To the editor:
Americans certainly do persist in the grand tradition of logical fallacies, and it is unfortunate that Isaac McPheeters (Public Forum, July 11) must resort to one in lieu of actually defending his position against the legalization of same-sex marriage. McPheeters’ fallacy is dubbed “tu quoque” (pronounced too kwo-kwee, for any of you fortunate enough to not have studied debate), which does not roll off the tongue as easily as “ad hominem,” but is just as reprehensible.
Translating to “you too,” McPheeters’ fallacy resorts to pointing his finger across the aisle instead of providing any compelling reason to deny homosexual couples rights afforded to every other American — in this instance specifically, the right to marry. He insists that some terms used by those in favor of same-sex marriage are inaccurate and inappropriate. Although we also think that his discussion on the evolution of language is interesting and that the new use of the word “homophobic” is worth defending, that’s a topic for another time.
Right now, we’d like to try to avoid any more fallacies and dodging of questions, and bring up an actual talking point. Discrimination is inexcusable and has no place in public policy. And to be fair, this too constitutes a logical fallacy, wherein we are presenting only two positions — also known as a black-and-white fallacy. But until McPheeters can provide his own logical rationale for inequality, as far as we are concerned, there is no fallacy in deeming him discriminatory, and more specifically, homophobic.