Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"Deep" Thought #10: Marriage Defenders Are Right About Everything Especially When They Change Their Argument in the Middle of the Game

Shoutout to Ed Brayton for highlighting an odd article on WorldNetDaily:

"Gay' study: Marriage makes little difference
'Same-sex relationships must be unique, not like oppressive heterosexual norms'"

Before I delve into the cockles of stupidity here, let's all remember this article where we saw how marriage defenders often arrogantly and amusingly believe that "studies show" that they are right about everything. Well, what's happening in this WND article is a fun twist on that game.

It's a nifty little trick called:

Studies inconclusively prove that marriage defenders are right about everything unless a new study comes out showing that marriage defenders are not right about something, in which case the marriage defenders will still use the study in a way to deny gay people equal rights.

To summarize, WND reported on a study that made the "startling revelation" that "same-sex couples reported greater relationship quality, compatibility, intimacy and lower levels of conflict than [heterosexual] married couples." Oh, and it also showed that "same-sex couples are more honest about monogamy and sex. They're also more mature, considerate and fairer to each other than heterosexual couples. They're funnier and more affectionate when they argue. Less controlling. They don't take everything so personally." Yes, I too initially found it extremely odd that right-wing propaganda machine WND would reference such a gay-positive study. But watch what happens.

See, this study further showed that there are "few differences" in these happiness factors between same-sex couples who can and cannot get married. From here, the WND article selectively quotes a section of the study that explains how marriage is "controversial" within the gay community because it is a historically-oppressive institution. And with that little tidbit we all know where this is going...

Clearly this study "proves" that marriage doesn't make same-sex couples happier and, because marriage is an "oppressive institution," gay people don't really want to get married anyway.

(Except, of course, for the gay people who do want to get married.)

Ah. I see what's going on here. The study cited by WND puts same-sex relationships in a very positive light. And we simply cannot have that! So, even when this study suggested, contrary to the beliefs of the WND crowd, that those in same-sex relationships are more satisfied than those who are in heterosexual relationships, in the fucked-up WND world of illogic and double-think, that's still magically a negative for gay people.

WorldNetDaily, for instance, makes the odd and utterly illogical claim that this study somehow "takes the wind out of the sails of activists demanding same-sex 'marriage.'" Gay people are happy enough, I suppose. Why let them marry when they're already happy in their relationships? Of this preposterous claim, Ed Brayton puts it well:

"[W]hy would it "take the wind out of the sails" of the drive for same-sex marriage? The study is only talking about the self-reported emotional satisfaction and happiness of the couples; that has nothing to do with the legal and moral arguments in favor of same-sex marriage."
This article is a perfect example of how marriage defenders often move the goal posts in the middle of the game. In other words, when studies suggest that marriage defenders are wrong about something (namely that gay couples are happy and, indeed, possibly happier than hetero couples), marriage defenders fail to concede that that is a good thing for our side, and instead, distract us all with new claims about gay people that simply must be addressed: Do people who are already happy deserve equality? Do gay people even want marriage? Those of questionable intellectual honesty use this fallacy to prevent themselves from ever having to concede any point and to prevent the other side, at all costs, from "winning."

But I'll play along.

See, these rightwing propaganda machines and conservative groups (because I have seen other groups do this) pose an interesting and contradictory claim about gay people. On the one hand, we are clamboring to get into the institution of marriage and completely destroy it, but on the other hand, we're not clamboring to get married at all. They lick their chops at the prospect of a soundbite from a Gay Person Opposed to Marriage (tm), particularly if it's a radical feminist decrying the oppressive patriarchal nature of marriage, as though that person represents the authoritative gay opinion on the issue. It's as though despite the claims, organizing efforts, lawsuits, advocacy, and blog writings of numerous gay people who seek equal marriage rights, "marriage defenders" won't believe that many gay people really do want marriage so long as even a few trusty gay people are willing to chime in and say that they do not want marriage.

Many gay people want marriage. Some do not.

And yes, gay couples who have not been legally married in Massachusetts may be just as happy as those who have. I, however, do not generally see human happiness as a "bad" thing. And, that married and unmarried same-sex couples are equally happy is not to say they don't want their privileges, benefits, and protections of marriage. Because realistically, let's remember that even couples married in Massachusetts don't have the full range of federal privileges, benefits, and protections of marriage. So, since all gay couples, married or not, are denied numerous federal benefits, I think this all really means that all gay couples are all still in pretty much the same unequal crappy boat.

That, despite inequality, mass scapegoating, and propagandistic lies about us, we are still happier than married heterosexual couples is quite a testament, in fact, to our relationships. Wouldn't you say?

Yeah. Studies show that marriage defenders are right about everything and always "win," especially when they move the goal posts in the middle of the game! Deep thoughts.

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