blogenlust
12.17.2004

Ban Adultery


UPDATE: Sonofabitch. Thanks to mrgumby2u, it turns out that, like Bill O'Reilly, I was punk'd. Although, I must confess that I saw this first at the Agonist, so I'm not the only one. The King is on the story. I should have known when I couldn't find anything about "Defend Our Marriages" on Google. Anyway, I think Ottawarotic (in comments) brings up a good point...the Democrats (or someone) should be advocating this, since it will drive home the point how hypocritical it is to talk about only gay marriage being a threat to the institution o' marriage. A group called Defend Our Marriages is pushing to bundle anti-adultery legislation with an anti-gay marriage bill. Shockingly, even the most ardent anti-gay marriage lawmakers are wary to support such an addition. I wonder why?
When members of a pro-family lobby group called Defend Our Marriages were looking to add anti-adultery language to the proposed constitutional amendment banning homosexual marriage, the office of Representative Dan Burton was one of their first stops. After all, the 11-term Indiana Republican has a long history of fighting for family values, and was a co-sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment introduced last May. But Burton balked when it came to backing the adultery provision. "We couldn't even get a meeting with him," said DOM member Sandy Slokum, noting that her group had chosen to approach Burton because of the 100% rating he'd received from the Christian Coalition. "His office basically slammed the door in our faces. Doesn't he believe in the seventh commandment?" said Slokum. Perhaps not. In 1998, Burton was forced to admit to having had an adulterous affair in the 1980s, during which he fathered a son. Were the amendment banning both homosexual marriage and adultery to take effect, Burton would lose many of the privileges of marriage, including tax benefits, inheritance rights, even the ability to visit loved ones in the hospital. Burton might even have to run for his congressional seat as a single man, not an easy task in era in which "single" is short-hand for homosexual, and single candidates are often derided as "limp wrists" and "switch hitters."
While I couldn't disagree more with the motives of groups like Defend Our Marriages, I admire their consistency. In fact, I'd like to see them take it a step further. We should ban divorce. If marriage is such a sacred institution, it should never be broken. After, all isn't this where the slippery sloap of denying gay marriage, and even adultery, is eventually heading? Of course, this will never happen because people don't like government getting involved in their personal lives, unless it is another person's gay marriage or it's a woman's reproductive rights. The other major roadblock to such legislation, illustrated by Dan Burton, is the high rate of adultery in the group of people voting on it. Self-interest will always squash principle, especially in the Congress.