Will this be the argument presented to the Supreme Court?

This is the strangest argument against gay marriage that I’ve seen yet, I wish I could read it written out formally by the lawyers who said it. It’s bizarre and weak, and apparently the one that the Prop 8 crowd are taking before the Supreme Court.

Here’s the article by the LA Times, and here’s where you can read Greta Christina’s take on it, where I found the link.

“It is plainly reasonable for California to maintain a unique institution [referring to marriage] to address the unique challenges posed by the unique procreative potential of sexual relationships between men and women,” argued Washington attorney Charles J. Cooper, representing the defenders of Proposition 8. Same-sex couples need not be included in the definition of marriage, he said, because they “don’t present a threat of irresponsible procreation.”

Yeah. What puzzles me about this is that it’s by far the most demeaning description of marriage I’ve ever read. Every married couple should be offended by this, and it just gets worse the more I think about it!

So marriage exists to force people to stay together and raise children together when they would otherwise have split up? The institution of marriage is a misery machine? It’s stated that children born out of wedlock “pose a burden on society”, but never clarified why. It’s also declared that “substantial advance planning is required,” when a gay couple wants children, but why exactly this is a bad thing is not explained. It’s just a strange, strange argument.

And it’s weak as hell, because it doesn’t address the issue at all. Whatever implications marriage has for those who conceive unexpectedly, whatever intention was originally behind it, it has to be addressed as it is now in the world we live in now. Hypothetical crap has no place in human rights.

Marriage today is a contract between equals. It affects the legal status of the participants in countless ways; tax laws, power of attorney, inheritance, insurance benefits, medical decisions, property and criminal law. This is just off the top of my head, someone who actually knows what they’re talking about could probably fill a page just listing parts of our society that marriage affects.

It doesn’t matter whether or not same sex couples need to “be included in the definition of marriage”, it is enough that they want to. A free society does not ask if there’s any reason to allow something, only if there’s any reason to forbid it.

As far as I know these aren’t incompetent lawyers, so if they’re bringing arguments this weak before the Supreme Court they must have been unable to find any good ones. Which really wouldn’t surprise me, because at this point I honestly doubt any good arguments exist.

About Leo Tarvi

Mostly fictional.

Posted on January 27, 2013, in Daily Post and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Wow. What does marriage have to do with unplanned offspring? Marriage does not function to manage or regulate unintended breeding. Proof is obvious in life: unmarried parents of all gender and sexual identities exist, married people who are childless by choice exist, and I can think of at least two major religions that promote both marriage and unmanaged, unregulated, unlimited breeding. lol. Jackasses. Do they expect to just shout ‘think of the children’ and hope to win? Having married heterosexual parents hasn’t proven to be any guarantee of a good life, either. lol.

    • It occurs to me that this is an appeal, so they have to stick to arguments made in the original case. A big part of which actually was just shouting “think of the children” and expecting everything to go their way, so maybe you’ve hit on it.

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