Quantcast

«

»

Dec 23 2013

Another One To Bookmark

It matters not how you re-word it; they’ve heard it,
Your argument stinks—that’s a matter of fact.
The judge gave to you, in this ruling, a schooling
A thorough rebuking, though written with tact.
You claimed it amounts to miscarriage of marriage
To change what such unions have meant all along;
The judge found your “think of the children!” bewilderin’
Considered your logic, pronounced it dead wrong.

What you label “logic” is tortured—the sort you’d
Expect from a kid, whom you’d then want to scold!
In your view, to give churches freedom, you need ‘em
To keep other churches more tightly controlled!
You say that gay men have the same rights you claim, rights
To marry a woman—whichever they choose!
The judge, as you’ll quickly intuit, saw through it;
Your argument’s specious, and guess what? You lose!

Majorities see what they’ve wanted confronted
When sometimes their wishes are not what they ought
The judge, in his wisdom, saw through you, and knew you
Were moved by religion and prejudiced thought
“Gay marriage” is “separate but equal: the sequel”
It’s one institution, for straight or for gay
Just “Marriage” will do—it’s a beaut! Ah, but Utah,
I love what you’ve done in this ruling today!

It’s one to bookmark. No, not this verse, the Utah Same-Sex Marriage ruling:

The court agrees with Utah that regulation of marriage has traditionally been the province of the states, and remains so today. But any regulation adopted by a state, whether related to marriage or any other interest, must comply with the Constitution of the United States. The issue the court must address in this case is therefore not who should define marriage, but the narrow question of whether Utah’s current definition of marriage is permissible under the Constitution.

Few questions are as politically charged in the current climate. This observation is especially true where, as here, the state electorate has taken democratic action to participate in a popular referendum on this issue. It is only under exceptional circumstances that a court interferes with such action. But the legal issues presented in this lawsuit do not depend on whether Utah’s laws were the result of its legislature or a referendum, or whether the laws passed by the widest or smallest of margins. The question presented here depends instead on the Constitution itself, and on the interpretation of that document contained in binding precedent from the Supreme Court and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Applying the law as it is required to do, the court holds that Utah’s prohibition on same-sex marriage conflicts with the United States Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process under the law. The State’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason. Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional.

It’s a great read–the stories of the plaintiffs make it clear that this is no abstract fight, but a genuine problem for real and relatable people. The judge, Robert Shelby (as is his duty) considers all the state’s reasons for denying marriage to same sex couples, and not only finds them lacking, but occasionally points out that the real effects are likely to be the polar opposite of what the state claims!

I was very interested to see what the state’s arguments actually were; I’ve argued this topic for years, and have yet to find a decent argument against same-sex marriage that was not either inane, fundamentally religious (and thus moot by virtue of the first amendment) or both. Here, though, we don’t have just morons on the internet arguing, but the lawyers for the state of Utah…. and the arguments are the same as you see made by idiots on the internet. Seriously, the state argued that (for instance) gay men have the same right to marry the woman they love as any straight man does. Therefore allowing them to marry the man they love would be giving them additional rights. They really argued that.

The arguments based on the state’s responsibility to promote “responsible procreation within marriage”?

The State has presented no evidence that the number of opposite-sex couples choosing to marry each other is likely to be affected in any way by the ability of same-sex couples to marry. Indeed, it defies reason to conclude that allowing same-sex couples to marry will diminish the example that married opposite-sex couples set for their unmarried counterparts….If there is any connection between same-sex marriage and responsible procreation, the relationship is likely to be the opposite of what the State suggests. Because Amendment 3 does not currently permit same-sex couples to engage in sexual activity within a marriage, the State reinforces a norm that sexual activity may take place outside the marriage relationship.

(page 44, if you are looking)

Seriously, bookmark this ruling; when the idiots on the internet make stupid arguments, and you want the perfect rejoinder (including precedents), you’ll be glad you did.

