Box turtle fallacy debunked


Good for Steve Gimbel clearly and carefully explaining why gay marriage won't lead to human-turtle unions.



Steve emphasizes that the gay marriage debate concerns marriage as a legal construct, not as a social or religious institution. On a legal level, marriage is a recognition that people pair up to form households. Marriage is a legal combination plate that subsumes a whole bunch of rights, privileges, and obligations under a single "I do." Instead of signing a joint property contract, and a durable power of attorney contract, an inheritence without will or probate contract, etc., etc., we have a package deal called "marriage."



Steve elaborates:

Marriage exists to eliminate ambiguities in law that arise from the fact that we do tend to couple up. We arrange our lives in such a fashion that it makes it impossible under the social contract which organizes society to give rights and responsibilities to individuals whose lives are completely intertwined. There is not my money and my wife's money, there are our assets. There is not my house and my wife's house, there is our home. There are not my children and my wife's children, there is our family. When talking about tax liabilities, child welfare decisions, and life choices in general, the responsibilities and benefits are ours together. We are what Thomas Hobbes called an "artificial individual; it makes no sense to think of us as two completely different people in some legal circumstances because we decide and act as a single entity and the law must account for that. If one of us were in an accident that caused that person to be incapacitated, the decision making rights for that person immediately go to the other partner. If one should pass away, all
assets and liabilities, all responsibility for the children immediately go to the survivor. Questions about these sorts of thing need to be completely unambiguous to avoid problems like the Terri Schaivo fiasco
where different family members were trying to wrest control from each other to further their own agendas. Marriage exists to make perfectly clear who has what rights and responsibilities and who shares what rights and responsibilities.

Anyone who wants to deny same-sex couples the opportunity to enter into this legal agreement is wrongfully discriminating. Religious institutions are private clubs that can have any rules they want. The fact that marriage between two men or two women doesn't feel "real" to some people is beside the point. They're entitled to whatever cockeyed sociocultural construct will pass muster in their group, but their feelings are irrelevant to the legal principle at stake.



The law isn't allowed to engage in sex discrimination when we enter into other kinds of voluntary contracts. We abhor the provisions of Sharia that impose gender tests on other legal proceedings (testifying under oath, inheriting property, criminal justice, etc.). Our prohibition of legal gay marriage is exactly the kind of legal sex discrimination that we object to in conservative interpretations of Islamic law.

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