‘[H]omosexual conduct is “never a valid, humanly acceptable choice and form of life” and is (rightly) “repudiated as destructive of human character and relationships” … “it treats human sexual capacities in a way which is deeply hostile to the self-understanding of those members who are willing to commit themselves to real marriage” … [J]ust as a cowardly weakling who would never try to kill anyone, yet deliberately approves of the killings of innocent people in a terrorist massacre, has a will which violates the good of life, so even a person of exclusively and irreversibly homosexual inclination violates the good of marriage by consenting to (and deliberately approving) non-marital sex acts such as solitary masturbation. That is an implication of the logic of practical reason … Moreover, the ‘wrongs of thought’ of cowardly weaklings who will never kill (or homosexuals—or heterosexuals—who will never marry) rather rarely remain without impact on their own behaviour or on the thoughts and behaviour of other people. Such approval makes real killings of innocents more likely, and approval of non-marital sex acts contributes to the cultural climate in which actual marriages founder.’
- ‘Sex and Marriage: Some Myths and Reasons’ in Human Rights and Common Good: Collected Essays Volume III (2011), pp.355 and 378-9, in part quoting his earlier article, ‘Law, Morality, and Sexual Orientation’ (below). Available for account holders at: <http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580071.001.0001/acprof-9780199580071-chapter-23>.
‘Copulation of humans with animals is repudiated because it treats human sexual activity and satisfaction as something appropriately sought in a manner that, like the coupling of animals, is divorced from the expressing of an intelligible common good – and so treats human bodily life, in one of its most intense activities, as merely animal. The deliberate genital coupling of persons of the same sex is repudiated for a very similar reason.’
- Deposition regarding the 1992 constitutional amendment in Colorado to restrict the state from protecting gay, lesbian and bisexual people from discrimination. Quoted at: <https://www.theguardian.com/law/2017/feb/03/neil-gorsuch-mentor-john-finnis-compared-gay-sex-to-bestiality>.
‘The standard modern position involves a number of explicit or implicit judgments about the proper role of law and the compelling interests of political communities, and about the evil of homosexual conduct. Can these be defended by reflective, critical, publicly intelligible and rational arguments? I believe they can. Since even the advocates of “gay rights” do not seriously assert that the state can never have any compelling interests in public morality or the moral formation of its young people or the moral environment in which parents, other educators, and young people themselves must undertake this formation, I shall in this lecture focus rather on the underlying issue which receives far too little public discussion: What is wrong with homosexual conduct?’
- ‘Law, Morality, and Sexual Orientation’ (1994) 9 Notre Dame Journal, Ethics and Public Policy, p.17. Available at: <https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1415&context=ndjlepp>.
- The first sentence also appears in ‘Law, Morality, and Sexual Orientation’ in Human Rights and Common Good (2011, above), p.336. Available for account holders at: <http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580071.001.0001/acprof-9780199580071-chapter-22#ref_acprof-9780199580071-note-813>.
‘The standard modern position differs from the position which it replaced, which made adult consensual sodomy and like acts crimes per se. States which adhere to the standard modern position make it clear by laws and policies such as I have referred to that the state has by no means renounced its legitimate concern with public morality and the education of children and young people towards truly worthwhile and against alluring but bad forms of conduct and life. Nor have such states renounced the judgment that a life involving homosexual conduct is bad even for anyone unfortunate enough to have innate or quasi-innate homosexual inclinations.’
- ‘Law, Morality, and Sexual Orientation’ (1994, above), p.14.
‘The post-Christian moral philosophy of Kant identified the wrongfulness of masturbation and homosexual (and bestial) conduct as consisting in the instrumentalization of one’s body, and thus (“since a person is an absolute unity”) the “wrong to humanity in our own person.” But Kant, though he emphasizes the equality of husband and wife (impossible in concubinage or more casual prostitution), did not integrate this insight with an understanding of marriage as a single two-part good involving, inseparably, friendship as well as procreation.’
- ‘Law, Morality, and Sexual Orientation’ (1994, above), p.30 (footnote 49).
- Also appears in ‘Law, Morality, and Sexual Orientation’ in Human Rights and Common Good (2011, above), p.342 (footnote 17).
‘The successes of the gay movement’s strategy are further signs of our culture’s—not least its educated elites’—faltering grasp of the human goods at stake and the conditions under which these goods can be actualized well.’
- ‘Marriage: A Basic and Exigent Good’ in Human Rights and Common Good (2011, above), p.327.
‘both the unchastity and the lack of complementarity involved in adoption by same-sex partners should count at least as a negative factor, if not a disqualification, in decisions about adoption … There are intensifying limitations … on the discussability of important question of fact, such as … the reversibility of sexual orientation or the relation if any between sexual orientation and child-abuse, or the bad side effects of large-scale immigration to countries such as Britain by people of some ethnicities or religions. These limitations constitutes a very perceptible and immediately restriction on liberty.’
- ‘Equality and Differences’ (2011) 56 American Journal of Jurisprudence, pp.38, 42.
‘European states in the early twenty-first century move ever more clearly out of the social and political conditions of the 1960s into a trajectory of demographic and cultural decay; circumscription of political, religious and educational speech and associated freedoms; pervasive untruthfulness about equality and diversity; population transfer and replacement by a kind of reverse colonization; and resultant internal fissiparation foreshadowing, it seems, ethnic and religious inter-communal miseries of hatred, bloodshed and political paralysis reminiscent of late twentieth century Yugoslavia’s or the Levant’s.’
- ‘H.L.A. Hart: A Twentieth-Century Oxford Political Philosopher’ (2009) 54 American Journal of Jurisprudence, p.180, available at: <https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1866&context=law_faculty_scholarship>.
‘a nation [the United Kingdom] whose liberty-minded citizens have largely given up procreating–or rather, bearing-children at a rate consistent with their community’s medium-term survival, and whose law, considered in its much-obscured implications, marks out for them a path towards, first the loss of national self-determination;” and then their own replacement, as a people, by other peoples, more or less regardless of the incomers’ compatibility of psychology, culture, religion or political ideas and ambitions, or the worth or viciousness of those ideas and ambitions’
- ‘H.L.A. Hart’ (2009, above), p.184.