I think Rob Ford must be my fault »« The font of creationist idiocy continues to gush

No rational reason

A judge in Arkansas struck down the gay marriage prohibition in that state.

A judge on Friday struck down Arkansas’ ban on same-sex marriage, saying the state has "no rational reason" for preventing gay couples from marrying.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled that the 2004 voter-approved amendment to the state constitution violates the rights of same-sex couples. He didn’t put his ruling on hold as some judges have done in other states, opening the door for same-sex couples in Arkansas to begin seeking marriage licenses, though it was not clear whether that would happen before Monday.

Apparently, there’s a scramble on in Arkansas to find clerks who will let gay couples take advantage of the new legality. I find the justification fascinating, though: there is no rational reason to maintain a pattern of discrimination, as if reason were an important concept in the law.

Clearly, Arkansas bigots need to get together with Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky. Beshear is the conservative Democrat who has also been pushing to get Ken Ham all kinds of tax breaks, and now also hires independent lawyers (the state attorney general refuses to support him) to defend Kentucky’s gay marriage ban. Strangely, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II had struck down that ban because…”Kentucky had offered no rational basis for treating gay and lesbian couples differently” (it’s a trend!)

Gov. Steve Beshear’s lawyers say Kentucky’s ban on gay marriage should be retained because only "man-woman" couples can naturally procreate — and the state has an interest in ensuring that they do.

Wait — my wife and I are all done with that baby-making business. Does that mean my marriage is invalid while I’m in Kentucky? I’m also sensing a terrific tourism opportunity. “Kentucky: After you visit our Creation “Museum”, impregnate our women! We need the babies!”

Here’s the “reason” for banning gay marriage.

In the 32-page appeal, attorney Leigh Gross Latherow says Kentucky has an interest in maintaining birth rates, which, if allowed to fall, can induce economic crises because of the reduced demand for good and services, and the reduction of the work force. She cited recent dips in the economies of Germany and Japan tied to declines in birth rates.

I can see a problem with the logic here. So can anyone else.

The appeal doesn’t explain how allowing gays to marry would reduce the birth rate among heterosexual couples.

So Kentucky simultaneously has so many jobs that they’re worried that people will not make enough children to fill them, and is so desperate for new jobs that they’re giving Answers in Genesis massive tax breaks to build a religious theme park on the pretext that it will provide lots of employment opportunities. “Kentucky: Making babies, and making opportunities for babies to grow up to be carnies.”

As is common with the anti-gay crowd, their arguments are transparently phony.

Comments

  1. cartomancer says

    This is really weird. Two posts in a row exposing people whose arguments are straight out of, of all people, Plato.

    The extromission theory of vision? That’ll be from Timaeus (it’s all about the triangular nature of the fire particles don’t you know!). Same-sex activity leading to reduced birth rates? That’ll be from Laws (apparently gayness was invented by King Minos to keep the population of Crete from getting out of hand!).

    It’s really saying something when the bad ideas you keep getting confronted with have been around in pretty much the same form for nearly two and a half thousand years…

  2. Louis says

    My wife and I have one child. Gay marriage has recently become legal in (most of, I think NI are still holding out) the UK. We’re definitely not having any more children. Don’t want them!

    EXPLAIN THAT LIBERULZ AND GHEYZ!!!! You made my wife and I retroactively decide nearly seven years before gay marriage was legal here that we only wanted to have one child. You people of Teh Ghey™, with your wily time travelling child restricting ways. {shakes fist}

    Louis

  3. aziraphale says

    “The appeal doesn’t explain how allowing gays to marry would reduce the birth rate among heterosexual couples.”

    No, but it would possibly reduce the number of heterosexual couples, and thus the number of births.

    Because, as we all know, being gay is a choice. If we make that choice uncomfortable enough, some of them will give it up and return to the heterosexual fold (which, in their heart of hearts, they know is right). Then all we have to do is make abortion and contraception harder to get, and presto! more babies.

  4. HolyPinkUnicorn says

    @PZ

    Wait — my wife and I are all done with that baby-making business. Does that mean my marriage is invalid while I’m in Kentucky?

    I’m guessing they could have a grandfather clause since you and your wife have done your baby-making, though it’s really a literal father clause in your case.

