, an associate professor of law at Notre Dame Law School.

Great thinkers from Socrates, Plato and Aristotle to Martin Luther and Martin Luther King Jr. have embraced the concept that man answers to a higher law than those ordained by mere mortals. Natural law also has been used to defend slavery, promote women as property, ban interracial marriages and attack assisted fertility.

"You and I might agree on all types of things (murder, rape, theft)" but run into trouble on natural law topics such as abortion, euthanasia or gay rights, says Robinson. "You and I may have the best of motives and still disagree."

Such is the case with Robinson, who says he supports the new law in Vermont, and fellow Notre Dame professor Charles E. Rice, a natural law scholar who strongly disagrees.

"The homosexual movement is at war with ... the family," Rice writes, using logic from Pat Buchanan to back him up.

"It's not sinful. It's not wrong. It's a disorder," Rice says of homosexuality, equating gays with alcoholics and shoplifters and gay marriage to bestiality.

The divine giver of natural law decreed it is in society's best interest to have families where a man and woman procreate, Rice says. …

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