Cantor’s Incoherent Argument Against Marriage Equality


The annual Values Voters Summit took place late last week and, as always, it was a cavalcade of crazy and stupid. Republican politicians flocked to it to rub elbows with some of the worst bigots in the country. Rep. Eric Cantor made this completely incoherent argument against marriage equality:

We all know, as do most Americans in their hearts know, that the way for us to allow the pursuit of happiness is through individual effort. It is not through government program. And that is why we believe in traditional marriage, because marriage, more than any government program ever has or ever will, has lifted up people out of poverty, even those who felt there was no hope. Marriage has proven to be that formula which has been more successful at allowing for that pursuit of happiness. And that is why we stand tall and stand proud for traditional marriage.

So why doesn’t this apply to gay couples and their children? Yes, having two parents does help children avoid poverty and be more financially stable. With around a million children being raised by gay parents, why do the Republicans want to lock them out from such benefits? Oh yeah. Because their parents are gay and being gay is bad. And what the hell is that line about the pursuit of happiness doing in their? You can’t pursue happiness if you’re not married? WTF?

Comments

  1. John Hinkle says

    We all know, as do most Americans in their hearts know, that the way for us to allow the pursuit of happiness is through individual effort. It is not through government program.

    Shit, there’s a Pursuit of Happiness government program? Why am I always the last to know about these fabulous programs?

  2. eric says

    Its just flag waving as a defense.

    Q: “What is your argument against gay marriage.”
    A: “Apple pie! George Washington! ‘Oh beautiful, for spacious skies…”

  3. says

    He could have just saved a bunch of time and energy, by changing his speech to “Fuck teh gays. Has questions? No, Good. I’m the fuck outta here.”

  4. morgandourif says

    You know, I get that we shouldn’t expect gays to be single-issue voters, but it’s hard to understand why so many of them act as if bigotry isn’t at the very core of their party. The Republican leadership and a great amount of Republican politicians across this nation not only oppose issues like the legalization of same-sex marriage and the pursuit of gay rights generally, they further the most dehumanizing, baseless attacks against gay people and their families; the very idea of gay identity troubles them. So long as the Religious Right continues to keep the party in its grip – and the national party platform unleashed at the RNC makes it abundantly clear just which group has significant control over party policy – this will not change, and gay Republicans will not see progress being made.

    The GOP has been the party of choice for most of this nation’s theocrats for some time now, where people like Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum feel very welcome. Perhaps, aside from their support of gay rights, gay Republicans are exactly like Bachmann and Santorum in all other ways. I do not know.

  5. steve oberski says

    Marcus Ranum says:

    And that is why we believe in traditional marriage

    Like Abraham’s?

    Or Mitt Romney’s grandfather ?

  6. says

    but it’s hard to understand why so many of them act as if bigotry isn’t at the very core of their party

    I am baffled that anyone who is a) female b) glbt would be a republican. Why support a party that hates you?

  7. Abby Normal says

    Cool. I support traditional marriage too, for those reason and many others. The benefits of marriage are numerous. I think heterosexual couples who wish to bind their futures together should continue to enjoy marriage as an option. My question for Rep. Cantor, what does any of that have to do with denying homosexual couples the same opportunity?

  8. morgandourif says

    Marcus:

    Most seem to say that it’s because they have other concerns aside from social policies, and think the Republicans are a better choice. Nothing stops, say, someone who is LGBT from being fiscally conservative or a staunch neoconservative.

  9. Reginald Selkirk says

    And that is why we believe in traditional marriage, because marriage, more than any government program ever has or ever will, has lifted up people out of poverty, even those who felt there was no hope.

    Somehow that didn’t work for my brother. His wife spent all his money and destroyed his credit rating.

  10. eric says

    Katherine @9:

    Along with this – why aren’t anti-gay marriage bigots against divorce?

    1. Some vocally are.
    2. Others silently are, because they know it won’t play well in the polls.
    3. Others support legal divorce because criminalizing divorce puts a limit on their behavior. Can’t have that.

  11. matty1 says

    There has been proven studies that show that children from broken families are worse off than those whose families stay together.

    I’m curious as to exactly what these studies compared. Was it children with divorced parents versus children with married parents as a whole group or did they attempt to control for the factors leading to divorce?

    Children with two parents happily married to each other is a different situation than children with parents who would hate each other but feel obligated to stay married and it would be a mistake to claim the benefits of one case apply to the other.

