Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Closet Cases

The most ridonkulous court case of the year finally winds down, and one side is getting a bit desperate in their closing argument:

Winding up a historic trial over same-sex marriage in California, the lawyer for Proposition 8's sponsors told a federal judge Wednesday that allowing only men and women to wed promotes responsible sex and child-rearing, and ultimately ensures the future of humanity.

During more than two hours of intense and sometimes skeptical questioning by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, attorney Charles Cooper maintained that society is entitled to reserve its approval of marriage for those who can naturally conceive children.


But Walker, who presided over the nation's first federal trial on the issue, sounded dubious. He note that the state allows couples unable or unwilling to have children to marry, suggesting that the institution has a broader purpose that same-sex partners might equally fulfill.

"Marriage is a right which extends fundamentally to all persons, whether they're capable of producing children, incarcerated or behind in their child-support payments," Walker said, citing Supreme Court rulings that allow people in all those situations to marry.

I'm sure Walker -- who, as Prop. 8 wingnuts will no doubt scream from the rooftops the second this case is decided, is gay -- feels somewhat silly having to tell these goofballs what they already know. All together now, friends 'n' neighbors -- marriage is designed to protect property. Preservation of fambly valyews, while valuable, is purely ancillary.

But to insist that marriage's primary function is to encourage procreation is functionally retarded, seriously. Moreover, even if that were its function, it would be very difficult to argue that it's been even a qualified success, considering the divorce rate, considering the steady lessening of whatever stigma out-of-wedlock parentage once had.

The disingenuous arguments these morons have wielded are nothing short of legalistic quackery, a deliberate conflation of the obvious notion that children develop best when raised in a stable environment, and the ludicrous notion that heterosexual couples have some sort of sacrosanct monopoly on said stability. Go tell it to Larry King, chump.

The only witnesses for Prop. 8's sponsors were political scientist Kenneth Miller, who said gays and lesbians can protect their political interests without judicial protection, and David Blankenhorn, an author and advocate who said allowing same-sex marriages could lead to more divorces and fewer weddings for men and women.

At Wednesday's hearing, Walker asked Cooper whether Blankenhorn, who heads the Institute for American Values but lacks academic credentials, qualified as an expert witness. Cooper said Blankenhorn was a recognized expert in his field and Olson hastened to endorse him, saying Blankenhorn's testimony helped to discredit Prop. 8.

Olson makes a great point -- much like with "intelligent design", it is the proponents of Prop. 8 who tend to inadvertently make the opposition's argument for them. It's sheer forensic ineptitude, really. What sort of bozo thinks the "marriage should be reserved for procreating couples" argument will fly in an actual court of law, as opposed to some church basement bake sale for the, ahem, "Institute for American Values"?

Well, the sort of bozo who is unused to having to make an argument out of the scope of the usual choir-preaching hortatory rhetoric. The sort of bozo who wants to make "majority rules" the other cornerstone of his argument, apparently unaware that just in the last five years, opposition to gay marriage has declined, and will continue to do so.

As always, I am just mystified by people who are willing to spend precious time, money, effort trying to "protect" an irretrievably debauched appellation. At least half of the heterosexual couples who get hitched find a way to screw it up -- and that's just the ones who actually get divorced, not the ones who stay together "for the kids" or whatever they have to tell themselves.

And many gay marriage opponents, understanding the reality of long-term same-sex relationships, retreat to the bizarre notion of insisting that they don't mind if gay couples call their relationships "civil unions", even though functionally it is a marriage. People are bound to each other, legally, morally, familially, but these folks get all butthurt if any of the participants use the "m" word.

This is a very strange obsession, no doubt bordering on projection for many of them. Seriously, any straight person who feels "threatened" by a couple of dudes or a couple of chicks formalizing their monogamous relationship needs to get a grip -- and a hobby.


Marius said...

If they really cared about the continuation of the species (and hadn't turned off their frontal lobes), they'd have noted that gay marriage is a great way to ensure that children currently in orphanages would be given a chance to grow up in a healthy family, gay though the parents may be. Being raised by Adam and Steve is always better than growing up in a "foster" home or a state institution.

But of course the best interest of such children is last on the mind of these neanderthals. Let orphan children get all fucked up and deprived of a future -- at least they're not being raised by teh geyz!1!1!.

Heywood J. said...

Oh yeah, they couldn't care less abut Teh Chilrun, any more than they really care about the vaunted will of the people. Had the vote rolled against them -- and it will, soon enough -- they would have pitched a holy fit all the same. Just like the virulent anti-abortion activists, these clowns don't bother themselves with what happens to actual living, breathing children.