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Mar 01 2013

Wingnut: Marriage Equality = Slavery

I’ve seen some truly loony arguments against marriage equality over the last few years, but the one offered by some guy named Robert Oscar Lopez at the badly misnamed American Thinker may take the cake. Same-sex marriage is wrong, he says, because it violates the 13th Amendment. That’s the one against slavery.

Is anyone interested in defending children’s rights to a father and a mother? Sadly, both left and right in the United States lag far behind the United Nations, even though our own Constitution has a firm basis in the Thirteenth Amendment to ban many of the parenting practices encouraged by same-sex marriage. The Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1959, Article 7, states that wherever possible, children must be raised by their father and mother — this is because of the long, ugly history of infants being bought and sold, going back to the slavery era and stretching into antiquity. The International Convention of the Rights of the Child of 1989, Article 7, reinforces this right.

The Thirteenth Amendment of the United States states that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude” is to be permitted in the U.S. or its territories. Stop and think what this means. Minus involuntary servitude, “slavery” amounts historically to the buying, selling, and ownership of human life, including insemination, surrogacy, and commercial adoption — all practices that made American slavery possible after Thomas Jefferson banned the Atlantic slave trade in 1807.

In no way is same-sex marriage an advancement. It is rather a backward slide into long-discredited and terrifying abuses of procreation, resulting in the dehumanization of children. Perhaps it might have been less alarming, had not gay parenting been so thoroughly intertwined — at the behest of the proponents of same-sex marriage, mind you — with the fight for full “marriage equality.” Because of the way the debate has played out in the United States, full marriage equality means that same-sex couples are entitled to children that they’ve acquired, inevitably, through financial exchange, and states have no way of prioritizing the natural pathway of human beings from conception into the custody of their fathers and mothers. The latter pathway is the only way to produce new generations without resurrecting the ills of earlier centuries, when slavery was globally rampant and infants were often pirated or sold as chattel.

Wow. So much crazy and stupid here. First of all, none of this really has anything to do with same-sex marriage. Gay and lesbian individuals and couples already adopt lots and lots of kids — kids that are abandoned by straight parents, by the way. Second, this talk about a child’s “right” to be raised by both biological parents is absurd. If he actually believed that, he would be calling for divorce to be illegal and for any women who gets pregnant to be forced to marry the father of the child.

And if he really believed all this slavery bullshit, he’d recognize that it applies equally to straight couples who adopt a child. Straight couples, and straight individuals, pay money to adoption agencies too. Why isn’t that slavery? Why doesn’t that dehumanize children? And maybe he should try having a conversation with someone who was adopted, whether by a straight or gay person, and tell them that they’re a slave because their parents spent money in the process of adopting them. He might be just a bit surprised by their reaction.

Same-sex marriage means that there will be separate domestic spaces reserved for all-female parenting arrangements, all-male parenting arrangements, and mixed-gender parenting arrangements.

Actually, there already are such spaces. There is no requirement that one be married to raise children, no matter what the sexual orientation of the parents. Hundreds of thousands of children are being raised by gay parents, some of them biological and some adopted, no matter what we do with gay marriage. Allowing their parents to get married provides more protection for those children. If Lopez actually gave a damn about them, he’d be all for this. But he doesn’t. This is just a pretext to rant about the evils of gay people.

By the way, this guy is a professor of English at Cal State University Northridge.

34 comments

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  1. 1
    doublereed

    A anti-gay-marriage argument that is basically just an argument against families?

    I’m shocked. Never seen that one before.

  2. 2
    Yellow Thursday

    …wherever possible, children must be raised by their father and mother…

    This isn’t an argument against marriage equality. It’s an argument against giving up children for adpotion. IOW, forcing women to raise the children they were forced to give birth to based on the right’s anti-choice policies.

  3. 3
    slc1

    By the way, this guy is a professor of English at Cal State University Northridge.

    Just goes to show that being a college professor and holder of a PhD degree from a reputable university is no guarantee of being intelligent.

