Finally, a break from work and a chance to kibbitz on the interwebs. Here in the US, we are celebrating Memorial Day, a day to remember those who have fallen in combat during our various wars. It’s also a time for celebrating the summer, even though it isn’t officially summer yet. Everyone wants to grill something outside, so the meat department is very busy.
Oy, I’m tired.
But that’s nothing new. We did have a great development here in PA when Judge John E. Jones III struck down the PA anti-marriage law, which said only certain people approved of by certain religions can enjoy the benefits of marriage. Judge Jones, you might remember, also was the judge for the Kitzmiller vs. Dover trial which showed intelligent design to be the same as creationism much to the disappointment of those who were doing their best to sneak their religion into public schools. Judge Jones may be one of the few Republicans left who respects the rights of people and the existence of the US Constitution. They are still out there, those who favor the government to stay out people’s lives and to be fiscally responsible, but they are a vanishing breed. It may interest you to know that even Rick Santorum supported this judge’s confirmation. So much for claim of “activist liberal judge”. I wonder, does he do so now that Judge Jones dares to disagree with him and his desire to make the US a theocracy?
Of course, we do have the usual suspects throwing fits about this. Rep. Metcalfe, often a target of derision on this blog, has suffered quite a bit lately, with this and with the defeat of his attempts at requiring everyone to have “papers” to vote. We also have the Pennsylvania Family Institute (aka the Pennsylvania Family Council, and Independence Law Center, all the same organization) insisting that the sky is falling again. It’s always amusing when people who are so virulently anti-family, always have to add that to their official names of their organizations. It’s as if no one would realize that they cared about families at all if it wasn’t in their name. They may be interested in families but only those they approve of. One does wonder, do they approve of any family that doesn’t teach their particular religion? I do have reason to doubt that, with their carrying on about how marriage is *only* for a few.
Brandon McGinley, their “field director”, and he of claims that homosexuality can be “overcome” and that homosexuality is going to destroy any vision he has of appropriate “masculinity”, has an interesting op-ed in the local Sunday paper today. Unsurprisingly, it’s pretty much what you might expect from someone like Mr. McGinley. For a fun read about Mr. McGinley’s views, PA GLAAD has a great series of screen caps of Mr. McGinley’s tweets.
But enough of that, let’s take a look at the claims that Mr. McGinley makes. First, there is the claims of how dare anyone reject the “traditional” meaning of marriage and how marriage is somehow only a “unique” thing that only means man marries woman, they must have kids and nothing else. I guess that Mr. McGinley would be sure that my marriage of 22+ years isn’t a “real” marriage. But the state already disagrees with him and has for years. It’s a shock that he isn’t protesting my marriage, but that would be a bit of a problem since he also isn’t whining about divorces too, something else that his bible says is a “very bad thing”.
We get right into the claims of how this was an “activist” decision “unnecessarily broad in scope, faulty in reasoning and, to many, malicious in rhetoric”. Of course, there is nothing about this supposedly “faulty” reasoning, just vague claims of that. Silly of me to expect someone like Mr. McGinley to actually say how the reasoning if faulty. He also does skirt around the fact that more than half of Pennsylvanians approve of equal marriage laws and it was only our representatives that voted to have a law restricting marriage.
Then we get into the meat of the baseless accusations. Mr. McGinley is horrified by Judge Jones’ phrase “We are a better people than what these laws represent. And it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history”. He is sure that anyone who uses such a phrase isn’t interested in “healthy public discourse”, aka allowing people like Mr. McGinley attempt to make homosexuality a thing to be hated, as he has admitted he wants to do. Mr. McGinley can continue to try spread his claims as much as he wants, but not with the tacit blessing of the government by its restriction of equal treatment under the law.
Mr. McGinley, it is *you* who isn’t being honest when you claim that anyone who disagrees with you doesn’t want a healthy public discourse. It is you who try to claim that marriage is only one thing that you get to define by you and yours spending millions of dollars in order to take the freedom away from others. Marriage may have indeed had a historical definition of one man and one woman for *some* people. It has a historical definition of one man and many women for others. It usually meant that daughters were nothing more than chattel and to be given to anyone for a favorable political arrangement. Now, it also has the meaning of a relationship between consenting adults who can enjoy the same freedoms and protections of the law as you do. No one is asking for special rights, they are asking for equal rights. Rights are only “special” if they apply to only one group of people. Is that what you are asking for, Mr. McGinley, the rights that marriage bestows only for one man and one woman who have children? Tsk.
