Kant on Sex and Marriage The Implications for the Same-Sex Marriage Debate
Department or Administrative Unit
Philosophy and Religious Studies
When examined critically, Kant’s views on sex and marriage give us the tools to defend same-sex marriage on moral grounds. The sexual objectification of one’s partner can only be overcome when two people take responsibility for one another’s overall well-being, and this commitment is enforced through legal coercion. Kant’s views on the unnaturalness of homosexuality do not stand up to scrutiny, and he cannot (as he often tries to) restrict the purpose of sex to procreation. Kant himself rules out marriage only when the partners cannot give themselves to one another equally – that is, if there is inequality of exchange. Because same-sex marriage would be between equals and would allow homosexuals to express their desire in a morally appropriate way, it ought to be legalized.
Altman, M. C. (2010). Kant on Sex and Marriage: The Implications for the Same-Sex Marriage Debate. Kant-Studien, 101(3). https://doi.org/10.1515/kant.2010.020
© Walter de Gruyter 2010