Monday, January 09, 2006

Distraction: 10 Reasons Gay Marriage is Wrong

Oddly, I stole this list from uber-dork cartoonist Scott Kurtz over at PvP, who got it from his wife, who no doubt stole it from someone else. Enjoy...

10 Reasons Gay Marriage is Wrong:

1. Being gay is not natural. And as you know Americans have always rejected unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

2. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because, as you know, a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4. Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed. The sanctity of Britany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6. Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

7. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

9. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

As you can no doubt tell, I'm 100% in favor of gay marriage. However, I think that the anti-gay forces of the world have at least two very potent arguments working for them.

One is polygamy. The United States outlawed polygamy in 1862. But legalizing gay marriage rests upon the same argument as legalizing polygamy - consenting adults have a right to enter into a contract together.

Furthermore, polygamy is quite common in many Muslim nations. What's to stop a Saudi or Senegalese man from immigrating with his 4 wives and suing under whatever law protects gay marriage to have his multiple marriages recognized? Now I'm not a fan of polygamy as its traditionally practiced. It tends to be very misogynistic, in contrast to gay marriage, which is perhaps the ultimate form of gender equality. But I think that if you did a national survey of Americans, 99% of them would be opposed to polygamy, and a great number who would otherwise be inclined support gay marriage would oppose it if they knew that legalizing gay marriage would lead to the legalization of polygamy.

The second is precedence - gay marriage is currently illegal under federal law, in 49 States, and in the District of Columbia. Precedents are sometimes wrong and/or immoral (see Plessy v. Ferguson). But they are still the basis of our legal system, and without a precedent, a lawyer has few grounds to rest an argument upon. Perhaps the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling coupled with some statutory changes in a few of the more liberal states will change that.

So, to reiterate, I'm 100% pro gay marriage. But I think we need to seriously engage the opponents of gay marriage on the merits of their arguments, and not just make fun of them for being associated with the Neolithic wing of the radical right (which is still enjoyable to do by itself anyway. Just not particularly useful).


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