Tom Emmer sucks, and the anti-gay marriage camp is running out of arguments.

Most political TV ads are ridiculous, and that’s not surprise to anyone. But Tom Emmer, who is running for governor of Minnesota, has approved one that focuses entirely on gay marriage (a topic about which he refuses to answer any questions during debates, and claims instead to be only focused on jobs and the economy).

Here’s an old one that was aired before Emmer was officially the Republican candidate:

I take issue with all of it, but let’s touch on just one thing here: the idea that anyone should get to “have a say.” If anyone should be allowed to vote on whether or not gay couples should have the right to marry each other, let’s let the people who would ultimately be affected by this legislation vote on it: gay people. If you’re heterosexual, you need not be concerned about whether or not gay people can marry someone of the same sex, because it has nothing to do with you, your marriage, you religion, your god, your cat, or your entire fucking life. So if you disagree about the fact that the right to marry should be extended to non-heterosexual people, piss off. NO, you don’t have a right to vote on whether or not other people get to get married. Besides the belief that you can or should vote about whether two people who aren’t you should be legally allowed to get married being mean, it just doesn’t make any fucking sense.

Anyway. Here’s what they’re airing while I eat dinner every night:

And here is a refreshingly excellent response, explaining exactly why the idea that anyone can “impose” marriage on anyone else doesn’t make any fucking sense:

Fuck you, Tom Emmer.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in LGBTQ, Politics, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Tom Emmer sucks, and the anti-gay marriage camp is running out of arguments.

  1. I am, as you know, pro-gay marriage. But I do take issue with the identity politics underlying this assertion:

    “If anyone should be allowed to vote on whether or not gay couples should have the right to marry each other, let’s let the people who would ultimately be affected by this legislation vote on it: gay people.”

    Consider what happens if we apply this assertion to the Bush tax cuts. In one respect, everyone is affected if the tax cuts expire: the less revenue the federal government takes in, the less the public can expect in the way of funding for education, health care, and the environment. At the same time, the rationale for wealth redistribution is by no means self-evident — especially if we make the assumption that the right to self-determination trumps all other goods (I don’t). Shouldn’t the rich be allowed to decide for themselves whether or not to pay more taxes? Who are we to impose our vision of the “common good” on CEOs and investment bankers?

    • April says:

      Good points.

      I don’t consider same-sex marriage comparable to tax cuts or increases; on the other hand, I don’t necessarily think that either of those should be left to popular vote. You’ve stumped me, though, because I’m just left wondering what kind of thing is appropriate to leave up to popular vote– especially when the item up for voting only (on a superficial, immediately-apparent level) affects only one segment of the population, like allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire.

      I don’t ultimately believe that it’s fair to allow the public to vote in favor of, or against, any measure that ultimately affects a group’s freedom or equality. We’ve proven time and again that the general public’s biases and possibly discriminatory beliefs– like the rampant and socially-accepted racism against African Americans in the 60’s– are often maintained despite legislative efforts on behalf of politicians and civil rights groups. I don’t believe that an increase or decrease in taxes would affect either freedom or equality, though, but both of those concepts can wind up being quite abstract.

      I would be in favor of, say, localized voting efforts on how to determine where and how tax dollars are spent in that local region, but not necessarily who pays what amount. The possibility for maintaining one’s self-interest above all other considerations in that situation is too great, I’m afraid.

      Ultimately, though, allowing same-sex marriage to become legal affects no one but the couples getting married. Although you could say that it would have a greater impact on the society at large over time– wider acceptance of non-hetero people, more married couples and therefore the possibility for more stable family structures, wider acceptance for “different” types of families. But the “other side” is also claiming that some of the effects of legalized same-sex marriage would be some kind of detriment to society: a collapse of traditional moral values, moving further from their idea of the Christian way of life, people marrying their dogs and cats, etc; but these possible “consequences” are already in a moral grey area where we already disagree.

      I think I deviated a bit from the topic in your comment, but I agree with you about the dilemma you’ve brought up.

