July 19, 2004

"Bush is a bigot."

So says an editorial in today's Capital Times. The reason is his support for the Gay Marriage Amendment. I certainly don't like the amendment, but I also don't like the sort of crude name-calling and overstatement that marks this editorial:
On the same day that the amendment was dying in the U.S. Senate, Bush was prancing around Wisconsin claiming that the amendment was needed in order to preserve "traditional marriage" and "stable families."

(Side point: I've complained about the use of the word "prancing" before. If you want to complain about Bush not caring enough about gay people, how about staying away from a word that is used to describe a man when you want to make him seem insufficiently masculine?)
Bush is lying. Families, traditional or otherwise, are not threatened by allowing loving couples to marry. Heterosexual couples who marry lose no rights if homosexuals marry. The character, content and context of a union between a man and a woman is not altered when same-sex couples are allowed to formalize their relationships.

Gay and lesbians have been marrying in Canada for a year now, and in Massachusetts for several months. There has been no change in the stability of the "traditional" family anywhere that same-sex marriages have been allowed. Nor has there been any decrease in respect for the institution of marriage - marriages between heterosexuals have continued to be performed, without interruption or any problems.

So why is the president lying about a supposed threat posed by allowing same-sex couples to marry?

Not every case of weak reasoning or insufficient evidence is "lying." If it were, then the Capital Times would be "lying" when it claims the casual observation of "several months" of gay marriage in Massachusetts proves that there has been "no change in the stability of the 'traditional family.'"

Why is he attempting to demean the country's most important document by smearing it with an official sanction of discrimination?

Out of respect for the president and his office, we suggest that he is a bigot.

What a shabby, ridiculous way to write an editorial! Do the proponents of gay marriage hope to win their cause by intimidating the opposition with name-calling? The argument for gay marriage is completely sound and reasonable. Why abandon the high ground in the debate as if you think that reason is not on your side? Bush isn't lying and he isn't a bigot, he's just pandering--and that's bad enough.

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