Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bigot Accidentally Makes Our Case

[TW: Homophobia]

Opining away at the totally-not-at-all-bigot-fostering National Organization for [Heterosexual] Marriage (NOM) blog is "John Noe." John, from what can be gathered by his commentary, seems to be an Esteemed Armchair Constitutional Scholar. He lectures a gay man:

"...[W]hat if some of us like me told you that we were against [same-sex marriage] because it is a civil rights and constitutional issue....

(2) The Constitution does not grant equality of results. This is why their [sic] is unequal earned income in society. I have the same right to play golf like Tiger Woods. I do not have the same right to his results. Has anyone ever noticed that married people get benefits that single people do not.[sic] Thus singles and married people are not treated equally. As usual the homosexuals ignore this point."

"The homosexuals." I love it. 1985 called and it wants its mental disorder back. And, of course, just like Woman, all of us homosexuals download our single consciousness from the same hub.

The Tiger Woods bit is also strange as John's analogy likens sexual orientation to a skill that is learned. As though, through some combo of good luck, hard work, and genes, heterosexuals are really good at being heterosexual and gay people, who are sucky at it, just need to practice harder at heterosexuality in order to achieve the same benefits that heterosexuals get.

Anyway, perhaps counter-intuitively I agree with John on one point. People who are legally married do indeed get benefits that those who are deemed single do not. So, by "the homosexuals ignore this point," I think what John means is that "this point" is basically the crux of "the homosexuals'" argument for marriage equality. In most jurisdictions, the law treats individuals in same-sex relationships as though we are singletons. And that, in a nutshell, sucks.

Which reminds me, I once had a most bizarre, erm, "conversation" with a "marriage defender" who was trying to play Socratic Question Master with me. (They try that a lot, see also "Illusory Superiority"). In an attempt to get me to admit to some underlying hypocritical intolerance, he asked me how I felt about the fact that single people didn't receive marital benefits. As a hypothetical, he said he wanted to marry himself and asked if I opposed such a thing.

My reply, which seemed to go over his head, was that I wouldn't be opposed to a man marrying himself if that was his cup of tea, but the purpose of a marriage license is to create legal rights and responsibilities between two people such that the legal identities of two people are effectively merged into one for certain purposes. For instance, heterosexual married couples can combine their finances and file taxes jointly. Yet, it would make no sense to speak of a single man filing his taxes "jointly" with himself. In his case, only one set of finances exists, meaning that even if he were legally married to himself, he would still essentially be filing taxes as one person- a right that already exists.

As another example, heterosexual married couples can receive Social Security benefits from deceased spouses. And, unlike, say, the surviving partner of a same-sex relationship, I'm not sure a deceased man who was married to himself could put such benefits to use.

I think, in trying to construct hypothetical "gotchas," some anti-gays are missing a few common-sense chips. Which brings us back to John Noe, who continues:

"(3) Their [sic] is the concept of equality. Homosexuals are simply not equal. Science and biology says [sic] so. You cannot reproduce. You have a higher mortality rate and higher chance of sickness and disease."

Ouch. (Although, note to John: Lots of "homosexuals" still have reproductive parts).

So.... remember when Ted Olson said California's ban on marriage licenses for same-sex couples has stigmatized LGBT people "as unworthy of marriage, different and less respected" and Team Anti-Gay was all, "it defames not only seven million California voters, but everyone else in this Country, and elsewhere, who believes that the traditional opposite-sex [sic]definition of marriage continues to meaningfully serve the legitimate interests of society" to infer that animosity is behind same-sex marriage bans?


Let's summarize John Noe's deep thoughts: (A) Heterosexual married couples receive benefits that same-sex couples, who are legally treated like "single people," do not because (B) "homosexuals are simply not equal" to heterosexuals according to natural and scientific law. And because of AIDS.

Quick, somebody call this guy as an adverse witness. Preferably just in time for him to start referencing Gay Bowel Syndrome and how that somehow makes lesbians crappy parents.

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