    • Jim says:

      “I’m just left wondering what kind of thing is appropriate to leave up to popular vote– especially when the item up for voting only (on a superficial, immediately-apparent level) affects only one segment of the population, like allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire. ”

      Taxation and the public services it feeds are everyone’s business, and thought out to be the criterion. The rich benefit disprortionately from government protection of their property through the enforcement of laws and general respect for law in this society. They should pay more for that. They have the most to lose.

    • Jim says:

      That analogy fails because tax cuts afect the entire society in a way that individual marriages don’t. At most child-prodcuing marriages affect society, so perhaps it is heterosexual couples that should be required how their marriage will affect society. If society at large decides there’s too great a chance the kids will become a burden in one way or the other -high risk of criminlaity, parent’s inability to support them – should we be empowered to ensure the couple doesn’t reproduce, for instance? Maybe we should just have a No-Child policy enforced with forced abortions, at least in high density areas.

      Maybe not.

  2. Kristi says:

    In a nut shell, no, the public should never even have to option to vote on something that is a violation of the constitution. But, I do see April’s point on an argumentative level. I have always felt that if you can’t actually ever get pregnant, you shouldn’t get to have an opinion, or make laws, about what happens as a result of an unplanned pregnacy…abortion. I’m not making any claims that I can flush that opinion out with logic. It’s the “you don’t have a fucking clue, so, none of your fucking business,” logic. Same with gay marriage, don’t like it, don’t get one.

    • April says:

      Agreed. I don’t actually think that the public should ever vote on marriage. Luckily, it’s worked out in some places (Iowa, for example), but it shouldn’t be left up to the public’s opinion.

    • JutGory says:

      April: “I don’t actually think that the public should ever vote on marriage.”
      Minnesota law already has many prohibitions on marriage. They have already voted on it.
      You can’t get married if you are under 18.
      You can’t get married to someone who is already married.
      You can’t get married to someone you are closely related to.
      You can’t get married to someone of the same sex.
      Apart from the age prohibition (which are routinely placed on minors), are you prepared to get rid of all of these other prohibitions?
      -Jut

    • April says:

      You’re being disingenuous. Clearly, I am not discussing legalities concerning marriage other than the right for people to choose, legally, to marry someone of the same sex. Restricting one’s right to marry until they are legally an adult does not prohibit a person from being married; it prohibits children from being exploited. Want to lower the legal age of adulthood? Sure; let’s vote on that. Want to marry your first cousin? Sure; since it’s well-established that marriage no longer exists for the sole purpose of procreation, let’s legalize it. You want to marry someone who’s already married? Push for legalization of polyamorous relationships being legally recognized.

      Anyway, what you’re suggesting is the tired fallacy of the slippery slope. Am I “prepared” to get rid of the other prohibitions? Really? For one thing, legalizing gay marriage does not mean that evrything related to laws surrounding marriage are suddenly defunct and chaos ensues. Secondly, should any person or group wish to challenge other laws related to marriage, they are free to do so.

    • Clarence says:

      I’m in favor of gay marriage, April.

      But there is a legitimate argument to be made for the slippery slope. It’s not a logical fallacy to argue it, and indeed, in some cases one can see the phenomenon play out, See for instance how gun control ended up morphing into a gun ban in Britain. But that’s the point: it doesn’t always apply. I think JutGory would have done better to ask you if you were willing to risk a slippery slope in exchange for gay marriage. Since I think marriage has already been destroyed by unilateral (aka “no fault” ) divorce, I don’t see how gay marriages could hurt the institution any more than it already has been, and, barring clear cut evidence of harm, I can’t see any legitimate argument for the state discriminating against people solely on the basis of who they choose to love and live with.

    • April says:

      I think you’re right about slippery slopes; it can, and does happen on occasion. Consider, though, other changes that have happen with regard to marriage. In the US, interracial marriages were illegal in most states until 1967. I wonder if people then who may have been opposed to such a thing wondered whether, if they allowed blacks and whites to marry, if one day we’d all go nuts and lets gays get married to someone of the same sex, too? But look, same-sex marriage is supported by nearly half of the US population according to one survey, with only roughly a quarter of Americans believing that gay couples should have no legal recognition. If people are afraid of the potential legality of other currently-prohibited recognitions or “official” relationships, it’s likely that, by the time anyone gets around to fighting for more rights for more people, or fighting to abolish more laws related to marriage, the public will eventually grow to support the idea.

