This is not the blog you're looking for

I have moved, and you can find new entries, comments etc. at come over and check it out.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Orson Scott Card is scared of gay marriage

His rant is here, and somewhat predictably there are responses in the blogosphere ranging from laconic bemusement by Scalzi to rhetorical dismemberment on the Feminist SF Blog. I would like to add my own little can of lighter fluid to this raging bonfire by offering everyone who’s jumping on this OMGWTFTEHGAYS panicmobile a nice little clue:

Marriage defined by the state <> marriage as defined by the church (any church.)

Repeat this a few times every time you’re frightened by images of George Takai on his honeymoon.

Shall I defend my thesis with facts? (Oh please, not those.)

I’m married in the Catholic Church. They don’t believe in divorce, you know. If I got a divorce, all nice and legal, the Pope starts going “lalalalala I can’t hear you lalalala” and says I’m still married. Of course, if divorced me tried to continue filing my taxes jointly or keep my ex-wife on my health insurance, I’d have some legal issues. If I died without a will, she wouldn’t inherit. But in the church, I’m still married. I get another wife, the US Government says it’s just fine while the Church says I’m still married to the first one.

Another situation, a Muslim man can divorce his wife just by telling her he divorces her. Fine, his church says they’re divorced. But if he’s a US citizen and hasn’t filed the right paperwork, he’s going to be facing bigamy charges if he marries again— even if his wife says, “but he really did divorce me.”

There are common law marriages that aren’t properly recognized by any particular church, and pagan marriages that aren’t recognized by the state. There are sects of particular religions that explicitly allow polygamy that the US has never legally recognized. (That’s a particularly thunderous silence in Mr. Card’s article.)

Card’s thesis seems to be that if the State’s view of marriage in legal terms does not conform to a person’s view of marriage in religious/spiritual terms, it is a proper basis for succession and/or actual revolt. This might have been a cogent argument in the time of Henry V, nowadays it doesn’t particularly wash.