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Heritage Offers Same Tired Anti-Equality Argument

Ryan Anderson, a Heritage Foundation fellow, offers up the same tired old argument against marriage equality that has never made a lick of sense. Marriage is a wonderful thing and is good for children, this argument goes, and therefore we must deny it to gay couples.

Marriage is society’s best way of ensuring the well-being of children. State recognition of marriage protects children, we saw yesterday, by encouraging men and women to commit permanently and exclusively to each other and take responsibility for their children.

True! So why does this magically not apply to the children of gay couples, which number in the many hundreds of thousands in this country? Anderson and his fellow bigots cannot recognize that married gay parents help children in the same ways that married straight parents do, for one simple reason: They don’t think that gay parents, or gay people, should exist at all.

But how can the law teach that fathers are essential if it redefines marriage to make fathers optional? Redefining marriage diminishes the social pressures for husbands to remain with their wives and children, and for men and women to marry before having children.

Seriously? What does he think is going to happen here, that gay men are going to marry women temporarily and then leave them and any resulting children to jet off to Massachusetts to get gay married instead? You know when that sort of thing happens? When we don’t allow gay people to get married. Gay men are much more likely to enter into a sham marriage with a woman, intentionally or unintentionally, when society treats being gay as a shameful thing. Anderson is trying to take us back to the conditions that create the very problem he claims to care about.

Redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships makes marriage primarily about emotional union, more about adults’ desires than children’s needs.

That bridge was crossed a long, long time ago — by straight couples, not gay ones. And again, what about the children of gay people? Why do the bigots never address them in making such arguments? I’ve known many gay couples who got married precisely because they wanted to provide a permanent, stable home for their children — you know, just like straight people often do. But Anderson thinks we should prevent them from doing the very thing he claims is so important.

These arguments are incoherent and inconsistent because they are post hoc rationalizations, weak pretextual attempts to place a more respectable veneer over the top of their real reason for rejecting equality, which is “gay people are icky.”

Comments

  1. Mr Ed says

    He has a low opinion of marriage, that it is only good for raising children. If there are other benefits to marriage then he would have to expand his argument to include those too. If he really believed what he what he was saying he would move to force fathers to marry their children’s mothers. Putting your name on a birth certificate is a de facto marriage.

  2. CaitieCat says

    I think they don’t address the children because they hate to think of poor innocent children being raised by such monsters as gay people, and because they would, if given the chance, take away all those children.

    Which seems fair to this queer person, because I hate to think of poor innocent children being raised by such monsters as fundamentalist religionists, and given a chance, i would take away all those children.

  3. muzakbox says

    ” Redefining marriage diminishes the social pressures for husbands to remain with their wives and children”

    They have a really awful view of men too. Apparently the only way to get them to spend time with their families is to force them. Otherwise why would they stay with those awful women folk and whining brats?

  4. hunter says

    “Redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships makes marriage primarily about emotional union, more about adults’ desires than children’s needs.”

    Marriage has never been about children’s needs. This is ultimately a circular argument, starting with an artificial definition of marriage based in Catholic teaching that marriage is about producing children. Nope. Marriage has been about establishing paternity, providing for orderly inheritance of property, and for family alliances, not about children — and that’s just “traditional,” “Biblical” marriage. It’s merely an attempt to appeal to the reptile brain by invoking the magical incantation: “Save the children!” And these days, marriage is primarily about adults’ desires.

    As for the emotional desires part — read “happiness” — I’d love for Anderson or anyone else in his camp to explain to me how two adults who are unhappy are ideally suited to raise well-adjusted children.

  5. dingojack says

    Because actually addressing the needs of children (as they continually claim to do without actually doing so) means having to treat the parents as adults and as human beings.
    It’s so much harder to de-humanise and disenfranchise someone after acknowledging them as being a real parent responsible for a real child (or real children,even).
    Dingo
    ——-
    PS: Who says the parents being married is better for children? The studies I’ve read say that it’s optimal to have two people who are actively parenting, nothing about the couple’s marital status.

  6. John Pieret says

    Redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships makes marriage primarily about emotional union, more about adults’ desires than children’s needs.

