No, Steve King, You Cannot Marry Your Lawnmower

In a fine example of “slippery slope” reasoning, everybody’s favorite wingnut congressman, Iowa’s Steve King, has taken to saying that under the recent SCOTUS decision establishing marriage equality, you could marry inanimate objects (per Bret Hayworth of the Sioux City Journal):

When he was in Spirit Lake, Iowa, on July 1, the local newspaper recounted King saying the ruling was a troubling shift from the historical tradition of one man and one woman being in a marriage.

“I had a strong, Christian lawyer tell me yesterday that, under this decision that he has read, what it brings about is: It only requires one human being in this relationship — that you could marry your lawnmower with this decision. I think he’s right,” King said.

So Iowa Starting Line‘s Pat Rynard decided to check King’s theory out by going to the Recorder’s Office in his county and applying for a marriage license for himself and his lawnmower. Here’s what he found:

Steve King is wrong. You cannot marry your lawnmower, as explained by [Polk County Recorder] Haggerty for a number of reasons:

– It’s an inanimate object

– It would have to be 18 years old

– It doesn’t have a government ID

– It would have to sign a contract

– You need a witness to confirm it can give consent to enter into a contract (my mower only makes revving noises, so I doubt it could do this)

This will certainly be bad news for the exactly zero people who wanted to marry one of their lawn and garden equipments (could you have claimed common law marriage if it’s lived with you in your garage for years?). It’s good news, however, for the proponents of marriage equality who accurately argued that legalizing gay marriage would not lead to any of the outlandish “slippery slope” situations opponents predicted.

But whatever, go ahead Steve King. Keep insinuating that two loving gay men or women entering into marriage is as bizarre and unnatural as someone marrying their lawnmower. See how far ridiculous statements like that get the Republican Party in the 21st Century. It may be funny to you, but Republicans’ desire to reverse the ruling and invalidate many Americans’ marriages is no laughing matter to them, their family or friends.

I can add nothing to that other than wondering for the umpteenth time how things would have worked out had Steve King instead of Joni Ernst had run for the Senate last year.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.