Gay Marriage – Jon Stewart and Mike Huckabee debate

Another interesting thing that occurred on the Daily Show, when Mike Huckabee appeared is the conversation covering gay marriage. Jon Stewart and Mike Huckabee debated the conservative and liberal view on this controversial topic. And it was very clear than neither man would ever budge from the position they held.

From the Huckabee perspective is a view that I do agree with. Marriage is a union for the primary purpose of procreation and the growth of a family. That has been it’s constant purpose in all recorded time. Thus any union that does not match this purpose is not a marriage, though it can be a union, loving, and positive.

From the Stewart perspective is the thought that to deny gay marriage is akin to promoting segregation. That a union of any 2 people must be recognized by the name of marriage. And in that perspective is the subtle thought that in not receiving this title other privileges of marriage are also not conferred.

Note the difference. There is an inference that is never stated. And it is not valid, since the Huckabee view does not preclude or block unions receiving the same privileges as marriage. The stumbling block is the word. Many liberals demand this word, and in doing so want to rewrite laws such that there is no limit.

Under the Liberal view (perhaps the most liberal) unions between polygamists must be recognized as legal marriages too. And underage marriages. And any other form of union that today is excluded by law. Because each of these can be described by the same loving union descriptor used to justify gay marriage.

Now Stewart uses the argument used by many liberals, this is the same as segregation or the ban on interracial marriage. Which is both a lie and using racial injustice as a crutch. And it annoys me when I hear such comments.

Racially based bias and unjust laws are focused on the color of skin of a person. There is no changing, no hiding, no misunderstanding of what color skin you have. When you walk down a street and glance at people passing you cannot tell if they are gay or straight, Jewish or Muslim or Christian, a Harvard graduate or a high school dropout – unless that person makes a clear and distinctive decision to make such apparent. But at that exact same time and moment you can always know if they are Asian, Black, or White.

In addition, an interracial marriage between a man and woman is exactly the same as a marriage of any man and woman. It will result in the same ultimate outcome (the potential progeny of the human race). So the bias on that was unjust as it had no basis other than skin color. Gay marriage by definition cannot say the same thing and therefore such an argument for it falls flat.

But really the shame of all this is a word. One word that is causing a problem. And in that quest of one word the ability of people on any side to understand the other becomes akin to crossing a chasm.

Is there a difference between gay marriage and a civil union? No. The function is the same, the ceremony is the same. The meaning and purpose is not the same though. Yet legally, to my knowledge, they are the same.

And if I am incorrect shouldn’t all this energy, money, and time be better spent ensuring the equality of a civil union rather than gaining a word? Because if an inequality exists under the law, a new name will not remove that imbalance.

And that is why 30 States have failed to pass a gay marriage law. That is why 68% of the nation is against gay marriage. Not out of a hate of gays, nor a discrimination, but a meaning and an ultimate purpose of that meaning. Jokes, jibes, and smooth talking cannot change that. Not even when pointing at the obvious failure of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. Even for Jon Stewart.

And before everyone starts screaming about the fundamental right of marriage, let’s get this straight. It is a privilege. It is not a right. You have the right to live with whom you wish in this nation. Marriage, or civil unions, are separate of that.

As Huckabee stated

“There is a difference between the equality of each individual and the equality of what we do and the sameness of what we do.”

There is nothing wrong with that thought. There is no hidden evil in it. And there is none in a civil union. So before a Liberal bashes me for stating something I believe, on my own blog, in a nation that gives me the right to say such things without retribution, I remind them to think about that quote and the importance of 1 word whose meaning and purpose cannot be attained.

About the Author

Michael Vass
Born in 1968, a political commentator for over a decade. Has traveled the U.S. and lived in Moscow and Tsblisi, A former stockbroker and 2014 Congressional candidate. Passionate about politics with emphasis on 1st and 2nd Amendments.

5 Comments on "Gay Marriage – Jon Stewart and Mike Huckabee debate"

  1. This comment is as posted from, where I am a contributing author.

    Brian Says:
    December 18th, 2008 at 4:09 am e
    I’d first like to say that I’m a pro-choice liberal who watches a lot of the Daily Show and I thought that this was certainly one of the most fun interviews I’ve ever seen on the show. With regards to this analysis, there are a few things I don’t get about your argument:

    1. The idea that marriage is designed solely for raising children. You seem to be arguing that if two people cannot have children, then they shouldn’t be able to marry. If that is the case, shouldn’t people who are infertile not be allowed to marry?

    2. The idea that a significant number of liberals favor the legalization of polygamy. I don’t know where you get that idea. Even the most liberal people I’ve heard from want to keep marriage between 2 consenting adults.

    3. I completely don’t understand the paragraph about not being able to hide race but being able to hide religion or sexual orientation. It’s possible to discriminate against religion, sexual orientation or race. I think Jon Stewart’s point about it was that homosexuality is something you’re born with and is not likely to be changed. (I have met a bunch of gay people and none of them made a choice to be gay.)

