Caveat - this post is neither pro-same-sex-marriage nor against. You may infer my views on the matter in general, but not from this post, you can't. Or maybe you can. Whatever. You could apply the views following to just about any proposition that is met by "we never did it before". And that's my point.
I was struck by a Radio 5 discussion on same-sex marriage. The argument against consisted of "it's never happened before". Now, there are arguments for and against same-sex marriage. There are, in my opinion, perfectly good arguments against the State getting involved in consensual sexual relationships, at all, ever. But there are other arguments (around the stability of society, the bringing up of children, the preservation of earned wealth within the family) that maybe argue the other way. But the argument I have a problem with is the one that goes, "we can't have "x" (where "x" may or may not be same-sex-marriage) because all this time we've not had it."
Some arguments along the same line might include:
"Antibiotics, Dr Fleming? They may be bright and modern,. but I'll die of a secondary infection just like my grandad did, if that's all the same to you."
"A train, Mr Stephenson? And collapsing of exhaustion after walking 200 miles was too good for my dad, was it?"
"Mr Wilberforce. I think you'll find they had slaves in the New Testament."
"I was a fag at Eton. Never did me any harm. Except the carpet burns and the scalding. But it made me a man."
"Lead fermentation vessels were good enough for my family's cider in the 18th century, and I don't see why I should tea pot rubber duck aspidistra."
"You may call your way progress, but I'm going to die of ague in my mud hut, if it's all the same to you."
"This speaking in tongues is all very well, Peter, but I don't see what's wrong with killing a lamb whenever I commit adultery."
"Black people never had souls in my day."
"Fire, Grunthog? Are you insane? Why can't we blunder round in the dark chasing tigers away with sticks like our ancestors (the Great Spirit bless them) did? The ones who were eaten by tigers?"