Huckabee Compares Gay Marriage to Incest and Polygamy

Counterculture Conservative has this story of some comments by Governor Huckabee on the slippery slopes of gay marriage. Huckabee seems to thing that allowing gay marriage is no different that legalizing drugs, allowing polygamy, or endorsing incest. Counterculture Conservative is inclined to agree.

With all due respect to Counterculture Conservative, and considerably less for Governor Huckabee, I must disagree.

From the Yahoo AP feed:

Mike Huckabee, a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2012, says the effort to allow gays and lesbians to marry is comparable to legalizing incest, polygamy and drug use.

We’ll get to the slippery slope argument in a moment on this.

Huckabee also told college journalists last week that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt. “Children are not puppies,” he said.

Um, seriously? Gay people can’t adopt children, because children are not puppies? So are gay people allowed to adopt puppies, then, or are there concerns that this might encourage male dogs to leg-hump men?

And is this concern over the inability of gay couples to raise children, which is apparently justified by some unsubstantiated concern over puppies and children not being the same, going to eventually be applied to gay men who are raising their own children?

Huckabee told the interviewer that not every group’s interests deserve to be accommodated, if their lifestyle is outside of what he called “the ideal.”

Are kosher delis close enough to “the ideal” to be “accommodated”? Who determines “the ideal” here? Is it just Huckabee, or are others allowed in on the process?

“That would be like saying, well there’s there are a lot of people who like to use drugs so let’s go ahead and accommodate those who want to use drugs. There are some people who believe in incest, so we should accommodate them. There are people who believe in polygamy, should we accommodate them?” he said, according to a transcript of the interview.

At the risk of upsetting some of my more socially conservative and Christian readers, I’m going to allow my libertarian colors emerge and ask a simple question: so what?

Why shouldn’t we allow people to use recreational drug if they want to? Drug prohibition, like alcohol prohibition before it, has only given drugs a sinister and rebellious appeal, increased the profit margin and black market, created an entire criminal class, and resulted in massive amounts of violence. Is it worth it just to look down your nose at a pot-head?

And why is polygamy so incredibly evil? Aside from a decidedly religiously motivated objection from Christians, what makes plural marriage so horribly wrong? It’s worked well in cultures all across the planet for thousands of years, and while there may be some complication involving inheritance and relationship patterns that need to be thought through, I don’t see how it is inherently evil. Fine, it’s definitely not for me, but I know several people who have made plural relationships work fairly well, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t be afforded the legal benefits of marriage.

The incest argument is pretty spurious, and as far as I’m concerned is just an ad hominem attack. Does anyone seriously think that allowing gay people to marry will suddenly encourage brothers and sisters to pair up? At least anyone other than Governor Huckabee? (Insert Arkansas joke here, if you must.)

Huckabee added that his goal isn’t to tell others how to live, but that the burden of proving that a gay marriage can be successful rests with the activists in favor of changing the law.

“I don’t have to prove that marriage is a man and a woman in a relationship for life,” he said. “They have to prove that two men can have an equally definable relationship called marriage, and somehow that that can mean the same thing.”

Two points:

  1. It is about telling people how to live. Otherwise he wouldn’t have brought in the drug argument. Numerous studies have shown that drug addiction and violence would be significantly lessened by legalizing drug use. The main argument against legalization is that some people thing using drugs is bad, and so people should be stopped from it.
  2. Can anyone tell me how gay couples can prove that gay marriage can be successful is gay marriage is illegal? What kind of catch 22 nonsense is this? It not only sets up an impossible standard for approval, but it ignores the fact that millions of gay couples do have successful relationships, and even raise children successfully, despite the fact that those children are not puppies.

In response to a 1992 questionnaire from The Associated Press, Huckabee, then a Senate candidate in Arkansas, spelled out his opposition to homosexuality, saying it was crucial that the country not “legitimize immorality.”

“I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle,” he wrote, in response to a question about gays in the military.

And we get to the crux of the matter: Huckabee’s objection is religious. That’s fine — I have no issue with people that think that homosexuality is a sin and immoral. But the real issue here is that because of that religious conviction, Huckabee wants to dictate how other people live their lives, and what legal benefits they should derive from their relationships.

As governor, Huckabee supported an Arkansas policy that prevented same-sex couples from serving as foster parents. On gay marriage, he said in an interview, “Marriage has historically never meant anything other than a man and a woman. It has never meant two men, two women, a man and his pet, or a man and a whole herd of pets.”

Huckabee needs to bone up on his history. Marriage has, for most cultures across the planet, and for most of history, consisted of one man and at least one woman, with options to add as economically feasible. The rhetoric about pets is abject nonsense mean to scare people who already have moral objections to gay marriage to believe that allowing it will lead to the acceptance of other immoral behavior.

Sorry, Governor: you’re looking kind of silly here. Just say you oppose it on religious grounds and be done with it.

Now, as far as the gay marriage issue, obviously I could care less if gay people get married. I’ll allow a caveat. Throughout history, marriage has existed as an agreement not between two people, but between a couple and the community they live in. By those standards, if a couple refuses to accept a homosexual relationship as a valid marriage, it isn’t. Given our federal system and the 10th amendment, if a state wants to ban gay marriage, I can accept that as a legally binding matter, even though I personally see no reason why gay people should be allowed to marry beyond the religious argument. However, I will oppose any proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage as an unnecessary expansion of federal powers, and I will continue to argue that any state law that refuses to acknowledge gay marriages from another state violate the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution.

Good Common Sense also comments on Huckabee’s comments:

Once you start changing who can and can’t get married, then Pandora’s box is open. And you don’t have to take my word for it. It’s a historical fact. It used to be, in America, that you couldn’t get married if you weren’t the same race (at least, until 1967 (or 2000)). Or the same religion. Or too close on the family tree. The marriage age used to be much lower. But then they started changing things, and where have we ended up? Now you have a handful of states that recognize gay marriage, and probably more soon. And who knows what could be next? Human-animal marriage? Gay human-animal marriage? There’s no way to re-draw that line once we start erasing it. The only answer is to leave it where it’s been for 5,000 years by repealing all of these recent changes. Now that’s traditional.

Oh, snap.



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