Creative Destruction

July 20, 2006

Opposing Equal Rights To Send A Message To The Middle East

Filed under: International Politics,LGBT Issues — Ampersand @ 3:18 pm

A new addition to the list of the stupidest arguments against marriage equality. From the New York Times article on the House of Reps debate over same-sex marriage:

Another Georgia Republican, Representative Phil Gingrey, said support for traditional marriage “is perhaps the best message we can give to the Middle East and all the trouble they’re having over there right now.”

I’m trying to imagine what would have to be going through someone’s mind to make “we should ban same-sex marriage to send a message to the Middle East” seem like an even remotely rational argument.

Was he thinking that if there’s anything wrong with the middle east, it’s that the culture there is too accommodating of homosexuals, and so we must set a good example by not accommodating our local queers? Was he thinking that the reason people kidnap Israeli soldiers is because lesbians and gays in Massachusetts are getting married, and so we should therefore attempt to placate them by assuring them we hate gays, too? Was he too high on crack to be thinking anything at all? It’s a mystery.

UPDATE: By the way, this is far from being the most repulsive, bigoted, anti-queer statement to come out of an elected Republican this week.

8 Comments »

  1. But Amp, how can you be so cruel? So cold hearted? Don’t you realize that it’s for the children in the Middle East?

    Comment by Brutus — July 20, 2006 @ 4:55 pm | Reply

  2. The reasons he gave for opposing gay marriage were silly, but I don’t think that being against gay marriage is bigoted or repulsive.

    People oppose gay marriage for the same reason that you oppose calling ifeminists feminists. Because marriage is about the complementarity of the two genders, and allowing people of the same gender to gt married weakens that. That’s why it weakens marriage, because it is a process of expanding the defninition outward until it becomes meaningless.

    Once you denounce the “bigoted” statements that ifeminists are not true feminists, I will take your charges of bigotry more seriously.

    Comment by Glaivester — July 20, 2006 @ 7:16 pm | Reply

  3. Now remember what the ties that bind Qaeda and similar atheocultural revolutionaries to one another are (cue Gael Garcia Bernal). Also imagine how likely male homosexuality is in a society where the men who can marry commonly have up to four wives at once. Now imagine, lastly, the effect that the Sullivans of the world have on democratic ethics, private nonviolence and respect for the houses of worship that pray for human rights. Marriage ten years ago involved an XX and XY and marriage in ten years will still require the love of two people designed precisely for one another.

    Comment by sock puppet — July 21, 2006 @ 12:24 am | Reply

  4. Glaivester wrote:

    The reasons he gave for opposing gay marriage were silly, but I don’t think that being against gay marriage is bigoted or repulsive.

    Saying “I don’t want to entice any of those people into our state. Those are the wrong kind of people” isn’t just silly. It’s bigotry. Do you honestly not see that?

    People oppose gay marriage for the same reason that you oppose calling ifeminists feminists. Because marriage is about the complementarity of the two genders, and allowing people of the same gender to gt married weakens that.

    Actually, only 16% of people who oppose same-sex marriage, say they oppose it for more-or-less that reason.

    Far more people say they oppose SSM for reasons of bigotry – either because their religion tells them homosexuals are sinful, or because they don’t like queers or think it’s “just wrong” – than say they oppose it for the reasons you describe here.

    So it’s misleading to state that “people” oppose gay marriage for the reason you state. It would be more accurate to say that a small minority of people oppose it, for the reason you state.

    As for your analogy, you seem to have forgotten that there are no legal privileges, responsibilities or benefits that come with being a feminist; nor am I calling on the government to refuse benefits or recognition to ifeminists. When I say ifeminists are not feminists, I am not advocating that ifeminists should have fewer legal rights and privileges than I myself have.

    In contrast, you want special legal privileges and recognition for yourself that you’d deny to same-sex couples. I’m not against legal equality for ifeminists; but you strongly oppose legal equality for same-sex couples. That’s an essential difference between the two cases.

    That’s why it weakens marriage, because it is a process of expanding the defninition outward until it becomes meaningless.

    Marriage was not made meaningless by any of the many changes that have happened in the past.

    For example, allowing widowers to marry the sisters of their late wives didn’t make marriage meaningless – although at one time that was a HUGE controversy, and people like you argued, with similar nonsensical logic to the anti-SSM case today, that allowing such marriages would make the sky fall.

    The elimination of coverture laws was a much bigger change to marriage than allowing same-sex couples to marry would be – and despite cries of doom, marriage did not become meaningless. Allowing blacks to marry whites pissed bigots off, but it did not make marriage meaningless. And so forth.

    Marriage has always been changing, and the doomsayers and chicken littles have always turned out to be wrong. Look at Massachusetts today – marriage has not become meaningless because some same-sex couples have recognized marriages there.

    Once you denounce the “bigoted” statements that ifeminists are not true feminists, I will take your charges of bigotry more seriously.

    As I recall, you take white supremacists seriously. I consider it a honor to be excluded from such company.

    Comment by Ampersand — July 21, 2006 @ 12:46 am | Reply

  5. Slam-dunk, Amp. Couldn’t have said it better or more succinctly.

    Comment by Kim (Basement Variety!) — July 21, 2006 @ 1:56 am | Reply

  6. That’s why it weakens marriage, because it is a process of expanding the definition outward until it becomes meaningless.

    What he said. http://fanaticalapathy.com/2004/03/28/a-concise-history-of-my-marriage-2003-2004/ (as heard on This American Life on 3/26/04, episode 261, Act II).

    Comment by nobody.really — July 21, 2006 @ 12:45 pm | Reply

  7. That’s ridiculous. Marriage is between two individuals and is what they make of it, not what society makes of it for them. Giving them the benefits that help facilitate a stronger bond that ensures a society that is taking care of each other (as is ultimately the end goal of It tells mmarriage) is only strengthened by supporting loving long term commitments between consenting adults. It’s absolutely ridiculous that people would feel their own marriage is somehow denegraded or meaningless based on who else can get married. All it says to me is that those who feel that way clearly have crappy marriages or ideas of marriage to begin with.

    Comment by Kim (Basement Variety!) — July 21, 2006 @ 11:58 pm | Reply

  8. That’s parody, isn’t it? It must be.

    Please someone tell me it’s parody.

    Comment by Daran — July 22, 2006 @ 7:38 pm | Reply


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