Wednesday, June 29, 2011

O for Specious Lies

The ever risible Jeff Jacoby is worth a skim today. This reiteration of the anti-marriage equality stance is his clearest. Those who care for civil rights should check in to see how inane and illogical those talking points remain.

Keys include:
  • Expanding civil marriage to include homosexual couples would qualify as redefining marriage.
  • Marriage's purpose is for procreation.
  • Every child wants, deserves and will only thrive with a pair of heterosexual parents.
  • There's no comparison between anti-SSM laws and anti-miscegenation ones.
I've seen him do this live, as live as he gets anyway, at an anti-SSM panel downtown. There the entire panel devolved into the inevitable pseudo-logic of it's only common sense. Yet, my observation is that anyone who is falling back on that is really saying there's no logical support, you're just supposed to except assertions and grunt approval — the I-got-nothing argument.

Definition


The anti-gay gangs have had too long a run with redefining marriage as a catchphrase. As our mildly befuddled POTUS shows, it is all too easy to conflate any single church or sect's rituals with state controlled civil marriage.

Various religious groups and their clerics and pols are the ones who define marriage by their particular texts and creeds. Those widely diverge and have no legal or logical stance in public policy and civil law.

The facts included and shall continue to that if your church says marriage is between one man and one woman over 18, that's it...in that religious ritual. It's not important if your state says kids can marry at 15 or 16, or that homosexual couples can marry. No one has or can change your religious institution's practices and policies. There absolutely is no redefinition going on here.

Of course those with even the most rudimentary knowledge of various Christian bibles, the Koran or history snort at the phrase traditional marriage. That institution has traditionally meant polygamy, concubines, women as property, and unions for political and real estate purposes.

At what point would the Jacobys like to create and freeze (a.k.a. redefine) marriage to suit their purposes?.

Procreation


I am embarrassed for the anti-SSM/anti-gay crowd when they glibly assert that marriage is for, solely for making babies. How awful that is for the many millions of American couples who:
  • Are physically incapable of reproduction.
  • Use artificial insemination to compensate for one of them.
  • Expand their family through adoption or as foster parents.
  • Choose not to have children.
  • Are of an age when reproducing is long in the past.
Many socially conservative, religious sorts fit such categories. The anti-SSM position should preclude each and all of them from marrying. If not, there's no basis for this as any prohibition on gay marriage.

How tough that must be for adoptive parents who hear their preachers and politician rant on about marriage being for reproduction. Their opening their hearts, arms and homes to children who would otherwise bounce among foster parents or be institutionalized seems to be unworthy to some.

Likewise, those who need INF, surrogate moms and such are denigrated for what is both a physical and moral failing to some.

This must be like being in the pews of an anti-LGBT preacher's church, where the homily or sermon is often about the damnable life and pending perdition of people like you.

Mom and Dad


That two, straight parent configuration too is as quaint and unsupportable as claiming everyone should have a two-car garage. On the scientific side, research weighs heavily against the superiority of the 1950s ideal nuclear family.

It is very sad that physical, sexual and emotional abuse occurs all too frequently in the mom-and-dad home. Economically, having two parents tends to mean the children have more resources, but here's no evidence that the parents need be heterosexual for kids to flourish. In fact, the many dozens of studies suggest there is neutral to slightly positive outcomes for homosexual parents.

This mom-and-dad position also falls in the it's-only-common-sense pattern. Not only is that not so as proven by those who study families, each of us likely has common-sense experience otherwise. While there surely are bad gay parents — alcohol or other drug dependency, child beaters and so forth — I have never know any. Yet, the vignettes and horror stories of friends from childhood on are often of how dysfunctional their two-straight-parent families were.

The fantasized ideal here falls far, far short.

Civil Rights


Perhaps most insidious among the false positions on SSM is that this is not a civil rights issue, specifically that there is no comparison with former state and U.S. laws prohibiting interracial marriages. I call B.S. on that, as we all should.

Back when blacks and white, Chinese and whites and others were not allowed to wed, it was the damned same. The bigots used Old Testament passages (like Ham after the great flood) to justify slavery as well as miscegenation laws. They claimed mixed-race couples would produce genetically inferior offspring that would burden society. They said such unions had always been unacceptable and that their God has ordained it so.

Blah, blah, blah. It's the same prattle and speciousness.

Sorry, kiddies, the evidence continues to pile up overwhelmingly that homosexuality in an immutable trait. Slightly expanding our civil-marriage laws to permit men to marry men and women to marry women benefits many and hurts none.

Further, those who want to augment civil marriage with a ritual particular to their own religion see no change. From colonial days, this nation has differentiated between marriage and ritual. That remains and will continue.

Reading such a clear set of bankrupt postulates can only be good for the equality minded. It should inspire the equality-minded to be prepared when any of these arguments is in the air.

We should also not that this columnist has dropped the usual corollary and catchphrase of lifestyle. There are those in the anti-gay crowd who would still have it that homosexuality is a choice and whim, therefore unworthy of legal protection. As the evidence heaps on otherwise, they seem to be backing off this indefensible argument.

The anti-SSM stool sits on fewer and fewer legs all the time. Those that remain are the rhetorical equivalent of balsa. They don't stand up to logic or truth..

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