Monday, June 27, 2011

Same-Sex Marriage: the problem is that it's not "rubbish"

Commenter 'anonymous' took exception to my satire on New York's new Gay Marriage Law.

I had suggested that other kinds of 'unions'-- such as polygamy, made as much sense as same sex-unions, and that if restricting marriage to one-man one-woman was a denial of rights to gays, then restricting marriage to two people was a denial of rights to polygamists.  I mentioned onanists, necrophiliacs, and zoophilists as well.

Anonymous said...
This is absolute rubbish.
Is it?

If the traditional natural-law restriction of marriage to heterosexual couples is a denial of gay rights, then it is a denial of rights to all people whose sexual desires run to nontraditional. One could of course deny the right to marry an underage child-- to protect the child-- but do three wives and seven husbands need protection,  if it's consensual?  What's so special about two?  Sounds like non-two-phobia to me. 

What about spinsters? Why should marriage be restricted to multiples? Why can't a person marry himself? There are tangible benefits to marriage,  and goodness knows that there is abundant self-love out there, crying out for rights.

Why restrict marriage to living human beings?  Necrophilia is inherently consensual (unless it was in the will).  Not likely the betrothed will complain.

What about zoophilia? You aren't speciesist, are you? We could put some humane constraints on the marriage-- no more than a 100 pound difference between spouses,  no farm animals unless the farm-work was shared by the couple, etc. 

Rubbish, you say. So on what basis do you object to marriage without borders?

1)  It's crazy. People say that about gay marriage.

2)  It makes me sick. (see # 1)

3)  It's bad for the kids. (see # 1)

4) It's not natural to mate with lots of other people,  or with dead people, or with animals. (see # 1)

4) Egnor's an a**hole for bringing this up. Yep.

The problem with gay marriage is that it is not rubbish. It will have profound effects. It will not provide the blessings of marriage to gays in any significant number.  Gay marriage will simply end marriage. It will render marriage an accoutrement, like not wearing animal skins or dallying in mysticism. That's what it is becoming in many countries where it has been law (i.e. Sweden).  Ever wonder why proponents didn't promote examples of the effect that gay marriage has already had in other countries that have it?

So here's my challenge, anonymous: give me the reasons that polygamists and necrophiliacs and zoophiles can't marry? Why are they denied the rights to legal recognition of their love? Only as a supporter of gay marriage you can't use natural law arguments or tradition arguments or yuck arguments.  What do you have left?

This is not rubbish: gay marriage is not marriage. It is the beginning of the end of marriage.  It is a long step in the rendering of the foundational bond of our civilization indistinguishable from the bar scene in Star Wars. 

Perhaps that was the intention. 


  1. Apparently you missed the last time marriage was redefined. You know, when it became a union of equals and not about one man transferring property to another. Dead bodies and animals cannot sign legal contracts. I'd say please join us in the 21st century, but it appears you have to catch up to the 20th first. (Also, it appears you do not understand that the concept of "consent" is active, not passive)

    As for polygamy- you're going with natural law here? Really? Natural law is against polygamy? That would be news to the Biblical Patriarchs, as well as an awful lot of human societies throughout recorded history.

    First of all, polygamy has hardly any constituency in this country, and that's not going to change. Unless, of course, right wingers succeed in their quest to restore traditional sexual mores and women become property again, but that just doesn't look very likely. Aside from fundamentalist Mormon splinter groups (who often don't want their plural marriages legally recognized anyway since they support their children through welfare fraud) and possibly some first generation third world immigrants (and even if they want it their children won't) polygamy just isn't in demand. But let's say someone makes a court case out of it. Then the question becomes, is there an actual, Constitutional reason to oppose it? What's interesting to me here is that your answer seems to be no, since all you can cite is vague concepts of natural law and tradition which could easily serve the other side just as well. If anything, it seems to me that the modern understanding of marriage provides much better grounds for arguing against polygamy than your traditional one. If marriage is a union of equals, one man and multiple wives would create an unherently unequal situation. Also, taking the modern legal benefits and responsibilities attached to marriage into account, multiple partners of either sex would create a tangled legal mess.

    But even if your nightmare scenario comes true and polygamy is recognized and some tiny percentage of the population begins to practice it, it's not going to destroy marriage and society. Marriage has survived undergoing multiple changes throughout thousands of years of recorded history all over the world. It's a lot more resilient than you think.


    (It didn't seem to want to let me post as anything other than anonymous, so this is a different anonymous than the one you were addressing this to)

  2. As soon as you can demonstrate that a corpse or a duck can show the informed consent needed to enter into the contract of marriage, then you will have a good point.

  3. Egnor, your entire post is made up of straw men and slippery slope fallacies. Where's the credible evidence that when gay marriage becomes legal, civilization becomes "indistinguishable from the bar scene in Star Wars"? The Sweden article you reference spends paragraph after paragraph describing evolving cultural pressures on marriage that predate the arrival gay marriage, but doesn't isolate the impact that gay marriage itself has, except through a lot of unsubstantiated post hoc argument.

    I'm not the same anonymous who commented earlier, but I'll take on your question. Why are they (zoophiliacs, necrophiliacs and polygamists) denied the rights to legal recognition of their love?

    Like Donalbain said, corpses and animals cannot provide the informed consent they need to get married.

    Polygamists can and do enter into mature, consenting relationships. Since that's the criterion, and they've passed it, there should be a framework for legal polygamous marriage.

    That you think it's crazy, and it makes you sick, and you think it's bad for kids, and you think it's not normal doesn't really matter.

  4. You're correct in regard to polygamy. But there's nothing inherently wrong with polygamy (even the Bible agrees). So, yes, if one is to be consistent and one accepts gay marriage, then one must accept polygamy.

    The rest of your examples are not at all analogous since humans are not involved.

  5. There's nothing wrong with it and it exists for the same reason opposite sex marriage exists.Two people fall in love and want to commit their lives to one another forever in a legally recognized union that provides certain rights and benefits.

  6. @anon:

    Why two? Why people? Why living people? Why not relatives?

    What are the boundries, and what is your justification for those boundries?

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  11. I was just asking that same question to myself today. I really can't find a reason why consensual incest, necrophilia, or polygamy is frowned upon while gay marriage is to be embraced. If my girlfriend willed that I embalm and marry her corpse when she died, is that not consensual and loving? What if two consensual adult cousins wished to be married? Or a bisexual man with both a husband and a wife? (I'm sure there's plenty of gay men married to a woman but sleeping with a man)

    I can't justify bestiality though... at least not yet.

    Good post sir.

  12. To me, being a thirteen year old girl, you are all obnoxious. Two people, whether man and man, woman and woman, and heterosexual people, are equal. If they love each other and want to be with that person legally, then let them. No, polygamy is not the same. Its not equil. Plus, like most of you say, dead bodies can't sign legal documents. No, ducks can't, either. (That actually made me laugh that someone could even consider that. I mean, your arguement against gays is that they can't reproduse. How would THAT work, what with human and duck. At least gays can have love. Do ducks even know what marriage is?) anyway, as i was saying, being gay is perfectly fine and my girlfriend that has been with me for a whole year now, would most definately agree. We are not together because we are possessed by demons, or young and tought that it was correct, but for the sake of finding love. Ok? There. Kids aren't confused by any of this. You people say its bad for the kids and the kids get confused and what not. Well, youre wrong and I'm perfectly happy being who I am and who i was born to be.

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