Posted: Apr 24, 2012 11:40 pm
by Durro

Crocodile Gandhi's next post

If Lion' s previous post was a trainwreck, then his most recent effort could only be described as the Challenger disaster. Aside from being quite difficult to read or comprehend, it ignores much of what I wrote in my previous post and continues to dwindle its way down a merry path of irrelevancy. I didn't think it could get worse than Argumentum ad Overtime-um.

Lion takes pain to remind us all of the definition of discrimination. Yet this completely ignores that I have already stated that laws can, do and should discriminate. I went on to talk about what I define as unfair discrimination and explained why I view the illegality of same-sex marriage as being unfair.

Lion investigated what 'gay' and 'hetero' really mean, whether there is a specturm, and whether we can classify anyone into any category. I merely wonder whether any of that really matters. And I'm pretty darn sure that it doesn't. Gay could be a term so amorphous as to mean literally nothing, and that still wouldn't change a damn thing. As it currently stands in many nations, a marriage is between a man and a woman. What I and other proponents would like to see is for the law to be changed to allow one woman to marry another woman, or one man to marry another man. Whether those men and women are full-blown homosexual, bisexual, or even heterosexual doesn't matter. The fact is that not allowing them to marry the person of their choice is discriminatory (unfairly discriminatory, if Lion needs me to spell it out again).

Lion also investigated the idea of homosexuality being a choice. He cites examples of people choosing to be or becoming gay. This is a red herring. Whether people are "born that way" is irrelevant. While I personally do not believe being gay is a choice, even if it was, that's no reason not to allow two people of the same sex to marry. That is, unless you can come up with a reason for why two people of the same sex choosing to be attracted to each other is wrong.

Lion explored the slippery slope fallacy. I couldn't give two figs whether Lion's argument amounts to a slippery slope fallacy. What bothers me is his profound misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the hypothetical slope. What Lion has failed to do is show how allowing gay marriage to occur opens the door to all these other types of marriage, yet allowing straight marriage to occur does not. Allowing same-sex couples to marry doesn't opens the door to 14 year-olds marrying any more than allowing two people of opposite gender.

Lion's argument doesn't express why marriage law should not be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry. It merely suggests that no laws should ever be changed. Lion hasn't presented any evidence to suggest that there will be a flood of extra claimants wanting to tweak the definition of marriage. Nor has he explained why there shouldn't be. There's no reason as to why anyone shouldn't be allowed to state their case for their desired definition of marriage, even if it were people wanting to marry goats. The test should be, as it should be in the case of gay marriage, whether there is good reason not to broaden the laws. If it's found that there is (such as the inability of the goat to consent to such an arrangement) then the law should not be broadened. If there isn't, then it should.

But that's enough of going over Lion's nonsense. I'll now further explore why gay marriage should be legalised.In many jurisdictions there are notable legal differences between civil unions and marriage. These range from tax benefits to hospital visitation rights and survivorship rights. These issues are compounded by the fact that a civil union that may be recognised by a particular jurisdiction may not be recognised by another jurisdiction within that same country. Unless those that argue against same-sex marriage can provide a decent reason for what makes a gay relationship less valid than a straight one, there should not be any differences in the legal benefits that are afforded to people in gay relationships. It's been clear that Lion has been unable to present any such reasons.

Lion and other opponents of gay marriage may argue that the correct remedy should be to grant civil unions all of the same rights as marriage. Yet such an arrangement would still not be equitable. By not allowing same-sex marriage, the idea that same-sex relationships are less than is created. That their love is less than heterosexual couples. That their bond is somehow less valid. Dividing the two groups based on nothing other than the gender of the people involved creates the stigma that there is something unusual or abnormal about gay relationships. Now, as I type this I can almost feel Lion jumping up and down saying "But they are abnormal! Most people are heterosexual." Leaving aside that by Lion's own admission it may be impossible to tell where straight ends and gay begins, it's rather clear that when people talk about homosexuality being unusual or abnormal, they are using the word as a perjorative. Particularly when those who argue against same-sex marriage and call homosexuals abnormal are likely to argue that it will open the door to beastiality (something that Lion has hinted at). This is a deeply offensive proposition. The idea that gay marriage is an open door to people fucking dogs, that gay relatonships are somehow an equivalent, base activity, only serves to highlight the disdain with which opponents of same-sex marriage view same-sex couples. It's easy to see how a stigma might be created when the proposition of gay marriage being made legal leads so many

So what's the problem with the stigma created by creating two classes of relationship - those who are worthy of marriage and those who aren't? The problem is that people LGBT community are more likely to have mental health issues, ranging from depression to suicide. The National survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that homosexual/bisexual people are:

•more likely to have had a chronic condition in the last 12 months (51.3% v. 46.9%)
•twice as likely to have a high/very high level of psychological distress (18.2% v. 9.2%)
•almost 3 times as likely to have had suicidal thoughts (34.7% v. 12.9%)
•5 times as likely to have had suicidal plans (17.1% v. 3.7%)
•4 times as likely to have attempted suicide (12.6% v. 3.1%)


Obviously this can not all be directly related to an absence of being allowed to get married to the person of their choice. However, by being seen as a seperate and unequal group in the eyes of the law, the stigma created feeds into such undesirable outcomes. It's not hard to imagine that a stigma exists when the mere idea of gay marriage possibly being legalised causes so many to state that it will be the very downfall of all civilisation.

The thing that perplexes me Lion's stance and argumentation, aside from the bizarre formatting and unusual use of logic, is why he wouldn't be overly supportive of same-sex marriage. It's clear that Lion holds marriage in high regard. Furthermore, it's clear that he believes that marriage is something that there should be more of, else he wouldn't have spent so long irrelevantly bemoaning the high rates and negative effects of divorce. And yet, among the gay community, there is a sub-set of people in committed relationships who desperately wish to be married and even more who desperately wish to be granted the right to get married to whoever they may become committed to. And despite this fact, Lion, a person who it appears wishes that more people were married than not, would deny them this. Even though there are people who wish to commit to eachother, celebrate their love and have it recognised as such by the law and the community, Lion would prefer that they remain seperate, remain unequal and remain stigmatised. Lion, if you love marriage so much, you should be wanting more people to do it, not less!

As I have stated throughout this debate, I do not believe there is a single good reason not to allow gay marriage to occur. This is, I believe, sufficient for it to be legalised, as not legalising it would represent unfair discrimination. Lion is worried that I have dismissed all arguments for gay marriage, even though I can't possibly have heard them all. This is true, I haven't heard all of the arguments. Yet one would think that given that Lion has only been afforded a few thousands words with which to plead his case, he would be utilising the best and most damning arguments. To which my only response would be - if this is the best you can come up with, how in the world do you expect me to believe that the all of the arguments you've chosen not to use would be in any way convincing?