Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Guilt by Nonexistent Association

Carrie at "What's Left" has a great rundown of an excellent article appearing over at Salon.com on how opponents to same-sex unions choose to frame their arguments -- interestingly, actual gay and lesbian people don't play a prominent role in them.

It's a nifty rhetorical tool -- talk about broad societal troubles under the guise of a topic about people who have no direct impact on those problems. Thus, in effect, the topic of the conversation becomes rhetorically linked to the discussion at hand despite the fact that the topic itself is never really even mentioned in the discussion.

It's guilt by nonexistent association.

Both the Salon.com article and Carrie's rundown of it are worth the read.

UPDATE: We often rely on Jon Stewart to cut through the noise and take opponents of same-sex unions to task on their smoke and mirrors show. "Crooks and Liars" has the video and an overview of Stewart's interview with one such opponent, Bill Bennett (via The Nate Report).

Here's just a snippet...

Bennett: Look, it's a debate about whether you think marriage is between a man and a woman.

Stewart: I disagree. I think it's a debate about whether you think gay people are a part of the human condition or just a random fetish.

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