I Do Not Think Rational Means What They Think It Means

Minnesota for Marriage (M4M) is pushing for a state marriage amendment with a series of short videos. They’ve used a number of tactics, including deceit, but their latest effort is like an arrow that doesn’t even try to find the target.

The video claims to deal with this question:

Is it true that Minnesota’s marriage law has no rational basis and only exists because of moral animosity toward gays and lesbians?

The clip starts off with a nice, logic-free ad hominem attack on Judge Vaughn Walker, who struck down California’s Prop 8. Then it continues:

Minnesota’s marriage law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, just as the law in 44 other states, is not only rational, but is profoundly in the common good. It is motivated by a sincere and well-placed interest in ensuring that children born of the sexual union of men and women are known by and cared for by their own parents. Children need a mother and a father. Marriage is society’s way of channeling potentially procreative relationships between men and women into intact families that are the ideal environment for children. So this is not about animosity toward gays and lesbians; it’s about promoting healthy families.

Did you see what isn’t there? Look again — it still isn’t there. Nowhere in this statement does M4M explain why same-sex couples shouldn’t be allowed to marry.

This video makes a case for allowing a man and woman to marry, especially for allowing a child’s mother and father to marry. That’s all. It establishes why some couples should be able to marry — without addressing why other couples should not.

But Minnesota’s proposed marriage amendment doesn’t affect the right of opposite-sex couples to marry — and further, nobody I know is threatening that right — so the video’s argument is irrelevant. This amendment is all about keeping same-sex couples (and, I suppose, groups of more than two) from marrying, but the video offers no justification for that at all. Perhaps you can extend its reasoning and come up with something, but the people who spent time and money taping this didn’t bother.

The video stumbles its way into perfect irony. If you claim you’re going to prove a rational basis for your policy, and then offer an argument that ignores the policy altogether, you might as well shout to world, “We have no rational basis for what we do!”

* Meanwhile, M4M could use this video’s rationale to promote marriage between a sexually-involved brother and sister/mother and  son/ father and daughter. And they still haven’t explained why marriage has to be just one man and just one woman. Really, M4M needs to work harder on its irrationales before committing them to video.

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4 comments to I Do Not Think Rational Means What They Think It Means

  • 1
    Rilian says:

    Banning same-sex marriage will not decrease the number of kids who are given up for adoption.

  • 2
    Regan DuCasse says:

    Well, NONE of their defense for discrimination is rational.
    1. Children ALREADY have mothers and fathers, discrimination against gay couples isn’t going to change the marital status of those hetero parents for that child one way or the other.
    2. Just as there are non married parents of their children (gay or not) that coexist in society, there are NON PARENT married people that coexist with parent married couples. Discriminating against gay couples won’t change the fact that non parent and parent couples marry with the same protections in the law.
    3. Why should the children of gay couples MATTER LESS in being secured and supported by marriage? The gender and sexual orientation of a parent is no indicator WHATSOEVER of the quality of spouse OR parent they will make and the state can’t enforce what that gender’s role is in their homes.
        Not only is there no rational basis in this discrimination, but it’s not legal to discriminate against an adult because they aren’t PERFECT parents, or parents at all to marry.
        Sometimes there are laws, like Jim Crow, that some people think elevates or maintains MORAL and intellectual superiority. No one in NOM would agree NOW that Jim Crow was indicative of actual superiority of people based solely on skin color. How they can agree that similar laws are indicative of superiority based on gender and sexual orientation is the same folly.
    Only some incredibly stupid and willfully ignorant people would be able to believe this discrimination against gay people saves, protects or does anything ELSE, but harm gay people and denying that’s what actually happens is the same blindness of results racists were and are guilty of too.

  • 3

    […] the Record, I Believe Men Should Be Able to Marry Women. Now Can We Move On? Yesterday I slammed a Minnesota for Marriage video. It promised to give us a rational basis for banning same-sex […]

  • 4
    Neil says:

    The thinking appears to be that gay couples shouldn’t parent and that preventing such couples from marrying will reduce the percentage of children that wind up with parents of the same gender. Apparently it’s thought so vital that each child have opposite sex parents that all same sex partners must be prevented from marrying, even when it makes no difference because they already have kids or never intend to acquire them.
    Just wait till M4M set their sights on single parents. If they think two parents of the same sex is bad, what will they have in store for families with only one parent in the household, mandated weddings or the kids are put into foster homes?
    It doesn’t seem like regulating access to marriage is going to change the reality of which kids have which parents. The only logic I can see in this M4M message is that they believe marriage equality, by creating a wider sense of acceptance for lebians and gay men, will mean more of us will live out of the closet. Perhaps their hope is that the more hidden we remain the less chance of us living normal lives like living openly with spouses and raising families.
    Or maybe they’re just playing the old propaganda card, the threat to children. No logic required. That would explain why it’s so elusive in M4M videos.

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