Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Offsite essay: Married Dolphins: The Next Right-Wing Bogeyman

One of the more common arguments against the idea of allowing homosexuals to marry is a slippery slope argument that institutionalizing gay marriage will invariably lead down a path where the terminus is that anybody will be allowed to marry anything.

I've thought about writing my own essay on the subject (and I might, yet), but, in all honesty, the very topic depresses the hell out of me. The justice of allowing gays to marry seems so obvious and manifest that it frustrates me to see how unreasonably far otherwise rational people will go to defend their exclusion from that institution.

My good friend, Rob Berry, has taken up that challenge. The essay itself is an exploration of a recent case where a UK citizen "married" a dolphin that she's in love with, and Rob's (accurate) prediction that anti-gay groups would declare this case to be a "proof" of the slipper-slope (never mind that such outré "marriages" have been going on for a long time... but I digress).

As good as the essay is (and it is good!), the real fun is to be found in the comments section where Rob gets into an extended debate with a conservative blogger by the name of ScottG is who very much against the notion. Rob is steady and unwaveringly rational in the face of ScottG's increasingly desperate attempts to claim (among other things) that gay marriage is part of some organized agenda to destroy American values (in spite of the fact that he can't seem to produce a single quote to that effect), that gay marriage accords with the Communist agenda (based, apparently, on a single author with dubious credentials), that the ACLU is a Communist front (which is purely ridiculous), that every society that's embraced homosexuality immediately decayed (which would be a surprise to the Greeks), and that, finally, he hate's the gays because God says so and that's that (and what of us that don't believe in his god or agree with his conception of what his god wants).

Rob's ability to remain cool and civil while, never the less, being relentlessly rational is quite impressive. I doubt that I could have gone as long as he has without eventually just calling my opponent a narrow-minded idiot and ending the discussion then and there. Fortunately, I'm not the guy in the trenches this time.

Take a look. It's well worth reading.

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