Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The question I was waiting for

Posted by Craig Westover | 10:04 AM |  

From a email from a Pioneer Press reader of today's column --
In the interest of full disclosure, is University of Minnesota law professor Dale Carpenter gay? If so, don’t you think that is important enough to include in your article?
I left Carpenter’s sexual orientation out of the column intentionally -- as I left out his religious affiliation, what he was wearing and the brand of soda he prefers. None of those things has any bearing on the logic of his argument, which is what the column is about.

Sexual orientation and religious affiliation do motivate people’s attitudes toward homosexuality. As I noted in a comment at this post, my libertarian sympathies certainly influence my attitude on the issue of same-sex marriage.

But sexual orientation, religious affiliation and libertarian sympathies are not arguments. Support for or opposition to same-sex marriage must stand logically regardless and separable from the person making the claim.

Carpenter’s arguments are no more discredited by sexual orientation than are Charles Darrell’s because he speaks for Minnesota for Marriage. The arguments must stand or fall on their own merits.

Is my sexual orientation relevant to the column?