Oh, Ben Carson, what is your deal? Are you seriously running for president, or are you just trying to Sarah Palin yourself, by getting on as many TV shows as possible until they finally offer you a job?
Ben Carson, you may recall, is the former neurosurgeon who decided that he ought to be president. To that end, he’s been raising money and making appearances and offering up bizarre statements to grab the attention to reporters who are getting bored waiting for serious candidates to enter the race.
Last time Ben was on our radar, it was for saying that prison turns men gay, and then apologizing (but not really). Now, he’s gained attention yet again by telling a reporter for CNBC that if you legalize marriage for gays and lesbians, you’ll have to legalize it for “other groups.” Who are those other groups? He won’t say! When the exasperated reporter finally suggests bigamy, Ben shrugs and says that’s a possibility.
We feel a bit of pity for the journalists assigned to cover the wacky presidential candidates like Ben Carson. He’s not serious enough to actually say or do anything of substance. But he’s also not funny enough to generate a viral meme, or even a momentary blip of humor, like the delightful candidate Vermin Supreme.
Ben’s argument is just completely wrong. For one thing, marriage for gays and polygamy are totally different things. One requires just changing some pronouns; the other requires completely re-writing the way that marriage contracts work. The fact that plural marriage would be so disruptive to the current system means that marriage equality could not possibly be used as justification for having multiple spouses. They’re just way too different to be compared.
And of course, gay marriage doesn’t lead to marrying children or animals or houses. Marriage is, fundamentally, an agreement. And you know what an agreement requires? For both parties to agree on something. If someone isn’t capable of consenting to something (like a child or an animal or a parked car) then it’s really not a marriage at all.
So there you go, Ben Carson. There’s the answer to your cute little question. Now please get out of the way so the grownups can talk about policy.