Brown: We’ll Pass FMA if Supreme Court Rules Wrong Way

Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage is nothing if not an eternal optimist. He’s sure that the Supreme Court is going to rule against marriage equality, but if they don’t do that he says they’ll just go ahead and pass the Federal Marriage Amendment to the constitution. This is from the Steve Deace show:

I think we’re going to win these cases. But say the worst happens and we lose in a broad way – that means that the Court somehow does a Roe, a Roe v. Wade, on marriage and says that all these state constitutional amendments are overturned, gay marriage is now a constitutional right – well, we’re going to press forward on a Federal Marriage Amendment. We’ve always supported a Federal Marriage Amendment, and there’s a lot of misconceptions about it. Some people try and argue, ‘Well, this is against federalism.’ No, our founders gave us a system where we can amend the Constitution. We shouldn’t have to do this, we shouldn’t have to worry about activist judges, you know, making up out of thin air a constitutional right that obviously none of our founders found there and no one found there until quite recently. But if we do, for us, the Federal Marriage Amendment is a way that people can stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough.’ We need a solution in this country, we cannot be, as Lincoln said, half slave, half free. We can’t have a country on key moral questions where we’re just, where we don’t have a solution. And if the Court forces a solution, the way we’ll amend that is through the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Yeah, good luck with that. They couldn’t pass that through Congress multiple times when the Republicans were in control and public opinion was hugely opposed to marriage equality. There isn’t a chance in hell it’s going to pass now, with a majority now supporting equality and the Democrats in charge of the Senate and the White House. You’ll be eating an omelette made from unicorn eggs before that happens.


  1. smhll says

    I sort of wonder if we had passed the ERA, would women have the same right to marry women as men now have?

    If they succeed in getting a marriage inequality amendment ratified, I am going to be really mad.

  2. haitied says

    So fuckin sick of the “Activist Judges” bullshit. So sick of the complete lack of understanding of the word “activist” and the duty of a judge.

  3. abb3w says

    There’s also the problem of getting the required 38 state ratifications. By my count, the best the GOP can muster is 36 legislatures, unless they try for (packing) ratification conventions.

    The model from Nate Silver seems to suggest that it’s only going to get harder for passage of an FMA banning gay marriage — and that an FMA’ alternate (mandating that the states accept gay marriage) could pass by 2020. I think he’s a bit optimistic in the trends on the south, but not wildly so.

  4. markr1957 says

    “We cannot be, as Lincoln said, half slave, half free”, and by the same logic we cannot be half equal either. If we’re not ALL equal in the eyes of the law there is no equality at all.

  5. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Just as an aside, the white house is irrelevant in passing a constitutional amendment.

    Congress passes, the states ratify. No assent/veto power for the president at all.

    None of that changes Ed’s perfectly accurate analysis, however.

  6. sqlrob says

    At least this time they’re trying the right way, rather than trying yet another law that will get smacked down yet again.

    I wonder if he remembers how well the last time legislating morality in the Constitution worked out.

  7. Ulysses says

    haitied @3

    So fuckin sick of the “Activist Judges” bullshit.

    “Activist judges” and “legislating from the bench” is conservaspeak for “some judge made a decision I don’t like.”

  8. laurentweppe says

    You know, if there is one good thing about the “Federal Marriage Amendment” it is that it’s an admission by the bigots that they know that anti-gay discriminations are, in fact, anticonstitutional discriminations: had US constitution really allowed homophobic discrimination, they would never have proposed to amend it in the first place.

    Which should pu the fight against DOMA is this light: it’s anti-constitutional: Everyone Knows that it is anti-constitutional and the question becomes then: “Should the Federal State official policy remain lying in public and playing dumb?”

  9. says

    “the Federal Marriage Amendment is a way that people can stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough.’”