  4. 4
    oranje

    Wait, that headline sounds like something out of the novel 1994!

  5. 5
    hunter

    Lopez was raised by a lesbian mother, and seems to have some real issues about it. Publishing trash like this is the least of his problems.

  6. 6
    tynk

    “slavery” amounts historically to the buying, selling, and ownership of human life, including insemination, surrogacy, and commercial adoption.

    Umm, it may be a bit of a nit knowing his intention of bigotry. But isn’t he saying here that all children are born as slaves and those child birth should never be allowed?

  7. 7
    xmaseveeve

    This guy is so offensive, to black people, as well as the gay. He seriously needs psychiatric help.

  8. 8
    John Pieret

    … states have no way of prioritizing the natural pathway of human beings from conception into the custody of their fathers and mothers. The latter pathway is the only way to produce new generations without resurrecting the ills of earlier centuries, when slavery was globally rampant and infants were often pirated or sold as chattel.

    This guy is an English professor? The above makes no sense. What is “prioritizing the natural pathway” supposed to mean? Are we supposed to outlaw in vitro fertilization techniques? Are we supposed to believe that gay marriage will prevent governments from banning the pirating of children and punishing those who do? If this guy has an argument, he is totally unable to state it in the English language.

    Anyone who has taken his courses should, based on this, demand a refund of their tuition.

  9. 9
    slc1

    Apparently, Prof. Lopez’ mother was a lesbian and he himself is a switch hitter. He blames his switch hitting on his mother.

  10. 10
    Shawn Smith

    Ed wrote,

    Straight couples, and straight individuals, pay money to adoption agencies too. Why isn’t that slavery? Why doesn’t that dehumanize children?

    Stupid bigot wrote,

    … “slavery” amounts historically to the buying, selling, and ownership of human life, including insemination, surrogacy, and commercial adoption …

    (emphasis added)

    It sounds like he thinks that commercial adoption is a subset of slavery.

  11. 11
    Nemo

    Minus involuntary servitude, “slavery”

    Face. Palm. This gives new meaning to the phrase “unclear on the concept”.

  12. 12
    raven

    Is anyone interested in defending children’s rights to a father and a mother?

    Four Myths About Single Mothers – Slate Magazine
    w ww.slate.com/… /myths_about_single_mothers_what_bloggers_and…

    Aug 3, 2012 – Frustrated mother. Forty-one percent of American children now born to unmarried mothers. Photograph by iStockphoto. The recent New York …

    In Realityland, 41% of US children are born to single mothers.

    The main threat to children’s rights to a father and mother are:

    White, heterosexuals!!! It helps a lot to be poor. Important enablers are the Tea Party/GOP which hates poor people and fundie xians who hate all groups but their own except when they hate themselves.

    Lopez is just stringing together buzz words without a thought as to what they mean or how meaningless they are. The big threat today is child poverty rates at around 20%. They are higher in fundieland, higher among fundies, and Texas is a leader.

    Children who grow up in poverty are likely to never escape poverty.

  13. 13
    Gretchen

    At least he specified that these children have a right to their mother and father. When people assert that every child has a right to a mother and father I start wondering of those of us who are happily childless will someday have them forced on us against our will.

  14. 14
    composer99

    This argument is completely smashed by two words.

    Non sequitur.

    Next.

  15. 15
    composer99

    To make sure I am being perfectly clear, ‘this’ argument is Robert Oscar Lopez’s argument.

  16. 16
    Synfandel

    …the parenting practices encouraged by same-sex marriage…

    What would those parenting practices be? Feeding? Clothing? Sheltering? Protecting? Nurturing? Loving? Disciplining? Educating? Applauding? Taking to hockey practice and music lessons?

    The only parenting practice I can think of that is probably found a bit more often in same-sex marriages than in opposite-sex marriages is the acceptance of diversity.

  17. 17
    Michael Heath

    Gretchen writes:

    At least he specified that these children have a right to their mother and father.

