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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Thursday, December 01, 2005

McIlheran Watch: Oh, no, he didn't!

One quick post before I'm off to the airport . . .

I knew, just from reading the title of McIlherans' latest dreck, that I would get angry reading it:
Gay marriage debate is really about your right to disagree
On its face, it doesn't make sense. Explained, it makes less. After bringing in the spectre of activist judges and the horror show that is domestic partner benefits, Pat gets to what he's really upset about,
The campaign for gay marriage is all about denying anyone the ability to disagree. If we are told by legislators or courts to permit same-sex marriage, then any disagreement we might have with it can have no effect on what we do or say. The law will have told us that we must regard the couple as married, even if we think that's nonsense.

That's because marriage isn't about mutual affections, an ungovernably private matter. Nor is it the prerequisite to intimate relations: No one suggests a lack of a legal document has kept any couple pining in separate beds.

Rather, marriage is about declaring those mutual affections before the world and having the world in turn regard two people as a unit. [. . . O]nce the state says marriage includes mutual husbandry, there's no disagreeing. The moment you treat the couple any differently than any other, you'll find yourself cornered by a motivated, high-end pro-bono lawyer ready to dice, slice and ice you. Good luck.
McIlheran errs first in confusing the campaign against writing discrimination into the state constitution with a campaign to legalize gay marriage in the state. The two things are different, and there are no multi-million-dollar efforst ramping up to overturn Wisconsin's law that prohibits the state from recognizing gay marriages. He errs again in mislabeling what that non-existent campaign would likely be about: The gay people I know want to get married, not sue Pat McIlheran for being a bigot.

McIlheran is offended, for example, that a supporter of gay marriage like Rabbi Eric Joffee might compare him to Hitler ('cause, you know, Hitler was all about granting gay rights!) or that the First Amendment might suddenly disappear. In the first instance, I have to say, toughen up, Pat: If you don't get compared to Hitler in your chosen career, you're probably not doing your job. In the second, well, Amendment One isn't going anywhere, so Pat's right to express his bigoted opinions is safe and sound. Mostly, though, McIlheran is being deceptive by using these scare tactics to support the amendment currently being debated for Wisconsin; even if it fails (which I hope it does), gay marriage would still be illegal in this state!

But I guess the question I have for McIlheran is, why would anyone want to discriminate against a gay or lesbian couple? And why should we try to defend them if they do?

At least Pat never trotted out the "we need to protect marriage" canard, I'll give him credit for that. I'm still curious to know what some people think we're protecting it from . . .

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