Does ones support of legalized abortion or same sex marriage imply that this reflects the person's personal morality or can the personal sphere and public sphere be separated? For example a religious Catholic person feels conception is the beginning of the life of the child as a moral principle,yet this person still does not feel the need to make abortion illegal That is they on on a legalistic level the person endorses the law which provides for legal Abortions (public sphere) yet their personal moral code sees it as wrong(personal sphere) or is that a conflict?
I am not clear on what you mean by "support" of a given law, but I can break it down into at least two cases:
- The first case is where I take supporting to mean doing so by contributing to its creation in the law-making process, in which case one is morally responsible for the ethical standing of the law.
- In the second case, if by supporting you mean doing so by enforcing a law, then matters are a bit more complicated. It definitely does not necessarily imply that the person who inforces a law "believes" the law at all. The predominant school of thought in legal scholarship today is Legal Positivism which holds that there is an important distinction between morality and law. In particular, the rule of law does not imply the rule of good law. In this view it is considered a virtue of the rule of law to uphold it regardless of its moral standing. Judges who interpret morally bad laws or police who enforce these laws are not morally responsible for upholding them insofar as they are fulfilling their legal duties. It is useful to contrast this school of thought with the classical Natural Law view which holds that law is a universal that is grounded in nature. The interpretation of what this means varies greatly but it can be taken to mean that some "natural" precept can be used as a standard to measure the validity of law. If this standard is taken to be a moral standard then "bad" laws are also invalid laws and one has no duty to enforce "bad" laws.