The National: Deconstructing threatening questions

Whenever the issue arises, so does this question: What harm or threat does gay marriage pose?

Whenever the issue arises, so does this question: What harm or threat does gay marriage pose?

It’s a question that not even David Thompson, Proposition 8 supporter and defending lawyer in the current Californian Prop. 8 trial, could answer when asked during the pretrial. His answer at the time, “I don’t know,” is perhaps the most ingenuous and plausible response yet.

Most replies generally don’t fare as well and more importantly, fail to be relevant to the legal realm of our nation. The biggest flaw in the anti-gay marriage argument is the fact that they have no answer to this question aside from responses that tend to favor a religious prescription, or statements causing one to scratch their head in bewilderment.

Statements such as Hak-Shing William Tam’s, who testified yesterday for the disputed constitutionality of Prop. 8. In a letter released to various Chinese church groups by Tam in 2008, during the height of the Prop. 8 campaigns, he urged that, should gays obtain the right to marry, the next logical step in a homosexual agenda is to legalize sex with children.

Scratching your head yet? If you aren’t, then I would ask you to deconstruct this assumption. What relation does a homosexual person have with pedophilia? Furthermore, what relation does marriage have with pedophilia? No cheating now, you have to make a genuine link between the two. “Gays are out to rape our children” doesn’t count. And if, unlike me, you are able to make such a connection, I encourage you to send a letter my way explaining your conclusion.

Wyatt Cenac of The Daily Show offered a peek into the anti-gay marriage movement’s arguments, though admittedly a comedic peek, when New Jersey failed to pass its own gay marriage bill. My favorite assertion offered was that numbers of abortions would rise.

Scratching your head again?

Though perhaps the issue at hand isn’t these hypothetical assertions that get thrown about. Maybe such questions just distract from a greater problem—rights. Giving credit to hypotheticals may just be diverting our attention from the fact that this issue is about our government’s denial of rights to gay couples. When looked at from this perspective, it isn’t difficult to see that not a single liberty is threatened for straight couples at all. But for a gay couple, it’s a different story.

However, Cenac’s satirical report did touch upon this tradition to fight for one’s rights in this country, even when those rights belong to a minority. As one African-American woman ironically stated, at one time in history she too would have had certain rights denied to her, but because of the efforts of those who came before her, she can now have equal rights in this nation.

Hmm, scratching your head yet?