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Rebuttal to ‘SCOP stands against hate’

| Monday, November 24, 2014

In “SCOP stands against hate,” Tiernan Kane and Tim Bradley argue that, “what is hateful is to choose an action deliberately aimed at depriving oneself or another of living out the comprehensive sexual union of male and female.” I disagree with this argument on several fronts.

Firstly, I am perplexed as to which actions Kane and Bradley refer.

They specify that remaining celibate or unmarried are not hateful actions, but fail to include examples of what actions do actually deprive people from “living out the comprehensive sexual union.” Possibly because no one is really being deprived. A man and a woman can marry each other in all 50 states. No one is preventing them from entering into sexual union that is “exclusive, permanent [and] procreative.” While marriages that do not fit into SCOP’s specific definition are increasingly legally recognized by the state, this has no effect on the personal relationships of couples that choose to adhere to this strict definition of marriage. (Unless they are extraordinarily preoccupied with regulating other people’s sex lives, which unfortunately is too often the case.)

Secondly, I disagree with Kane and Bradley’s premise that comprehensive sexual union is a good in itself.

Some people find “comprehensive sexual union” to be a good, but others do not. Not everyone ascribes to this definition of sexual union and marriage. Not everyone is able to have children. Not everyone wants to have children. Not everyone wants to get married, or thinks that sex must be for procreation, or is in love with someone of a different gender. If I don’t value comprehensive sexual union as a good, then it is not an act of “self-hate” to “deprive” myself of such a union. Rather, it would be much more damaging to force myself (and a spouse) into a situation where I would be miserable.

I could argue, however, that love is a universal good in itself.

I personally think that being able to marry the person you love, regardless of their gender or the ability to procreate, is a good. Fortunately, men and women can marry each other in all 50 states whether or not they plan on procreation. However, same-sex couples are not legally allowed to marry in 16 states. In fact, there are even groups that actively seek to deprive same-sex couples of this good by advocating against same-sex marriage. Using SCOP’s own definition (“to hate a person is to make it one’s deliberate purpose that the person be deprived of some good”), such groups are being hateful instead of standing against hate.


Michelle McCarthy


Pasquerilla West Hall

Nov. 20

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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