  12. Reginald Selkirk says

    You know, I get that we shouldn’t expect gays to be single-issue voters, but it’s hard to understand why so many of them act as if bigotry isn’t at the very core of their party…

    The GOP is not just wrong on social justice; they’re also wrong on foreign policy, economics, separation of church and state, respect for science, etc.

  13. says

    The New Testaments message of equality, civil rights and social justice has been corrupted. Lawrence Goudge’s new book,Cover-Up: How the Church Silenced Jesus’s True Heirs sheds light on how that may have happened. Goudge proposes that the Jewish followers of Jesus wanted social justice for the world. I have discovered a new book that shows how this social justice message was covered up by His Gentile followers. The church has blinkered its past. It’s no secret that Jesus strove to bring in the kingdom of justice here on earth and his followers implemented it in the communal society we read about in Acts 2:44-47. The church’s dirty secret is that the Jewish followers of Jesus continued to hold his vision dear, later influencing such sects as the Bogomils and even, according to their own oral traditions, the Doukhobors. After exterminating the Jewish followers of Jesus, the church’s historians buried this history of justice-seeking but an author by the name of Lawrence Goudge has exhumed their story and presented it in ‘Cover-Up: How the Church Silenced Jesus’s True Heirs.’ This book does the world a great service by illuminating for the first time this vital part of the history of social justice. I found it at http://tinyurl.com/69cazll.

  14. baal says

    @#10 Ibis3 – I assume you are being mostly rhetorical but the model I use for understanding Cantor (and Santorum etal) has been pretty much spot on. To pull my conclusion forward, we need to teach science – particularly the part about mechanisms (how things happen) – rigorously and over and over.

    Cantor & friends have drunk the cool aid and actually believe their statements (something no politician should ever do, rhetoric is not reality).
    1-Glorying God makes all right with the world (by magic).
    2-All material good you have is a gift from god (also by magic, don’t forget to be thankful).
    3-Heterosexual marriage ‘carries out His design’ (glory to god is the only moral goal)
    4-Any deviation is not (by definition) glorying God. And QED means all the good of the world will stop (more magic, it’s the obverse of step 2).

    This model can be repeated with step 3 being replaced with the demand for marriage to be hierarchical (glory to god for the husband to be Adam and for the wife to be a submissive Eve). Again, by glorying god, you make the world right and good.

    This model also suggests good ways to trip up their arguments and thinking.
    1. Emphasize how reality leads to certain outcomes. Using a baking recipe that tells you to weight the flour rather than scoop it – not he’s just a great baker.
    2. Ask for mechanisms – ok so I agree with the outcome, how did it come about?
    3. Emphasize impacts and consequences – to borrow from Stephen Colbert – condoms cock block God! Point out that condoms prevent transmission of disease. Aids rates and abortion rates are higher when condoms are not available.

  15. Sastra says

    vickychase #18 wrote:

    I have discovered a new book that shows how this social justice message was covered up by His Gentile followers… It’s no secret that Jesus strove to bring in the kingdom of justice here on earth and his followers implemented it in the communal society we read about in Acts 2:44-47.

    If it’s no secret then it was a pretty lousy cover-up.

    My understanding is that the Jesus character was expecting the End Times to come very soon — too soon to be interested in or concerned about setting up social justice for the entire world. Justice would come to all in the next.

    The Bible is a bit like a rorschach test: it’s easy for people to read their own agenda into it. Your advertizing template seems to be similar: with just a few words here and there, it apparently works for many of Ed’s posts.

  16. macallan says

    Gah, whenever I see that name I think of an uncountable number of points with no substance whatsoever. On second thought, that’s kind of appropriate.

  17. bksea says

    If you just replace the two instances of “traditional marriage” with “gay marriage,” this actually becomes a pretty profound statement in favor of marriage rights.

  18. d cwilson says

    Marriage has proven to be that formula which has been more successful at allowing for that pursuit of happiness.

    But, if we think your love is icky, we want to deny you that happiness, because we can’t be happy if icky people are happy.

  19. Chiroptera says

    …because marriage, more than any government program ever has or ever will, has lifted up people out of poverty….

    Well, that is the way I’ve always planned on lifting myself out of poverty: marrying someone rich!

  20. martinc says

    It’s interesting to watch the way right-wing politics is descending into the abyss in the USA and comparing it to here in Australia, because our conservative party (called, just to confuse everything, the Liberal Party) occasionally attempts to copy successful idiocies from the right-wing nutjob politicians over there. To highlight the difference though, when one Senator played the “homosexual marriage will lead to bestiality” card today, the leader of the party sacked him from his shadow ministry role.

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/bernardi-resigns-over-bestiality-remark-20120919-265t0.html

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