No surprises here (“here” being Scotland):
A Catholic bishop has sparked outrage among equality campaigners by suggesting that the Scottish Government could extend legislation on same-sex marriage to include bigamy and even incest, if it truly believed in equality.
Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen questioned why equality would not extend to “nieces who genuinely, truly love their uncles” and why men could not have two wives.
In response, the pro-gay marriage group Equality Network said his remarks were “offensive and uncalled for”.
The Scotsman further reports that the bishops of Scotland are “set to pull out of discussions over same-sex marriage” because they are convinced the Scottish Government will go ahead with legislation no matter their concerns or objections. It quotes Bishop Gilbert (who was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI) as also saying, “The truth is that a government can pass any legislation it likes. Why is it all right for a man to marry another man, but not all right for him to marry two women? If we really want equality, why does that equality not extend to nieces who genuinely, truly love their uncles?”
Meanwhile, the director of Equality Network takes the offensive by being offended: “We are very disappointed the Bishop of Aberdeen should choose to compare same-sex marriage to polygamy and incest. That is offensive and uncalled for.”
What, exactly, is offensive about the bishop’s remarks? After all, if people really do believe in “equality”, isn’t it bigoted of same-sex marriage proponents to consider their understanding of marriage to be superior to that of polygamists or relatives who wish to be married? On what basis do they separate their efforts from those of a man who wishes to have three wives, a woman who seeks two husbands, or an uncle and niece who are pursuing nuptials? If “equality” is simply an arbitrary marker that moves according to personal tastes, social fads, and other whims, who is to say that “gender-neutral” marriages are any better than what we might call relation-blind marriages or numerically-flexible marriages?
Almost all of those who support same-sex marriage incessently refer to “equality” and “love”, two words that have become almost complete unmoored from any sort of objective, traditional, or logical basis. The first now means the ability to have or be whatever I wish, regardless of previously (or even currently) accepted moral and social norms. The second merely refers to one’s passions and desires: I want it, so I love it—for now.
What Bishop Gilbert’s remarks point to is the question: where does this end? Is there, in fact, any criteria that will or can withstand the magical wave of the Eqaulity and Love Wand within a secular, progressive modern state?