New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan has relentlessly pushed back against marriage equality with a plethora of offensive, distorted statements against the LGBT community. As the Senate nears a vote on the matter, Dolan pulls out all his favorite talking points for an interview with the National Catholic Register:
1. MARRIAGE EQUALITY IS NOT ABOUT GAY RIGHTS: “I’m particularly upset that they seem to have been successful in reducing this to a matter of gay rights, where it has nothing to do with it.”
If it’s not about gay rights, what is it about? There are already same-sex marriages in New York; they’re just imported. If this question is about anything other than gay rights, it’s about revenue for the state. But it is very much about whether same-sex couples get the same protections and recognition as opposite-sex couples.
2. SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IS LIKE POLYGAMY: “If a [heterosexual] wanted the state legislature to accommodate his desire to have his relationship with two women and have it declared a marriage, we’d be against it. We’re not talking about anti-anybody; we’re talking about pro-marriage.”
Nobody is asking for polygamy; it’s not part of the discussion. The slippery slope argument is a logical fallacy.
3. GAY IS A LIFESTYLE: “You don’t redefine marriage — a given — just to accommodate people’s lifestyle.”
It’s not a lifestyle. Sexuality is an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual, and/or affectional attraction toward others, and biology plays a significant role in determining it.
4. CATHOLICS ARE THE REAL VICTIMS: “They talk about bullying? I haven’t seen anybody on our side resort to name-calling or threats, but Lord knows they’ve been bullying us.”
This from the man who has compared same-sex relationships to incest, suggested that marriage equality is an imposition of communism, and called LGBT families “perilous” and “detrimental to the common good.”
5. SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IS LIKE INCEST: “You think somebody that wants to marry his sister is going to now say, ‘I have a right.’ I mean it’s the same principle, isn’t it?”
Nobody is asking for incest; it’s not part of the discussion. The slippery slope argument is a logical fallacy.
6. SAME-SEX MARRIAGE COULD CHANGE BASEBALL’S RULES: “I worry too about government intrusion. On my blog I said this seems to have a lot of traction in places like North Korea and Cuba and China. [...] If you can say the life of the baby in the womb isn’t a human life, where are you going to stop? No wonder you go to marriage. Next thing you know they’re going to say there’s four outs to every inning of baseball. This is crazy.”
The goal of a republican government, like the United States, is to guarantee as much freedom for its people as possible. To recognize marriage equality is to stand apart from such dictatorships. The rules of baseball, by the way, are actually governed by the Major League Baseball Playing Rules Committee, and no LGBT rights organization has taken a position on them.
What Dolan thinks he gains by retreading his vitriolic rhetoric is unclear. What is clear is that he doesn’t speak on behalf of Catholics (74 percent of whom support recognizing same-sex couples) or New Yorkers (58 percent of whom support full marriage equality).