Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Utah Explains the Rationale Behind Banning Same Sex Marriage – And Utterly Fails to Convince Anyone

One Argument is Downright Hilarious

This Forum has argued that no, same sex marriage is not a Constitutional right.  But equal treatment under the law is a Constitutional right, and if a state wishes to ban same sex marriage, that is, deny equal treatment under the law it has to have a basis for doing so. 

In Utah the trial court found that Utah had no reasonable or nonsensical basis for denying same sex couples the right to marry.  Utah’s argument that marriage was for procreation was defeated by the fact that Utah allows all opposite sex couples to marry, including couples who cannot produce children.  So in its appeal for a stay of the court decision allowing same sex marriage, Utah expanded on his arguments.  The results needless to say are not convincing.

Here is number one.

The state’s first argument, made before Judge Robert J. Shelby of the Federal District Court in Salt Lake City, was that “the traditional definition of marriage reinforces responsible procreation.” The government benefits that come with marriage, the state said, encourage opposite-sex couples to form stable families “in which their planned, and especially unplanned, biological children may be raised.”

Wow, responsible procreation.  Who knew that in states where same sex marriage exists couples are encouraged to engage in irresponsible procreation?  In the eyes of Utah one must imagine a couple thinking, “Gee, same sex marriage is here, let’s procreate but in an irresponsible manner”.

Ok, reason number two.

In the Supreme Court, state officials changed tack. They pressed a different argument, one built on a contested premise.

“A substantial body of social science research confirms,” the brief said, “that children generally fare best when reared by their two biological parents in a loving, low-conflict marriage.”

Well ha, take that you gay marriage lovers.  We in Utah have science on our side.  Or maybe not.

Lawyers for the couples challenging Utah’s ban on same-sex marriageresponded that the assertion “is not true.” For evidence, they cited “the scientific consensus of every national health care organization charged with the welfare of children and adolescents,” and listed nine such groups. The view of the groups, the challengers said, “based on a significant and well-respected body of current research, is that children and adolescents raised by same-sex parents, with all things being equal, are as well-adjusted as children raised by opposite-sex couples.”

Oh, there you go again, bringing facts and logic and scientific inquiry into the argument.  Well Utah has an answer for that.

Utah responded
 that it would not be swayed by “politically correct trade associations,” referring to, among others, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association. “We are not ruled by experts,” the state’s brief said.

Uh, let’s see.  Utah says that experts support its position.  Then when it turns out experts support the opposite conclusion Utah says it won’t be ruled by experts and by a bunch of the most reputable, most noted and highest authorities in the land.  Huh?  The American Academy of Pediatrics is just a politically correct trade association?  Who knew?

Alright everyone, stop laughing and let’s get to reason number three that Utah gave the Supreme Court as to why it had  legitimate reasons to discriminate against same sex couples.

But, drawing on Supreme Court decisions endorsing the value of diversity in deciding who may attend public universities, the state now said it was pursuing “gender diversity” in marriages. “Society has long recognized that diversity in education brings a host of benefits to students,” the brief said. “If that is true in education, why not in parenting?

Okay, anyone who can make sense out of that position, go to the head of the class. Historical note, these are conservatives speaking here, the conservative movement being one of the major supporters of law banning inter-racial marriage. 

It seems Utah must think that banning gay marriage encourages same sex couples to go out and marry members of the opposite sex.  

The truly horrible thing here is that there are at least four Supreme Court Justices who will buy this load of horse hockey.  And yes, that reflects upon the character and intellect of Justices Roberts, Scalia, Alito and Thomas, and not in a good way.

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