And so, with one vote, the Maryland Senate swung wide open the doors to polygamy in the state.
That’s where the 25-21 vote making gay marriage legal inevitably has to lead. This assertion will no doubt infuriate gay rights activists — the very idea of equating a union between two gay men or two lesbians is not equivalent to polygamy, they will rightly argue — but polygamy advocates will no doubt use the logic gay marriage supporters used to great advantage.
That logic was basically this: Gay marriage is a civil rights issue. Restricting marriage to heterosexuals is discrimination. Gays and lesbians are citizens, and should be entitled to the same rights as heterosexuals. And one of those rights is marriage. Those 25 senators who voted to legalize gay marriage in Maryland would claim that they in no way meant the same to apply to polygamy.
Those senators simply don’t get it. They now have to apply the same rule to those who believe in polygamy. Aren’t they citizens? Shouldn’t they have the same rights as heterosexuals, gays and lesbians? Why is it legal to continue to discriminate against them?
The anti-discrimination argument is the one that puts gay marriage proponents on really thin ice. Yes, it’s discriminatory that a heterosexual couple can get a big break by filing jointly on their federal tax return while a gay or lesbian couple has to pay through the nose.
But, back when I was single and my filing status was the same, I had to ask myself this question: Why is it OK for the federal government to bust my hump for not being married while giving a tax break to married couples? I mean, we’re all citizens, right?
That, proponents of gay marriage have to realize, is discrimination. If the Maryland Senate members who voted to legalize gay marriage because banning it is discriminatory, then their next order of business must be to introduce legislation eliminating the single, married filing jointly, married filing separately and head of household categories for Marylanders filing their state tax returns.
Gay rights activists and their supporters will, I’m sure, be quick to whip out their “homophobe” card upon reading this column. They’ll be half-right: I do have a fear, but it’s neither of gays, lesbians or their marrying. No, my fear is not of the bill that the Maryland Senate just voted to pass, but ones they might pass in the future.
At a panel discussion on gay marriage a few years back, one moderated by a friend of mine who just happens to be gay, I told him how I felt: You liberals, I said, have a way of asking for one reasonable thing and then trying to sneak in something completely unreasonable or, in some cases, downright unnecessary.
In the early 1960s, the late Hubert Humphrey, a champion of civil rights long before it was fashionable to do so, and a fine Minnesota senator who later became vice president, promised to eat the 1964 Civil Rights Bill if there was anything in it that might lead to quotas.
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