15 comments

3 pings

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    richardelguru

    Considering your verse form above: have you ever read a poem that starts (this from old-person memory)
    “Even is come to the dark park. Hark
    “The signal of the setting Sun, one gun
    . . .
    . . .
    and ends something like
    “…Rose knows those beaus woes.”

    I think it’s Thos. Hood.

  2. 2
    richardelguru

    Oh! Oh!!
    I couldn’t find it because Old-person memory faultier than anticipated:

    http://www.futilitycloset.com/2010/07/20/a-nocturnal-sketch/

    You might like it

  3. 3
    Childermass

    The ruling denying a stay of the District Court’s order pending an appeal:

    “The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and the local rules of this court provide and set out the requirements for a stay pending appeal. Fed. R. App. P. 8; 10th Cir. R. 8.1. Defendants-Appellants acknowledge that they have not addressed, let alone satisfied, the factors that must be established to be entitled to a stay pending appeal.”

    What is rule 8.1 of the 10th Circuit:

    “8.1 Required showing. No application for a stay or an injunction
    pending appeal will be considered unless the applicant addresses
    all of the following:
    (A) the basis for the district court’s or agency’s subject matter
    jurisdiction and the basis for the court of appeals’ jurisdiction,
    including citation to statutes and a statement of facts establishing
    jurisdiction;
    (B) the likelihood of success on appeal;
    (C) the threat of irreparable harm if the stay or injunction is not
    granted;
    (D) the absence of harm to opposing parties if the stay or injunction is
    granted; and
    (E) any risk of harm to the public interest.”

    Wow. Wow. Wow.

    If Utah does not “remedy” its request for a stay, they practically conceded the whole case against SSM regardless of how this case goes.

  4. 4
    hoary puccoon

    I don’t think it’s exactly true that allowing same-sex marriage will never prevent opposite sex marriages. I can think of several heterosexual people I’m pretty close to, who found out– after they’d tied the knot– that their spouse was homosexual. I can think of some other friends who finally admitted to themselves that they were homosexual after they had given in to social pressure and married someone of the opposite sex. Every single one of those marriages ended in divorce, with a lot of heartache for both partners, not to mention the trauma to the children, in the cases where they had kids before they finally gave up on the marriage.

    In my opinion, pressuring people to marry someone they will never be happy with, and whom they will never be able to make happy, is nothing short of sadistic.

    So, yes, allowing same-sex marriages will prevent some opposite sex marriages. But that’s one of the best things about it.

  5. 5
    Gregory in Seattle

    “Every man can marry a woman.”

    That is nearly identical to the “argument” made by Virginia in 1968, when it argued before the Supreme Court in Loving v Virginia that its antimiscegenation law was constitutional. The Court didn’t buy that, and I expect that the court won’t buy this argument, either.

    As for “responsible procreation within marriage”…. Until and unless Utah makes procreation a requirement for marriage, the ability to procreate is entirely irrelevant with regards to marriage.

  6. 6
    slatham

    When I was younger I used to argue that the state had no business being involved in ‘marriage’. I figured it was a private contract between individuals. The only role for the state in such a case was to ensure a proper conclusion if the contract was violated (or to prevent an improper contract from being entered, such as by an underage participant). So when someone would say that the state didn’t have to grant same-sex marriage, I’d agree and then say the state shouldn’t be promoting any kind of marriage at all. That didn’t catch on. Given that result I’m glad to see progress in marriage equality.

    I still think it’s somehow wrong for the state to be supporting (or seeming to) class separation in society: the preferred married class and the unmarried underclass.

  7. 7
    Randomfactor

    He also cited Scalia’s warning that striking down DOMA would cause this sort of thing. Yup.

  8. 8
    Pierce R. Butler

    … the State reinforces a norm that sexual activity may take place outside the marriage relationship.

