It is often said, when discussing certain social issues, that we cannot legislate morals. Do you know the right response to that question?
In a word, garbage. There is a better word, to be sure, but decorum will not allow its use here.
We can and we must legislate morals. Further, every decision ever made by every legislature, parliament, congress, diet, knesset, or whatever else you want to call it, was an action predicated on a moral decision. Making us drive on the right side of the street is based on the moral axiom that we require order. Forcing parents to send their kids to school, let alone feed and clothe them, is a moral choice that parents are obliged to do that for their progeny. Trying to force health care down our throats is a moral decision by the government. Every single thing a government might do is based on moral choices.
This includes things decided by the courts. Interestingly enough, the left and libertarians don't seem to mind this when it fits their social agendas. No one on their side of the aisle ever scoffed at Roe v Wade as a form of government mandated morality. Few if any of them in this day and age have expressed the slightest dismay at federal courts overturning state regulations on what constitutes marriage. In short, if they don't have a problem with it, it isn't legislating or affirming morals. It's justice; only bad old conservatives actually force anything on anyone you know.
We can and we must legislate morals. We do it all the time. The only real questions are which ones, and under what circumstances. But it's high time time to get off the table the idea that governments cannot legislate or, worse, as we see with marriage and even now mere patent issues, command morals. They do it every single day. That's why it is so very important that the moral judgments they make are right and necessary, and not arbitrary or capricious.