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Gay Marriage and the Step After That

John on May 11, 2007 at 4:22 pm

[Content warning for this post...not graphic but very strange.]

Marriage advocates have long suggested that changing the ground rules from one man one woman to two men or two women would have further repercussions. Once you’ve accepted gay marriage, why stop there? Why not polygamy, incest marriage, pedophilia or bestiality? This argument was regularly denounced by gay advocates as offensive, though evidence that it is true continues to accumulate.

Recently even Time Magazine admitted we were on a slippery slope, saying:

It turns out the critics were right. Plaintiffs have made the decision the centerpiece of attempts to defeat state bans on the sale of sex toys in Alabama, polygamy in Utah and adoptions by gay couples in Florida. So far the challenges have been unsuccessful. But plaintiffs are still trying, even using Lawrence to challenge laws against incest.

In Ohio, lawyers for a Cincinnati man convicted of incest for sleeping with his 22-year-old stepdaughter tell TIME that they will make the Lawrence decision the centerpiece of an appeal to the Supreme Court. “Our view of Lawrence is a fairly narrow one, that there is a Constitutional right under the 14th Amendment’s due process clause that says private consensual activity between adults cannot be criminal,” said J. Dean Carro, the lead lawyer for Paul D. Lowe, the former sheriff’s deputy sentenced in 2004 to 120 days in jail after pleading no contest to incest.

With that in mind, I refer the reader to this article in Der Spiegel. A German sex researcher is studying a group of adults who are in “relationships” with items including a train, an iBook, a metal processing machine and a replica of the twin towers:

For 25-year-old Sandy, the attraction to things is so overpowering, she confesses: “When it comes to love, I am only attracted to objects. I couldn’t imagine a love affair with a human being.”

Her radical renunciation of love between two people didn’t turn the young woman into a loner. She gained admission long ago to a circle of like-minded people, all of whom have devoted themselves to the love of things. They call themselves objectophiles or objectum-sexuals. Experts are now faced with the task of interpreting the phenomenon.

The retired professor and former director of Frankfurt University’s Institute for Sexual Science, Volkmar Sigusch, is one person who believes he has unraveled the mysteries of objectophilia. He has extensively probed this attraction to objects as part of his research into various forms of modern “neo-sexuality.” The sexologist views this inclination as proof of his hypothesis that society is increasingly drifting into asexuality: “More and more people either openly declare or can be seen to live without any intimate or trusting relationship with another person,” Sigusch says, adding that cities are populated by an entire army of socially isolated individuals: “Singles, isolated people, cultural sodomites, many perverts and sex addicts.”

[For those wishing to read the whole article, it's not graphic though the sheer strangeness of it is a bit disturbing.]

Prior to today, I would have said that either bestiality or incest were probably the end of the line for the redefinition of marriage. Now I’m not so sure. Can you foresee a day when a sizable number of adults claim to be in love with household objects? If so, why should they be prevented from enshrining that love in law? It sounds absurd but if a man wants to marry his laptop why stop him? If a woman wants to marry her fax machine, where’s the harm? In fact, the sexologist quoted in the piece already sounds as if she’s preparing a court brief:

Sexologist Sigusch doesn’t want to classify such odd behavior as pathological. “The objectophiles aren’t hurting anyone. They’re not abusing or traumatizing other people,” he judges. And then he asks mildly: “Who else can you say that about?”

Once marriage means anything, it means nothing. We’re currently headed that way. Before we reach the final stop, religious Americans might want to reevaluate the state’s role in marriage and divorce. In the not-too-distant future marriage — real marriage — may become something only churches do. It would be disastrous for society as a whole, but it would certainly mark the church as distinctly counter-cultural. Maybe that’s not so bad.

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