Sue Everhart, the chairwoman of the Georgia Republican Party, has an argument in opposition to marriage equality that’s rarely heard in American politics, but is nevertheless rather familiar (via Tom Kludt).
Everhart said while she respects all people, if same sex marriage is legalized across the country, there will be fraud.
“You may be as straight as an arrow, and you may have a friend that is as straight as an arrow,” Everhart said. “Say you had a great job with the government where you had this wonderful health plan. I mean, what would prohibit you from saying that you’re gay, and y’all get married and still live as separate, but you get all the benefits? I just see so much abuse in this it’s unreal. I believe a husband and a wife should be a man and a woman, the benefits should be for a man and a woman. There is no way that this is about equality. To me, it’s all about a free ride.”
Everhart added that she believes homosexuality itself is “not natural.”
If the Georgia GOP chair’s argument seems vaguely familiar, there’s a reason for that: it was the basis for a 2007 movie called “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.” I suppose I should avoid spoilers for those who still want to see it, but the gist is pretty straightforward: Adam Sandler and Kevin James play straight firefighters who pretend to be gay and enter a same-sex civil union for benefits purposes.
It was not, by the way, a documentary or a how-to guide for those hoping to commit fraud.
But what really gets me about Sue Everhart’s argument is its broader applicability.
As she sees it, two consenting adults could marry in order to expand access to health care benefits. This could happen, she says, even if you’re “straight as an arrow, and you may have a friend that is as straight as an arrow.”
This may be tough for Everhart to fully appreciate, but here’s the follow-up question: if this is an argument against same-sex marriage, isn’t it also an argument against opposite-sex marriage? After all, what’s to stop a man and a woman who are friends from pulling the same scam? Or, I don’t know, perhaps using marriage to help a friend with his or her immigration status?
If avoiding fraud is paramount, does the chairwoman of the Georgia Republican Party want to prohibit all marriages?