The obnoxious ignorance of a recent Economist article, “Slippery Slope to Bestiality,” indicates that the wary reader shouldn’t expect a reasoned discussion of same-sex marriage from this usually reliable publication.
The author’s selective use of quotations makes his bias quite clear, as when one married man reinforces sex-role stereotypes and “rhapsodizes about domesticity” with his husband. (The author puts the word "husband" in scare quotes, as if same-sex marriages are somehow not real.) When the author discusses conservative outrage over marriage equality, he writes:
“More generally, religious traditionalists complain that allowing homosexuals to marry will degrade the most important institution of a civilised society. Some even claim that it could open the door to legalised unions with horses.”
The unfounded fears of “religious traditionalists” are left unquestioned, and the phrase “some even claim” in reference to bestiality is a rhetorical device inserted solely to smuggle in the author’s preconceptions without the necessity of a single supporting fact.
The article concludes with this quote from a bartender: "But the majority of gays will never get married. We want to have as much sex as we possibly can." This may illustrate the sentiment of an individual, but – if the many joyous same-sex weddings over the past year are any indication – it is not representative of the larger community.
The Economist is ordinarily full of well-considered writing, but this article is a pathetic excuse for journalism.