by Peter Sprigg
December 11, 2009
Advocates of same-sex marriage assert that the fundamental right of homosexual individuals to marry is infringed if they are not free to marry the person of their choice (and they often cite the elimination of laws which once banned interracial marriage as precedent for this principle). However, everyone still faces restrictions upon whom they may marry. No one is permitted to marry a child, a close blood relative, a person who is already married, or (in most states and countries) a person of the same sex.
However, if the restriction against marrying someone of the same sex is lifted, based on the assertion of a right to marry whomever you wish, what principled reason will there be to maintain the other restrictions upon ones choice of marriage partner? This is the slippery slope argumentthat legalization of homosexual marriage would make it more difficult to maintain laws against pedophile, incestuous, and (especially) polygamous marriages, as well.
Yet there are people who would willingly slide even further down the slippery slope. In my book Outrage: How Gay Activists and Liberal Judges Are Trashing Democracy to Redefine Marriage, I noted news stories about an Indian girl who was married to a dog, a French woman who married a dead man, and a Canadian professor, Stephen Bertman, who foresees the possibility of marriage between humans and their household pets or even inanimate objects such as a beloved car or computer.
Now this week, the Washington Times ran an article that began, Humans will be marrying robots within fifty years, according to David Levy, winner of the 2009 Loebner Prize for artificial intelligence.
The article, by Paul Christensen, ran online under the title, Are artificial wives on the horizon?
But the print edition was more bluntit bore the headline, Artificial wivesor sex machines?
And indeed, the article quotes Levy as saying, Robots will be programmed to be sensitive sex therapists and help them to get over their sexual problems.
Christensen declares that [t]he obsession with creating artificial human companions goes back to ancient times. However, I was surprised that his article on sexy robotic wives included no reference to the greatest example of the concept in pop culturethe 1975 film The Stepford Wives, which was remade in 2004 with Nicole Kidman in the lead role. Its the story of a couple who move from New York to the too-perfect suburb of Stepford, Connecticut. The wife comes to learn that the reason all the housewives of Stepford also seem to be too-perfect servants of their husbands whims is that the real wives have been replaced by robots.
When the film was made, it was considered a sort of feminist satire on traditional domestic roles for women. Who could have guessed that the radicals of the sexual revolution would be the ones to move us closer to making Stepford a reality?