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08/01/2013

We will never stop connecting gays to incest, vows Illinois' top 'protect marriage' group

by Jeremy Hooper

Laurie Higgins uses extreme and deeply offensive rhetoric; that is not news to anyone who follows LGBT politics.

But the fact that the Illinois Family Institute, the organization leading the fight against civil marriage equality, keeps using these extreme views in its official talking points is certainly noteworthy:

Screen Shot 2013-08-01 At 8.25.11 Am
[IFI]

Okay, first off—stop with the idea that gays are not sexually complimentary. Unless Laurie Higgins has had more gay sex than I have, she knows not of what she speaks. Gay people are, in fact, sexually complimentary—physically, emotionally, and in every way that a heterosexual couple can be. What is both offensive and dangerous is telling gay people that our only choice is to force ourselves into a sexuality that does not match our lives—something that the IFI tells LGBT people all the time (see their close ally Linda Jernigan). I don't think Ms. Higgins really wants her straight children to find themselves in marriages with closeted gays.

Then there's the reproduction card. Unless and until these special interest groups propose a bill that mandates reproduction as a part of marriage, they have no leg to stand on here. None. Zero. Nil. Some married folks, same-sex or opposite-sex, start families while others do not (or cannot). The willingness and/or ability to have children is not an acceptable reason to deny a civil license that doesn't require or even speak to the number of kids that the couple will parent. It's a bit like judging a persons' ability to obtain a driver's license by focusing on the make or model of their car.

And then there are the biggies: Incest and polygamy. Laurie isn't just mentioning those things as some sort of thought exercise; Laurie is dropping those loaded words into the conversation because she, a dedicated (and way too verbose) writer in a movement that is bleeding moderates, knows that these terms invoke fear within her committed audience's minds. It's all part of the radical anti-LGBT agenda. It's been going on for years, and we all realize it for exactly what it is, even if these Falwells- and Schlafflys-come-lately think they are being novel.

The fact of the matter is that any variation on marriage that might scratch someone's brain is a byproduct of marriage itself, not "same-sex" or any other kind of marriage. As long as there is an institution we call marriage and there are human minds with capacities for thought, there is potential for an enterprising person or group to think of some sort of way they might alter the current system. This could include anything under the sun. However, anyone with a new idea must meet the required tests, be they in the legislative, judicial, executive, electoral, or public opinion spaces. Here in America, we all have the right to propose new ideas, but we do not have the right to infuse them with merit. We have tests in place to gauge merit; same-sex couples and our allies have passed every test with flying colors.

Even if enterprising fans of polyamorous relationships use overlapping arguments involving the legislation of morality, same-sex couples' own arguments are not to blame for polygamy, a biblically-based form of marriage. It is completely anti-intellectual to pretend that an unrelated movement is unacceptable because others might cite its precedents. It is also unfair to ask people who are not at all advocating for a certain custom to answer for another potential fight. Only in a movement as anti-intellectual and unfair as the "traditional marriage" movement would this kind of thing make its way off the factory line.

And on incest, I'm not even going to further dignify Ms. Higgins' offensive (and disgusting) attempts. Everyone knows the deep and abiding reasons why we oppose interfamilial relations (e.g. genetic disease, abuse, consent, etc.). Ms. Higgins knows them too, and she knows that every single credible person arguing for marriage equality strongly opposes incest. She just doesn't care; she has a minority population to demonize.

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