## Tuesday, October 30, 2012

### Yard sign says "Don't Redefine Marriage" then radically redefines marriage

I could have grabbed a perfectly aligned image from their website, but I wanted to find one in the wild, which proved more difficult than I expected.  They're disturbingly common, especially in the places where non-bigoted signs are stolen as soon as the non-bigot's back is turned.  (That's not, strictly speaking, legal yet I doubt any arrests will come of it.)  Anyway, after going much farther than I thought I'd have to, I saw a political sign I'd never seen before, cheaply designed and with only two colors, as if whoever put it out couldn't afford three, I wondered what it could be.  When I realized it was a Romney sign I thought that surely I'd be able to find some of the hate I was looking for in the area, so I headed over and sure enough found this:

Did you catch that?  I may have to turn in my math major card because it took my mother pointing it out for me to see it.  At this point I'm just so used to hearing, "Marriage is between a man and a woman" that my mind sort of glossed over the words and symbols used.

What the sign presents is an equation with an equals sign.  In so doing it defines marriage.

An equals sign means both sides of the equal sign are exactly the same thing.  You don't get to say 2 + 2 = 5, and then argue that it's true because, hey, if you add a one to it then 2 + 2 does equal five.  Equals signs do not work that way.

What is on the left side is no more or less than what is on the right side, what is on the right side is no more or less than what is one the left side.  The two are identical in every way.  They may look different, or be described in different ways, but they are identical.  That's what equals means.

According to the sign the definition of marriage is "one man plus one woman."  You may note a lack of any kind of vows being taken in that definition, or a lack of weddings, or a lack of rights to hospital visits, or a lack of church, or a lack of state, or a lack of promises of fidelity, or a lack of relationship of any kind, (or a lack of lack of relationship: if the man and woman are brother and sister the sign says that's marriage), or a lack of anything other than a man and a woman.

Take the adult population of the world (so we're talking about men and women not boys and girls) pick two at random.  Put them together.  (In the same general place at the same time, no Frankenstein's monsters please.)  There's about a 50% chance that, according to the makers of the sign, that counts as a marriage.

But they've never met before, you say.  Doesn't matter.  But the only thing they have in common is that they were selected at random, you say.  Doesn't matter.  But they have no intention of sticking together, you say.  Doesn't matter.  But they haven't exchanged any vows, you say.  Doesn't matter.

The makers of the sign have redefined marriage to mean any pair of people in which one is a man and the other a woman.  Any pair.  No other requirements.

That is a radical redefinition of marriage.

1. I saw one of those ads on Facebook because we're voting on a marriage equality referendum in Maryland as well. I clicked to ban it from showing and had to choose between "because I disagree with it" and "because it is offensive." I went with offensive, in part because of the reasons you state above.

2. Eight years ago, I saw a reasonable number of signs saying, "THE BUSH-CHENEY '04 SIGN HERE WAS STOLEN BY COMMUNISTS." If it wasn't a week before the election, perhaps someone could put up similar signs advertising the thefts...

1. but it's not offensive for your signs right?

2. I've been looking at this comment since you posted it, I have no idea what you're trying to say.