I interrupt this homework-filled weekend to bring you these brief messages.
Work on LOUD.ROBOT is going well. I have a new review up and the first of what I hope to be many submissions. The project has really grown on me, and I want to keep it up even after my grades are submitted. I am a little frustrated with my partner on the project, who has contributed content but still hasn’t sent the final artwork I expected about three weeks ago. At this point, I don’t even really feel like changing what I put up for the time being with whatever he’s working on, but it’s his project too, I guess.
In political news, Mike Huckabee boils my blood. In addition to reading about his plan in 1992 to quarantine AIDS patients and votes against AIDS research, Huckabee’s justifications for excluding gays from marriage rights are a joke. From a recent interview in GQ:
I don’t think the issue’s about being against gay marriage. It’s about being for traditional marriage and articulating the reason that’s important. You have to have a basic family structure. There’s never been a civilization that has rewritten what marriage and family means and survive[d]. So there is a sense in which, you know, it’s one thing to say if people want to live a different way, that’s their business. But when you want to redefine what family means or what marriage means, then that’s an issue that should require some serious and significant debate in the public square. And if you look at states that have had it on the ballot—I know in our state it was a 70-percent-against issue. Most states are similar to that. [emphasis mine]
The fact that this kind of faulty logic actually works on some people is boggling. For one, even if what Huckabee says is true, the argument that because there is no evidence of something (like a society that has successfully redefined marriage or family), it is not viable, is an argument from ignorance: “there is no evidence for p; therefore, not p.” Even someone who got a C in introductory logic can spot the fallacy. Furthermore, he seems to be insinuating that there were societies who redefined marriage and family and did not survive, and if so, he’s committed a formal fallacy – affirming the consequent.
But even if the argument itself wasn’t fallacious, it relies on false premises. Marriage and family structure have changed dramatically over the course of human history. Marriage used to be a purely economic arrangement that benefited the family (which, by the way, didn’t resemble Huckabee’s “traditional” nuclear family). Marriage for romantic love is, in historic terms, an extremely young convention. And anti-miscegenation laws existed in this country until made unconstitutional in the 60s by the Supreme Court. Perhaps Huckabee thinks we should reinstate anti-miscegenation laws, or while we’re preserving “traditional” marriage, perhaps we should bring back dowries and limit the right to divorce. Oh wait, we know he at least would like to do the latter.
The fact is, marriage traditions have changed drastically over the last few centuries, as have families. The nuclear family so revered by the right is less than two centuries old, and still society hasn’t crumbled. And I think if you ask a Canadian, Belgian, or Netherlander if their societies are on the verge of toppling for permitting same sex marriages, you’d probably get a chuckle from most.
I just wish people like Huckabee would be honest and give the real reasons why they make these arguments: because they’re homophobes and they want to appeal to other homophobes who will focus on that issue and forget for a minute about the complete clusterfuck in Iraq or the other mishandlings the current administration and the Republican party are responsible for. I honestly would respect them more for not trying to paint over the hate and manipulation with bad logic and a shitty understanding of history.
I don’t know what’s more infuriating, the argument itself, or the fact that it gets thrown up like a smoke bomb every time an election is on the horizon and gone as soon as the votes are counted. When will Republicans stop playing the gay-fear card, and when will stupid redneck homophobes stop falling for it?
Yeah, I’ll be over here holding my breath.
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