I've long argued that the debate over homosexual marriage was not about anti-gay vs. pro-gay, as it has been commandeered into, but is really about defending marriage vs. destroying marriage. The Washington [state] Defense of Marriage Alliance displayed their hostility, or at the very least, indifference toward the institution of marriage. At least in the "political theater" sense.
The group filed Initiative 957 as a reaction to the state Supreme Court's upholding of the 1998 Defense of Marriage Act. If passed, couples in the state of Washington would have three years to produce a child or have their marriage annulled by the state. The logic of course is that the DOMA says that a marriage is between a man and a woman and expresses the states 'interest in furthering procreation'. So, if people aren't procreating...then they shouldn't be married.
If someone thinks that on it's merits - if passed - this is logical and would be a good thing...I'd love to know why. Otherwise, I'm going to assume that I don't have to point out the many substantive flaws this proposal has. After all, we're translating 'state interest' to mean state mandate.
The WDMA itself calls it "absurd" and admits that it's just to get attention. I wonder if the abortion industry perked their ears up when they heard about this. After all, this would declare that we don't have a Right to our body, stabbing at the very center of the universe for pro-abortionists. On the flip side, if government can use coercion to force people to have children, then why not government forced abortions? We can have the three-year rule and a Chinese-style control over our families! But I digress...
The WDMA is correct - it is absurd. Not just the initiative itself, but where they hope this will steer the debate. They interpret the procreation angle in defending marriage as meaning that marriages must produce children when they themselves know that not to be true. Marriage doesn't mandate procreation - it encourages it by promoting the time-tested and preferred standard of one man and one woman. And it doesn't discriminate. Every single American who is not designated as a child has access to marriage. That includes the elderly, the infertile and the handicapped (all of whom this initiative would hurt) as well as homosexuals.
It doesn't, however, include sheep. Don't ba-a-a at this; sheep have recently made a contribution to controversies over homosexuality. The question is...does it help or hurt gay advancement in society, especially in regards to the marriage debate?
Researchers at an Oregon University studied the sexual activities of rams and sheep by noting who hooked up with who. They have determined that two entire species are biologically homosexual based on the 'alternative lifestyles' of nine rams: sheep and humans.
The conclusion is that these fabulous nine actually had...gay brains. Which raises all kinds of interesting questions: can we isolate these cells in the brain? Can we control and manipulate them? Will Pfizer produce a 'straight' pill? Will we be able to test for gay brains in the womb? Will it be an accepted criteria for abortion? Could (or should) the state require a 'fix', similar to a vaccination, in the name of public health?
What does this finding do to the marriage issue? Homosexual inclusion into marriage is regularly argued on the basis of 'love'. But wait a minute. Can't defenders of traditional marriage now argue that we're not going to allow the institution to be changed and redefined based on a brain disorder - an abnormality?
I only raise this now because I don't think that same-sex marriage proponents (such as Slate.com's William Saletan) should be too eager to embrace this study. This kind of study devalues homosexuals and denigrates what defines them as such by the sexual acts of animals. It's not unheard of for an animal to try fornicating with another species. Does that legitimize bestiality, or at least give rationale for studies to discover a pattern? I've seen animals eat feces. I'm sure somewhere on the Internet, there are images and videos of people doing the same. Does that scientifically justify it?
When animals do things that may be deemed unnatural or unhealthy, we chalk it up to the fact that they are...animals. With people, we call it pathological. Is it really wise to defend homosexuality based on the brain dysfunctions of sheep?
Frankly, I-957 and the William Saletan's of the world are engaging in expressions of desperation. I don't see the benefits for the 'gay agenda' in either example. If anything, they strengthen the arguments for traditional marriage.