With several marriage equality cases before the Supreme Court of the United States this March, anti-gay folks are falling over themselves to submit briefs against gay marriage. Here are five of the most ridiculous.
1) Self-Loathing Homosexuals: Oh yes, there are homosexuals out there in America who believe that denying gay people the right to marry is a perfectly sound idea. One shining example comes from David Benkof, Doug Mainwaring and Robert Oscar Lopez who together have filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court over the Proposition 8 challenge, writing:
We believe children have a right to a mother and father; marriage is society’s institutional expression of that right. This is not just a theoretical abstraction for us. One of us was raised by two lesbian mothers, and knows first-hand the longing of a child for a father and the hardship a boy faces growing up without a dad. Another of us has taken his ex-wife back into his home, realizing he can only offer his children half of what they truly need. There is a deep wisdom in our marriage tradition; the bringing together of male and female is a unique and distinct sort of union – one uniquely necessary to children and the whole society. Gay marriage, in particular “marriage equality”, will repudiate the wisdom of this tradition, putting government in the position of stating an untruth: unions of two men or two women are just the same as unions of husband and wife, especially when it comes to children.
Solipsism and twaddle that gay parents aren’t able to suitably fill the role of opposite gender parents. There is a wealth of evidence to suggest the equally good care same-sex parents can give their children, and to pretend otherwise is simply embarrassing.
2) The Family Research Council: Of course they aren’t happy about Proposition 8′s being overturned, however buried in this case is an interesting little argument about whether constitutional amendments to bar same-sex marriage, and specifically ones that define away an already given right, are facially similar to those that ban interracial marriage. This is a big problem for the anti-gay folks, but look how the FRC treats it:
Second, anti-miscegenation statutes were intended to keep persons of different races separate. Marriage statutes, on the other hand, are intended to bring persons of the opposite sex together. Statutes that mandated segregation of the races with respect to marriage cannot be compared in any relevant sense to statutes that promote integration of the sexes in marriage.
This is an unconvincing slight of hand that fails to tackle the real issue: if there is a fundamental right to marry, on what grounds can a same-sex marriage be denied and how is it different from denying those of different races the right to marry?
3) The Manhattan Declaration – Not to be confused with the Manhattan Project, the Manhattan Declaration is “a movement of Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians for life, marriage, and religious liberty” that has vowed a war on threats to marriage, including gay people. So you know their brief is going to be good, right? Right:
Redefining marriage imperils religious freedom, inhibits people of faith from living their lives out in the public square, and creates a culture where Christian Believers are ostracized and themselves targeted for discrimination.
I should point out this is only the heading of their third argument, but it sets the tone for how they feel they will be victimized if Proposition 8 is struck down. Predictably, they cite that Catholic Charities has decided to shut up shop in a number of states because, while still wanting state funds to provide a state-backed adoption service, it refused to serve married gay couples. The base nature of the entire argument essentially adds up to “We’re worried our religious privilege is being taken away.”
4) Westboro Baptists – Yes, that group. They’ve found time in between media whoring and protesting funerals to have their lawyers tell the Supreme Court why it is imperative they don’t recognize a right for same-sex couples to marry. Basically, they’ve just copied and pasted Bible verses with a little bit of commentary on the side:
But of far greater importance is the fact that the government has no greater responsibility than to protect the people from such grievous sin that the inevitable result will be the outpouring of the wrath of God on the land, being great mayhem, carnage and destruction. Nothing is better for the health, safety and welfare of the people than to obey God. When a critical moral issue becomes the centerpiece of the discussion, and is put squarely before this Honorable Court, or before any governmental body, the duty is to follow the standard of God. Not invent a multitude of sociological, pseudo-scientific, historical or any other theory or reasoning that leads to ignoring and disobeying the plain standard of God. The highest interest of government is to follow the standard of God; appeal to the people to follow the standard of God; and establish policies and laws that follow the standard of God.
Hilariously, the Westboro clan aren’t supporting either side and make this very clear; remember, America is doomed.
5) The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops — While I wish I could say that it is surprising that the USCCB should make such an extraordinary intervention like this, it really isn’t. They have entered briefs in both the Proposition 8 case and in the Defense of Marriage Act challenge.
For Proposition 8 they argue:
“[T]he People of California could reasonably conclude that a home with a mother and a father is the optimal environment for raising children, an ideal that Proposition 8 encourages and promotes. Given both the unique capacity for reproduction and unique value of homes with a mother and father, it is reasonable for a State to treat the union of one man and one woman as having a public value that is absent from other intimate interpersonal relationships.”
Which might at least be germane if Proposition 8 had itself ever mentioned children. It did not. It said that Proposition 8 “changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California.” There was no declaration of intent other than to “eliminate” gay rights.
For DOMA they argue:
“…civil recognition of same-sex relationships is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and tradition–quite the opposite is true. Nor can the treatment of such relationships as marriages be said to be implicit in the concept of ordered liberty, such that neither liberty nor justice would exist if they were sacrificed.”
They fail to prove, or even really approach, how striking down DOMA constitutes a sacrifice of “ordered liberty” or “justice.”
And thus we see the whole sorry lot adds up to little more than hollow bleating, but this could be to the pro-equality side’s advantage. The more the anti-gay folks demonstrate the irrationality of DOMA and Proposition 8, and the more they broadcast their amicus, the easier it is to demonstrate the injustice behind both the state level Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Image Credit: Thinkstock.
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