      Since I think marriage has already been destroyed by unilateral (aka “no fault” ) divorce, I don’t see how gay marriages could hurt the institution any more than it already has been, and, barring clear cut evidence of harm, I can’t see any legitimate argument for the state discriminating against people solely on the basis of who they choose to love and live with.

      While I agree with your principle argument that there is no threat to legalizing same-sex marriage, the way that you worded your statement leads me to question whether you would still be in favor of same-sex marriage if divorce was either uncommon, or not as easy to acquire. The argument that “marriage is already a crap institution, so let’s let the gays have it” has a really bad taste to it.

    • Clarence says:

      I’m in favor of gays getting at least some of the rights of marriage regardless of whether it harms marriage or not. It’s the right thing to do: it’s not moral to keep loved ones from ones hospital bed or forbid people from declaring a partner on their health insurance, or refuse to grant transfer of property in the way the owner of that property desires.

      My only point in bringing the whole thing up was that the conservatives who oppose this would get more respect from me if they would at least try to and talk about how to RESTORE FAULT DIVORCE to marriages that involve children. This is a marital reform that I’m sure needs to happen as a public policy , and relatively soon, or within 25 years marriage will be irrelevent to the population at large and gays will gain nothing from having it anyway.

    • JutGory says:

      April,
      I am not being disingenuous. I can see no difference between one qualification and the others.
      (Obviously, the age requirement is a bit different than the others; so I am going to ignore that one for purposes of this comment.)
      I could easily suggest you are being disingenuous. You say that the public should not vote on marriage when: 1) they already have; and 2) you only want to fix the parts you don’t like (let the polyamorous people fight their own battles for their own rights; why should you care about them, right?).
      So, yes, I will put it out there: EVERY restriction on marriage is arbitrary. You want to take one down, you have to support taking them all down (especially if you are doing it one the principle that no one should be able to vote on marriage).
      Or, just be honest: you think gays should be able to marry, but incest is icky and you have problems with polygamy. Straw Man? Or do you have a principled distinction between those three catagories.
      -Jut

    • April says:

      You say that the public should not vote on marriage when: 1) they already have; and 2) you only want to fix the parts you don’t like (let the polyamorous people fight their own battles for their own rights; why should you care about them, right?).

      You’re misrepresenting what I’ve said, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that because I initially replied to you from a phone (which is an annoying, at best, method of commenting on blogs), that I may have lacked some clarity in my response.

      I said:

      Want to marry your first cousin? Sure; since it’s well-established that marriage no longer exists for the sole purpose of procreation, let’s legalize it.

      Legalizing between marriage between relatives (of opposite or same sex) is something I would also say should not need to be voted on by the public, but rather left to legislators whom we elect (let’s be honest, in the US, we indirectly vote for a great deal of things; we are only discussing direct popular vote in this post, as seen in Prop 8 and in other states) because the only meaningful opposition to legalizing marriage between relatives like first cousins would be on the basis of someone or some group’s morality (usually Biblically-based), or the possibility of birth defects should they have children. This is similar to the opposition to same-sex marriage, only replace “birth defects” with “not naturally procreative.” It’s already established that marriage no longer exists as a means to produce children, and regardless of how I feel about a couple’s decision to have children, it’s not my place to police anyone’s reproductive rights; and as for the other reason, another person’s moral beliefs should have no bearing on another’s actions that do not affect the person holding the opposing moral beliefs. Therefore, whether or not I believed that “incest is icky” is irrelevant. The point is, if it were to become legal for cousins to marry each other, that doesn’t mean that I have to marry my cousin, and two cousins marrying each other in no way affects me, so there is no reason for me to be opposed to two cousins marrying one another. I am also uninterested in marrying a female, just as most opposed to same-sex marriage are uninterested in marrying a person of the same sex. But no one will make me marry a person of the same sex should it become legal for two women to get married to each other.

      let the polyamorous people fight their own battles for their own rights; why should you care about them, right?

