Friday, May 22, 2009

An ubelievably bad argument against gay marriage

RNC chairman Michael Steele tried the other day to turn the argument over gay marriage into a financial one. Here is what he said:
"Now all of a sudden I've got someone who wasn't a spouse before, that I had no responsibility for, who is now getting claimed as a spouse that I now have financial responsibility for," Steele told Republicans at the state convention in traditionally conservative Georgia. "So how do I pay for that? Who pays for that? You just cost me money."
I think Jon Stewart on the Daily show and Matt Bandyk's comments in US News and World Report pretty well summed up how farcical this particular argument is, but I'll pile on as well.

Specifically, I think this line of reasoning has one of two logical consequences:
  • Since this is true for straight marriages as well, this would mean that Steele - head of the party that prides itself on its support of traditional family values - is arguing against straight marriage as well, since that obviously also costs business owners the cost of providing benefits.
  • Or perhaps he's making an alternate point that businesses are currently able to save money by hiring homosexual employees, and allowing gay marriage would erode this current savings. Republicans have also traditionally been the ones who opposed what they perceive as "special rights" for gays; a policy that promotes the hiring of gays over straight people (who run the risk of getting married and thus driving up costs!) sounds like a special right to me! As a married heterosexual, I find such a policy of discriminating against non-gays to be quite disturbing.
I don't offer any of this as an argument in favor of gay marriage (with which, as it happens, I don't have a problem), I'm just pointing out that the absurdity of this particular line of reasoning. If this is the best argument against gay marriage, then there is no real debate here. Bring on some real issues we can discuss!