Ballot BoxIt’s County Council Election time in the the UK folks!

Me : What is your candidate’s view on same sex marriage?
Canvasser : We believe any two people who love each other should be able to marry
M: So you support a father and daughter marrying?
C: No, that’s incest and there are genetic issues
M: OK, so father and son or sister and sister is OK?
C: Well I hadn’t thought about it… 
M: You see I believe that marriage is a unique normatively procreative union
C: Well marriage shouldn’t be just about who can and can’t have children
M: So why were you bothered about the genetics of incest?
C: Well it’s about people who love each other
M: Oh, so you support polygamous marriage then?
C: No, of course not
M: But a moment ago you said you thought people in love should be able to marry. Why are you now picking and choosing who you restrict that to?
C: Will you be voting for our candidate? 
M: Do you think people who want to restrict marriage to a man and a woman are being discriminatory?
C: Well to be honest, yes
M: So let me get this straight. You think I’m wrong to restrict marriage to a particular relationship, but when you say marriage should be about people who love each other you then find a huge number of reasons to deny it to all kinds of different people because you don’t like their relationships?
C: Will you be voting for our candidate? 
M: What do you think?

And I won’t even tell you the look on her face when she told me I didn’t know what it was like to be gay and I answered her…

10 Comments on “Canvassers

  1. I said much the same to a canvasser on Saturday – I wonder if it was the same one?

    I started with “If the SSM become law and a teacher expresses the view that marriage should be heterosexual only, would you support those who called for the teacher to be dismissed.”

    He didn’t answer that question!

  2. “C: Well marriage shouldn’t be just about who can and can’t have children
    M: So why were you bothered about the genetics of incest?
    C: Well it’s about people who love each other”
    Hmm that’s a good conundrum! I’ll have to go and think about that.

    In the mean time, a serious question for you Peter: do you support the right of those who are infertile to be married? Or should they be restricted to a civil partnership?

    • Yes, they should be able to marry. Marriage is *normatively* procreative which means that not all procreative unions (i.e. male and female) will actually procreate but that is different from a clearly non-procreative union (male and male). I am willing to change my view on this when you present me with a child who is the biological offspring of a same-sex union and *only* that same-sex union.

      • Hey, I’m not trying to get you to change your mind! I just find discussions like this help me sort out my own half-thought ideas, and I like your blog because it is intelligent and challenges me sometimes.
        But I guess we differ in that I can’t really see how, say, a 70 year old woman and a 70 year old man getting married is any more procreative than two 25 year old women.

        • Well some 70 year olds do procreate! But the point is this – it is the male / female union that is procreative and all male / female sexual unions point to this fact even if individually they aren’t procreative. You could transform any non-procreative male/female union into a procreative one by simply rectifying the “malady” (roll back age, fix infertility issue etc).

          All football teams try to win, but just because they lose doesn’t mean they stop being a football team. They might yet win.

          • You could argue that marriage reflects more than just “love”, it reflects biological reality (two men or two women inherently couldNn’t produce children – in fact they don’t even have complimentary sex organs)

            • I don’t agree that marriage is primarily about love. Making marriage vows to someone you don’t love isn’t a wise thing to do, but that’s not the same as marriage being about love.

  3. EXCELLENT. Most people seem to have been so brainwashed (and/or intimidated) on this that they haven’t thought beyond their feelings, and react as though anyone who disagrees is hate-filled and unthinking bigot… which they might realise fits THEIR position better – if they ever engaged brain!

  4. Going back a step,

    If marriage stops being primarily about creating a place where children can be nurtured, then why should the state be involved with whether 2 (or more) people want to share their lives together? If I simply want to “love and cherish” another adult until death do us part, what concern is that of HM government? Young adults drift into and out of relationships, house sharing etc. and no one bothers. Surely it is not until children come along and one of the two people gives up their paid employment to care for the kids that the state needs to recognise the arrangement and allow for pensions etc to be shared

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