Wednesday, February 16, 2005


I’ve never had the endurance to slog through political party platforms, but finding a couple of gems of absurdity in them is made easier by excerpts in “Take Them at Their Words: Shocking, Amusing and Baffling Quotations from the G.O.P. and Their Friends, 1994-2004,” by Bruce J. Miller with Diana Maio (Academy Chicago Publishers, 2004).

This first quote is from the North Carolina Republican Party platform adopted in 2002:

We believe homosexuality is not normal and should not be made an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle either in public education or in public policy. We oppose special treatment by law based on nothing other than homosexual behavior or identity. We therefore oppose actions, such as “marriage” or the adoption of children by same-sex couples, which attempt to legitimize and normalize homosexual relationships. We support the Defense of Marriage Act.

North Carolina hicks, right? But the hicks were actually more clever in phrasing their platform than the witty, urban sophisticates who wrote the 2000 Republican Party platform (“Renewing America’s Purpose. Together.”), part of which is quoted here. Read carefully:

We support the traditional definition of “marriage” as the legal union of one man and one woman, and we believe that federal judges and bureaucrats should not force states to recognize other living arrangements as marriages. We rely on the home, as did the founders of the American Republic, to instill the virtues that sustain democracy itself. That belief led Congress to enact the Defense of Marriage Act, which a Republican Department of Justice will energetically defend in the courts. For the same reason, we do not believe sexual preference should be given special legal protection or standing in law ...

Perhaps careful reading isn’t necessary after all. Any idiot knows that men preferring to have sex with women and vice versa is, by definition, a sexual preference, making this plank in the platform self-defeating, since the Defense of Marriage Act gives heterosexual marriages special legal protection and standing in law.

The North Carolinians get around this by opposing “special treatment by law based on nothing other than homosexual behavior or identity.” Unfortunately, the Defense of Marriage Act is just that, because it’s a law based on keeping homosexuals (or those with more exotic preferences, theoretically) from marrying.

Nice try, idiots. Better luck next time writing around this little logical fallacy.


Indri said...

Should the italicized word here be "children"?

We therefore oppose actions, such as “marriage” or the adoption of couples by same-sex couples,

Otherwise, go get 'em, tiger. But then everyone knows how I feel about this issue. These people make my stomach hurt. Why, why, why do they waste so much time and energy denying love? Is there so little in their own lives that they have to shoot it down in those of others?

Scape7 said...

Fixed. Thanks.

eric said...

Good post, Marc. You're back on the right horse.


Scape7 said...

And thanks to you, too, Eric. I'm glad my descent into writerly prose didn't scare you off.