NOM Responds to VA Marriage Ruling

The Christian right is furious over a federal judge striking down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage and offering the usual list of terrible arguments about it. Brian Brown of the National Organization of Marriage gets almost everything wrong in this response.

“This is another example of an Obama-appointed judge twisting the constitution and the rule of law to impose her own views of marriage in defiance of the people of Virginia. There is no right to same-sex ‘marriage’ in the United States constitution.

There’s no right to marriage at all in the constitution if you think enumerated rights are the only ones that exist (which he doesn’t, of course, but he’ll pretend to when he doesn’t like the unenumerated right being upheld). So by his reasoning, the federal government could ban marriage, right?

This case also leaves a particular stench because of the unconscionable decision of Attorney General Mark Herring to not only abandon his sworn duty to defend the laws of the state, but to actually join the case against the very people he is duty-bound to represent.”

Actually, there is no such sworn duty. Here’s the oath of office in Virginia:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties incumbent upon me as . . . . . . . . . . according to the best of my ability, (so help me God).”

Doesn’t say anything about any “sworn duty” to defend every law in the state in court if he thinks the law is unconstitutional. In fact, if he believes that the law violates the U.S. Constitution, wouldn’t it violate the oath to defend that constitution?

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  • Chiroptera

    There is no right to same-sex ‘marriage’ in the United States constitution.

    I think if you would read the court decisions, the courts aren’t claiming a right to same sex marriage.

    What the Constitution does acknowledge is a right to be treated equally under the law and a right to not have laws passed that serve no purpose except to express animosity toward you.

  • doublereed

    There’s no right to marriage at all in the constitution if you think enumerated rights are the only ones that exist (which he doesn’t, of course, but he’ll pretend to when he doesn’t like the unenumerated right being upheld). So by his reasoning, the federal government could ban marriage, right?

    Actually, can someone give me an example of an unenumerated right that conservatives actually like? It doesn’t seem like conservatives like the whole ‘rights’ thing.

    And I think by his reasoning, the state government could ban marriage. Well, more realistically, could ban non-Christian marriage.

  • eric

    @2 – as Ed points out, they probably consider straight marriage an unenumerated right.

  • doublereed

    I wouldn’t be too surprised if they wanted marriage to strictly be a state thing, completely to the whim of a 14th Amendment-less majority.

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    With only minor changes:

    This is another example of a Johnson-appointed judge twisting the constitution and the rule of law to impose his own views of marriage in defiance of the people of Virginia. There is no right to different-race ‘marriage’ in the United States constitution.

    It sounds remarkably like the reaction to another Virginia marriage case.

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    In fact, if he believes that the law violates the U.S. Constitution, wouldn’t it violate the oath to defend that constitution?

    You mean “defend that law”.

  • kevinalexander

    Actually, can someone give me an example of an unenumerated right that conservatives actually like? It doesn’t seem like conservatives like the whole ‘rights’ thing.

    .

    Guns

  • matty1

    Don’t guns have a number? I’m sure I read somewhere that guns are America’s number two.

  • ianeymeaney

    Yesssssssss, yesssssss, oh let me taste your tears, mmm your tears are so yummy and sweet, oh the tears of unfathomable sadness, yummyyyy!

    I love Cartman

  • Al Dente

    Actually, can someone give me an example of an unenumerated right that conservatives actually like? It doesn’t seem like conservatives like the whole ‘rights’ thing.

    The right to say the Constitution supports or prohibits things not mentioned in it.

  • Phillip IV

    There is no right to same-sex ‘marriage’ in the United States constitution.

    Nor is it explicitly forbidden in the Bible. Guess in which one of those documents Mr. Brown feels inference is acceptable – the unchanging, inerrant word of God, or the document that actually states that it’s list of rights isn’t exhaustiive?

  • John Pieret

    doublereed @ 2:

    can someone give me an example of an unenumerated right that conservatives actually like?

    Exemption of churches and church property from taxes. There is no enumerated right that churches and their property should be tax exempt. Of course, if a government gives tax breaks to one church it has to give it to all of them, including all similar organizations, such as Ethical Humanism Societies. That’s what they can’t understand about marriage. Once you give one group various benefits and rights, you have to give them to all similarly situated people, unless you can make (at the very least) a rational reason not to (more if it involves something recognized as a basic human right).

    Wingnuts would love to tax mosques out of existence but they can’t unless they tax all churches out of existence.

  • whheydt

    There is an article on Slate (http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2014/02/virginia_s_gay_marriage_ban_ruled_unconstitutional_a_perfect_record_for.html) noting that in the18 gay rights cases (12 of them on SSM) with decisions by 32 judges, *every* judge in *every* case has ruled in favor of equal rights.

