Analogy of the Day: Definitions and Same-Sex Marriage


Opponents of Same-Sex Marriage often claim that the issue is not one of civil rights; individuals in same-sex couples have the same right to get married as any other individual…to a person of the opposite sex. Many of these detractors consider the expansion of the definition of marriage just to satisfy the desires of homosexuals a “special privilege,” and government should not be in the business of making special accommodations for select citizens.

This line of reasoning has always struck me as particularly unfair. So, I’ve thought of an analogy that properly highlights why Same-Sex Marriage is not an issue of one group demanding extra-constitutional “special privileges,” but one of basic human freedom.

Statement A:

Marriage is defined as the legal/religious union between a man and a woman. All men and women have the right to be married to a member of the opposite sex. Therefore, homosexuals have the same rights as everyone else–to get married to a member of the opposite sex.

Statement B:

Voting is defined as the formal expression of one’s preference for a candidate from the Democrat party. All people who vote have the same right to vote for a Democrat. Therefore, Republicans have the same rights as everyone else–to vote for a Democrat.

If voting doesn’t allow citizens to exercise free choice in the first scenario, how can a narrow definition of marriage allow for a diversity of sexual preferences? The answer is it cannot, and it’s time we as a society revisited some of the basic definitions informing our civil liberties.