The Hypocrisy Files: If Same-Sex Marriage Doesn’t Hurt Anybody, Then What Is Mike Long “Defending” Marriage From?
From a much lengthier piece, well worth the full read, by former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller, “When Is a Flip Not a Flop? The Fate of the Republicans Who Supported Gay Marriage”:
It is difficult to construct an argument against marriage rights for gay people that doesn’t sound like an argument against gay people. [Conservative Party of New York chairman] Mike Long and his fellow partisans, like many conservatives nationwide, build their case on what they call “the defense of traditional marriage.” No society in history, they told me repeatedly, has extended marriage rights to homosexuals, and so we shouldn’t risk the unraveling of civilization by starting now. (Apparently they don’t count the 10 countries, from Canada to South Africa, where gays may legally marry and civilization endures.) I’ve had a few conversations with Long, trying to understand what harm they think they are defending marriage from. In one conversation I recounted my own classic wedding at the Holy Name of Jesus church, and wondered how somebody else’s less conventional marriage could diminish the joy of it.
“Well, I don’t think it hurts anybody,” Long replied, “but I think a society has to have certain standards, and since the beginning of time, marriage has been between a man and a woman.” Marriage, he elaborated, is about children. “You’re not going to procreate children with same-sex couples.”
I told him that would be news to my daughters’ school classmates, the ones with two moms or two dads. And by the way, we don’t prohibit elderly, infertile or just plain procreation-averse couples from marrying.
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