    I agree with you completely that it is sad that this whole issue is about semantics and the use of a word. However, if they are, as you claim, equivalent, why not give them the same title? Heterosexuals shouldn’t care because their marriages wouldn’t be effected and homosexuals would benefit because they would get to be considered married. Nobody would be negatively impacted.

  2. Brian,

    Thank you for your comments. I will try to clarify what I was stating.

    1. Marriage is not solely for raising children. It is the intention that procreation occur, and then the raising of those children. Procreation is the driving factor – which cannot occur with gay couplings.

    And I do not mean to infer that infertile couples should not be married. But it is unclear what infertile is. That could be in the random mix of 2 people, a diagnosis or the result of mediacal action. Diagnosed infertile couples have, and can, natuarlly still have children in many cases. Perfectly healthy couples may or may not have children. The question is not the fertility or the mystery of procreation, but the ability to procreate that is the basis of all forms of marriage throughout history. And then it becomes the responsibility of raising that child/children.

    2. As for polygamy, I did not mean to infer MOST liberals are for this. But in accepting the defining of marriage as a “loving couple”, as Jon Stewart and others I have heard define it, you open the door for more groups that are widely not accepted as being married. It could open the door to polygamy, and child marriages and other extremes, as a consequence of the “loving couple” logic extended to it’s fullest extent.

    I do not say everyone agrees with this logic, but it is the argument that can be made – and could wind up in courts. That both distracts further from the intentions and arguments at hand and increases costs to the public.

    3. As for discrimination let me be more explicit. I am not saying that discrimination is limited to acts based on color/race. That would be foolish and a lie. But in every case other than race/color of skin discrimination can only occur if you are told or otherwise made to be aware of the discrimination basis.

    ie. if you are say Muslim, how would I know? If you are into BDSM, who could tell? You can’t. If a Christian, as an example, works in an office you might never know – unless they wear a cross daily or speak about a religous day or rite. Without the active involvement of the person observed you cannot tell what they believe, or what they do behind closed doors.

    While not impossible to discriminate against something you cannot observe in a person, it is difficult. And in no way compares to the discrimination based on skin/race. That is immediate persistent and direct. As with the above example, you know if you work with Asians as soon as you look at the people in the office.

    I too know many gay people, several are very close and dear friends. Some agree with my thoughts others not. I respect that about them. And in many cases if you did not hear from them that they are gay you would not know.

    Not because of anything being hidden, just because they do not chose to tell people randomly about their activities in their home or with their significant other. Which is no different than someone not discussing their girlfriend or being married withut a ring. Or being a Republican, Democrat, Liberal or Conservative. Until you are told, it is both no one’s business and something that is difficult to discriminate against.

    Thus the comparison to the discrimination I recieve being Black/Hispanic is not the same. I do not get followed in stores, shunned in elevators, or stopped by police because they question my sexuality. They do so because of my race. Even if I were in the West Village in NYC as an example.

    Or as a real life example, once in college I was walking to get cigarettes late at night. I was 4 block from the campus, next to the local hospital (a well-lit area), when a police car rushed up to me. With guns drawn the police stopped me and began to question me. At the same time, clearly on the police radio came a report that the suspect – a blonde, white suspect, wearing differnt clothes than myself – was seen several blocks from where I was. Was I stopeed at gunpoint because I was Republican, non-religous, straight, or because I was Black?

    So I do not question if anyone is born gay. But I do not equate that with being Black, or Asian, or Hispanic. They are not the same thing.

    And equivalent is not same. A gay union is not the same as a marriage, thus they should not have the same descriptor. They deserve every right as a marriage but since they cannot fulfill the purpose – even by accident or random chance of nature – they do not get the same name.

    Words are powerful because of their meaning and purpose. If we start to weaken the words and their meanings we weaken the purpose as well. And while the intention is good, the effect over time is not.

    Can I say there is a definite negative impact, not right now. But I can say that over time their would be. Especially as the issue would eventually lead to further obfuscation with arguments from other fringe sectors.

    Lastly, and this is the big part, because marriage is so directly associated with religion fighting for a word rather than rights maost accept are deserved is a never ending battle. Just as every major religion, and minor sects, wage war over often silly issues this is a battle that will never end. Extremists of various religions will never back down, just as extremists in the liberal factions will not. Extremists of any nature are always wrong in my view, but that doesn’t change this fact.

    While these extremists battle, the real issues at hand are held in the middle as collateral damage. Few wish to be in the middle of a war, being fired at from both sides. Thus the real issues are held hostage to the extremist views and gain no leverage. That benefits no one. It advances nothing. And those that need or desire the gains withheld are suffering.

    So the ultimate question I pose is this. How much is a word worth? Is it worth more than a different descriptor, that provides the equivalent protection and rights under the law, and is more accurate to the definition and meaning of what it describes?