Mr.McGinley, I think you are mistaken when you say that an increasing amount of people don’t understand “why organizations such as the Pennsylvania Family Institute oppose the social experiment of same-sex marriage.” We do understand exactly why you oppose same-sex marriage. You want to claim that one version of one religion is some magical “truth”. We know that you want to pretend same sex marriage is a “social experiment” a phrase intended to degrade its legitimacy. The sky hasn’t fallen in all of the other states that have allowed people to have equal rights. I seem to recall that giving equal rights to people of different ancestry was also called a social experiment by people who vehemently opposed that. The same with allowing people of different ancestry to marry each other. Horrors if we allowed to people to marry who loved each other if they weren’t of the same “race”. Happily, that nonsense is also cast on the ash heap of history.
Mr. McGinley goes right for the “but but what if we allow more than two people to marry, won’t that be the end of civilization” argument. He claims that no one has answered his question, but we have. People can set up legal documents that mimic marriage amongst groups of many people. The skies haven’t opened up and no god has smote anyone for doing this. Indeed what harm will come from having the polyamorous married in groups? None that Mr. McGinley can offer, the same as he cannot offer any evidence of harm from marriages between two men or two women. He depends on fear of the unknown and fear of his god to make his case.
Indeed, Mr. McGinley, “Why expend energy fighting the inevitable? What impact will redefining marriage have on us? Why do we (him and his kind) care?” He does admit that “same sex marriage will not directly impact our individual marriages, that should be obvious enough”. Hooray! someone who has admitted this, which is hilarious since this exact thing has been claimed by anti-marriage equality people for years. I guess it was just a lie on their parts. It’s always good to see such people finally retreat from such nonsense when reality has shown their claims to be false.
He claims that it’s not the concern for individuals we should be have but for the “common good”. Now, does he say what disallowing equal marriage rights does for the “common good”? He does try, sure that his examples will “cut to the chase”.
What is his argument? Think, oh won’t you think of the children!
“It will be commonplace for two men or two women not only to care for children in their home but to be the legal parents of those children”
He grudgingly admits that in “most cases”, they will be loving parents and they will care for the children’s basic needs. Indeed, those children may even “romp around and smile and hug and do all of the things that children do.”
You can just hear the ominous music cue, can’t you? But, Mr. McGinley warns, they will be deprived of having their “real” mom or dad. Now, I recall with some clarity that I was considered to be a very odd bird in college because my parents weren’t divorced. Where is Mr. McGinley’s voice against allowing anyone to divorce? Per his argument, it is better to have a mom and a dad forced to live together no matter what, because the child will suffer according to him. Of course that may be a bit of a problem considering that evangelical Christians have some of the highest divorce rates in the US. Don’t want to offend your constituency, do you, Mr. McGinley?
Mr. McGinley seems to think that *only* biological parents are “good” parents. I guess you folks with adopted children are just not a “true family” per Mr. McGinley. I wonder, has he seen the stats for child abuse by biological parents? That, in one stroke, shows his claims to be lies. It’s hilarious to see Mr. McGinley insist on how dare the state ignore “biology” in favor of a construct of civilization. For a creationist, he certainly has become interested in biology when convenient.
Read this: “…the state will be not just permitting the manufacture but promoting the manufacture of children with the express intention of depriving them of their mother or their father.” Manufacture? Again, nice words from someone who is also anti-choice. Nothing like devaluing children and families when it suits your purpose, is there Mr. McGinley?
He claims that his histrionics aren’t “some kind of a slippery slope argument. It’s precisely what the future holds”. He is right in that it is not a slippery slope argument which says that if one bad thing happens other worse things will automatically. Again, Mr.. McGinley, we do understand why people like you oppose same sex marriage. You are horrified that anyone is not like you. You want there to be a theocracy where your particular version of one religion is the law. You can’t stand the thought of happy families that you don’t control. We have seen the children of same sex couples advocating for their parents, they were some of the people who brought the case against Pennsylvania. Your attempts to claim to speak for them for their “own good” are simply more lies. They experienced none of the claims you have made, showing you to be a liar intent on causing fear to get obedience. For those children, having a family who loves them is certainly not “far too costly a price to pay”.
Mr. McGinley, you try to claim that the impact on Pennsylvania will be “gravely negative”. But that has not been shown to be the case at all. We’ve had plenty of families who don’t obey your nonsense for years and PA is just fine. Your lies do deserve to be cast on the ash heap of history with all of the others. The public debate has been had for years. Now, more than half of Pennsylvanians support same sex marriage. You can keep your beliefs but no one has to obey them except you. You’ve lost, just like those who supported segregation and miscegenation laws, and Pennsylvania is the better for it.