      No. The suggestion is that, if a person or group feels that current restrictions on marriage are unjust, then legislation should be proposed, petitions signed, congresspeople called and written to, etc. I would certainly be in favor of polyamorous marriages if the issue was raised; in fact, I have read on various blogs and heard elsewhere that there are already groups working in favor of this. I wrote a blog post about a year ago discussing something similar. I’m at work and don’t really have the time to find it for you, but I’ll look when I get home.

      As far as what should be voted on, my line is drawn at the point where one’s personal moral values inform their opposition. As I suggested upthread, there are certain things that make sense to vote on, like at what age one should be considered a legal adult. That is the law that prevents 12-year-olds in the US from marrying each other, or 30-year-olds from marrying 14-year-olds, etc. Deciding who should be able to marry whom is not one of those things, though.

    • April says:

      This thread is getting distorted. If you wouldn’t mind starting a new one for your reply, I’d appreciate it, for viewing’s sake.

    • Jim says:

      “I have always felt that if you can’t actually ever get pregnant, you shouldn’t get to have an opinion, or make laws, about what happens as a result of an unplanned pregnacy…abortion. ”

      Even if it’s your own child, your own flesh and blood in there in someone else’s body?

      That’s the principle. But in practice, I have yet to see an example where I would be willing to force a woman to term.

    • April says:

      For most people in the pro-choice camp, at least in the feminist pro-choice camp, the argument is that the fact that the pregnant woman’s body, which she should have full autonomy over just as men have over their bodies, is required to support the growing fetus is what makes the decision solely the pregnant woman’s, without the requirement that one consider whose DNA contributed to the creation of said fetus.

      …But I cringe at the idea of an abortion derail on this thread, so I’d be happy to start a new post where we can suss out the moral, ethical, personal arguments in favor of, or in opposition to, a woman’s right to choose abortion, rather than keep it going on the comment thread for this post. That is, if there’d be interest in it. I know how needlessly volitile that topic can be, so I tend to avoid it on this blog, but who knows; it could be interesting.

      (comment edited because the first sentence didn’t make any damn sense the first time)

    • Jim says:

      And I apologize for even raising the spector of one.

      You might want to post of boundaries of responsibilites and rights in gnereal on reproduction, since there are always at least three people involved. Here’s an example of another section of that discussion:

      http://www.avoiceformen.com/2010/09/11/a-lack-of-rights-for-men-a-mother-fights-back/
      and
      http://www.avoiceformen.com/2010/09/12/an-open-letter-to-senator-charlie-justice/

      There were some articles on this issue in Broadsheet on Salon about a year or so ago too.

  3. Brittany-Ann says:

    Very good points. I don’t see how anyone can be so bigoted that they’d think it’s a good idea, or even a “right” to vote on the rights of others. That leads us down a very scary and alarming road. These people aren’t even comfortably in the majority, and they know it. They know the stats–that racial minorities will outnumber whites within fifty years. They know that as time progresses, we get more and more enlightened and less bigoted towards the religious, racial, sexual minorities.
    Disregarding the obvious wrongness of voting on rights, logically, if you choose to go down that road, knowing that soon you’ll be the minority, your rights might be voted upon. That should scare them, and if nothing else, should keep them from going down that road. But it doesn’t. And the mind continues to boggle.

    Thanks for directing me to No8’s video.

  4. Jim says:

    April, what is happening in Minnesota? You people in the upper Midwest used to be the solid center of the country, better educated general population than the rest of the country, progressive, commonsensical – what happened, did all (most of) the sensible people move west that all real red-blooded Americans do?

  5. Clarence says:

    Despite all the arguing on here, we DO to an extent already vote on what rights to grant groups within the country. Such votes are done by Constiutional convention, and though rare and requiring super majorities we could vote tomorrow for an Amendment to make Sodomy punishable by the death penalty or conversely to make Beastiality legal. The checks on this process are that it takes alot of time and the changes must be popular with both the citizenry and the legislators.

Comments are closed.