Heterosexual union is imbued with the sense that your partner’s sexual nature is strange to you, a territory into which you intrude without prior knowledge and in which the other and not the self is the only reliable guide. This experience has profound repercussions for our sense of the danger and the mystery of sexual union, and these repercussions are surely part of what people have had in mind in clothing marriage as a sacrament, and the ceremony of marriage as a rite of passage from one form of safety to another. . . . To regard gay marriage as simply another option within the institution is to ignore the fact that an institution shapes the motive for joining it. Marriage has grown around the idea of sexual differences and all that sexual difference means. To make this feature accidental rather than essential is to change marriage beyond recognition. Gays want marriage because they want the social endorsement that it signifies; but by admitting gay marriage we deprive marriage of its social meaning, as the blessing conferred by the unborn on the living.
We need carefully thought and penetrating arguments. We need courage, of course, and clarity of conviction, but we also need careful thinking and the penetration of insight. And for that last, who you gonna call?