There is an argument against homosexual marriage that I have offered from time to time which has been met with a strange sort of incredulity. It came up again the other night during the Q&A after my debate with Clarke Cooper, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, and so I thought I should jot down a few additional thoughts about it here.
There are two kinds of “beyond-two plurality” in marriage. One is old school — polygamy — and I have argued that it is not possible to argue for homosexual marriage without all those same arguments being available for use by the polygamists later on. As I said in the debate, if you leave the key under the mat, more people than just you can use it.
But the other kind of plurality in marriage is required by bisexuality, and this argument is the one that results in the incredulity . . . as though I don’t know what bisexuality actually is (which was in fact one of the questions in the Q&A). So to get one thing out of the way right at the top, I don’t believe that it is mandatory for a bisexual man to pursue a guy and a girl at the same time. All that is necessary for my argument is that it could entail this, and whether or not it did would be entirely up to the lusts of the person concerned. If a man is lusting for something, by what principle can we deny him a marital imprimatur for it? By what standard?
If a bisexual man marries in a state that allows him to marry either a man or a woman, this means that he is being forced by that state to choose which side of his sexual identity will be expressed in marriage. The other side of his sexual identity (the way God made him, forsooth!) is being stifled by the narrow-mindedness of the state in question. It may be actually suppressed, or it might still be expressed by cheating, or by getting a tolerant partner who wants an open marriage. But whatever he does, the state forbids a bisexual sexual expression within the confines of marriage. And what I want to know is, where is the hate coming from, man?
There is another implication to this that I did not bring up at the debate because the math would get too complicated, but it bears mentioning here. Given the principles of our new marital logic, bisexual marriage requires at least three people, but it actually opens us up to a lot more than that. Since the math can get convoluted, let’s make it a story problem.
So logic eventually catches up with us, and we have the first state that allows bisexuals to marry. Our long national nightmare is over. So Bob marries both Suzy and George, and everybody’s happy, right? But are Suzy and George married too? It seems that we should allow it, but the fact that Bob is deeply in love with Suzy, and also in love with George, and vice versa, does not mean at all that George and Suzy need to have the hots for one another. But . . . they too are bisexual. Oh, no! This means that Suzy has Bob, but gets to pick Kimberly for her three-way marriage. Kimberly is also bisexual, and she is married to Henry. In the meantime, George has met Megan, the love of his life, girl-wise. Megan is bi also, and she has Gloria waiting in the wings. Still with me?
Now there are certain legal questions, like whether this is going to be a great big globule marriage, with Kimmberly being married, kinda, to Bob and to George, making it a marital orgy, or whether this is actually going to be a chain of discrete marriages. Some may look at this arrangement and see the world’s largest daisy chain, but I see a cash cow for marriage and family attorneys. Follow the money, man.
In the Q&A after our debate, one person said, with dismay, but “that would be cheating!” And it struck me that something else is going on, at least with some folks.
There are three kinds of responses to this argument. The first swallows the reductio — “yeah, sexual liberty means liberty to do whatever the hell you want.” Sleep with whoever you want, and marry whoever you want. As a few simple thought experiments would show — like the experiment above — this would not broaden marriage, but would rather destroy it. And that, incidentally, is the actual point.
The second would be the homosexual activist who does see the force of the argument, but who has enough PR sense to not want video or audio of anybody swallowing the reductio to get out. Somebody would send a copy to the Family Research Council, and they would post it on their website under the headline “See?” Incrementalism means that you don’t reveal your whole agenda at once. This helps account for some of the “bewilderment” when this is raised. Nobody is proposing this, and nobody will propose it, at least until ten minutes after the previous perversion is codified in law.
The third kind of response — and this was the surprise to me — is that of the sentimentalist homosexual. Such a person has bought into all the propaganda about homosexuality being okay, and so has ditched that particular traditional value, but he still clings to another traditional value with real tenacity. He believes in the happy endings of chick flicks as fervently as anybody ever did. He may be a sodomite, but he is also a sap. Same sex is okay, but the number “two” (being necessary to contours of the “true love story”) is absolutely sacrosanct.
This is woven tightly in with the sexual envy directed at heterosexual couples who are truly happy together. Why should they have the happy endings? This is an emotional attachment that some people still have, but the logic of the sexual revolution will deal with it in due course.
“But traditional love stories have always involved just two . . .”
“Traditional? Right. Like you guys care about that.”
Follow the logic. Do the math. Don’t be like the guy who shot his parents and pleaded for the court to show mercy because he was an orphan.