Monday, September 06, 2010

Farah vs. same-sex marriage (and a new argument)

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Joseph Farah
Joseph Farah
[source: abdiel]

It would seem that Joseph Farah, head honcho at the WorldNetDaily, is getting a bit peeved with so much support for LGBT rights popping up all over the place, even amongst Republican circles (though, not to worry; bigotry is still in the majority, there). His latest column is an attempt to lay out the “basic legal and moral precepts” regarding same-sex marriage, and it contains pretty much the usual distortions and amusing cluelessness you’d expect.

He first lays out his two major arguments on the nature of marriage and why LGBT people can supposedly never partake in it. Here’s the first, resorting from garbled history and numerous misconceptions:

  • 1. Same-sex marriage is an oxymoron. "Marriage" is and shall always remain an institution between one man and one woman. No civilization or culture in the history of the world has ever experimented with same-sex marriage[1], though there were questionable experiments with polygamy, always fraught with severe and negative consequences.[2] Bible-believing Jews and Christians consider marriage a divinely created institution that goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. This account was confirmed by Jesus in the gospels when He was asked about divorce.[3] What today's proponents of same-sex marriage seek to do is redefine marriage, claiming this institution that has long been seen as the literal building block of civilized, productive and self-governing societies is "discriminatory" because it prohibits homosexuals from participating.[4] Nothing could be more absurd.

Oof. That’s a lot of nonsense.

[1] False. There have been numerous types of same-sex unions and marriages throughout history. A notable example (amongst several) would be in the ancient Roman Empire, where gay marriages were far from unheard of; even a few noted emperors reportedly married their own male slaves. None of this had any bearing on the health of the Empire, which continued to prosper regardless of the presence of those dirty gheys and their weddings. In fact (and rather ironically), it’s only with the advent of Christian emperors in the mid-300s AD that same-sex marriage was officially outlawed in ancient Rome. Leave it to Christian-centric legislators to strip people of their civil rights.

[2] Care to provide any examples?

[3] It doesn’t matter what religion and its adherents believe. What matters are facts and evidence, and you have absolutely none to support your claims that homosexuality, or same-sex marriage, somehow harm society. In fact, there’s more than enough evidence indicating the exact opposite, in social, political and economic senses.

[4] If one understands that marriage is a social construct and not some God-given institution, then one also comprehends the fact that marriage is, can and will be redefined for as long as the practice exists throughout the past and future evolution of society.

His second point, which tries to advance a new argument that’s as absurd as the rest, if not even more so:

  • 2. Legally speaking, though, even in an increasingly secular society like ours, there is a reason same-sex marriages could never be recognized. A marriage that is not consummated has long been considered incomplete, not deserving of any legal recognition whatsoever. A marriage union that remains unconsummated never happened in the eyes of the law. So please tell me how a same-sex couple consummates one of these make-believe marriages? Acts of sodomy were never considered consummation in the eyes of the law. Again, this suggests that whatever it is the homosexual activists are trying to achieve through their relentless campaign, it is not marriage. It would have to be some complete and utter corruption of the idea of marriage.

If you didn’t roll your eyes, facepalm, sigh in exasperation, or react in some other way to express your incredulity at the ridiculousness of such an argument, you either read it wrong or are even more used to wingnut reasoning than I am. (Kudos?)

This is so stupid and obvious that it barely merits mentioning, but in short: Whatever book Farah got his legal understanding of marriage from needs to be cast back into the alternate universe from which it came. I don’t know about laws long past, but in this modern age, sex is not a requisite for marriage, especially not a strict, vaginal-only type of intercourse. First of all, any sex is sex, and any sex can be a consummation of love, depending solely on the intentions and feelings of the partners engaging in the activity. Whether it’s vaginal, or anal, or a blowjob or merely cuddling, any type of sex can be consummation.

Second, sex is not required to validate a marriage. I don’t even know where the heck Farah got the idea that marriage needs sex to be established a matrimonial union. Certainly nothing more recent than a few centuries old. At its basics (which is all that matters), marriage is the union of two (or more) consenting individuals through a social/religions/spiritual ceremony. How that varies is entirely up to you (and your spouse(s)-to-be). The law has (and should have) fuck-all to do with it.

The finishing line:

If I'm wrong, please explain this to me. If I'm missing something, please fill me in.

Request granted.

(via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)