    Well even that’s wrong from Robert Oscar Lopez’s framework.

    Our inalienable rights are in regards to our own actions, those set of rights do not extend to forcing others’ actions. Instead we use the force of government to gets others to act via the legislative process. That process does in some cases create positive rights, but those type of rights are a different sort of right than what this wingnut is referencing.

    I also find it critical when both rights are in play that we distinguish the two since conflating them is confusing when it comes to determining whether government’s role is meeting the standards of legitimacy set forth in the Declaration of Independence.

    I highly doubt this Mr. Lopez can even explain the definition of a right and the various types.

  18. 18
    Dawn Smith

    Do these people not understand that during slavery, black people were prevented from legally marrying each other? Based on the slavery theory, gay people are the ones who are the slaves because they are the ones being prevented from being married just like black people were during slave times.

  19. 19
    matty1

    It’s not exactly a model of clarity but I think he believes if gay people can get married kidnapping becomes legal. There never seems to be an argument against same sex marriage, rather they argue against something else and declare it is an obvious consequence.

  20. 20
    Modusoperandi

    …the badly misnamed American Thinker…

    The “Thinker” should have irony quotes around it. [Full disclosure: In time past, I left three replies there. The first (massive, massive Poe) never appeared, the second (critique, delivered straight) never appeared, and upon posting the third (querying why comments don't appear) I found that I was banned. I assume it was for not thinking Americanly enough.*]
     
    raven “The big threat today is child poverty rates at around 20%.”
    Darn those tiny moochers! Get a job, I say! And furthermore, harrumph!
     
    * If I could comment there, I’d quote “For all the talk of being inclusive, same-sex marriage proponents are actually promoting the exclusion of one biological parent from the custody of their own children.” and say “Praise! I’ve never heard so clearly put an omnibus argument against divorce, adoption, artificial insemination and the like. Kudos to you, sir, although I wonder why you keep on mentioning gay people as though they’re germane to your argument.”

  21. 21
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    A while back there was a caller that got thrashed intellectually on the Atheist Experience. He was trying to defend the bible’s mandate for men rapists to marry their women victims. This, not incidentally, forces the victim to marry the rapist. The caller tried to make a huge distinction here, insisting that we only say that the rapist was being forced into the marriage.

    Shorter caller: it’s a compulsory marriage that’s going to take place by law, but only one party was forced into it b/c the bible only talks about the men – so it’s totes okay!!!

    But really, this went round and round for a while and he couldn’t justify it. Now I see the whole argument clearly: the caller needed Lopez to argue that if a child isn’t raised by both genetic parents, that child is a slave. In order to prevent slavery, it is necessary to force this marriage. Women don’t want to have the responsibility for making their children slaves do they?

    Of course not. Because slavery, as we all know, was historically only accomplishable against the direct, express wishes of God in His Bible, where he totally said, “Though shalt not enslave other Jews for more than, y’know, years…unless the slave gets married and you convince them that they’re better off as your slave than on their own. But non-Jews? The goyim? Enslave them all you want.”

    Oh, wait. Darn it. I’m still confused about the argument.

  22. 22
    W. Kevin Vicklund

    The Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1959, Article 7, states that wherever possible, children must be raised by their father and mother — this is because of the long, ugly history of infants being bought and sold, going back to the slavery era and stretching into antiquity.

    In case anyone was wondering what the Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1959 really says.

    Here’s a higlight (note that this is Article 6, not 7)

    Article 6 The child, for the full and harmonious development of his personality, needs love and understanding. He shall, wherever possible, grow up in the care and under the responsibility of his parents, and, in any case, in an atmosphere of affection and of moral and material security; a child of tender years shall not, save in exceptional circumstances, be separated from his mother. Society and the public authorities shall have the duty to extend particular care to children without a family and to those without adequate means of support. Payment of State and other assistance towards the maintenance of children of large families is desirable.

