Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 at 18:21 ET
I’ve actually been mulling this question over and over in my head for months now. This evening I found an article on Digg (O’Reilly’s Ark: Gay marriage leads to goat, dolphin marriage) that I think helped me see a little more clearly. This frustrates me because we have experts discussing these matters in the media, and the public forming and shaping their opinions based on these discussions, and the arguments are so weak and illogical. I’m freely admitting I think it’s a hard question to answer, I would just assume (or hope? perhaps naively) that the talking heads, who are getting paid all that money, know what they’re talking about.
OK, so here’s where the argument starts to fall apart:
OK, but then you have to explain why two and not three.
They’re talking about being on a slippery slope, and this question about why two and not three. This is when it crystallized in my head, and my answer to the question is another question: when exactly do these talking heads think we took the first step onto this slope anyway?
We sometimes, but not always, allow two today. We used to allow more than two and now we don’t. We allow more combinations of two today than we did 50ish years ago, and now we want to add the rest of the combinations. Someone else can do the research for me, but I remember reading that these arguments are not new – that people said something like, “if you allow blacks and whites to marry then you’ll have to let the polygamists marry too.” That didn’t work out so well for the polygamists.
Before I wrap this up, a quick aside. It’s hysterical to me that O’Reilly mentioned Big Love. I remember that the show’s creators are actually gay and have been romantically involved. You might call it ironic that O’Rielly picks this show as an example when I think that’s exactly what the producers had in mind. I don’t think their point is that polygamy should be generally acceptable in society, but the love that fictional family shares, and the difficulties they go through, is compelling.
How does changing the definition from “between one man and one woman” to “between two people” fundamentally change the definition of marriage anyway? More importantly, how does it change what part of the slope we’re already on?
Filed under: Political