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Monday, 27 February 2012

Why should gay couples get such special treatment?

Those promoting the gay marriage lobby could teach PR gurus Tim Bell and Matthew Freud a thing or two about their business. Their brilliant tactic is to cast opponents (step forward, former Archbishop George Carey) as bigots preaching unique discrimination against a blameless and vulnerable minority. To stand in the way of true love, when Romeo and Juliet wanted to tie the knot, was condemned as cruel; to stand between two gays who seek to do the same is truly hateful.
This argument has a huge flaw. If a Christian couple running a B&B were to turn away a ménage a trois (one man and two women, say), would they have been brought to court for abusing the threesome’s human rights? I doubt it: campaigners for threesomes, like those for polyandry, have failed, so far, to convince the majority of their victimhood. The rules governing sexual conduct are many and necessarily arbitrary. A 17 year-old who sleeps with a 15 year-old is breaking the law; a 70 year-old who sleeps with a 17 year-old merely raises eyebrows. A bigamist is a criminal, an adulterer is not. Sometimes, the rules of sexual conduct are enforced through criminal sanctions, even years after the event – as the film director Roman Polanski, who had sex with a 13 year-old in 1977, discovered when he was arrested in Switzerland and faced extradition to the US.
Sometimes, social stigma is enough to control licentious behaviour: plenty of affairs between wealthy ageing men and pretty Lolitas are ended by the smirking contempt of his friends and family. The rules that regulate what happens in the bedroom may seem perverse or petty, but they don’t single out one particular group for special censure. They try to help the majority deal with the deceptive nature of sexual encounters. Would-be gay marrieds, you are not alone. Read more...

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