Sunday, May 18, 2014

Is Kentucky Trying to Lose Its Gay-Marriage Appeal?

Some are accusing Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear of trying to lose the appeal of the ruling that stuck down that state's gay marriage bans.  Critics argue that the brief filed with the 6th Circuit is so absurd that the state must be trying to lose the case on purpose.The reality is that other than religious based animus, there are no justifications for state bans on same sex marriage and, given that all of the Christofascists' arguments have been trashed in the the numerous U.S. District Court rulings - and in the Windsor ruling - those defending anti-gay bigotry are forced to invent ever more crazy rationales for the bans.  In the case of Kentucky, the claim is made that same-sex marriage must remain illegal otherwise straight people will have fewer babies, which in turn will trigger a parade of horribles.  Adding to the humor of the situation is the fact that Christofascists are supporting the insane arguments made in the brief.  The Courier-Journal looks at the attacks being lobbed at the governor:

One constitutional scholar calls it "absurd" and "desperate," while another says it is "irrational and preposterous."

That's how they and other critics are characterizing the legal defense Kentucky is offering in support of its ban on gay marriage — that the state has a valid interest in promoting traditionally marriage to maintain its birthrate and a vital economy.

A Los Angeles Times editorial columnist wrote that that Kentucky "reached a new low in poorly thought-out reasons for keeping gay and lesbian couples from marrying."

Some lawyers in Kentucky say the brief filed May 7 at the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals is so illogical that they theorized that Gov. Steve Beshear, who previously was friendly to gay rights, may be trying to lose the case while appearing to defend the ban. Beshear hired private lawyers to represent the state after Attorney General Jack Conway declined to appeal a ruling that struck down the state ban.

But defenders of traditional marriage say Beshear's brief, which seeks to reverse a federal judge's ruling throwing out the state's ban, has been misinterpreted and misunderstood.

"It does not say recognizing same-sex marriages will lead to an economic crisis, only that the state has a legitimate interest in encouraging the traditional institution of marriage," said Mat Staver, dean of the Christian Evangelical Liberty University School of Law of Lynchburg, Va., and founder of the Orlando-based Liberty Counsel, which describes itself as a pro-family group.

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh says Kentucky doesn't have to prove the birthrate would plummet if gays could wed. Instead, it must only show that there is a "rational basis" for its claim that traditional marriage law encourages opposite-sex couples to have more children and that allowing same-sex marriages would tend to produce fewer children.

Gay-rights activists and constitutional law professors, including the University of Louisville's Sam Marcossen, say the state's appeal makes no sense.   "Nothing in the Beshear brief explains how allowing same-sex marriage will change how many heterosexual couples get married and have babies, or how many babies they have," he said, calling the argument "irrational" and ""preposterous."
As I said, since ONLY religious belief and anti-gay animus are what is really behind same sex marriage bans, it is difficult to come up with any legitimate rational basis for the bans.   That Mat Staver supports the argument is proof alone that it is specious and merely seeks to disguise the religious based animus. 

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