Last week was a historic week at the United States Supreme Court. As I’m sure you know, the SCOTUS heard two cases involving same-sex marriage. Equality was in the air! Which means that we had a nation-wide epiphany and now everyone thinks anyone should be able to marry whoever they love!
Just kidding! If my Facebook feed is any indication, there’s still some pretty facepalm-inducing ignorance out there. And it’s not just dumb-dumbs; some supposedly intelligent people can say some astonishingly depressing things.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan
Is anyone really surprised by this one? On ABC’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos asked Cardinal Dolan what he would say to LGBT Catholics who feel unwelcome in the Church, Dolan said:
Well, the first thing I’d say to them is, “I love you, too. And God loves you. And you are made in God’s image and likeness. And – and we – we want your happiness. But – and you’re entitled to friendship.” But we also know that God has told us that the way to happiness, that – especially when it comes to sexual love – that is intended only for a man and woman in marriage, where children can come about naturally. We gotta be – we gotta do better to see that our defense of marriage is not reduced to an attack on gay people. And I admit, we haven’t been too good at that.
Oooooooh I see. People of the same sex choose to live together for decades because they are super best friends forever.
Rep. Steve King
Cardinal Dolan isn’t the only anti-gay crusader to equate gay relationships with friendships. Iowa Rep. Steve King did the same thing in a recent op-ed in the National Review. In justifying the government’s interest in promoting marriage of different-sex couples (BECAUSE CHILDREN!), King compares committed same-sex couples to mere friendships and shopping at a grocery store. Seriously:
You do not need a license to begin a new friendship, start shopping at a new grocery store or pharmacy, or even begin a new dating relationship. Likewise, one does not need a court order to terminate any of those relationships. This fact indicates that there is something unique about marriage that necessitates government involvement. Insisting upon heterosexual marriage is therefore not discriminatory, nor does it constitute the government telling anyone whom to love. The argument for upholding the Defense of Marriage Act is rooted in the way marriage is historically treated by state laws. To understand why government is involved in marriage in the first place is to understand why government cannot validate same-sex marriage.
Oh good. Well that makes sense. I know I put as much thought into who I want to spend my life with as I do when I switch grocery stores. (What if they don’t have my brand tampons?!)
Justice Antonin Scalia
Oh boy. Where to start. Actually, it’s hard to pick. Justice Scalia has written some pretty reprehensible things about gay and lesbian people. Mother Jones has a good rundown, my favorite of which is this:
During oral arguments in Lawrence, the attorney challenging the Texas law argued that it was “fundamentally illogical” for straight people to be able to have non-procreative sex without being harassed by the state while same-sex couples did not have the right to be “free from a law that says you can’t have any sexual intimacy at all.” But Scalia pointed out that gays and lesbians could just have sex with people of the opposite sex instead. “It doesn’t say you can’t have—you can’t have any sexual intimacy. It says you cannot have sexual intimacy with a person of the same sex.” Later on in his dissent, Scalia argued that Americans’ constitutional right to equal protection under the law wasn’t violated by the Texas law for that reason. “Men and women, heterosexuals and homosexuals, are all subject to [Texas'] prohibition of deviate sexual intercourse with someone of the same sex.” That should sound familiar: It’s the same argument defenders of bans on interracial marriage used to make, arguing that the bans were constitutional because they affected whites and blacks equally.
Yeah, gay people! Just stop having sex with people your sexually attracted to! Easy peasy lemon squeasy! Us normals wouldn’t discriminate against you if you weren’t so icky!
Rep. Tim Huelskamp
Ah, this last one comes from a representative of my home state of Kansas via the Washington Times. Keep it classy:
The Justice Department argues that children do not need mothers. The Obama administration makes the incredible assertion that motherhood is superfluous to rebut an argument that the traditional two-parent family, led by both a mother and a father, provides the ideal situation to raise a child. In defiance of biology, nature and common sense, the administration argues that children need neither a father nor a mother and that having two fathers or two mothers or more is just as good as having one of each.
Sen. Obama was right; President Obama is wrong. There is overwhelming social science evidence to corroborate the benefits of raising children in homes with both a mom and a dad. Who among us does not know there are differing parenting styles between men and women and that children deserve both? Government, both federal and state, has a legitimate and defensible interest in ensuring that children conceived by a mother and father are, in fact, raised by their biological mothers and fathers whenever possible.
First of all, no. Second of all, is there overwhelming social science that says children should be raised with one mom and one dad? Nope. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s the consensus that gay parents are just as good as hetero parents. This particular broken record is especially sad because it’s so easy to refute. And yet it marches on…
I guess marriage equality advocates and LGBT allies can take comfort in the fact that the trend seems to be toward marriage equality. It’s only a matter of time.
Image credit: ep_jhu