Sunday, September 25, 2011

DADT down, DOMA and its ilk to go ...

Apropos of Def Shepherd's post on the subject and a brief exchange spurred by the following tweet ...


My home state of NC is home to the most kind, generous folks. So why are our marriage laws proving the opposite?http://t.co/e76CukK8Mon Sep 19 16:52:28 via Echofon

There is, I believe, a single right answer and a host of wrong answers to the question, “Should gays be allowed to marry?” The right answer is, “Yes.” The wrong answers are … well, anything else. I think it's important we talk about this (by "we" here, I mean straight folks) and not mince words about what it means to support "traditional marriage" by opposing the extension of those same associated rights and privileges to gays.

Not everything is binary. I admit to the existence of shades of gray in many areas of debate, room for reasonable people to disagree. Even here I see a gap -- as some "traditional marriage" defenders have pointed out (though it’s often amid a torrent of other ludicrous bullshit) -- where the argument for gay marriage as an issue of fairness allows for what I think we all would consider legitimately undesirable forms of marriage. Those undesirable ones being marriages by force or intimidation, such as adult to child and non-consensual (arranged AND involuntary) marriage; polygamous marriage (as practiced typically by religious fundamentalists of certain sects, most notably FLDS here in the U.S.) and the culture of male domination it propagates; and, I suppose silly, but possible, stuff like people marrying their pets, livestock, or other animals; vegetables; inanimate objects; software applications, imaginary constructs; and who knows what else. I would argue the solution to this line of attack is we needn't recognize the legitimacy of any marriage where one party has not given -- due to age, societal position, or being non-human -- their full and informed consent. We can walk through how each of the examples of “undesirable” marriage above fail to meet these criteria in the comments, if necessary. I want to focus on the issue of consenting, adult, two-party, single-sex marriage here.

As uncomfortable as it may make some to admit (though it certainly does not make many uncomfortable at all), the question of marriage equality reduces to the question of whether heterosexuals are better people than homosexuals, and from that position of biological, moral, or spiritual superiority – whatever the grounds for the claim may be – they are justified in limiting the rights of their inferiors to protect society. You’ll hear heterosexuality referred to as “natural” and homosexuality as “unnatural” or “abherrant”. Or worse. You’ll find claims that homosexuals are bad partners, bad parents, more prone to crime, more likely to commit violence, a corrupting influence on society, etc. There is no evidence for any of the claims. There is ample evidence our LGBT brothers and sisters are exactly as prone to the scope and depth of human iniquity as everyone else. There is simply no valid reason to forbid gay couples from forming the sort of recognized relationship arrangements as straight couples. None. The appeals to tradition, to societal norms, to the Bible, to anything but the principle of equality under the law are all flawed and easily dismissed -- again, if somebody needs to walk through this tedious exercise, we can hash it out in the comments.

The only reason anyone clings to any of those defenses is some combination of ignorance, stupidity, cruelty, hypocrisy, arrogance, and ideological inflexibility. These are all moral failings. If you oppose gay marriage any more than you oppose “traditional marriage,” you are morally challenged. Wait ... I said wouldn’t mince words and the one I’m really after here isn't "challenged," it's “retarded.” Opposition to gay marriage is proof of moral retardation.

“Hold on,” you might say, “that’s a little harsh and unproductive.” Yeah. But, if the harshness wasn't warranted, I wouldn't be expressing it. Brian, the tweeter who lamented the laws enacted by the representatives of the people of North Carolina took me to task for slamming North Carolinians in a reply I made ...


MT @thebrianhuskey: NC is home 2 the most kind, generous folks. Y do R marriage laws prove the opposite? | If the ppl were, the law wldn't.Mon Sep 19 17:39:06 via UberSocial for BlackBerry

I wasn't intending to slam those North Carolinians who have been speaking out and protesting the recent actions of our General Assembly, my point was that those of us who believe in equality under the law and simple fairness should not be quiet about what the majority of our fellow citizens are trying to do by electing politicians who have made it quite clear that their agenda is to discriminate against gays (and anyone else who isn't a straight, white, Christian male, but that's another rant for another day). Elections, as they say, have consequences, and while the elected officials are the one carrying out the policies, the moral taint of those actions belongs no less to those who elected them. Republican voters may be kind to their friends and families, they may be charitable and do some good things, but there is not getting around the  fact that they directly empower hatred and bigotry by voting for Republicans. There are real world consequences to denying your fellow human beings equal access to health care, hospital visitation privileges, etc. Vote to deny gays equal protection under the law and you are not a "kind, generous" person. You just aren't. I'm sorry if that's hard to hear, but people need to hear it and understand that it's not just "the gays" that oppose intolerance and injustice. The rest of us are embarrassed by you.

This being a blog post, I suppose I should be linking to the numerous well-written, carefully argued posts, essays, articles, etc. that make the case more eloquently than I ever could. (I'm glad Eric did much of this in his post so I don't feel quite so slackerly not doing it myself. Check his for the links you think I should've provided here.) The thing is though, this is old news. These arguments have been had and, frankly, settled. I shouldn't need to link anything else because the message ought to have been received loud and clear by now. You can’t get your morals (any more than you can your history, your math, or your science) solely from an ancient religious text without coming out sounding incredibly stupid. Like this girl (and I hope against hope these are an act, a bit of performance art or something, and not an honest expression) …

 

 Or, more germanely, like sincere idiot Alan Keyes ...

 


1 comment:

  1. Well put my friend, and the little girl at the end is either very sincere or she deserves a whole box of Oscars.

    ReplyDelete

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