This seems contradictory though.
Samuel Storey

Hi Samuel,

Thanks for your response! I think your two points are great examples of how these maxims don’t go into the detail that these issues deserve.

To your first point, let me approach this principle from a slightly different (albeit unusual) angle: while any person does have the right to choose what to do with their body, there is a unique period of nine months during some women’s lives where their bodies are not solely their own. They harbor another life; another body exists within their body, and that body has the right to the chance of choice. Any decision that a pregnant woman makes that negatively affects not only herself, but the unborn person inside of her — that’s not her choice to make alone, so in principle, she cannot make it. It’s the same precept that underlies most other actions our nation unanimously prohibits — murder, theft, rape, etc. If an abortion takes away the choice of another person, then it cannot be the woman’s choice to make.

My response to your second point is much simpler, I think. When I say that the government should respect a couple’s commitment, what I am advocating for, essentially, is a civil partnership. In terms of taxes, benefits, etc., the government should not discriminate between two people of the same sex and two people of the opposite sex. “Marriage” is simply a way to define a specific type of partnership between two people, and that definition should be determined by the states. For millions of people (even some atheists), that definition involves a holy, life-long covenant before God (and as such, those atheists want nothing to do with marriage and would prefer something like a civil partnership). It’s all simply a matter of how one chooses to look at it, and that’s why I advocate for it.