In his media campaign to remove traditional marriage from the NHGOP platform, NH Log Cabin Republican Chair Jim Morgan is deftly dispatching strawmen.
A strawman argument is where you distort your opponent’s argument and attribute it to him. A strawman lets you denigrate your opponent and demonstrate your virtue and skill in defeating the distorted position.
In his comments to WMUR, Morgan invents a story about the NHGOP being judgmental and hints at bigotry:
“As I go around the state, I’m meeting more and more Republicans who say they have a son or a daughter or a niece or a nephew or an aunt or an uncle who are part of the LGBT community, and many of them feel it is time for the party to no longer judge you based on who you love.”
There’s nothing in the NHGOP platform that judges you for who you love.
The platform recognizes “marriage as the legal and sacred union between one man and one woman as ordained by God, encouraged by the State, and traditional to humankind, and the core of the family.” The platform says nothing derogatory about members of the LGBT community. The platform recognizes that marriage exists for children. It takes exactly one man and one woman to produce human life, and marriage gives the child the best chance of being raised by her mother and father, each with a unique and essential role.
Morgan slays two strawmen with one blow in his comments about dropping marriage from the platform in his CNN story:
“Changing that marriage definition to read anything other than what it says is an insult to religious conservatives,” he tells the Young Republicans group. “What do people do when they both realize that no matter what you do, you can’t change it to make everybody happy? You just drop it.”
First, he accuses conservative Republicans of wanting to keep government marriage, when in fact conservatives want to limit government involvement in marriage to one man and one woman.
It’s Morgan who supports the expansion of government involvement in marriage through NH’s 2009 same-sex marriage law, and it is he who supports the federalization of marriage through Supreme Court overreach in its 2015 Obergefell ruling. Otherwise, same-sex couples could have marriage ceremonies and live together without the state interference Morgan claims we would all be better without.
Taking the marriage plank off the platform won’t get the government out of marriage any more than removing the Second Amendment plank will keep the government from regulating gun ownership.
His next strawmen are the “religious conservatives” who are averse to change. The implication is that there are only religious reasons for promoting natural marriage. Never mind that every other civilized nation throughout history understood that natural marriage was the best way to produce and raise children. Even the Greeks and the Romans, who were tolerant of homosexuality, recognized marriage only as between a man and a woman.
As Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his dissenting opinion for Obergefell, “The Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the states and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and Aztecs. Just who do we think we are?”
If marriage is an institution “not to be enterprised, nor taken in hande unadvisedly, lightly or wantonly”, according to the Book of Common Prayer, the same must hold for arguments to dismiss it.
Morgan would do well to learn the meaning and purpose of marriage before insisting the NHGOP remove it from the platform.