Congrats to Rush Limbaugh on his fourth traditional marriage

Limbaugh and his latest wife will join Newt Gingrich's former mistress (and third wife) in defending marriage

Topics: Gay Marriage, Washington, D.C.,

(updated below)

Rush Limbaugh, October 6, 2009:

Look, we found another Obama oddball. Obama’s nominee to become commissioner for the equal opportunity employment commission is Chai Feldblum. She’s an outspoken gay rights activist, Georgetown University law professor, and she has praised polygamy and contended that traditional marriage should not have privileged status.

MSMDC News, yesterday:

Conservative radio man Rush Limbaugh is taking a fourth stab at marriage with a weekend wedding to Kathryn Rogers, an events coordinator 26 years his junior, according to various reports. Limbaugh, 59, will reportedly marry the 33-year-old Rogers at his Palm Beach compound. . . . The childless Limbaugh’s first two marriages were over by the time he rose to national prominence. His third wedding, to Marta Fitzgerald in 1994, was officiated by his friend, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. They divorced in 2004. Before beginning his courtship with Rogers in 2007, Limbaugh was romantically linked to then-CNN anchor Daryn Kagan.

So as Newt Gingrich does while standing next to his third wife (who, as was true for Gingrich’s second wife, was previously known as his “adulterous mistress”), Rush Limbaugh will now crusade for Traditional Marriage with his fourth wife (and counting) at his side.  As is so often the case, the Traditional Marriage movement is led by people who discard their wives and get new, younger replacements the way most people change underwear.  That’s how so many Americans sit on their sofas next to their second and third spouses, with their step-children and half-siblings surrounding them, and explain — without any recognition of the irony — that they’re against same-sex marriage because they believe the law should only recognize Traditional Marriages.  And it’s how Rush Limbaugh can hide from his followers that, by demanding state recognition for his fourth “marriage,” he himself  believes “that traditional marriage should not have privileged status.”  As usual, all of the actual rules of Traditional Marriage are casually discarded when it comes to the law (all that dreary, annoying stuff about “till death do us part” and “in sickness and in health” and “for as long as we both shall live”) and the only one that’s maintained is the one that is easy and cost-free for most Traditional Marriage proponents people to fulfill (the one about needing “a man and a woman”). 

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As the gay Wired writer Steve Silberman wrote yesterday:  ”Between them, Gingrich and Limbaugh have had 7 marriages. And they want to abolish my one.”  On that note, The Boston Globe highlights how this Traditional Marriage hypocrisy is not merely vile in its own right, but breeds serious oppression for countless Americans, as it reports on the harrowing experience of an American citizen who has been barred from living in the U.S. with his foreign national same-sex spouse (as a result of the Defense of Marriage Act’s ban on granting the same federal rights to same-sex couples which opposite-sex couples are entitled to receive, such as immigration rights).  The latest “marriages” of Gingrich and Limbaugh (as well as their 5th, 6th, and 7th ones which, if history is any guide, will take place as soon as their most recent “wives” age a bit) will receive the full panoply of rights under American law, while — as a result of this twisted, self-serving definition of “Traditional Marriage” — gay Americans are denied all such rights even for their first marriages.

 

UPDATE:  As always happens when this issue is raised, there are several people in comments and elsewhere confusing the point.  The issue here is not hypocrisy.  Hypocrisy is when someone preaches “nobody should do X” and then proceeds themselves to do X — such as preaching that “nobody should break the law or consume illegal drugs” and then proceeding to consume huge quantities of illegally obtained oxycontin.  That’s hypocrisy.  That’s not what this is.

Hypocrisy occurs when there’s a disparity between the actions one advocates and the actions one undertakes.  Here, the disparity is between (a) what same-sex opponents such as Limbaugh claim they advocate (the law’s recognition of only Traditional Marriages) and (b) what they actually advocate (having the law recognize completely untraditional marriages, such as Gingrich and Limbaugh’s multiple, serial unions).  They don’t really advocate the law’s recognition of Traditional Marriage, as they claim; rather, they only advocate that the law bar the untraditional marriages they don’t want to enter into (same-sex marriages) while recognizing the ones they do (multiple, serial ”marriages”). The point is that one cannot oppose same-sex marriage on the ground that the law should only recognize Traditional Marriages, while simultaneously demanding that the law recognize third, fourth and other multiple marriages following divorce:  at least one cannot do so coherently.

Glenn Greenwald

Follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: @ggreenwald.

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