2013-04-06

Same Sex Marriage Double Standard

HuffPost Live host Josh Zepps interviewed Jeremy Irons and one of the topics hit upon was gay marriage.



















The lack of self-awareness is breathtaking. That Zepps is not able to self-reflect on his rejoinder that "Uh, well there are laws against incest" is stupefying. There are laws against all kinds of things and those laws can be changed. The presence of a law does not ensure that the law is just. I don't suppose he would support sodomy laws. Aren't the same sex marriage (SSM) supporters trying to undo laws that they perceive are unjust?  The reason the SCOTUS is considering SSM cases is precisely because certain laws and changes to a state's constitution is thought to be unjust.

You would think that that would be enough unconscious opining for one interview, but no, he doubles down.

Zepps: "No, that sounds like a total red herring. I'm sure that incest law would still cover same sex marriages."

Irons: "Really? Why?"

Zepps: "Because I don't think the incest law is only justified on the basis of the consequences of procreation. I think there's also a moral approbation that's associated with incest."

Astounding.

Zepps seems to be completely unaware of his own statements. Is he really making the case for moral approbation (I suppose he meant prohibition) of a behavior? Really? Tap, tap, tap. Hello Mr. Zepps. Are you aware that the moral prohibition argument is exactly what has been used to prevent SSM and the very activity that leads to SSM? Are you not aware of what the SSM crowd is fighting against?!?!?!?!?

Since the whole point of legalizing SSM is to remove the moral prohibition therof, what is the argument that can be made to prevent the removal of other moral prohibitions? Furthermore, to borrow the arguments on behalf of removing the moral prohibition of SSM, how does incest or polygamy or any number of other arrangements hurt the gay's marriage? Incest or polygamy wouldn't hurt their marriage or affect them in any way. And who are the gays to look down their nose and dictate who somebody can love? Why can't the polygamist and incest-amist (I know of no noun for those who commit incest...) love whom they want to love? Cannot a loving poly-amorous unit raise good and decent citizens just like hetero or gay couples? Why the bigotry?

But I get the "You can't expect me to believe that society would lift the moral prohibition of incest just because we want to lift a moral prohibition" argument all the time. You would think the self-reflective person would stop after hearing the double-standard and the absurdity of the argument and for the sake of intellectual honesty concede the point.

Of course, none of this argues for or against SSM. And conceding this obvious point does not necessarily negate other aspects of the argument. Discussion of such issues is just an honest, open examination of the penumbra of consequences that may result from this change. A good-willed gay or lesbian interested in open discussion rather than forcible imposition of dogma could just as easily conclude these things.

The honest broker would say, "Of course we intend to discriminate against certain of our fellow citizens and declare their behavior to be morally objectionable. We just want to move the fence far enough for us to get in while keeping those we disagree with out." And based upon what? At least polygamy and incest have the advantage of actually having been tried throughout history. SSM on the other hand is uncharted. Does that put those who support SSM on the wrong side of history?

What is ignored is that if these sea changes are based on the current social eros ethos, upon what are the guardrails for society based? The response is always a version of, "Well, you don't have to be religious to be moral." Sure. Just as being religious is no guarantee that one will be moral. But let's be honest, there is no discernible distinction between the one who allows SSM into the assemblage of morally acceptable behaviors while excluding polygamy, incest and many other variations on the theme and the one who disallows SSM for doctrinal reasons or because 'God told him so'. Your placement of the societal fencing to include SSM is no different than their placement to exclude it. It is belief based on a mysticism and current social doctrine. It is morality by committee and is about as good an example of arbitrary and capricious as one can find.

At the end of the day, the supporter of redefining the moral boundaries to include SSM is left with the identical argument as the religious person for why one activity is moral and another isn't: "Because I say so." The religious says that God informs his doctrine while the irreligious says that nature, his conscience or some other ethereal phenomenon is the source of morality and informs his doctrine. The religious are mocked for relying on their buddy in the sky by those who can identify no better moral source or even a reason for the existence of morality. The mockers like to believe that a dianoetic journey leads them to their conclusions about morality. But in the end they are left with the curt response of the religious – "Because God said so" – replacing the notion of God with logic or their version of a buddy in the sky. They are as powerless to prove the parameters of morality or the reason for its existence as the religious are to prove the existence of God. As with Zepps, it is almost as though they cannot hear themselves speak.

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