5th Circuit Court of Appeals Hears Same-Sex Marriage Arguments


Have they lost their minds?

Yesterday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments heard arguments on the legal challenges to same-sex marriage bans Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Some of the arguments were jaw-droppingly stupid. Article here.

According to a Texas state lawyer, the same-sex marriage ban is not meant to discriminate against same-sex couples but is it is instead designed to promote “responsible procreation.”

Wow. Let’s unpack that.

Apparently, the state is in the procreation business. Of all the places the government should intrude, the bedroom is perhaps the last. This is coming from the same Republican party that wants to get government out of nearly everything: gun licensing, regulation, taxes, etc. all in the name of “freedom.” When they paint themselves as champions of freedom, they lie. I know of very few Christians who claim to support “religious freedom” when it means allowing minority religions marry same-sex couples. Same-sex marriage bans are faith based initiatives and the majority religion is happy to trample on the rights of anyone who gets in the way.

The spin doctors must have thought up the phrase “responsible procreation.” They seem to be saying that turkey baster babies are “irresponsible procreation.” It doesn’t matter to them if the child produced is cared for and raised in a loving family. If it’s lesbians, it’s irresponsible. What about having a child in one of their “responsible” heterosexual marriages and then the couple putting the child up for adoption? Is that responsible? Is that what the state would like to promote? What about when a same-sex male couple adopts and raises that child same child? That’s bad, apparently. That family should remain unmarried and without family protections for the parents. The same Republican Party fueled by Christian crazy, has worked overtime to force women in the state who cannot afford a child to have one anyway. Family planning and sex education in the state have been sabotaged by the same bunch. Now that’s what “responsible procreation” must be!

If “responsible procreation” were my best argument for a case, I’d save face, pack it up, and just go home. Thankfully, members of the court challenged the insanity. With their questioning, they also poked holes in the idea that marriage is “for” procreation. That’s primarily a religious idea. Remember: religions try to control reproduction because there is no god who can make the next generation of gullible tithers necessary to keep them in business.

Even if the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decides favorably on same-sex marriage, the question will eventually be taken up by the US Supreme Court. Maybe this time, they’ll consider bans under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution’s equal protection clause. If that isn’t a slam dunk on this issue, I’ll be shocked.

Comments

  1. Narf says

    According to a Texas state lawyer, the same-sex marriage ban is not meant to discriminate against same-sex couples but is it is instead designed to promote “responsible procreation.”

    Well yeah, Don. You know that the state can’t recognize your marriage, because if it does, you might knock up your husband. 😀

    Errr, wait. Are you (unrecognizedly) married, or am I thinking of another gay couple in the ACA?

  2. Narf says

    The spin doctors must have thought up the phrase “responsible procreation.” They seem to be saying that turkey baster babies are “irresponsible procreation.”

    I didn’t know that the Duggars used a turkey baster … 😕

  3. michaelbuchheim says

    Classic.
    I was recently disheartened to see a video by one of the religious political parties, in which its members object almost unilaterally to same-sex marriage, using the same horrible arguments the religious right in america has been using in the last few decades. Despite identifying as Jewish, these politicians basically parroted the same hollow christian arguments we all know almost by heart.
    – The re-definition of marriage is somehow cataclysmically dangerous.
    – Marriage’ only function is procreation.
    – Marriage is defined by the bible as opposite-sex only institution.
    – Same-sex relationships are inherently immoral and should not be endorsed by the government.
    – Civil unions should be enough, just don’t call it marriage.
    And so on.
    And it was naturally coated with proclamations that they have nothing against homosexuals while insinuating that same-sex is “disgusting”. I find small comfort in the fact, that this video just undermined that party’s continual attempt to paint itself as liberal and secular-friendly.
    Still, even civil marriage seem like a far-off dream in my country. As Israel still only allows citizens to marry using religious institutions. And if you are Jewish, you can marry only through one particular denomination (with all the arbitrary restrictions and bizarre ceremonies this entails). The state recognizes civil marriages preformed in other countries, so those who prefer a secular marriage, have to marry abroad.