    But good thing you did it before these meddling states started legalizing gay marriage though…because, well, I’m not sure why. And that’s about as far as the homophobes ever get with their argument about why exactly it’s a threat to heterosexual couples’ procreative abilities. I mean sperm is pretty impressive but even I don’t think it could sense current gay marriage laws and refuse to fertilize an egg in protest.

  5. Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^= says

    So, if gay marriage is Teh Ebul®, what about marriage between a straight-ish cis-man and a gay transman?

    What would that do to the birthrate?!!!!11111!!!!!!!

    Well, from my sample data point of 1, it would soar; the couple has produced five children and has five grandchildren, with more on the way…

    *Puts up umbrella and waits…*

    *Bigots’ heads asplode*

  6. Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^= says

    2, Louis,

    And a very cute child yours is, too! =^_^=

  7. Ben says

    Under the jurisprudence of the Equal Protection clause of the 14th amendment, there are different levels of scrutiny that courts apply to laws that treat some segments of the population differently from others. Since the amdendment was specifically passed to protect the rights of freed slaves, “race” is the class that has the highest level of protection. Courts may find that laws discriminating on the basis of race are constitutional if the state can prove that the laws are necessary to accomplish a compelling governmental interest. This standard is interpreted so that basically only comic book “hypothetical scenarios” can pass muster. If the class affected by a law is not a protected class, the law receives the lowest level of scrutiny, so that the state only needs to show by a preponderance of the evidence that there is a rational basis for the law to promote a valid state objective. Note that this does not require the state objective itself to be sound, just that it is not an objective prohibited by the constitution. Also, that rational basis doesn’t have to actually be the reason the law was adopted, just that such a justification exists.

    What the judge appears to be saying here is that sexual preference is not a protected class, but that there is no conceivable state objective, apart from the unconstitutional objective of promoting religious values, that this law accomplishes.

  8. futurechemist says

    @7

    What the judge appears to be saying here is that sexual preference is not a protected class, but that there is no conceivable state objective, apart from the unconstitutional objective of promoting religious values, that this law accomplishes.

    Actually in the decision, the judge said that same-sex couples were that since same-sex couples were a quasi-protected class, and that since marriage is a fundamental right, the government needed to show a compelling reason for the ban (heightened scrutiny). However, to give benefit of the doubt to the goverment, even if they weren’t a protected class and marriage wasn’t a fundamental right, there still wasn’t any rational reason for the ban. In the DOMA case, the Supreme Court basically said that sheer hatred isn’t a rational reason for a law. So Arkansas didn’t even meet the lowest burden, let alone the higher burdens.

    Since the DOMA decision, judges in New Mexico, New Jersey, Utah, Virginia, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan, and now Arkansas have ruled bans (or limited parts of the bans) unconstitutional. Seems like a sea change.

  9. says

    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2014/05/10/3436466/arkansas-marriage-licenses/

    Photos at the link.

    Gay and lesbian couples in Arkansas lined up to get married on Saturday, following a judge’s decision Friday to strike down the state’s ban on same-sex marriages.
    The town of Eureka Springs, in Carroll County, opened its clerk’s office at 9:00 am and, since Arkansas has no waiting period or residency requirement, couples shouldn’t have needed to wait at all before applying for marriage licenses. But they were brielfy waylaid by confused staff who said that the clerk was out of town and they did not know how to handle the couples’ requests. Still, briefly after 10:00 local time, a new clerk came in and licenses were issued: […]

  10. says

    So it is amazing that in the name of liberality, in the name of being tolerant, this fascist intolerance has arisen. People that stand up and say, you know, I agree with the majority of Americans, I agree with Moses and Jesus that marriage was a man and a woman, now all of a sudden, people like me are considered haters, hate mongers, evil, which really is exactly what we’ve seen throughout our history as going back to the days of the Nazi takeover in Europe. What did they do? First, they would call people “haters” and “evil” and build up disdain for those people who held those opinions or religious views or religious heritage. And then the next came, well, those people are so evil and hateful, let’s bring every book that they’ve written or has to do with them and let’s start burning the books, because we can’t tolerate their intolerance.

    That’s Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) speaking on House floor on Friday afternoon (yesterday).