    You know, I’ve been looking for a way to stand up and say “Enough is enough.” I don’t think that people stand up and say “Enough is enough” enough. Yet there is a danger lurking here! Let’s say enough people stood up and said “Enough is enough.” That’s fine, you say; for then enough would indeed be enough, and all would be well. But then suppose that even then people kept on standing up and saying “Enough is enough.” Then we would have a surfeit; and what would we do then? For if we did nothing, then the standing and saying “Enough is enough” would continue, and the surfeit would worsen; but if we then ourselves stood up and said “Enough is enough” (that is, enough standing up and saying “Enough is enough”), then we would ourselves contribute to the glut, even in opposing it. I rest my case.


  10. jamessweet says

    So, he’s totally insane to be saying this now… but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Ginsburg’s “Madison Lecture”, and that makes me think… Let’s imagine that SCOTUS was hearing the Prop 8 case 15 years ago. If they had ruled in the mid-90s to recognize same-sex marriage in every state, that may well have been the push that the bigots needed to get an FMA passed. Just a thought…

    In any case, Brian Brown is still crazy :D

  11. cottonnero says

    Brown sounds like the sort of chap who, when presented with “We cannot be half slave and half free”, would have said, “OK, all slave then.”

  12. says

    You’ll be eating an omelette made from unicorn eggs before that happens.

    Unicorns are monotremes? I learn a new thing every day! ;)

  13. noastronomer says

    If Brian Brown thinks that the consitutional amendment banning gay marriage has a snowballs chance in hell of getting passed let alone ratified then he’s more batshit crazy than … well … just about everyone I can think of right now.

    +1 to cottonnero


  14. sundoga says

    So, they can’t get enough member of Congress together to sink Obamacare, but they could get enough to start an Amendment process? Riiiiight.

  15. says


    We still do legislate morality — see the current War on (Some) Drugs…

    But other than that, you’re right. Attempting to legislate morality doesn’t work very well.

  16. slc1 says

    As I opined on a previous thread, there is not the slightest chance in hell of such an amendment being approved by 2/3 of both Houses of Congress. The other method of amendment is 2/3 of state legislatures requesting the calling of a convention to propose amendments. The problem with this latter approach is that the opponents of the amendment proposed can add poison pill additions which would kill any change of 3/4 of the states approving it. For example, members of the convention from, Florida and Texas could propose to eliminate the requirement that each state gets 2 senators, apportioning the Senate like the house. Not a snowball’s chance in hell of the smaller states approving such an amendment.

  17. Randomfactor says

    Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun (D-Ill.): “I hope that every person on this floor who is going to look at and vote on this bill considers for a moment what the judgment of history might be if 50 years from now their grandchildren look at their debates and look at their words in support of this mean-spirited legislation, and consider the judgment that will be cast upon them then.”

    It took less than half that…

  18. dingojack says

    Mr Brown opined: ” We need a solution in this country, we cannot be, as Lincoln said, half slave, half free. We can’t have a country on key moral questions where we’re just, where we don’t have a solution

    The first sentence obviously shows how keen he is for the Federal government to create uniform laws – laws that conform to the beliefs of Brian Brown (and his immoral minority, only they really count) , and to hell with what any other American thinks is right, To bad he conveniently forgot that it’ll be struck down as unconstitutional almost immediately by the same court that he overruled to create them. Smart move, Brian.
    The second sentence he clearly states the US should be a country that is inherently unjust, hence the reason for his attempt to have the legislature create inequality before the law, whilst admitting that this is not solution for the problem.
    Well. at least he’s an accidentally honest idiot.

  19. iangould says

    “But if we do, for us, the Federal Marriage Amendment is a way that people can stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough.’ We need a solution in this country, we cannot be, as Lincoln said, half slave, half free. ”

    Translation: “Don’t worry. If we lose this we’ll just come up with somr other scam to bilk the rubes.’

  20. slc1 says

    Re dingojack

    Brown and his fellow assholes are proposing a Constitutional Amendment. The Supreme Court has no authority to overrule a Constitutional Amendment.

  21. hunter says

    Brown is really good at empty threats — better than he is at counting attendees at his marches.

    But then, empty threats and wildly inflated numbers are all he has left.

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