Thursday, June 10, 2010

Making straights jealous

Eve Tushnet is a lesbian who is also a conservative Catholic. She's just fine with being celibate. However, she thinks all gay people should also be celibate. And of you can't be celibate, don't even think of marriage. That's for straight people. Let's see if we can unravel her logic. If gays can marry just like straights she claims there are three possible outcomes.

* There's a two tiered marriage culture. Straights are asked to do the hard things like sex only within marriage and marriage is for life. Gays define marriage for themselves.

* Everyone gets to define marriage for themselves. But if we do that we ignore the "creative and destructive potentials of 'straight' sex." Whatever that means.

* Both straights and gays restrict sex to marriage and marry for life. She hopes gay couples are willing to accept norms that are designed to meet heterosexual needs.

Alas, these three outcomes are not explained in any more detail. I shall attempt my own translation with no way to know if the result matches the intent of the author. Let's see now…

* Straight marriages, because of the potential for children, must follow the dictates of the church. Gay marriages don't need to. That will make straights jealous of the sexual freedom gays enjoy.

* Neither straight nor gay marriages have to conform to church teaching. Instead, all marriages can be whatever the couple wants them to be. That's bad because there might be children involved in the straight marriages.

* Both straight and gay marriages must follow the dictates of the church. Sorry, gays, that we have to impose on you like that even though you can't produce children the normal way.

Therefore, gays should not marry.

I'm sure there's a fallacy or two in there somewhere. Hmm. Ah, here we are.

* The church's dictates on marriage are outdated. Marriage (and sex) isn't only about the kids.

* Many gay marriages also produce children, just not in the same way straights do it.

* The religious teachings on marriage only apply to members of that religious group and should not prevent others from creating any kind of marriage they would like.

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