Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Justice Kennedy Spars With Michigan’s Special Assistant Attorney General

Justice Kennedy

Fellow transplanted northerner blogger Bob Felton has an even lower opinion of Christofascists and their view of marriage as merely "a cosmic license for sexual intercourse" in order to procreate than I do.  But he sums up the Christofascist view of marriage all too accurately and today quoted batshitery for Bill Donohue of the always deranged Catholic League as yet further proof.  Donohue in a rant against same sex marriage stated:
Not only is love as a basis for marriage a relatively recent phenomenon — most marriages throughout history were arranged or based on duty — it is profoundly detached from the historical purpose of marriage, which is procreation. Once love is given primary status as a condition for marriage, the institution itself is no longer recognizable.
That's right, per Donohue and a host of lunatics on the Christian Right, marriage is really all about treating women as brood mares and regulating the offspring.  Love has nothing to do with it. Sounds crazy?  You bet, but that is in essence part of the argument John Bursch, Michigan’s special assistant attorney general, made to the U.S. Supreme Court today to justify Michigan's gay marriage ban.  The argument did not seem to sit well with Justice Kennedy.  A piece in Slate looks at the exchange:

Kennedy finds himself in an argument with John Bursch, Michigan’s special assistant attorney general, about whether marriage is a dignity-conferring enterprise, or not. Bursch, defending his state’s ban on same-sex marriage, is explaining that the purpose of marriage is not to confer dignity but to keep parents bonded to their biological children.

Justice Kennedy—who opened argument Tuesday morning with the observation that this whole case is about an institution whose definition has gone unchanged for millennia—looks rather shocked. The author of the majority decision outlawing sodomy bans in Lawrence v. Texas (“Adults may choose to enter upon this relationship in the confines of their homes and their own private lives and still retain their dignity as free persons”) and the decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor (“It seems fair to conclude that, until recent years, many citizens had not even considered the possibility that two persons of the same sex might aspire to occupy the same status and dignity as that of a man and woman in lawful marriage”) did not want to hear this. Indeed, it seems like Kennedy wanted it to be perfectly clear that he is the guy who gets to say that if marriage is nothing else, it is a dignity-stamper.

Bursch explains that if marriage is expanded to include same-sex couples, the whole purpose of the institution will change. According to him, that view of marriage is “keeping the couple bound to that child forever,” whereas the new purpose (once gay couples are allowed to wed) will be about “their emotional commitment to each other.” This presumably less noble view of marriage will then proliferate, and result in illegitimacy, which the state seeks to avoid. Kennedy looks stunned. “That assumes that same-sex couples could not have a more noble purpose, and that’s the whole point. Same-sex couples say, of course we understand the nobility and the sacredness of marriage,” says Kennedy, the presumed swing vote.

Later in the argument, Bursch circles back to say, again, “marriage was never intended to be dignity bestowing.” At which point Kennedy almost bursts a pipe: “I don’t understand that [marriage] is not dignity bestowing. I thought that was the whole purpose of marriage. It bestows dignity on both man and woman in a traditional marriage. … It’s dignity bestowing, and these parties say they want to have that same ennoblement.”

Bursch replies that the “state is trying to figure out how do we link together these kids with their biological moms and dads when possible, the glue are benefits and burdens, but not necessarily dignity.” Anthony “Dignity” Kennedy can’t even believe it: “Well, I think many states would be surprised, with reference to traditional marriages, they are not enhancing the dignity of both the parties.”
But the other problem with the procreation-only argument is: What about old people? As Ginsburg ponders, “What if a 70-year-old couple wants to get married?” People cheer and applaud. Kennedy notes that Bursch’s premise “that only opposite-sex couples can have a bonding with the child” was “just a wrong premise,” adding “under your view it would be difficult for same-sex couples to adopt some of these children. … I think the argument cuts quite against you.”
There's more, but one can see why Christofascists - at least the far right Catholic  element - are anti-divorce.    Love, happy, supportive relationships are irrelevant to the equation.  It's only about legalizing sex for the purpose of breeding and raising children.  No wonder Christofascists are such miserable people.

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