No, ‘Traditional Union’ Does Not Exploit The LGBTQ Community

bobsineh, the spiritual adviser to the LGBTQ+ union, was actually born in Germany, did not live through the Nazi and Soviet Soviet Civil Wars, and is not German. His father died when he was…

No, ‘Traditional Union’ Does Not Exploit The LGBTQ Community

bobsineh, the spiritual adviser to the LGBTQ+ union, was actually born in Germany, did not live through the Nazi and Soviet Soviet Civil Wars, and is not German. His father died when he was a year old.

To the average American, “a traditional union” is traditionally a union between one self and a spouse. The metaphor “traditional” cannot be underestimated—an American going to the courthouse to marry a spouse could really be considered a traditional union.

“A traditional union” is in many respects a highly unlikely analogy between a one-sided union and a union of two persons. First of all, “traditional union” is understood as a union of self and other person. It has nothing at all to do with an entity such as a marriage contract, as both parents have no importance in the “traditional union.” There’s something enormously important and intuitively mind-bending about this: The union, obviously, includes the belonging to the other person.

Second, simply talking about “a traditional union” conjures up the concept of one body, and the idea of a union of body and soul is considered a completely different thing. The union of body and soul is not the same as the union of body and self.

Third, and most importantly, there’s an enormous amount of wealth and respect between self and other. Indeed, a traditional union is one between one self and another. At its root, a traditional union is the union of the person with others, real or virtual. It’s a real union—not simply the union of the body and self. There is a huge amount of respect given to the “other” in this “traditional union.” To borrow from Anthony Trollope, if the first self is irreparably damaged, it’s worthless.

Compare this with the notorious definition of a traditional marriage by an Iowa Supreme Court Justice: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Of course, regardless of where you live, however little or much respect you have for the person, whatever your ethics, you need to acknowledge the uniqueness of every human being—including you.

Are these ideas a part of the American story? Undoubtedly. They are just so modern, if they are contemporary at all.

Traditional union—the belief in the worth of human beings and that they are the very foundation of freedom and equality.

Akhil Reed Amar is a professor of law at Yale University and author of Words Have Meaning: Liberalism and the Meaning of Its Language.

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