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Jonathan Daniel Harris Headshot

Why Gay Marriage Won't Lead to Turtle Marriage

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Bill O'Reilly just loves doing segments on gay marriage. It gives him the perfect opportunity to bring up one of his favorite topics of recent years: turtle f***ing.

Yes, on a recent episode of The O'Reilly Factor, our peevish commentator argued to Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson and surprising voice-of-reason Margaret Hoover that allowing gay people to marry would open the door to threesome marriages and animal marriage.

The full clip can be seen on Media Matters. Watch it. It's about three minutes, typically more than the standard amount of Fox News I can stomach, but sometimes you just have to force yourself.

Okay, now you've heard him talk about how gay marriage will lead to the rampant acceptance of goat, turtle and dolphin marriage.

This argument is so nonsensical it's going to take me four whole paragraphs to rant about it!

I'll start with a really simple one, complete with real-world applications. You can't make something illegal that should be legal just because of what it might lead to. Alcohol leads to drunk driving which kills over 10,000 people in the U.S. every year. Alcohol is legal. Guns lead to over 1,000 accidental deaths every year and guns are legal. Even if gay marriage led to anything else -- and there's frightfully little evidence that it would -- that would not be grounds to make it illegal.

But, for the sake of argument, let's ignore that issue. Let's say the Supreme Court overrules all of these silly propositions that outlaw gay marriage. Will a group of three (a triad, as they say on the Factor) get all those same rights? Well, if all three members of the group want to be legally bound and have all the privileges of a married couple, I gotta say I don't have much of a problem with it. What do I care? Of course, there are far fewer people who want to engage in polygamous relations than want to be in a gay marriage. Gay people equal between five and ten percent of the population. I don't think even the most drunkenly accumulated census in the country would have that high a number of people who claimed to be polygamous (and no, LiLo doesn't count). So, I think we can agree that it's unlikely to become a widespread cultural phenomenon. However, if all members of the party are consensual, go ahead! Have a ball!

Even more nonsensical is the concept of animal marriage. I know Bill's just trying to make a point, but doesn't he see how equating two gay men who love each other to a guy f***ing a porpoise could be a little bit offensive? Once again, my same points apply. There are far, far fewer people who want to jump in bed with a squirrel than are in love with a member of the same sex. This kind of awful reasoning really gets my goat. Ha!

Of course, let's say there were 30 million carniphiles in this country. Once again, if you could actually get the consent of the fish, ewe, tadpole or wildebeast to such a relationship, I gotta tell you, I don't have that much of a problem with it. I'd find it a little strange, sure, but as long as Mr. and Mrs. Salamander are minding their own business, I'll mind mine.

O'Reilly knows, however, that this is simply ridiculous. We all know, perhaps, dozens of gay people. How many of us have ever encountered someone not named Ms. Piggy who's attracted to a frog?

Trumpeting these arguments on a national news network is embarrassing, and I only hope YouTube still exists in 30 years so younger generations can laugh in disbelief at the people still clinging on to the desperate, bigoted side of this issue.