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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
UFC lightweight Josh Thomson dug himself a hole this week with with several comments made regarding the topic of gay marriage. Though he continually claimed he didn't "care who you marry," he made some other leaps with an argument that it opens the door to some pretty vile things.
It began on Twitter earlier this week, with the following comment:
"Should you be allowed to marry whoever you want? Before you answer that, should u be allowed to have more than 1 wife?"
He then followed that up by taking it further on Facebook, in comments which have since been deleted (via BloodyElbow.com):
"My next question is, should siblings be allowed to marry siblings? My point is, where do you draw the line? I personally don't care who you marry but I also am smart enough to know that it opens a gateway to men/women trying to marry young kids, siblings marrying eachother and people having multiple husbands an wives. You have to think all of these things are okay otherwise your stopping them from being happy as well which is hypocrisy. Equality doesn't stop with gay marriage, it just starts with it.
Blacks an whites getting married is nothing like this. So your okay with R. Kelly trying To marry lil girls? People trying to marry their brother or sister? Animals? Etc? Those people want the same exact thing, to be happy. Are you gonna tell them no?
Thomson's comments brought a rightful outcry, decrying him equating a consensual homosexual couple to incest, pedophilia, bestiality, etc. So he deleted them, and issued the following statement via BJPenn.com on Thursday:
Yesterday top UFC lightweight contender Josh Thomson used social media to poll fans with what turned out to be a controversial and thought provoking topic.
The subject of gay rights, including gay marriage, is sensitive for many people and Mr. Thomson fully supports equality for all human beings.
The statements made by Mr. Thomson were intended to provoke thought on some of the bigger issues that come up when people start to fight not only for equality but for more off-the-wall rights often frowned upon by society.
"I am not against gay rights or gay marriage in anyway," stated Thomson. "My comments were completely taken out of context by some members of the media and I have since removed them out of respect for anyone who may have been offended. It was not my intention to offend or hurt anyone."
With organizations fighting for legalized polygamy and the North American Man/Boy Love Association (http://NAMBLA.ORG) fighting for rights of their own, the line between equality and controversy becomes very thin. Mr. Thomson was merely giving extreme examples of very real movements in our country but he in no way meant to isolate the gay community in a negative manner.
Penick's Analysis: Addressing Thomson's "out of context" argument here; nothing's been taken out of context. He made an argument equating the gay rights movement to that of pederasts and bestiality, then doubled down on it in his apology by bringing NAMBLA of all things into the equation. He can say he's not against gay rights or gay marriage in any way, but he's using the "slippery slope" argument here, and pairing them together with the examples he fave is a way to "isolate the gay community in a negative manner." No longer denying the rights of gays to marry is not opening the door to the extremes, nor the acceptance of illegal activities taking place by the members of an organization like NAMBLA, and to suggest as much is ridiculous. Thomson's "apology" may have been worse than the initial argument, and it's yet again a situation fighters simply shouldn't be commenting on in public if their opinions are as outdated and backwards thinking as that. And once again, before the "freedom of speech" comment is made, while Thomson has every right to express his opinion without reproach from the United States government, the UFC has every right to fire, fine, or reprimand him for it. Freedom of speech doesn't save you from your employer.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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