  11. unclefrogy says

    using rationality as a benchmark for law seems like a slippery slope it might even find its way into the politics from which the laws are derived. No telling what that might lead to!
    uncle frogy

  12. Jackie the wacky says

    KY Democrats are Republicans who know that they need the support of farmers and unions to stay in office. They’re all about coal, tobacco and Jesus. They aren’t so big on equal rights under the law.
    …or funding schools.
    …or the overflowing foster system and crumbling DCBS.
    …or stopping mountaintop removal.

    I’m happy that Allison L. Grimes will shortly replace McConnell, but only because of how awful he is. I don’t expect she’ll be that much of a change.

  13. Jackie the wacky says

  14. anuran says

    With all the knocked up lesbians I’ve known the “can’t procreate” argument doesn’t hold water

  15. dannysichel says

    “Leigh Gross Latherow says Kentucky has an interest in maintaining birth rates”

    Is Ms Latherow pregnant right now? If not, is she betraying Kentucky?

  16. says

    Gohmert needs to do some research, aka read the Old Testament. According to the story Moses was a Jew raised in ancient Egypt. Jewish law allowed polygamy, while the Egyptians had both polygamous and incestuous marriages, at least in the royal and upper classes. So ole Mo likely would have thought Gohmert’s belief marriage only can be one man, one woman a bit odd.

  17. Alex the Pretty Good says

    Lower birth rates?

    All my mother’s children were adult before same-sex marriage became legal over here in the Netherlands. Since then, 5 grandchildren have been born (or are about to be born) opposed to the two that were born before.

    So clearly same-sex marriage has increased fecundidty in our family.

    Check-Mate Beshear!

  18. Azuma Hazuki says

    @14/anuran

    Rape happens. Coercion happens. Some of us try so very very hard to convince ourselves we’re not actually lesbians. Some of us realize we are after having had children. I’m lucky enough to have figured it out well before college but a lot of people don’t.

  19. Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^= says

    Some lesbian couples go for artificial insemination; some gay couples go for surrogacy.

    Any couple can adopt.

    Transmen can become pregnant (unless/until they have a hysterectomy).

    I hope that it won’t be long before the current research into growing organs will mean that any transwoman that wants one can be given a functioning womb; donated eggs or embryos would do the rest.

    There is no reason to think that any couple has to remain childless if that isn’t their choice.

    Allowing people to marry makes absolutely no difference to their ability to become parents, and I’m surprised in this day and age that anyone thinks it would.

    But, then again, in a world of over seven thousand million people, and anthropogenic global warming, using the “OMG NO MOAR BABEEZ” argument seems a little… odd.

  20. Holms says

    Gov. Steve Beshear’s lawyers say Kentucky’s ban on gay marriage should be retained because only “man-woman” couples can naturally procreate — and the state has an interest in ensuring that they do.

    This guy clearly seems to think that, upon being denight the ability to marry their own gender, they’ll just shrug, marry the opposite gender, and start pumping out the babies.

  21. ck says

    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^= wrote:

    Allowing people to marry makes absolutely no difference to their ability to become parents, and I’m surprised in this day and age that anyone thinks it would.

    It’s not about that at all. Their real reason is that gay marriage makes baby Jesus cry, but they know that would never be accepted as a justification for a law, so they grasp for secular-sounding justifications. The easiest (and laziest) secular-ish justification is that two biological men (or women) are unable to reproduce directly with each other.

    It’s the same shit they pull out for abortion. They don’t actually care about personhood, or the sanctity of life, or there’d be a billion other things they’d be lobbying for. The real reason is that they’ve been convinced that abortion makes baby Jesus cry, therefore it has to be banned. The secular reasons are just there to camouflage the religious reasons.

  22. anuran says

    20
    Azuma Hazuki

    @14/anuran

    Rape happens. Coercion happens. Some of us try so very very hard to convince ourselves we’re not actually lesbians. Some of us realize we are after having had children. I’m lucky enough to have figured it out well before college but a lot of people don’t.

    More to the point, lots of lesbians want children and are fine with artificial insemination. Liking girls doesn’t mean a woman can’t and won’t have kids. The Governor is a dunce.

  23. says

    They need more babies? Don’t ban gay marriage, ban monogomous marriage! Send women to jail for not having had enough babies in each age bracket! Lower the age of consent for girls to 10. Remove rape prohibitions. Forced IVF for women that haven’t had enough babies yet. Why hasn’t the Governor promoted these?