Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Don't Throw Others Under the Bus

I'm bumping this up, because it is as relevant as ever.

Hylke asked at
I, like most of you, support gay marriage. But there is a problem I've had a while with the gay-marriage debate. Whenever an opponent says that this would allow cousins to marry, I just think: yeah, sure, why not? Two consenting adults. I'm all for that. The same with polygamous marriages for me.

Do you support the legalization of incestuous and polygamous marriages Reddit? If not, why?

Someone responded negatively…
Legalizing homosexual marriages does not require legalizing incestuous or polygamous marriages.

Well that is obvious. Laws are passed all of the time that unevenly protect rights. However, the right thing to do, especially when someone correctly argues that legalizing a freedom to marry doesn’t harm anyone else and that consenting adults should be allowed to do what they want, is not to silently exclude whole categories of people. Poly people and people in consanguineous relationships have just as much as a right to marriage as an unrelated man and woman, or two unrelated men or two unrelated women. The law should reflect that.
That is the correct answer when politicians who know better try to exploit the bigotry of the uneducated for votes, which is what they are doing when they use the slippery slope fallacy in debate as if it's a sound form of reasoning.

No, the correct response is to call out politicians for unfairly denying anyone their right to marry.
Not all people who are homosexual or who are tolerant of homosexuals support any particular other concept, including incest, polygamy,

Of course. Nor are all poly people tolerant of gays or lesbians, nor consanguineous couples of triads or quads, nor are all consanguinamorous people tolerant of gays or lesbians or poly people. But we all should recognize that everyone has the right to share love, sex, residence and marriage and that is why all of us should support full marriage equality.
Incest is illegal because it causes genetic disorders and mental problems such as mental retardation, cleft pallet, and hemophilia.

This is clearly not right. Older women are more likely to give birth to a child with certain conditions, but we don’t make it illegal for them to marry or have sex. We don’t make it illegal for two people who are carrying the same genes that can cause birth defects to have children. Most children born to first cousins are healthy and without disability, and the same thing remains true in the less common examples we have of closer relatives having children together. Most children born with birth defects are born to parents not closely related. This is red herring. See the Discredited Arguments page.
Polygamy is illegal because if it were not then rich men would keep harems full of women who would be more likely to be neglected or abused, and would in some cases be less productive citizens with less civil rights and less freedom.

How many myths can be packed into one answer? Marriage is a choice. Domestic violence, which happens in monogamous situations, too, is illegal, and recognizing polyamory or the freedom to polygamous marriages will not legalize domestic violence or hostage taking. The days of it being legal for a man to beat his wife are long gone, at least in modern countries, and thank goodness for that.
But in every country where it has ever been legal, women were treated as property and as second class citizens.

Hasn’t every country, at one time or another, done this? Modern countries should recognize gender equality AND marital rights.
You can not legalize it without discussing what legislature would be required to prevent that from happening.

Simple. Prosecute domestic violence. We already do this. People cite unmarried cohabitation as fostering domestic violence and child abuse, but it is legal. Groups of people can cohabitate legally. But thanks to prejudice, we don’t allow them to marry. Than is senseless.

There are different people who fall into one of each of these categories (same-sex couples, poly people, and the consanguinamorous) who want the freedom to marry and be treated equally. That is the common thread, even if they don’t overlap in their circumstances (as my friends do). Someone who wants to exhibit a controversial satirical sculpture is not in the same circumstance as someone who wants to show an explicitly erotic film or someone who wants to give a speech supporting an unpopular political policy, but all three of those people, in the USA, have the freedom of speech, and they should support the freedom of speech for each other.

Someone else wrote…
1 man with 3 wives leaves less opportunity for 2 men to find wives as a general rule.

But those three women want to be married to that man and not those other men, or they would have married them. This same kind of logic could be used to limit freedom in purchasing (homes, cars, anything) or going to the movies. If John and Mary go to the movies three nights a week instead of one, then two other couples can’t go to the movies on a weekly basis.

Why not let people decide for themselves?

Equality just for some is not equality. We need relationship rights and full marriage equality for all.
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  1. Cousins?

    Cousins can marry in 24 states within the US and in many, many countries around the world.

    1. Cousins, like anyone else, should be free to marry in EVERY state and country.


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