  4. says

    Yes, they have abandoned reason. But was it *ever* part of their defense? Marriage and procreation have no real association, and never had. At most they ever had a social protocol attached to them where a stigma was attached to having children outside marriage, but even then, it didn’t change the reality you could marry and not be able to bear kids, and divorce over that if you wanted. And you could certainly bear kids and not be married. There is no way to enforce any true association between biology and legal marital status. Sounds like the remaining anti-equality states are about to fall. And how much cash did these fiscal conservatives put into this battle?

  5. corwyn says

    There is no way to enforce any true association between biology and legal marital status.

    It only ever would work one way. What is the rule supposed to be “you can only get married if you are CURRENTLY pregnant (and have caused said pregnancy)?” They sure wouldn’t like that.

    And how much cash did these fiscal conservatives put into this battle?

    Almost assuredly, NONE. It is all OUR money that they are putting into this battle.

  6. Narf says

    @3 – michaelbuchheim
    Well, considering that most of the stuff that the Christian fundies use is taken out of the Old Testament, it seems unfair to not allow Orthodox Jewish bigots to use their own holy book.

  7. Narf says

    @4 – corwyn

    Almost assuredly, NONE. It is all OUR money that they are putting into this battle.

    If nothing else, the amount they spend on political influence is probably less than what the churches should be paying in taxes. So, yeah.

  8. KsDevil says

    The days of Perry Mason are gone. As long as someone is paying them lots of money, lawyers these days will stand before a high court and present any lame argument. Professional pride is a thing of the past.

  9. houndentenor says

    The issue of procreation/children came up in the Prop 8 case. When the one “expert” witness for the defense was asked if children being raised by same sex couples wouldn’t be better served if their parents were legally married, he had to answer that yes, they would. That argument is invalid at its core because unmarried couples procreate all the time. (It’s not exactly rocket science!) And gay couples have been raising children for decades. I can’t believe we are still hearing this argument as it hasn’t held up in court at any time. It was a good fear-mongering tactic in the various statewide ballot initiates, but as a legal argument it’s absurd and the courts have treated it as such. In fact the law review article cited repeatedly in the Iowa same sex marriage case was written by a man who had been raised by his mom and her female partner!

  10. Fragrant Flower says

    Wow…

    The narrow down an intimate relationship, or just plain old sexual healing to procreation is basically saying that, according to their interpretation, every time they have sex, and it doesn’t result in pregnancy, they would be breaking their own sanctity.

    What would they use as a ‘test’ to prevent someone who is infertile from marrying or either gender? Would they hold an older couple in violation after menopause?

    They just don’t think things all the way through.

  11. Narf says

    The narrow down an intimate relationship, or just plain old sexual healing to procreation is basically saying that, according to their interpretation, every time they have sex, and it doesn’t result in pregnancy, they would be breaking their own sanctity.
    What would they use as a ‘test’ to prevent someone who is infertile from marrying or either gender? Would they hold an older couple in violation after menopause?

    Sadly, the likes of Rick Santorum will worm his way around those questions with the sot of bat-shit insanity you should expect from someone like him.

    I don’t have the article on hand, but he wrote an article that I read, which deals with this sort of thing. It isn’t that any instance of intercourse that doesn’t result in pregnancy is sinful. It’s that any instance of intercourse, in which you take steps to prevent pregnancy, you’re violating God’s will and being sinful.
    Who knew that an IUD trumps omnipotence, huh?

    And on the question of menopause, he actually whipped out Abraham and Sarah to excuse having sex after menopause, since we clearly need a reason to do so, which isn’t lustful. Since Sarah (who was totally a real person who did the things described in the book of fables) got pregnant after she was past her shelf-life, God could make you pregnant, if it’s part of his plan.

    I think you’re seriously underestimating the ability of the fundies to spin bullshit to support their bigotry, Flower. 😀

  12. Monocle Smile says

    @Narf
    So menopause isn’t a problem for pregnancy, but an IUD is like a little iron chariot. God’s weird.