A Refutation of an Argument by William J Bennett on Recognizing Same-Sex Marriage

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REFUTATION OF ARGUMENT AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE In a remarkable article that appeared in the Washington Post, William J. Bennett argued that recognizing same-sex marriage would be detrimental to the concept of marriage and to the nation. The only thing more remarkable than the logical fallacies relied upon in the article was the fact that the author was the former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and Secretary of Education in the Reagan administration and Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the George H. W. Bush administration. Bennett argues, rhetorically, that recognizing gay marriage would open the door to every other possible marriage, such as between two brothers who desire to marry and in situations where groups of individuals desire polygamous marriages. According to Bennett, if the basis of recognizing gay marriage is the notion of not denying a person's sexuality, all of those types of relationships are also entitled to legal recognition. Of course, that is a flawed argument because it presumes that proponents of gay marriage oppose any restriction on who may marry based on the single criteria of sexuality. In fact, the exact same argument was once used by opponents of interracial marriage. Proponents of gay marriage do not support incest, or polygamy, or bestiality; nor do they suggest that sexual desire is the only purpose of marriage or a justification for all marital choices. Bennett also suggests that gay marriage

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