  3. If you can’t see the video anymore it’s because Viacom pulled it. It seems i pissed someone off.

  4. @Vass

    1. You’re points seem completely inconsistent. You suggest that marriage is solely about procreation but then suggest that infertile couples cause no exceptions (and just for the record lesbian couples can artificially produce gametes and become pregnant but they will always be female offspring). Then there are plenty of heterosexual people who simply choose never to have children. Should their marriages be considered forfeit or only a civil union? The fact that your arguments for denying gay marriage are inconsistent with the observed ‘acceptable marriages’ shows that your arguments are not valid. This argument does not conform to reality.

    2. What does gay marriage have to do with polygamy at all? Allowing two members of the same sex to marry does not in any way imply that marriages between more than 2 people of varying genders is legitimate.

    3. Your personal issues with being discriminated against have no bearing on the discrimination you yourself profess. Just because it’s not quite so obvious if a person is gay, religious, or politically affiliated does not make discrimination any less of a crime.

    If homosexual civil unions served the exact same purpose of heterosexual marriages there would be no need to duplicate terms (separate but UNequal comes to mind). In so far as keeping a religious ceremony sacred (to preserve the sanctity or what have you) you seem to be arguing for a complete termination of marriage as a legal construct. I would have no problem with this at all. The term marriage could be defined however different religions choose to define it. The word would just have absolutely no legal standing. Everyone who wished to share legal benefits would have to have a civil union performed by some state official. Your precious marriage could be confined to your particular religious institution.

    PS Why are you not railing against all the Atheists marriages that sully the good name of your religious institution? Be careful your hypocrisy is showing.

  5. Anonymous,

    First thank you for writing.

    As to your first point. I reread what I had stated in the post. And I do not see an inconsistency.

    You misread what I stated, and later further clarified in a subsequent comment response. Marriage is not solely for procreation, it is PRIMARILY for that. That is the ultimate intention, whether or not nature allows for this to happen.

    And even in the case of those that choose to not have children, the ability remains unless medically removed. Which I am against. But that is my personal objection, based on my personal feelings about cosmetic surgery. Thus a future choice is available to fulfill the primary purpose of marriage, except for those that medically have removed that option.

    And as for spontaneous birth, I admit my lack of knowledge. But I can say with high confidence that there are not, and would not, be 6 billion people on the planet solely from spontaneous birthing. Nor would there be the diversity of human beings that exists.

    So I am not inconsistent in my thought, nor the logic used. And in comparison to “acceptable marriages” as you state my logic is overwhelmingly what is observed throughout all recorded history. Thus by your own theory I am more than just valid as it conforms to the reality of existence as it has been recorded.

    As to the 2nd point. I will simply quote my previous clarification

    “But in accepting the defining of marriage as a “loving couple”, as Jon Stewart and others I have heard define it, you open the door for more groups that are widely not accepted as being married. It could open the door to polygamy, and child marriages and other extremes, as a consequence of the “loving couple” logic extended to it’s fullest extent.”

    Your third point goes off the mark a bit. I in no way discussed my personal views on racism or discrimination in the post. I did make note that the comparison used by many liberals to defend their arguments of this issue often fall back on a comparison to slavery and racial prejudice. This argument is a fallacy, which I described in detail. And in the commentary, as a more expanded explaination, I did include a personal reference. But that was not the point of my post, nor the commentary.

    In addition I in no way have ever advocated discrimination of any group, race, gender, or anything else. I would never wish such an act against anyone, because having lived through such and I intimately understand such horror.

    And now we come to one of the more crutial points of the argument. Same is not equal.

    A gay marriage is not a heterosexual one. The meanings of the terms are not the same. They are not equivalent. They are not interchangable. They are separate terms with separate meanings, primary goals, and outcomes. That does not infer bad or negative, just different. And again I state that it is the primary purpose that is the key to the definition.

    At this point you comment on how I interjected religion into this discussion. I have not stated my personal views of religion, just how that affects this argument. Which is directly connected to the legal construct as it currently exists. Not because I choose it to be, but because it is.

    The point I made does not deconstruct the way religion views marriage, nor how the legal system enacts it. And in fact I was not attempting to address that. I only made reference to the absolutist view many religious institutions and individuals hold. And that this inflexible attitude has survived wars since the start of recorded civilization, and thus is not worth fighting as it will never end.

    I further clarified that I believe the real goal in all this is not a word but Rights of life and acceptance. And I believe those Rights can be attained if the energy used to fight for a word, which does not obviate legal or social acceptance, were instead used to ensure acceptance and legality of those Rights.

    Lastly, as to atheism and my religious views you presume are ruffled. I have not stated my religious views. They are not relevant to this issue. And in consistently not bringing irrelevant issues to this discussion I have avoided being a hypocrite.

Thank you for lending your voice. We appreciate hearing what you have to say.

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