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Some advocates of legalizing gay marriage have an unfortunate tendency to treat the issue like a struggle to protect the civil rights of a minority group. They claim that heterosexuals are allowed to marry but that laws like California’s Proposition 8 deny that right to homosexuals.

This claim is obviously false.

Homosexuals would be as free to marry under laws like Proposition 8 as are heterosexuals. Any man and woman who wish to marry one another may do so under such laws, regardless of their sexuality.

These claims would only have substance if we made the claim that heterosexuals are free to marry people whom they find sexually attractive while homosexuals are not. That’s true, and gay marriage advocates could correctly make that claim.

But they don’t want to make that particular accurate claim. Because as soon as they do, we have to start looking at other classes of people denied the right to marry the objects of their sexual affections. Like pedophiles and zoophiles. But gay marriage advocates abhor taking that next logical step, in large part because while they might persuade a majority to let two men marry one another, they will never persuade a majority to condone all the wide diversity of human sexual attraction.

Gay marriage advocates should attack this issue on some other front. The civil rights appeal may be civil, but it’s really just wrong.