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Thread: Andrew Sullivan vs. John Waters on gay marriage.

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    Default Andrew Sullivan vs. John Waters on gay marriage.

    He must have some crack team of researchers working with him, because nothing escapes Sullivan's notice.

    The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

    Spawned by this blog post

    normblog: Marriage as a right and as a meaning

    On this column

    Gay lobby mangles meaning of marriage - The Irish Times - Fri, Jul 31, 2009

    Gotta hand it to John Waters. When it comes to abysmal and insulting logic, he goes for broke.

    Heterosexuals, like homosexuals, are prohibited from marrying people of their own sex. It is no more valid to allege wrongful discrimination in this context against gays than to argue that cycle lanes “discriminate” wrongfully against wheelbarrows.
    Ignoring the rather salient point that heterosexuals don't want to marry people of their own sex.
    "Unless you are an absolute pacifist, then you acknowledge that there are times when taking up arms is appropriate."
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    Sullivan is an excellent polemicist particularly on this issue. Waters well.... he's Waters

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    Waters really is one of the dumbest columnists around. But that column even by his standards plumbs new depths of stupidity and ignorance, which is quite an achievement for Waters.
    "In [Ireland] a wife is regarded as a chattel, just as a thoroughbred mare or cow." Mr Justice Butler in the Irish courts. 'Traditional Marriage' in the 1970s.

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    A national embarrassment, really. His "speech" at the debate with Hitchens was excruciatingly trite.

    P.
    "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

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    Props to the blog for invoking the Hohfeldian distinction between claim rights and liberties.

    I'll just paste a letter I sent to the Times about it, since it sums up my thoughts pretty well:
    John Waters (July 31st) demonstrates a remarkable lack of understanding in arguing that Ireland’s marriage laws do not discriminate against homosexuals since “heterosexuals, like homosexuals, are prohibited from marrying people of their own sex.” Whatever about the other arguments for or against extending marriage rights to same-sex couples, this particular line of argument needs to be put to rest for the sake of those of us who are offended by sloppy logic and bad reasoning.

    Prior to the 1967 ruling of the US Supreme court in Loving V Virginia, it was illegal in some US states for individuals to marry someone of another race. Would anyone have seriously considered as legitimate the argument that a white man who is prohibited from marrying a black woman was not being discriminated against since everyone was equally prohibited from marrying someone of a different race? Such an argument is patently ridiculous, whether as presented above, or in the guise employed by Mr. Waters with regard to same-sex marriage. What gay people are seeking is the right to marry the individuals they love, regardless of gender. If Mr. Waters has good reasons for denying this, let him present them, but to frame the issue as though discrimination is not present is both absurd and insulting to the intelligence of his readers.

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    Waters annoys the hell out of me.

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    Politics.ie Member 20000miles's Avatar
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    Props to Mercurial for posting that pithy letter.

    Waters appears to be reusing a common argument, one that's popular in one form or another. The more correct view, IMO, is not that gay lobbies are bending the meaning of marriage out of shape, but that the initial problem is the State's monopolisation of the word "marriage" and what does or does not constitute a marriage. Unsurprisingly any institution the State touches immediately becomes a politicised struggle.

    Being the hardcore guy I am, I take a more extreme position: there should be no marriage laws.

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    Anyone see that RTE program on Waters there the other night? I thought it was hilarious.

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    Waters rarely relies on logic - usually just a rambalog that

    1) evokes some symbols/totems
    2) prides itself in being contrarian/asserts victimhood (though is actually on examination reactionary)
    3) is extraordinarily vague ... trying to catch the sense of what he is saying is like trying to recreate that epiphanical thought you had last night whilst stoned

    If religion is the opiate of the masses : Waters is the cannabis for "Non Dublin "Celts" who feel hippy but are in fact reactionary bigots at the core"

    cYp
    "Yawn , am I alive yet ?"

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    His "review" of the Brüno movie on Pat Kenny a few weeks ago literally made me angry, with the number of half-truths, fallacies and incoherant arguements he made all the while not really listening/remembering/twisting what the other panelist was saying. He's the one columnist that brings down The Times' high standards. If the editor had any sence, he'd fire him immediately.

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