Today on Dumb Things Watch we have Ross Douthat's really dumb column from a few days ago. The dumb argument he makes for keeping gay marriage illegal is that lifelong heterosexual marriage with kids is ideal. Okaaaay....let's suppose it is. That means various things are sub-ideal. For example, it's sub-ideal when two people can't stay together for life, because one dies. A new relationship involving the survivor can't possibly measure up to the ideal of lifelong heterosexual marriage, cuz it ain't lifelong. So... second marriages should be illegal? But no, that's silly, so there must be something wrong with his argument.
And there is. We simply don't attack or disrespect or challenge the ideal of lifelong heterosexual marriage if we let widows and widowers have second marriages. Likewise, if lifelong heterosexual marriage is ideal, we don't disrespect that ideal by allowing gay people to marry. Now, some will say I'm granting too much. Are lifelong heterosexual marriages really ideal? It's not an outlandish notion, even if I'm not straining at the bit to agree. The point is: so what? Even so, it wouldn't even begin to mean gay marriage should be illegal.