    It’s wusser than that. Two friends of mine, living in a state where same-sex marriage can’t happen, solved the problem of estate-inheritance by one of them adopting the other. Thus, legal strictures in effect promoted incest.

  9. 9
    Cuttlefish

    Randomfactor @#7:

    I forgot to mention that! One of my favorite things about the ruling!

  10. 10
    Mobius

    Seriously, the state argued that (for instance) gay men have the same right to marry the woman they love as any straight man does. Therefore allowing them to marry the man they love would be giving them additional rights.

    But, but, but…

    Doesn’t this ruling also allow any straight man to marry any man you wants to? So doesn’t this expand rights to all people and not just provide special rights to gays…as the state is claiming.

    That people with a post-graduate degree in law would be making such inane arguments should be ridiculous.

  11. 11
    Al Dente

    My favorite part of the ruling is actually a quote from the decision striking down Prop. 8:

    Permitting same-sex couples to marry will not affect the number of opposite-sex couples who marry, divorce, cohabit, have children outside of marriage or otherwise affect the stability of opposite-sex marriage. Perry v. Schwarzenegger 704 F. Supp. 2d 921, 972 (N.D. Cal. 2010)

    This is the answer to the question we often ask “How will same-sex marriage affect opposite-sex marriage?”

    But I like the decision finding Utah’s constitution unconstitutional. The Mormon hierarchy must be shitting bricks.

  12. 12
    miserlyoldman

    Randomfactor @7 and Cuttlefish @9

    After the third citation of a Scalia dissent I actually laughed out loud. I like to think he was deliberately trolling Scalia by using Scalia’s own “end times!” histrionics to make Utah a better place. “We’ll have no reasons left to keep homosexuals away from marriage!” “Yep! Isn’t progress great?”

    I was also quite pleased that the decision included a whole set of “not only is this amendment stricken for infringing on these fundamental rights, it’s super stricken by all of these, too.” I very happily read every page.

  13. 13
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters
    Seriously, the state argued that (for instance) gay men have the same right to marry the woman they love as any straight man does. Therefore allowing them to marry the man they love would be giving them additional rights.

    But, but, but…

    Doesn’t this ruling also allow any straight man to marry any man you wants to? So doesn’t this expand rights to all people and not just provide special rights to gays…as the state is claiming.

    That people with a post-graduate degree in law would be making such inane arguments should be ridiculous.

    Yeah, I noticed that right away, too.

    I’m straight. Now I could marry the same-sex person I want to, not be restricted to mere!y the opposite-sex person I want to. Whoopee, expanded rights for all !

  14. 14
    OpenMindedNotCredulous

    @hoary puccoon wrote

    I don’t think it’s exactly true that allowing same-sex marriage will never prevent opposite sex marriages. I can think of several heterosexual people I’m pretty close to, who found out– after they’d tied the knot– that their spouse was homosexual.

    My favorite movie on that theme is the movie Normal starring Jessica Lange and Tom Wilkinson. It’s the type of movie that will change your viewpoint to a more progressive one if you’re on the fence about such matters and might sow seeds of doubt in the mind of a highly religious person.

  15. 15
    Allan Frost

    That’s probably the most entertaining legal document I’ll ever read. Thank you, judge Robert Shelby.

  1. 16
    So simple, even an invertebrate can understand it » Pharyngula

    […] Digital Cuttlefish read the federal ruling striking down Utah’s gay discrimination laws, and makes an interesting point: Utah’s arguments were stupid. Not just poorly reasoned, but […]

  2. 17
    OMG UTAH! Congratz! | Roll to Disbelieve

    […] (though as one blogger’s pointed out, Utah’s arguments against marriage equality are ridiculously stupid and irrational so it seems unlikely at this point that it can happen–but one never […]

  3. 18
    Narrow Ohio Ruling With Broad Implications For Same-Sex Marriage » The Digital Cuttlefish

    […] « Another One To Bookmark […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite="" class=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>