Friday, September 28, 2012

'Why Same Sex Marriage Affects My Marriage' - Riley Balling Tries to Sound Smart, Fails

Early this morning the Star Tribune out of Minneapolis Minnesota, posted a commentary by Riley Balling about how Marriage Equality would affect his marriage.  Balling tries desperately to sound like he's coming from a position of intellectualism and science.  He is not, and thus fails quite handily.

Unlike yesterday's takedown of Peter Sprigg, I am not going to debate Balling's commentary in it's entirety, only the relevant portions.  The entire article can be read via the link provided above.

First, to explain, private actions have public effects. All our actions, both private and public, define our identity. Being human, we are motivated to impart our identity to future generations. As we have seen, and understandably so, people in homosexual relationships are trying to change society to more readily embrace and promote their view of their identity. This is possible largely due to the disassociation between sexual relationships and procreation.

Using "private actions have public effects," as a lead in to explain how Marriage Equality affects heterosexual marriage and therefore should be denied is like saying we should kill all the butterflies in China because of tornadoes in America.  It is one of the dumbest, vaguest, most nonsensical justifications you could possibly use.

In contrast, there are many who have not disassociated sex and children (snork, yeah the Catholic church for one), and for reasons both secular and religious have incorporated heterosexual relationships into their identity. These people have generally been trying to live up to the ideal that marriage was established millennia ago to promote the raising of children in safe environments supported by their biological parents.

And it only took a few paragraphs for Balling to get into revisionist 'history.'  If you can show me where the Bible supports Balling's last sentence above, go for it.  Likewise, if you want to show me any documentation by a historian or anthropologist that affirms Balling's last sentence above that wasn't written in the last 20 years by someone with ties to a religious organization that works to 'preserve' marriage, feel free.

Many studies show that single parents struggle to provide the safe environment provided by a two-biological-parent home. Bless the single parents who try, but there is a direct correlation between single homes and crimes of all types. If anything, the effects of broken homes indicate the importance of reestablishing the ideal of traditional marriage.

Hold on a minute, why the hell are we talking about single parents in a commentary on Marriage Equality?  It's as though Balling is hoping his readers will make the illogical jump that same-sex parents are somehow on par with single parents.  Or wait..."the importance of reestablishing the ideal of traditional marriage" Balling blaming LGBT couples for divorce rates?

Same-sex marriage falls short of producing safe environments for children because it, at the very least, reinforces changes to the marital definition.

Because it just does, god damnit.  You can see where Balling struggles to find rational support for his position.

Currently, as a society, we have wavered from this traditional motivation, and many, not all, view marriage as a venue for self-fulfillment. This modern view is directly culpable for the rise in broken homes and its resulting negative effects. Because same-sex marriage is made possible by this modern view of marriage, if we make same-sex marriage equivalent to traditional marriage, we only more firmly impart to future generations that marriage is about personal fulfillment. The cementing of the modern view will only continue its destruction of safe environments for future generations.

Huh, I guess he kind of is blaming LGBT couples for broken homes.  Way to go Riley Balling.  I have to wonder, if some of this supposed "marrying for personal fulfillment," is because of the elevated status that people like Balling give marriage.  Hell, Balling's title alone is riddled with condescension towards "other" marriages.

But what really gets me is how Balling not-too-subtlely paints his view as the one true way to see things, and fuck you if you disagree.  And of course, despite his title highlighting his marriage, Balling has these views for the good of society.

Balling also fails to mention that one of the tangible things contributing to broken homes is the fact that people like Balling, with their votes, deny same-sex couples with children the financial benefits that heterosexual couples are afforded.  If Balling was really concerned with the well being of children, he would want these couples afforded those financial benefits.  But he isn't, he's concerned with his ideal, and more so, his ideal being right.

There are many who tout the modern definition, and we are susceptible to these influences. As we listen to these influences, we change our view of marriage and our marital relationship accordingly. Same-sex marriage will only increase these influences and make it harder to promote traditional marriage.

"INFLUENCES!"  I guess Balling has nothing left to say so it was scary word time.

So to recap, Marriage equality will gravely affect Ballings's heterosexual marriage.  OH WAIT HE DIDN'T SAY THAT AT ALL!  Not once did Balling say how he, and his family specifically would be affected by Marriage Equality, or, you know, the fucking title of the article.  Oh sure, he gives a convoluted description based on how his beliefs should be everyone's beliefs on how Marriage Equality will affect society, but he doesn't say anything about his marriage.  He couldn't even prove (what I assume was) his entire motivation for writing the article.  If that's not a failure, I don't know what is.

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