    Because, of course, loveless and/or antagonistic “marriages” are better for children than loving ones. One of the adult “desires” is to have someone you love to help care for any children. The notion that the two don’t go together is the real “perversion.”

  7. raven says

    But how can the law teach that fathers are essential if it redefines marriage to make fathers optional?

    Ryan Anderson is slaughtering strawpeople right and left.

    The law doesn’t teach any such thing as that fathers are essential. It leaves what is a family up to individuals to decide. As it should in a free country.

    1. 40% of all children born in the USA are born to single mothers.

    2. The divorce rate is 50%. It’s higher among the fundie xians.

    This was all decided decades ago by heterosexuals.

    Redefining marriage diminishes the social pressures for husbands to remain with their wives and children, and for men and women to marry before having children.

    This is simply an assertion without proof and cuckoo as well.

    He is claiming that men only get married and stay with their wives and children because of “social pressure”. Nothing about economics, emotional ties, or sense of responsibility. I suppose in Ryan Anderson’s bleak world, men falling in love with someone and having children because they want to, never happens.

    That social pressure according to the statistics, doesn’t do much.

    And how is letting gay people get married diminish this hypothetical and probably imaginary social pressure.

  8. says

    Marriage is great. Too great to let The Gays have a slice of it.
    And long term relationships, with their “girlfriend” and “children” are awful. So awful that we have to promote marriage to heterosexual couples simply to keep the man from walking away.
    But, again, marriage is great.

  9. says

    But how can the law teach that fathers are essential if it redefines marriage to make fathers optional?

    Right — so if a man and a woman are married and have kids, and the man dies, the woman has to go out and marry another man, because if she chooses otherwise, that’s “making fathers optional.”

    I notice these morons don’t say anything about making mothers optional.

    Marriage has been about establishing paternity, providing for orderly inheritance of property, and for family alliances, not about children…

    Actually, these two considerations are not mutually exclusive or contradictory: family alliances and orderly inheritance are beneficial to children.

    Redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships makes marriage primarily about emotional union, more about adults’ desires than children’s needs.

    These two things are not mutually exclusive or contradictory either: when adults have unions that are emotionally fulfilling, that’s good for the kids they’re raising.

  10. says

    raven “And how is letting gay people get married diminish this hypothetical and probably imaginary social pressure.”
    Because allowing groups I don’t like access to the privileges I have turns those privileges in to rights instead. And that, I’m sure you’ll agree, takes the luster off of them.
    From there, it’s just a simply slippery slope from lifelong, committed marriage to me running around, free, putting my dick in things.
    You know, like now, but with a new excuse.

  11. John Pieret says

    Modus @ 10:

    From there, it’s just a simply slippery slope from lifelong, committed marriage to me running around, free, putting my dick in things.

    Wait a minute …. isn’t that the objection the wingnuts had about gays in the first place? Shouldn’t they be in favor of gay marriage then? … Oh, sorry, I forgot. We’re talking about wingnut aren’t we?

  12. eric says

    Redefining marriage diminishes the social pressures for husbands to remain with their wives and children, and for men and women to marry before having children.

    People have already fisked the first part of this sentence, but get a load of the second part – its worse! Its a complete nonsequitur. Makes no sense whatsoever. Its saying that letting gays marry will cause straight people to have more unprotected sex before marriage. Um, what?????

  13. sigurd jorsalfar says

    @12 The impression I was getting from the first part of the sentence you quote up to the comma, is that he’s saying that there are lots and lots of men out there who are secretly gay and would leave their wives and children in a heart beat if they were allowed to marry another man. That’s the only interpretation of the clause that makes any logical sense to me, although it must assume the dubious premise that gay men married to women exist in large numbers even today.

    But he could just be asserting that somehow, magically, gay marriage will cause totally straight men to abandon their families. That is a total non sequitur but does seem to be what so many fundies are asserting when they say that gay marriage is an attack on their marriages.

    The second clause, about diminishing social pressures ‘for men and women to marry before having children’ is indeed a thorough non sequitur. I can’t see what he’s getting at there at all.

    The whole screed basically amounts to ‘gay marriage is bad, mmm’kay?’

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