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Today in 'um, yeah, obviously': Stunt marriages not confined to opposite-sex partnerships

by Jeremy Hooper

For the life of me I don't understand why I'm supposed to be annoyed with the two straight men in New Zealand who are apparently planning to enter into a same-sex union in order to win a radio contest. I mean, I think it's a very bizarre choice. And yes, there is an undercurrent of homophobia, considering it's being portrayed as an "extreme" stunt kind of thing. But for the most part, I'm just kind of like, "whatever." People are of their own free will, and if these straight men want to make this unusual choice for themselves and their apparently platonic love, then that does not harm me.

But of course Jennifer Roback Morse, formerly a top cat at the National Organization For Marriage and who remains a player on the larger "protect marriage" stage (she's appearing alongside NOM and others at a big event in Utah later this week), is portraying this as some sort of new slippery slope development. She writes:

Two men can get married for any reason they want. The law does not require them to prove that they are actually “gay,” or that they “love each other,” however those terms might be defined in a legal context. (!)

I hate to say I told you so. But I told you so.

Back in 2010, I created this talk that showed what life under a genderless marriage regime would look like, thirty years on. The story did not contain a single “gay” or “lesbian” person. The story showed that changing the law would induce a whole series of behaviors among people who are not same sex attracted. Two men may want to get married to get off-base housing in the military. Or to get one of them a green card.

Or to win a radio contest.

Gay activists and their wealthy patrons seem surprised that they do not get to control what everyone does and why they do it.

They have not really thought through what redefining marriage will actually mean for the whole of society.
Rugby buddies get married: what’s the problem? [Ruth Institute]

I love how Morse acts like she's "found us out" or something. That's kind of her M.O. She fancies herself a but of a prophet (often with truly hysterical results).

But here's the thing: sham marriages, stunt marriages, marriages of convenience, and the like, have all been happening for as long as there has been something called marriage. Men and women who are not in love with each other famously marry so that they can obtain green cards. Gay people sometimes enter into opposite-sex union in order to please their families and what they see as the status quo. Opportunistic people marry so that they can tap into their spouse's oversized savings account. Etcetera, etcetera.

So long as there is an institution called marriage, there is plenty of room for people to find unfortunate, unorthodox, gold-digging, or an infinite number of reasons for entering into it. The legalization of same-sex unions changes nothing here, other than the potential for same-sex couples to do exactly what opposite-sex couples have done. The law does not demand that any spouse-to-be prove his or her sexual orientation or true love for his or her intended. There is no policy difference here. None. Zilch. Nada.

Again, I think it's a boneheaded choice, just like I've considered many heterosexual reality TV weddings, ill-advised celebrity unions, and even mismatched unions that I know in my personal life to be boneheaded moves on the part of the spouses. But people are going to do what they are going to do. And I do mean people—not gay people or straight people or any specific type of people.

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