Thursday, December 10, 2009

Is Gay Marriage Inevtitable? A Rebuttal

Gay marriage foe (celebrity? What's a bad celebrity called? Reality star?) Maggie Gallagher has a new little article (a listicle if you will) called, "Is Gay Marriage Inevitable," where she gives 8 easy points as to why it's not inevitable. I'm going to point out, in my own little rebutticle (new words are fun), how wrong she really is. And, I'll even try to refrain from calling pointing out her history of mistruths and lies, because apparently people get mad about that, even when it's true.

Queerty has their only little response too, but I figured it didn't really get deep enough into the matter.

Here goes:

Maggie's Top Eight Reasons Why Gay Marriage Is Not Inevitable:

1. Nothing is inevitable.
We are talking about the future here. It's weird to have "reporting" that something that has not yet happened will certainly happen. The future is never inevitable.

Possibly the weakest argument I've ever seen. It's like when you were a kid and wanted to play professional basketball and your parents told you nothing was impossible. They were right, and I guess, technically, so is Maggie. But, less than 1% of high school sports athletes go on to play professionally (that's not including the ones that never made it that far, or the pros that never really made it). Sure, nothing is impossible, and nothing is inevitable, but I'll take those odds, thanks. Oh yeah, and as Queerty pointed out, the future actually is inevitable. Woops.

2. Young people are not as unanimous as most people think.
In California, the young-adults vote split 55 percent to 45 percent. Is it so hard to imagine 5 percent of those young people changing their minds as they move through the life cycle?

She didn't cite her source, but I found an exit poll from CNN that shows the 18-25 year old voter block at 61% to 39%, which is a lot harder to explain away. I found another study that showed 18-29 year olds at the 55 to 45 split she brings up. I'm more comfortable calling 18-25 year olds young adults than 18-29 year olds. 29 is kind of old, trust me. I'll agree, it's not too hard to imagine 5% of young people change their minds on gay marriage, just like the country has changed their minds on a lot of things, but I find it hard to believe that while studies are showing increasing support, Maggie's just going to claim out of thin air that these young people are just going to change their minds and start running the other way. I guess we're just supposed to "trust her" or something.

3. The argument from despair is bait and switch.
They are trying push the idea that gay marriage is inevitable, because they are losing the argument that gay marriage is a good idea.

This sounds kind of familiar. I think she's projecting. She's the one whose organization is changing the debate here by claiming that gay marriage will somehow harm our kids or be mandated in schools, even though Maine's Attorney General, and another anti-gay marriage group explicitly stated otherwise. All of the sudden its about schools and kids rather than the sanctity of marriage. Talk about bait and switch.

On to the point-- Did she just say gay marriage was no inevitable because she is saying it's not inevitable? Cause, that's kind of what it sounds like to me.

4. Progressives are often wrong about the future.

Here's my personal litany: Progressives told me abortion would be a dead issue by today, because young people in 1975 were so pro-choice. They told me there would be no more homemakers at all by the year 2000, because of the attitudes and values of young women in 1975. Some even told me the Soviet Union was the wave of the future. I mean, really, fool me once shame on you. Fool me over and over again . . . I must be a Republican!

If only her own little anectdotes about the past were fact. I actually posted about this a while back. Maggie's all mixed up--today's conservatives are really the past's liberals. Think of all the "liberal" issues that conservatives embrace these days: the end of slavery, end of segregation, legal interracial marriage, prohibition, censorship, women's suffrage, working families, etc. etc. And, I'll admit I'm not all that old, but I have a hard time believing anyone said that by 2000 there would be no homemakers or that abortion would be a "dead issue." And the Soviet Union argument is just silly--we can't argue that a subset of ultra-liberals were speaking for all liberals. Give me a break.

5. Demography could be destiny.

If there is one force that directly contradicts the inevitability argument, it is that traditionalists have more children. Preventing schools and media from corrupting those children is a problem, but not necessarily an insoluable one. Religous groups are increasingly focused on the problem of how to transmit a marriage culture to the next generation (see the USCCB's recent initiatives).

Isn't it her side that says something about us recruiting children? Besides, if this argument held true, we wouldn't be having this argument in the first place, because gay marriage would have never been able to get the support it currently has, and no social movement would have either. Anti-gay parents don't automatically make anti-gay children (thankfully).

6. Change is inevitable.

Generational arguments tend to work only for one generation: Right now, it's "cool" to be pro-gay marriage. In ten years, it will be what the old folks think. Even gay people may decide, as they get used to living in a tolerant and free America, they don't want to waste all that time and energy on a symbolic social issue, anyway. (I know gay people who think that right now). I am not saying it will happen, only that it could. The future is not going to look like the present (see point one above). Inevitability is a manufactured narrative, not a fundamental truth.

Wait, wasn't point number 1, "Nothing is inevitable?" This one's a joke, right? Then she says something about inevitability being a manufactured narrative. Really, she gets paid to write this stuff? Anyway, change is apparently only inevitable among one generation, not among future generations. Yes, just like all of those other social changes I listed earlier. So, the only things that are inevitable are what she says are inevitable. Gotcha.

7. Newsflash: 18-year-olds can be wrong.
Should we really say "Hmm, whatever the 18-year-olds think, that must be inevitable," and go do that? I mean, would we reason like that on any other issue?

Who on earth is saying that? You can't just make things up. The good news is that 55 year olds can be wrong too.

8. New York's highest court was right.

From Hernandez v. Robles:
The dissenters assert confidently that "future generations" will agree with their view of this case (dissenting op at 396). We do not predict what people will think generations from now, but we believe the present generation should have a chance to decide the issue through its elected representatives. We therefore express our hope that the participants in the controversy over same-sex marriage will address their arguments to the Legislature; that the Legislature will listen and decide as wisely as it can; and that those unhappy with the result — as many undoubtedly will be — will respect it as people in a democratic state should respect choices democratically made.

Did she just quote a judgment that says that same-sex marriage should be left to the legislature and elected representatives? I'll call California and Maine and let them know Maggie's switching sides. But really, this has nothing to do with whether or not gay marriage is inevitable. Or did I miss something? All she had to come up with was 8 points. Two of them contradicted each other, most of them have no support at all, just "because I said so's," and this one has nothing to do with the inevability of sames sex-marriage at all. Good news guys, it looks like we've got this one in the bag!


At 12/12/09 5:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog was recommended to me as having an unique semi-conservative perspective. So far I have not seen anything either unique or semi-conservative.
Ya got anything before I edit my favorites tab?

Jim in St Louis

At 13/12/09 5:31 PM, Blogger Brady said...

Hi Jim- sorry you don't like the blog. If you've read it and still don't like it, feel free to edit your favorites tab. Thank the person the recommended me to you before you go. Glad to hear at least someone likes it.


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