October 8th, 2014
Critique Exercise Revision: Against Gay Marriage
In the article “Against Gay Marriage,” the author, William J. Bennett, attempts to sway his readers against the legalization of gay marriage. After presenting the issue, he makes it palpable that he is against it, and his negative tone toward this topic is apparent in his opening sentence: “We are engaged in a debate which, in a less confused time, would be considered pointless and even oxymoronic: the question of same-sex marriage,” (409). Bennett is assuming that we live in a morally confused time. This assumption is the first of many fallacies found in Bennett’s article. These fallacies invalidate his argument against the legalization of gay marriage. The first few paragraphs of Bennett’s article include background information of the topic, bringing to attention the fact that Hawaii is the first state that considered the legalization of the union of same-sex couples. The author carries on in the following paragraph, saying that although some homosexuals do experience pain and a sense of exclusion because of their inability to marry, he feels that “overall, allowing same-sex marriages would do significant, long-term social damage,” (409). This assumption is also Bennett’s thesis statement. One can immediately question the validity of an author’s argument if their thesis itself is an assumption. After presenting his thesis, Bennett outlines what kind of consequences would follow the legalization of gay marriage. To reinforce his opinion and make it more believable to the reader, Bennett refers to his definition of marriage as simply between a man and woman, nothing more, nothing less. His assumption of marriage is about the heterosexual partners “completing” one another. Bennett states: “Recognizing the legal union of gay and lesbian couples would represent a profound change in the meaning and definition of marriage.” Soon after in paragraph six, Bennett again...
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