Sunday, May 03, 2015

There's No Real Case Against Gay Marriage

As we wait for the United States Supreme Court to hand down its ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, it is worth reiterating that there is no real case against same sex marriage other than religious based ignorance and bigotry (and selective parsing of the Bible).  A piece in Politico looks at the lack of substance to the arguments put forth by the Christofascists in a pathetic attempt to disguise their anti-gay animus.
Marriage equality opponents are having a hard time pointing to any good reason for fencing same-sex couples out of marriage. So the latest move has been to invite the Supreme Court to cast their collective gaze into the future.

Obergefell v. Hodges, the marriage case before the Court, . . . . . Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky want the Court to look into a crystal ball and imagine that a ruling for marriage equality will lead to the erosion of marriage, an increase in single parenthood, and even, according to a group that styles itself “100 Scholars of Marriage,” a dramatic spike in the number of abortions.

[T]he legal arguments for the couples who want to marry (or to have their out-of-state marriages recognized by their home state) are clear, and have been stated many times. In brief: the guarantee of equal protection under the law requires the state to recognize their relationship, unless there is a good reason not to do so. Conversely, non-recognition causes serious harm to the couples and to their families. Plaintiff James Obergefell presents perhaps the most sympathetic case of all: He can’t even get himself listed on the death certificate of his deceased husband, John Arthur, because his home state of Ohio won’t recognize the couple’s out-of-state marriage. Among the other plaintiffs are Valerie Tanco and Sophy Jesty, who can’t get on a single health insurance plan in Tennessee. More worrying, Jesty’s legal relationship to their child is unclear.

Against these realities stand a couple of arguments that the states have been making during the past decade, but that have mostly melted away after a decade that has seen the national dialogue around marriage equality dramatically transformed.

The first argument—that kids do best when raised by a mother and a father—isn’t supported by the evidence.  . . . As the brief filed by the American Sociological Association makes clear, when the correct comparison is made, children raised by same-sex parents fare just as well as those raised by the opposite-sex counterparts.

The second argument is that marriage is about procreation and that excluding gays is necessary to protect the only relationship—a man and a woman—that can lead to “natural” procreation. This argument has been thoroughly eviscerated. As Justice Elena Kagan pointed out during oral argument in the Proposition 8 case in 2013, there’s no age limit on marriage—a limit that one would expect if marriage were really all about procreation.

With this wispy underbrush swept away, the focus naturally turns to the many costs imposed by the marriage bans. They’re expensive, because marriage carries many benefits. They’re damaging to emotional and physical health, because, as the brief co-authored by the American Psychological Association points out, excluding same-sex couples from the protection of the law creates a stigma—and stigmatized groups suffer stress, with resulting health consequences.
Expect hate merchants like Tony Perkins, James Dobson and Virginia's own heinous Victoria Cobb to continue to repeat the discredited lies and underscoring the reality that no one lies more than the fundamentalist "godly folks."

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