How equality destroys marriage, except for when it doesn’t.

Margaret Talbot writes about the Prop 8 trial:

This week, the anti-gay marriage side is stressing a different mechanism of harm. It came up yesterday afternoon, while the defense’s lead lawyer, Charles Cooper, was questioning the plaintiffs’ witness M.V. Lee Badgett, an economist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. According to Lisa Leff of the AP, “Cooper spent several hours with Badgett trying to demonstrate that traditional male-female marriages suffered after same-sex marriages became legal in the Netherlands in 2001. He introduced a number of charts showing divorce and single parenthood rates increased while marriage rates fell in that country.”

Ah, music to my empirically inclined lefty ears. Answers like these bring a glow to my little black heart. We shameless family-destroying coastal perverts keep demanding, “But, when you say letting same-sex couples marry will destroy heterosexual marriage…what exactly do you mean is going to happen?” and, finally, the enforcers of tradition give us a concrete answer expressed in statistics. They show us: divorce rates! Unmarried parents! Declining marriage rates! In countries that have legalized marriage equality! Yeah!

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Your marriage is not subject to a simple majority vote.

At the Courage Campaign liveblogging of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, Brian Leubitz shows us this blog post from Prop 8 counsel:

What is at stake in the Perry case is not just the right of California voters to reaffirm the definition of marriage as only between a man and a woman; a federal court decision overturning Proposition 8 could also ultimately nullify the people’s vote on marriage in 45 states and the federal Defense of Marriage Act passed by Congress in 1996.

This brings me to my third (and presumably final) fisking of the arguments against marriage equality. As I said before, there are three basic categories of opposition to same-sex marriage, distinct from homophobia in general: children, religion, and tradition/definition. Everything else is indistinguishable from discrimination in general against sexual minorities. So, now I’m going to talk about marriage as a tradition and definition.

To say that marriage is traditionally defined as between a man and a woman sounds like the epistemological equivalent of a deepity, a coinage by Prof. Daniel Dennett defined approximately thus: a deepity is a statement with two meanings; one which is true but superficial, the other which appears profound but is in fact meaningless.

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