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That Slippery Slope: Homosexuality Leads to Terrorism

Gary Kephart wrote a post on his blog yesterday while we were in the middle of a debate with Chuck DeVore.  I hope Gary doesn’t mind, but I think it is worth sharing on TheLiberalOC.com.  Here is his complete post and the commentary from Assemblyman Chuck DeVore.

That Slippery Slope: Homosexuality Leads to Terrorism

Chuck Devore is a California State Assemblyman for District 70, which includes the communities of Aliso Viejo, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, and Tustin (with a cul-de-sac in Costa Mesa and two precincts in Laguna Hills). So, if you live in that area, you may want to pay attention to this, because this fellow represents you to the state of California.

On June 17, he wrote a post about incandescent light bulbs almost being banned. Some quotes include

“Sacramento keeps getting into people’s knickers,” said Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine. “We are getting into ever-increasing levels of detail in demanding how people live their lives.”

and

“Leave people alone, and let them make their own decisions,” DeVore said.

Whereupon I replied “Like who they can marry?” (Mr. Devore is known to be against same-sex marriage). Then came his defense, part of which was this:

Social scientists and international relations experts have hypothesized that one of the reasons why the incidence of terrorism and some kinds of social dysfunction are so prevalent in certain nations is that polygamy allows the more successful men to marry up to four women. This turns many young marginal men into willing martyrs.

Really? I couldn’t let this pass, so I asked him to cite his resource for that. He posted several paragraphs then, which I’ll let you read instead of me quoting.

Where to start?  Well, first off, though he did not expressly state this, I am going to assume that he thinks that allowing homosexuals to marry will lead to polygamy. Could I be wrong here? Sure, but it is known that he is against same-sex marriage, and that’s currently a much larger concern than polygamy, and it has been stated before that the one would lead to the other. So what proof does Mr. Devore have that one leads to another? About as much as when people worried that interracial marriage would be the end of the world (see also: Loving v. Virginia).

The text that he quotes (by William Tucker) for proof that polygamy leads to terrorism is littered with “seems to be”, “probably”, “may be”, “assumingly”, and “likely”. No hard data at all. No proof of causality. The 9/11 hijackers were all men, all from the Middle East and all had dark hair (h/t Bladerunner). Do any of those guarantee that a person is a terrorist? Correlation does not imply causation. Heck, it might even be reversed: terrorism causes polygamy. A quote in the article says Misogyny may either be the reason or the result, therefore, of narcissistic rage that encourages these people to blow themselves up (emphasis mine).

The article How Pundits Fuel Nonsense takes a good look at Tucker’s analysis.

Likewise, where’s the proof that polygamy leads to misogyny? Sure, there is a correlation, but again, it does not imply causation. Not all polygamists are misogynists. Why couldn’t misogyny lead to polygamy?

If this is the logic that Mr. Devore uses when in Sacramento to help determine the fate of California, I’m worried. And his constituents should be worried also. Mr. Devore, perhaps you should change your stated reasons to be against same-sex marriage. Below are some suggestions that use equally valid logic.

  1. Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.
  2. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
  3. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.
  4. Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.
  5. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britney Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.
  6. Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.
  7. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
  8. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.
  9. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.
  10. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

So, I leave you all with this warning: watch your back for those outlaw polygamist Mormon terrorists, they’re everywhere, and they’re coming for you.


 

Comment Thread 

Gender neutral marriage reply
(Anonymous)
2007-07-02 02:01 am

Gary, you have twisted my legal analysis to suit your ends. I maintain that approving gender neutral marriage will lead to a successful challenge of laws prohibiting polygamy by a devout Muslim from Saudi Arabia who will claim, via the Fourteenth Amendment, that his First Amendment rights to freely practice his religion are being violated. That’s the legal slippery slope of which I speak.

All the best,

Chuck DeVore
State Assemblyman, 70th District
www.ChuckDeVore.com

Re: Gender neutral marriage reply
gary_kephart
2007-07-02 02:20 am

Firstly, that part of your response was one of several parts of your response, and as far as I can tell, does not pertain to any legalities. The other parts of your response addressed the legalities. I was not responding to those other parts.
Furthermore, this still does not answer why you are tying terrorism to same-sex marriages. You certainly are trying to hint at that even if you do not explicitly state it. Kinda like Dubya trying to tie Saddam to 9/11.

Re: Gender neutral marriage reply
(Anonymous)
2007-07-02 06:31 am

So Gary, are you implying that polygamy in society is fine and has no negative social ramifications whatsoever?

As for the other arguments, I was challenged by a fellow blogger to cite some studies — so I did.

All the best,

Chuck DeVore
State Assemblyman, 70th District
(Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread)
 
Re: Gender neutral marriage reply
gary_kephart
2007-07-02 07:16 am

So Gary, are you implying that polygamy in society is fine and has no negative social ramifications whatsoever?

No, I am not, nor did I ever hint at implying that. There certainly are/can be some problems with it. The book God’s Brothel: The Extortion of Sex for Salvation in Contemporary Mormon and Christian Fundamentalist Polygamy and the Stories of 18 certainly outlines specific instances. Do I think that every single instance of polygamy turns out bad? No, and I don’t know what the good/bad ratio is.
I was challenging you on your logic that polygamy results in terrorism.

As for the other arguments, I was challenged by a fellow blogger to cite some studies — so I did.

Yes, you did, and I thank you. However, I’m assuming that you’d put your best evidence forward. You did not provide compelling evidence, or *any* real evidence actually, that same-sex marriage leads to polygamy which leads to terrorism, yet this is what you believe to be true.

Anyone care to jump in on this one?