I endorse metaphysical realism about stupidity!

The Washington State Supreme Court case concerning gay marriage is not an unmitigated disaster if this bit from the Times is accurate:

The decision seemed to invite targeted constitutional challenges to the denial of equal treatment to homosexual couples.

Also intriguing is the Times’s choice of quotations

“Limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples,” Justice Barbara A. Madsen wrote in that opinion, “furthers procreation, essential to the survival of the human race, and furthers the well-being of children by encouraging families where children are reared in homes headed by the children’s biological parents.”

While it’s true that reading that probably won’t embarrass the people that it should, it’s pretty embarrassing, and all that really needs to be said is “do you really believe that?” I was couldn’t decide whether the writer included that quote partially in order to make Madsen look stupid, but the article also relays that the dissenting judges described the majority opinion as relying “on speculation and circular reasoning to endorse discrimination.” No defense is given. Though that could be an accidental feature of the article, I’m inclined to read it as reflecting the opinion of the author that no credible defense to the charge has been offered.

If that’s so, it’s an interesting demonstration of what can be done within the limitations of journalistic objectivity—it doesn’t even break the “he said, she said” mold that everyone sensible complains about. The difficulty is that I really don’t know how to find out whether it’s accidental or not. I suspect that my own opinions render me an unreliable reader when it comes to questions about intent such as this one.

Enlighten me?


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