by Dan Savage
on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 7:21 AM
There's a particularly repulsive opinion piece in today's UW Daily—home of the state's most laughable Dino Rossi endorsement—by some douchesparkle named John Fay. Let's dive right in:
Now, I realize the gay marriage issue surrounding the California voters’ decision on Proposition 8 is extremely emotional for a lot of people, and I respect their difference of opinion, but let us try and consider the vote from a rational basis.
Yes, by all means, let's be rational. Alright... done. And with all that pesky rationality out of his system, Fay resumes writing his opinion piece:
The decision of California’s Supreme Court in May to legalize gay marriage, which Prop. 8 overturned, was extremely rash. There is nothing constitutional about gay marriage on a state or federal level. For gay marriage to even fit within the court’s jurisdiction, it must have some basis in constitutionality.
Gay marriage isn't constitutional because... why exactly? Because it has no basis in constitutionality, silly! See how that works? Fay doesn't argue that the equal protections clause in the California state constitution, for instance, doesn't apply to gays and lesbians, or that homosexuals aren't, per California, a "protected class like race and gender," and that marriage isn't a "fundamental civil right," as the courts in California found. He simply says that gay marriage can't be constitutional because gay marriage has no basis in constitutionality! It's Jello-solid logic like Fay's that has caused support for a ban on same-sex marriage in California to drop 18 points between 2000 and 2008.
Race is a biological state; homosexuality is more of an emotional condition, and we should not, for that reason alone, start passing laws condoning it.
Yeah, we wouldn't to pass laws condoning emotional conditions. Only "biological states" need apply for civil rights protections or press for full civil equality. I mean, take religious fervor—there's an emotional condition that has, throughout all of recorded human history, prompted people to do great evil. Fly planes into office buildings, saw off peoples' heads, burn witches and heretics, torture people (the Inquisitions, etc.)—and religious belief certainly isn't a biological state, seeing as how people of all races can convert and revert.
But what's that you say? Religious beliefs are a protected by our civil rights statutes? ZOMG!
Being homosexual, like other emotional tendencies, doesn’t make someone a bad person, but it’s a problem that needs to be dealt with, not denied.
Gay people aren't bad—we just have an emotional tendency that's a problem for, um, well... gee. It's not for any of the gay people I know. But for the sake of argument, let's grant that homosexuality is a problem. (It certainly is for Fay.) So how would do you propose that we be "dealt with," Fay? Our families and churches have a pretty good shot at talking us out of identifying us as gay when we're kids—with hetero role modeling, with threats, with emotional and spiritual violence—but most of us grow up and come out anyway. And once we're adults and we're out and we fall in love and decide to start families—what then? How do you propose we be "dealt with" then? Round us up?
Now, there are several major problems with legalizing gay marriage. Once you’ve legalized gay marriage, why not polygamy, incest, bestiality or any other form of union? If the only criteria is that people love each other, then who says it’s wrong for a 70-year-old man to marry 10 underage girls?
Uh... laws against child rape? Age-of-consent laws?
Legalizing same-sex marriage no more requires us to legalize man-on-dog marriage or man-on-daughter marriage or man-on-ten-year-old marriage than legalizing pot requires us to legalize meth. Each of Fay's proposed nightmare scenarios can be debated on their merits. And things can legalized them one at a time—legalizing marriages between loving, consenting adults of the same gender doesn't require us to legalize marriages between men and dogs.
Also, the Christian concept of marriage predates any state-sanctioned licensing program, which means marriage is an inherently religious concept in America. Any state interpretation of marriage that violates traditional church views may well be a violation of the First Amendment.
Divorce violates the Christian concept of marriage, and yet it's legal—please explain, Fay.
Fact is, the state usually has very different concepts about a lot of things—usually broader concepts, to accommodate social and religious differences—than any one church or faith might. That's why we have civil marriage rights and religious marriage rites. And the First Amendment doesn't enshrine "traditional church views," or forbid others from expressing views—or living their lives—in violation of a particular church's "traditional views." Churches are free to impose their values only on their believers, Fay, not on everyone else.
Oh, I'm on a plane and the doors are about to shut. So I've got to sign off. Fay's stupidity continues here (Gay marriage will lead to violence! "Open homosexuality will create social disorder!) Sloggers should feel free to continue tearing him apart in comments.