Thursday, June 16, 2011

NFL's Tyree Says Gay Marriage Leads to "anarchy"

New York Giants receiver David Tyree has recently made controversial comments off the football grid about his opposition to gay marriage laws under consideration in the New York State Senate. In an interview with an anti-gay group called the National Organization for Marriage he claims that allowing same sex marriage will result in the United States, "sliding towards, you know, it's a strong word, but 'anarchy'". He went on to claim, probably quoting a Sunday sermon he had heard, since he gave no citations, that this had proven true in other cultures and other countries historically.

While he doesn't deny that his opposition to gay marriage is largely fueled by his religious beliefs, he bases his arguments against it primarily on issues involving child rearing. It seems lost upon him that married people are not required to have children, and are not always interested in having children. According to the 2010 US census, 3 out of 5 families have no children under 18 living at home.

However, assuming that we focus upon the minority of couples who do want to have children, Tyree alleges that same-sex couples would be unable to effectively raise children of the opposite gender. "You can't teach something that you don't have, so two men will never be able to show a woman how to be a woman", Tyree comments. Yet, by this logic, the government would need to remove children from single parent households where the parent gender differed from the child.
How far should we take this. What about families where parents and children are from different races, such as a Caucasian couple who adopts an Asian child? According to Tyree's logic that sort of thing shouldn't be allowed either, because the parents don't know how to teach the child the same way that an Asian parent might. Now it may be objected that gender and race are quite different things. Yet both have a physiological basis, when it comes down to it.

Capping things off, Tyree attempts, rather inarticulately, to make an historical argument, if you can call it that, against same sex marriage. In what sounds vaguely like a question he asks, "How can marriage be marriage for thousands of years and now all the sudden because a minority, an influential minority, has a push or agenda ... and totally reshapes something that was not founded in our country". Unfortunately, Tyree seems unaware that many things are changing, in our rapidly advancing modern society, after being unchanged for thousands of years. For thousands of years people rode horses as the best available means of transportation. It is only relatively recently that the horse was eclipsed by trains, cars, and automobiles. Modern digital communications have changed things even faster. Therefore, it's not clear from a historical perspective, why marriage should be any less subject to change.

Given the muddled state of Mr. Tyree's it might be better for anti-gay marriage opponents if they found a better spokesman.

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