Lauren Mayer: Let’s Not Behave Like Animals (or Worry About Marrying Them)

I may be a card-carrying knee-jerk liberal, but I do my best to understand opposing points of view.  (Maybe it was all my years as a high school & college debater, where you had to argue convincingly on both sides of any question.)  I may not like their reasoning, but I can see why gun enthusiasts worry about any new laws, or why people who view life beginning at conception would try to ban abortion – They have something at stake.  However, I have yet to see a single way in which allowing same-sex marriage does anything at all to heterosexual marriage.  Divorce rates are down in Massachusetts, kids still play hockey in Canada, and the “it’s not natural” argument has been thoroughly debunked, not just by psychologists but by the volume of evidence about animal homosexuality being perfectly natural.  Bonobos do it, birds & bees do it, and probably educated fleas do it.  (Apparently there are even bisexual flowers and trees!)

The most recent arguments against marriage equality have gotten even more ludicrous.  First there was Sue Everhart, the Georgia Chairwoman of the GOP, who claimed that same-sex marriage would encourage fraudulent marriage claims in order to get federal benefits, but neglected to explain why people don’t do that already with straight marriage.  Then Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon & new darling of the right, stuck his foot even further in his mouth by using a weird series of fruit analogies (??) to explain that just because he linked gay marriage, pedophilia and bestiality in an argument against gay marriage, he didn’t really mean it.  But Dr. Carson is just the most recent marriage equality opponent to bring animals into the discussion.  Rick Santorum used the ‘slippery slope’ argument almost 10 years ago, Bill O’Reilly once famously claimed people would want to marry their pet turtles, and recently Texas Representative Louie Gohmert digressed from his opposition to limiting ammunition magazine sizes to opine that we needed some limits or people would start marrying animals.  As Jon Stewart ranted last week, “What’s with all the animal f-&#*%ing?”

Even Bill O’Reilly has seen the writing on the wall, and recently drew fire from his fellow conservatives by correctly stating that most of the objections to marriage equality involved bible-thumping rather than rational thinking.  And as more and more conservatives have children who come out to them, I think we’ll see more conscience-driven switching.  Of course, as a humorist, I’m still hoping for one of the more staunch opponents to be caught tickling his interns or playing footsie in an airport men’s room, but in the meantime, might I suggest that anyone who is still against marriage equality start using an argument that doesn’t involve nature or animals.  And while they’re trying to come up with one (good luck!), here’s a musical look at the whole animals argument:


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