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Illogical jump

Date: 12/26/2012

Editor Mike Dobbs asks us to ponder why the issue of gay marriage no longer seems to be a big deal in hindsight. He argues that this growing acceptance of gay marriage is somehow proof that it was never a problem.

Sort of like our acceptance of the "f" word everywhere, of the "n" word as long as it's spoken by black rappers, of our young girls in hooker outfits, our young boys in gang attire, violent video games, abortion-on-demand, mainstreaming of pornography, etc. are also "proof" that there's nothing wrong with these issues either.

No, I'm not equating gay marriage with these issues, only showing that it's lousy logic to say that because we grow to "accept" something is proof that it is a good thing. All these issues have been jammed down the throat of Americans by a cultural media that glorifies excess, and a legal system that supports it. The gay marriage issue was not decided by Massachusetts citizens, nor by their elected representatives in congress, but by six unelected judges. You don't have to be against gays to understand that this decision was not made the way decisions are supposed to be made in a democratic republic.

The thoughtful defense of marriage is that before marriage became a civil issue, it was a religious issue. All religions treat marriage as blessing a union of two people in a committed relationship designed for the purpose of harnessing the sexual drive and to provide a long-term haven for raising children. While other relationships existed since the beginning of time, most religions limited their highest form of approval – marriage – to the union of a man and a woman for the purpose of nurturing families. Civil governments picked up on this issue and, wanting to grow their tribes or nations, gave marriage and procreation special benefits, from honor, to subsidies, to tax benefits. Note that in both cases, the underlying purpose was to support procreation.

More recently it has become fashionable to claim that marriage has another purpose – the nuturing of a long-term, loving, relationship between spouses. But that has always been true; it's just not the primary purpose of the institution of marriage.

Today it's fashionable to quote Humpty Dumpty, who claimed, "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less." But that's only true in Alice in Wonderland, not in the real world. In the real world, a word needs to mean the same thing to everyone, or else laws would be meaningless. So civil commitments are civil commitments, and marriage is marriage. If marriage can mean whatever some people want it to mean, then it can equally be applied by the next group of unelected judges to a union of three partners, or to any polygamous group.

As PETA continues to push for full animal rights, some liberals would argue for animal marriages. No, I'm not equating gay marriage to these other groupings – only pointing out the lousy logic that says that marriage can be redefined to mean whatever some people want. The Supreme Court recently redefined "public purpose" and gave us Kelo versus New London.

Editor Dobbs writes that "what happens between two consenting adults in an exclusive relationship is their business," and then makes the completely illogical jump that therefore "same sex marriage should be embraced by anyone." Umm, no. Even if you're a gay marriage supporter, you can see that there is a world of difference between legitimizing freedom of the bedroom and jumping all the way to government celebration of gay marriage.

There are lots of arguments in support of gay marriage, but not these.

Pat Henry

East Longmeadow