Arguments Against Gay Marriage Literally Stop Making Sense
Yesterday, I was sent an e-mail from the Stand for Marriage Maine campaign, which I signed up for under a secondary e-mail account. The message suggests talking points that opponents of gay marriage might use when calling into local radio stations:
So, paraphrasing somewhat, the arguments that the Yes on 1 campaign seems to be making are as follows:
1. The new law won't make gay marriage equal to straight marriage. Instead, it will create a new kind of marriage in which gay people and straight people are equal. 2. Although we may not have proven any connection between gay marriage and public education, our opponents haven't disproven the connection, and it's their fault that the subject came up. 3. If gay marriage is upheld, then marriage will exist solely to make people happy.
These arguments run from the literally incoherent (#1) to the sublimely unpersuasive (#3), with #2 somewhere in between. Yet, they are, apparently, the best arguments that the Yes on 1 folks can muster -- the ones they're using to close out their campaign.
The fact is that the overwhelming majority of people who dislike gay marriage do so for one of two reasons: either their religion has a taboo against homosexuality, or they find the practice gross.
But "Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve" does not make for a good tagline in a "serious" political discussion. And in Maine, for whatever reason (perhaps because it is one of the least religious states in the country), the Yes on 1 campaign has chosen to deemphasize the religious angle. Meanwhile, the primary "substantive" argument that they've made -- that the same-sex marriage law might alter the public schools curriculum -- has been discredited. This is what they have left to work with.
6. "Won't Someone Please Think of the Children!" Is Their Big Gun.
Unfortunately, that's all some people need to hear. Never mind that it's ludicrous to believe that learning about gay people will have an adverse effect on children. Never mind that teaching your child to be a bigot is tantamount to child abuse. Never mind that is a baseless, groundless fear. Morons eat it up.
Hopefully, there are more rational people in Maine than morons. People like this man:
"It turns out that you can build a very effective model by including just three variables:
1. The year in which the amendment was voted upon; 2. The percentage of adults in 2008 Gallup tracking surveys who said that religion was an important part of their daily lives; 3. The percentage of white evangelicals in the state."
Below are the dates when the model predicts that each of the 50 states would vote against a marriage ban. Asterisks indicate states which had previously passed amendments to ban gay marriage.
2009 (now) Vermont New Hampshire Massachusetts Maine Rhode Island Connecticut Nevada* Washington Alaska* New York Oregon*
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