Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dissecting the Anti-Gay Marriage Arguments with Mike Huckabee and Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart recently interviewed Mike Huckabee, and they got into a most interesting discussion about gay marriage which revealed the complete absence of any substance to the gay marriage objections. You can read trhe transcript here, but here's the Cliff's notes version:

Huckabee: Marriage means one man one woman...For 5000 years of recorded human history, that’s what marriage has meant.

Stewart: You said, reaffirming the tradition of marriage over 5000 years, which takes it back to the Old Testament, where polygamy was the norm...Marriage has evolved greatly over those 5000 years, from a property arrangement, polygamy… we’ve redefined it constantly.

You would think this would be so obvious that people like Huckabee would get it thrown back in their faces immediately, and yet they often get away with this blatant falsehood (dare I say "lie"?). Let's hope it happens more often.

Huckabee: ...until the laws are overturned, it still means that.

Stewart: ...segregation used to be the law until the courts intervened.

This is an absolutely asinine argument. The whole debate is over what marriage should mean in the law. Huckabee begs the question implying what it means now should hold sway. He is also a hypocrite, since the law now says abortion is legal, and he sees no problem trying to get that law changed.

Huckabee: There is a big difference between a person being black, and a person practicing a lifestyle and engaging in a marital relationship.

Stewart: Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality. And the protections that we have, for religion- we protect religion- and talk about a lifestyle choice! That is absolutely a choice. Gay people don’t choose to be gay.

Huckabee: But Jon, religious people don’t have the right to burn others at the stake; they don’t have the right to do anything they wish to do-

No shit Sherlock, but the question is, do religious people have the same right to do anything anyone else does, and the answer is "yes"! Yet not so for gays.

Huckabee: I think that we have to be very thoughtful and careful before we say that we are going to undo an entire social structure.

Stewart: I think you are looking at sexuality and not attributes... I would suggest that a gay, loving family with a financially stable background beats the hell out of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline any day of the week.

As one commenter on ERV's thread noted, rapists, murderers, and tax evaders are allowed to get married, yet Huckabee would have us believe gays are so bad as parents as a group that they, and they alone, should be kept out of the chapel? The evidence supporting this is, as always, conspicuously absent.

Huckabee: The only way that we can create the next generation is through a male female relationship.

Stewart didn't address this, but it's another argument that is laughably bad. It is wrong at its most basic, since we have many methods of procreation, such as artificial insemination, and surrogate mothering, with cloning well on its way, that do not involve a male/female relationship. Second, it seems Huckabee only wants to single out gays for such analysis. Sterile people, old people, or people who just don't want kids, aren't prevented from marrying in Huckabeeland. Imagine that.

Huckabee: If we change the definition, then we really do have to change it to accommodate all lifestyles

This is another argument that Stewart didn't address, probably because it is so baseless. No we do not, in fact, have to change marriage to accommodate anyone. We as a society can define it any way we wish. The argument is that the gender of the participants shouldn't matter. If Huckabee wants to make the case for other groups, let him try.

At the moment, all of his arguments fail, and fail miserably, which is no surprise to me, because these arguments are just a smokescreen for religious objections. The arguments are just decoration motivated by the knowledge that "I think it's a sin per my religious faith" isn't very persuasive to anyone who lacks said faith. They know they need to make their case look scientific to win the social battle, but there is simply no science to back it, which is why their battle is a losing one. We will see gay marriage legal in this society. It is only a matter of time.

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