    The Fundies have lost completely. They just do know it yet.

  • John Pieret

    The Fundies have lost completely. They just don’t know it yet.

    A few have admitted it publicly, such as Al Mohler:

    We now know that the government cannot be counted on to affirm this message. As a matter of fact, we have to face the reality that the government — even in the Commonwealth of Kentucky — may teach a radically different message through its laws. But the real question for Christians is not whether the government gets the question of marriage right, but if we do. In the grand scheme of things, that is the Church’s real challenge.

    http://www.albertmohler.com/2014/02/12/the-other-shoe-drops-in-kentucky-federal-court-legalizes-same-sex-marriage-in-the-commonwealth/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-other-shoe-drops-in-kentucky-federal-court-legalizes-same-sex-marriage-in-the-commonwealth

    I suspect many, if not most, of the leaders of the gay bigots know it too. But there is still a lot of donations to be extracted from the unwashed who think they can stem the tide.

    You might want to consider it a form of fracking … the bigot leaders keep injecting more and more toxic rhetoric into the shrinking supply of ignorance and hatred to free up and pump out as much money as can be gotten from a dwindling supply of the haters.

  • eoleen

    Article VI of the U. S. Constitution reads:

    .

    All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

    .

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

    .

    The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

    .

    Please note the second sentence, which reads: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

    .

    Will someone please tell me if I am seeing things, or are the wingnuts on the right reading a different document? Are there two constitutions, and we “liberals” reading the wrong one? Why is it that they can loudly declaim that they are “supporting the Constitution of the United States” and still insist on States Rights? WHAT “States Rights”? The only “Rights” the States have is to toe the line, and they sure aren’t doing that.

  • kevinalexander

    They read the Constitution the way they read the Bible. The parts they agree with are TRUE!, the rest, not so much.

  • matty1

    @15 I’m not that familiar with the document but to be pedantic I think it guarantees states a ‘right’ to have an equal number of senators regardless of population. Any one got any other examples?

  • John Pieret

    matty 1:

    I think it guarantees states a ‘right’ to have an equal number of senators regardless of population. Any one got any other examples?

    Article X; The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    Of course, that is so vague as to serve as a basis for endless disputes.

  • Wylann

    The wingnuts, of course, always skip the Ninth amendment. From the all knowing Wiki:

    Ninth Amendment

    Main article: Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    The Ninth Amendment protects rights not specifically enumerated by the Constitution. It was rarely cited before the second half of the 20th century, when it was used as a partial foundation for the right to privacy in several landmark cases: Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), which struck down a law banning contraceptives, and Roe v. Wade (1973), which established a woman’s right to an abortion. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), the Court used the amendment to strike down part of another abortion law, a case the Encyclopedia of the American Constitution describes as “the high-water mark, to date, of judicial willingness to use the Ninth Amendment”; between 1992 and 2000, the Court did not refer to the amendment a single time.

  • RickR

    Al Mohler, with his head up his ass-

    we have to face the reality that the government [……] may teach a radically different message through its laws.

    So that’s what they think laws exist for. They truly do have a warped view of reality when things like governments and scientific theories exist to “teach” moral lessons.

    How many times have you heard a statement from a fundie that starts with “Evolution teaches us….”?

  • dingojack

    My dear Al Mohler,- A wise man once said

    “‘Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money’.

    And they brought unto him a penny.

    And he saith unto them, ‘Whose is this image and superscription’?

    They say unto him, ‘Caesar’s’.

    Then saith he unto them, ‘Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s’.”

    I forget who it was now, probably nobody really important.

    Dingo

  • eoleen

    Please see the 14th Amendment:

    .

    Please note Section 1: Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    .

    I think the operative words here are deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    .

    They seem to think that these words don’t exist.

    .

    In fact, I think they have their own “Constitution”, with words that change from day to day, hour to hour, or minute to minute, depending on what they need them to say.

  • Michael Heath

    eoleen writes:

    I think the operative words here are deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    .

    They seem to think that these words don’t exist.

    And the mainstream media enables and allows conservatives and conservative Christians to avoid or deny this inconvenient fact. They enable this by never bringing the equal protection clause up as a response to conservative arguments that gay marriage should be handled at a state level or, that it’s constitutionally acceptable for conservative Christians to justify their bigotry towards gays towards due to their religion – while simultaneously and falsely claiming to be the sole defenders of the U.S. Constitution.

    As I’ve long argued here. Our predominant argument in the gay marriage fight is to continually repeat the relevant clauses of the 14th amendment. Not refer to the due process and equal protection clauses, but instead state those clauses – verbatim, continuously, repeatedly, ad nauseam.