The issue of gay marriage really isn't my "thing", as far as this blog goes. I believe gays should have the right to get married, but I don't preach about it here. After all, this blog has been a mechanism for insulating me from retaliatory bullcrap from the kinds of people who can't tolerate dissent or uncomfortable ideas. I don't think I'm sexist; I'd rather not have someone going around saying how sexist I am behind my back (on the internet, where you never know whether something is going to fall into the lap of, say, your employer). However, if someone were to spread the word that I supported gay marriage, well, I'm fortunate enough to be in a position where that would have little impact should it come out. So I normally don't have to exercise caution over that issue, and don't shunt it to this blog when I wish to speak about it.
But as will become obvious as I write this, I've had a thought where discretion is probably a good idea, so ta-dah, here it is.
Mad Thinker Scott's been discussing the antics of Mike Huckabee lately, and for the most part, he's been doing a good enough job picking the guy apart that I couldn't add anything meaningful. But watching the clip of Huckabee on the Daily Show reminded me of the continual refrain from many conservative opponents to gay marriage: "Well, if we legalize gay marriage then we'd have to allow all the other wierdos who want to get married! What about polygamists or incest or what if a guy wants to marry a dog???"
This is designed to appeal to the "ick factor" built into most humans, the line that, when crossed, makes one go "eew". It's evident that for those who oppose gay marriage, the idea of a gay relationship itself crosses that line; recognizing that others don't share that view, the tactic is to equate gay marriage with other things that make people go "eew".
This places someone trying to argue for gay marriage in an awkward position of having to scramble to distance gay marriage from all these other nasty things or simply call it a "slippery slope" argument and dismiss it without actually discussing it. That or avoid taking the bait entirely and changing subjects, because who would dare defend all that other nasty stuff?
Well, me. (Albeit anonymously.)
Here's my thesis: who actually gives a fuck into what relationships consenting adults arrange themselves? Polygamy? Well, there's good reasons not to do it, just for the legal and emotional headaches, but as long as everyone in the arrangement is truly willing, why not, and why would anyone care?
Incest? Well, inbreeding isn't smart, but as long as everyone's an adult and there's genuine affection, why should it matter, otherwise?
Okay, I'm not going to defend bestiality. Issues of consent and all that. But any other thing that involves humans of legal age (in other words, things that are not already inherently illegal), I would think there'd really be no reason to forbid marriages among just about any combination you can think of.
Except that "ick factor".
And that's what a lot of things come down to, isn't it? Someone gets a squirmy feeling in their belly just thinkin' about all them queers havin' queer fornications, and praise jaysus we has ta stop this gay marryn' thing raiht naow! It all comes down to people being so repulsed by things that shouldn't actually be any of their damn business that they want to deny those who practice said icky stuff the right to practice that icky stuff, regardless of whether it actually affects anyone else at all. I've said it before: I do not believe that one's personal distaste should become legally binding policy.
Meanwhile, someone sees a superheroine get mistreated in a comic and is disturbed by the position of the character's body on the floor.
Meanwhile, someone reads a comic and sees a picture of a fully-clothed girl sitting on her bed and says, "ew, gross."
Meanwhile, someone else in Iowa opens a box of manga imported from Japan, and gets the same feeling looking at all the cartoon pictures of gay sex and young girls.
Meanwhile, Valerie D'Orazio reads the story of the guy convicted of having Simpsons-based cartoon porn and thinks, "Good, serves him right."