Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I have been spending way too much time reading anti-gay rhetoric lately. It feels as if opponents of the CA marriage decision are having a contest to see who can write the most ridiculous argument against gay marriage. You gets points for lack of originality, confusing your religion with the government, somehow getting your insanity published in a (heretofore, anyway) legitimate publication, and just plain incorrect facts. Here are some recent entries in the ongoing contest.

Contestant #1: Melanie Scarborough with "Gay marriage not physically possible"
Summary of Argument: marriages between members of the same sex are not possible because the law requires an act of heterosexual intercourse before a marriage will be considered legal.
Lack of Originality - 7 points: well, the argument is a little bit different from the usual "gays will destroy marriage" hysterics, but Peter LaBarabera beat Melanie to it. Not to mention, I've heard a variation on this argument from at least one drunk straight guy at pretty much every party I've ever attended that included them (but...but...how do you, y'know, do it?)
Confusing Religion/Government - 3 points: The article loses points for failing to mention God, Jesus or the Bible, but Melanie has clearly confused Catholic Doctrine on marriage with "the legal standard applied to opposite-sex couples"
Heretofore Legitimate Publication - 8 points: Louisville Examiner. Pretty Good.
Incorrect Facts - 10 points: Melanie scores major points here for using just plain incorrect facts as the entire basis for her argument. Neither state nor federal marriage law requires an act of heterosexual intercourse before a marriage is considered valid. The validation of Civil marriages has to do with the signing and witnessing of a marriage license.
Total: 28/40 points

Contestant #2: Janet Folger with "How same-sex marriage points to the end of the world"
Summary of Argument: Biblical prophecy indicates that the time before the apocalypse with be like "the day of Noah". Some Torah scholars believe that the reason why God (allegedly) wiped out the world was because of gay marriage. Now we have gay marriage in California. Ergo, God is going to destroy the world (apparently, God only cares about whether California has gay marriage.)
Lack of Originality - 7 points: We've been hearing that gay marriage is going to destroy America since the 90s. Janet just takes it one step further here, suggesting that gay marriage is going to destroy the world/bring about the apocalypse.
Confusing Religion/Government - 0 points: Janet mentions her religion a bunch, but her argument doesn't hinge on the idea that the government does or should act to preserve her religion's laws. In fact, she seems to see the apocalypse with its attendant return of Jesus as a bad thing (because she "care[s] about civilization"), whereas if she were doing the religion/government thing properly, she would see it as good thing.
Heretofore Legitimate Publication - 1 point: World Net Daily gets one point for being a publication, but no points for being or having been legitimate at any point in time.
Incorrect Facts - 5 points: This article is mostly based on opinion/interpretation of biblical prophecy, so loses points for missing out on choice incorrect facts. However, a paragraph asserting that every prophecy in the Bible has come true makes up for this oversight. The assertion is dubious at best, since most of the evidence for the fulfillment of biblical prophecy is obtained from the Bible itself (the Bible said this...and then it said this...therefore it was correctly predicting this). For example, Jesus tells his disciples that he is going to die and then rise from the dead (Matthew 20:17-19). Later, according the text, he does. The problem is that all of this was written after both events (the statement about death/resurrection and the death/resurrection) supposedly took place. Plus, there is no external evidence for either event. This is like referring to foreshadowing in a novel as a fulfilled prophecy. Not to mention, there are plenty of Bible prophecies which didn't come true at all.
Total 13/40 points

Contestant #3 Lewis and Lewis with "Come on Down to the Farm"
Summary of Argument: Roosters don't form same-sex partnerships, reproduction in farm animals requires two sexes, and Mr. Lewis thinks "it just ain't normal"...therefore gay marriage is bad.
Lack of Originality - 9 points: We've all heard these arguments before. Hell, "the plumbing is all wrong" is actually part of the lyrics. The Lewises miss out on a perfect score here for making their tired arguments into an (admittedly catchy) song.
Confusing Religion/Government - 7 points: Part of the song's refrain is "when God said love your brother, I don't think he meant like that" and a verse talks about needing to "get back to the Bible". Although the song does not directly state a connection between religion and government, religious doctrine is a major pat of the song's argument against civil marriage equality.
Heretofore Legitimate Publication - 0 points: So far, this has appeared only on youtube.
Incorrect Facts - 8 points: This song is based on the incorrect fact that homosexuality does not occur in animals. Although (due primarily to their lack of arms) you are indeed unlikely to see "two roosters walking arm in arm," gay sex in some form has been observed in thousands of animals, including virtually all domestic species. No farm animals form long term sexual partnerships with animals of the same or opposite sex. The song is also incorrect in asserting that reproduction in farm animals requires a member of each sex. While most conception on modern farms involves artificial insemination, cloning (especially of cows) is also practiced. While two cows may not be able to make a bull, two cows can indeed make a cow with the help of science. The song is additionally incorrect in asserting that this is at all relevant to civil marriage equality. The song is correct that sex education in this country is flawed, but absolutely incorrect in attributing that fact to gay people instead of the social conservative movement that the Lewises are themselves allied with, which has been pushing medically inaccurate "abstinence only education".
total 24/40 points

As an honorable mention, since it was published before the CA marriage decision and so, as a matter of procedure cannot be a part of the contest, I wanted to showcase this article from the Family Research Council's website. (They also have a video up of their panel discussion on gay marriage, which I'm sure is pretty rich, but which my computer is apparently unable to play).

This is Dr. J. Budziszewski with "Advancing a Heterosexual Public Ethic With Grace, Wit, and Natural Law." It hits the lack of originality, confusing religion with government and incorrect facts buttons the way Katrina hit New Orleans. Particularly impressive is a list of the author's proposed responses to theoretical gay/sane person "attacking" his arguments (obviously written for straight readers who have never met a gay person, since any gay person could easily refute every one of his statements). A selection:

Attack 1: You're intolerant--you reject me just because I'm different from you.
Reply: Let's be honest with each other. We both know you're the one who rejects what is different from yourself. You reject the challenge of the other sex.

Attack 2: I have a committed gay relationship.
Reply: The committed gay relationship is a myth. Research shows that homosexuals with partners don't stop cruising, they just cruise less.

Attack 3: You're demeaning my dignity.
Reply: I respect your dignity as a human being, but when you practice acts you'd be ashamed for heterosexuals to know about, you demean your own dignity.

Attack 4: There's nothing wrong with gay love.
Reply: Tell me what's loving about sex acts that cause bleeding, choking, disease, and pain. You might start by explaining the meaning of the medical term Gay Bowel Syndrome, or how people get herpes lesions on their tonsils.

Bad...Information...Overload. Self destruct in 5...4...3...2...1...

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