Posts Tagged As: Sam Schulman

Sam Schulman Doesn’t Know Any Gay People

Jim Burroway

May 26th, 2009

Sam Schulman, writing for the Weekly Standard, has dredged up a whole host of quaint nineteenth century-style arguments to explain why same-sex marriage “won’t work.” He seems to believe that same-sex marriage will always be different because of “the duties that marriage imposes on married people — not rights, but rather onerous obligations¬†— which do not apply to same-sex love.” Duties like prevention of rape and the protection of a lady’s honor. That’s right, it facilitated the protection of a woman’s “virginity until the time came when marriage was permitted or, more frequently, insisted upon.” Schulman continues:

“Virginity until marriage, arranged marriages, the special status of the sexuality of one partner but not the other (and her protection from the other sex)–these motivating forces for marriage do not apply to same-sex lovers.”

Well, I guess he has us there.

He goes on to suggest that opposite-sex marriage served as a bulwark against incest and child molestation, but for whatever reason believes that “Gay marriage is blissfully free of these constraints.”

Is it? Really? Are gay people not just as revulsed by incest and child molestation? Especially gay people with children of their own, let alone the rest of us with nieces and nephews and would fight to the death to protect them from predators both inside and outside the family? Does Schulman really believe that such gay people don’t exist?

I actually believe that this is exactly what he believes: that we don’t come from real families and we don’t form bonds of kinship — which is his entire thesis — and that we are blissfully free of the constraints that kinships impose. It’s as if we were put on this earth through some form of abiogenesis and we’ve lived outside the experience of kinship our entire lives. He continues:

Gay marriage may reside outside the kinship system, but it has all the wedding-planning, nest-building fun of marriage but none of its rules or obligations (except the duties that all lovers have toward one another). Gay spouses have none of our guilt about sex-before-marriage. They have no tedious obligations towards in-laws, need never worry about Oedipus or Electra, won’t have to face a menacing set of brothers or aunts should they betray their spouse. But without these obligations–why marry? Gay marriage is as good as no marriage at all.

Schulman clearly doesn’t live in the real world, where 95% of straight people — including young Conservative Christians — have abandoned their guilt about sex before marriage. And he most definitely doesn’t live in mine. If I were to dump my partner or he were to dump me, believe me, there would be a line of angry in-laws, brothers, aunts and uncles lined up to beat the living tar out of whoever the offending party might be.

But someone who hasn’t spent any time about gay people would never know any of this, would he? But he does get to write columns as if he did. Maybe the Weekly Standard ought to hire me to write a column on the merits of the NCAA football bowl system. That way, I too could be paid to whip up an intricate opinion about something of which I have no relevant or working knowledge.

Just like he did.


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