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Rodricks takes short cuts in the marriage debate

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In claiming that "there are no sound arguments against granting same-sex couples the right to be married," Mr. Rodricks omits his views of both "rights" and "marriage" — two essential components of his argument ("The irrational fears of same-sex marriage foes," Sept. 10).

By "rights," does he mean natural rights inherent in man's design or socially-constructed rights determined by public opinion statistics? By "marriage," does he mean a relationship rooted in the physical, psychological and spiritual sexual design of men and women, or a socially-constructed, legal category for bureaucratic administration?

If rights and marriage are both merely arbitrary social constructs, then his argument is sound; otherwise, it is not. And that's precisely what underlies the surface political rhetoric. That debate is a very deep one that cannot occur in a few paragraphs or rhetorical sound-bites.

Charles Clough, Bel Air

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