Saturday, May 19, 2012

MS legislator has supernatural fears of gay marriage

A state representative from Mississippi, Andy Gipson, posted on Facebook recently responding to Obama's endorsement of gay marriage. Gipson first invoked Leviticus and Romans, the first of which calls for men who sleep with men as they do with women to be put to death. Asked to elaborate further, he had this to say:

Why am I calling these concerns "supernatural"? Well, aside from Gipson having outright appealed to biblical mandate...

1. "Unnatural behavior which results in disease" certainly sounds like he thinks gay sex causes disease. Like somehow, the act of two men having anal sex-- which is presumably what Gipson is describing, never mind that anal sex occurs between straight couples as well, and there are a lot of ways for gays to have sex besides anal intercourse, and oh yeah there are such things as lesbians-- brings HIV/AIDS into existence. I guess this occurs via spontaneous generation, like people used to believe about rats and garbage. Accumulate enough garbage, and rats will appear. They must have been produced by the garbage! It's a miracle. Only, not the kind of miracle you'd want, since (almost) nobody sits around wishing for rats or HIV. And the latter, incidentally, may be more easily transmissible via anal intercourse, but a) it would be absurd to suggest that it's difficult to protect oneself from infection, and b) two uninfected people can have all of the anal sex they want over the entire course of their lives without either one ever getting the disease. You know, such as might be the case between two married people. Including two gay married people, Mr. Gipson.

2. You see, we need to think of the children. Not because gay married couples can be expected to become parents, and unmarried gay couples are parents already, and there is reason to believe that they are somehow inferior at it in comparison to straight couples. Gipson doesn't even bother alleging that. Instead, he claims that children might be confused because gay marriage might mislead them about the "proper role of men and women in society" and the "important differences" between then, which gay people being married would somehow render obscure. He doesn't bother to explain, though, what the proper roles of men and women in society are and how gay marriage would misportray that, nor does he explain what important differences between men and women exist which gay marriage would make less obvious. Gipson simply speaks about children becoming "confused," as if they are being deceived about the reality of what men and women are and do, when in fact he is the one advocating for such deception by trying to force men and women to do and be other than what they want and are. Dobedobedo.

3. "Undermining the long-standing definition of marriage as between one man and one woman." Or one man and a bunch of women. Or one man, one woman, and a bunch of concubines. Or one man and one woman, but only if they're of the same race. We're all familiar with these very real historical and current forms of marriage that exist despite the outright denial of people like Gipson. But what baffles and amazes me about the redefinition argument, especially this version of it, is that it sounds like he honestly thinks people won't know what marriage is anymore if gays are allowed to marry. Like everybody who is currently in a non-gay marriage, or aspires to someday be in one, will suddenly forget why and lose all motivation. They'll experience a collective marital amnesia, like Goldie Hawn's character in Overboard, and cease to want and feel what they formerly did about being in love and establishing long-standing relationships based on that love. Straight people will cumulatively throw their hands in the air, forget the whole marriage enterprise, and become eunuchs I guess. Or gay, in which case I suppose they will all get gay married, which is probably one of the thoughts that makes Gipson wake up at night in a cold sweat.

All of these impulses I'm calling "supernatural" because they are literally not about reality. They are about Gipson's false impression of reality, which he portrays as real but which will be further-- let's not kid ourselves, it's already very apparent-- revealed as unreal as the cause of gay rights progresses. Sex doesn't work how he thinks it does. Men and women are not what he wants them to be. Marriage is not what he wants it to be. And that's frightening. It's really scary to be profoundly mistaken about such basic and fundamental aspects of life. But though I have sympathy for a person who is so mistaken, the solution is not to force the rest of us to conform to his delusions. Mississippi, please pay attention and vote this person out of office...he has no business being there.


  1. Gipson's arguments, just like those attempting to promote Intelligent Design, are ultimately about religion. Pull back the curtain and whoa... there's the Holy Book.

    What they forget is many of us have concluded that the Holy Book(s) are a load of crap.

  2. They don't forget that, Robert. We're just wrong on that. Because they say so. :-)

    What I found fascinating about Gipson's arguments is that they appear secular-- they're all claims about actual harm to people. It's just that they're false claims, because they're based on misperception of reality. The harm he claims will occur will not occur because the world is not the way he thinks.


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