    Lopez would deny the bolded phrases. I also bet he would rail against any law based on the final sentence.

  23. 23
    Pieter B, FCD

    W Kevin Vicklund:

    I also bet he would rail against any law based on the final sentence

    Unless, perhaps, it affected only families of the Quiverfull persuasion.

  24. 24
    matty1

    @22 That’s a good link – I wonder what Lopez thinks of some of the other provisions like.

    4 The child shall enjoy the benefits of social security. He shall be entitled to grow and develop in health; to this end, special care and protection shall be provided both to him and to his mother, including adequate pre-natal and post-natal care. The child shall have the right to adequate nutrition, housing, recreation and medical services.

    Can you say socialised healthcare?

    Or even worse

    10 The child shall be protected from practices which may foster racial, religious and any other form of discrimination. He shall be brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, friendship among peoples, peace and universal brotherhood, and in full consciousness that his energy and talents should be devoted to the service of his fellow men.

  25. 25
    W. Kevin Vicklund

    Wingnut Rule no. 1: Never trust that a wingnut is accurate. All other Wingnut Rules derive from Rule no. 1.

  26. 26
    d.c.wilson

    Crip Dyke:

    So, this caller’s belief is that what? The woman’s consent to the marriage is already assumed? Or just irrelevant? Does he think a woman is just hoping to be swept off her feet one day by the rapist of her dreams?

    Wow.

  27. 27
    thisisaturingtest

    @#11, Nemo:

    Minus involuntary servitude, “slavery”

    Face. Palm. This gives new meaning to the phrase “unclear on the concept”.

    Oh, I think he’s perfectly clear on the concept; it’s why he’s so eager to discard the basic and definitional part of it that makes his “logic” nonsense.

  28. 28
    d.c.wilson

    “There never seems to be an argument against same sex marriage, rather they argue against something else and declare it is an obvious consequence.”

    That’s because of their obsession with labeling all manner of human behavior as “sin”. They don’t judge whether a certain behavior causes harm, only of their book tells them it’s a sin. Their fear is, once society becomes accepting of kind of sin, it’ll open the floodgates to all the othe sins.

    It’s foreign to us nonbelievers because we think in terms of whether or not something causes harm.

  29. 29
    twincats

    Anyone who has taken his courses should, based on this, demand a refund of their tuition.

    I attended that school from ’96-’99 and only took two English classes, neither from this nut, thank FSM. FWIW, it was an awesome school back then.

  30. 30
    Ichthyic

    hey, the guy wrote a book…

    The Colorful Conservative: American Conversations with the Ancients from Wheatley to Whitman

    now why am I all of a sudden recalling Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair.

  31. 31
    Ichthyic

    Just goes to show that being a college professor and holder of a PhD degree from a reputable university is no guarantee of being intelligent.

    not really.

    what it shows is that extreme dissonance causes psychological duress, and the result of that is more apparent in some than others.

    the guy needs some help. It has fuck all to do with whether he’s intelligent or not.

  32. 32
    iangould

    Wait, wait, wait.

    He’s arguing that an international treaty adopted by a resolution of the UN General Assembly – the Declaration of the Rights of the Child – should trump American law?

    I thought the American “Thinker” frowned on that sort of thing.

  33. 33
    iangould

    “So, this caller’s belief is that what? The woman’s consent to the marriage is already assumed? Or just irrelevant? Does he think a woman is just hoping to be swept off her feet one day by the rapist of her dreams?”

    The only way I can see this making any sense is if the woman gets a choice whether to marry or not.

    I do know though, that there used to be cases where parents would refuse to let their daughter marry and the daughter would try to get knocked up so they had no choice but to consent.

  34. 34
    jasonfailes

    His job would be a lot easier if he took that tenure track position at Wingnut University:

    Grammar: None. Check.
    Spelling: None. Check.
    Paragraph Breaks: None. Check.
    Logical Structure: None. Check.

    Engage CAPSLOCK and proceed.

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