Liberty Counsel has filed a brief in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case that overturned Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage on behalf of the American Family Association of Michigan and its president, virulent bigot Gary Glenn. I’m sure it will come as a huge surprise to hear that the arguments it contains are absolutely terrible. For instance:
In other words, marriage, i.e., the union of one man and one woman, is the institution upon which society is built. As a foundational social institution, marriage fosters stability, permanency, fidelity, and the continuation of society itself.
These myriad societal goods provide a multitude of rational bases on which the people of Michigan could have and many in fact did rely on in overwhelmingly passing the MMPA…
Marriage is, has always been, and forever will be a comprehensive union of one man and one woman that fosters responsible procreation and child-rearing, and therefore is “fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race.” Marriage “is an institution in the maintenance of which in its purity the public is deeply interested, for it is the foundation of the family and of society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress.”
Wait, is someone proposing to eliminate marriage? Of course not. Which makes this argument absolutely irrelevant. Allowing gay people to get married does precisely nothing to harm the institution of marriage. And if marriage is so wonderful because it fosters stability, permanency and fidelity, isn’t that an argument in favor of allowing gay people to get married? It’s the same old absurd argument: marriage is good, therefore gay marriage is bad. Still being repeated, still a non sequitur.
Then they make the truly bizarre argument that because the Supreme Court upheld an entirely different and completely unrelated referendum in a recent case, they must do so here as well:
THE SUPREME COURT’S VALIDATION OF MICHIGAN VOTERS’ ENACTMENT OF A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PROHIBITING RACE-BASED PREFERENCES REQUIRES REVERSAL OF THE DISTRICT COURT’S DECISION.
As recently as last month, the Supreme Court confirmed that Michigan voters’ rights to amend their Constitution must be respected and protected against attempts to judicially repeal enactments that some find politically unpopular. In Schuette as in this case, Michigan voters amended their Constitution in response to governmental actions that were contrary to the citizens’ public policy determinations. Schuette involved an issue as socially and politically controversial, or perhaps more controversial, than the issue of memorializing the definition of marriage, i.e., affirmative action in governmental programs. The Supreme Court upheld the citizen-enacted constitutional amendment that prohibited racial preferences in public education, hiring and contracting. As Plaintiffs do in this case, in Schuette the plaintiffs sought invalidation of the amendment on the grounds that it violated Equal Protection.
And then they offer what we might call the argument from STDs.
Not only is there no bodily good or function toward which two same-sex bodies can coordinate, but there are in fact inherent harms associated with same-sex unions.35 For example, homosexual males are at exponentially higher risk of developing a variety of sexually transmitted diseases, and have increased risks of developing various cancers and medical conditions because of the nature of same-sex sex. On May 9, 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report documenting significant increases in sexually transmitted diseases in homosexual men for the period 2005-2013, calling the trend a “major public health concern.”
Even advocates for same-sex “marriage” acknowledge that the nature of the sexual acts in which same-sex couples engage carry health risks that are not as prevalent, or in some cases, not present at all, in heterosexual individuals.
Oi vey. Have you noticed that when the bigots make this argument, they only ever mention gay men? They never mention gay women. You know why? Because gay women have significantly lower rates of STDs than even straight people do. So if this argument is to be taken seriously and applied consistently, they should be advocating for lesbians to be allowed to get married. But they don’t. Why? Because this is a pretext, not a serious position. Their real position is that gay is bad and immoral, period, but they know that doesn’t provide a rational basis for public policy. So they’re forced to come up with arguments like this that are really just special pleading.
And if this argument is to be taken seriously, isn’t it an argument in favor of same-sex marriage anyway? Shouldn’t we be encouraging gay men to form monogamous relationships if this is true? They make the argument that marriage, by encouraging monogamy, reduces these health risks. Why does that reasoning magically not apply to gay people? Oh yeah, because it’s a pretext and not a coherent argument.
And lastly, do they think that gay people are going to stop being gay or stop having sex if they aren’t allowed to get married? Do they think gay people are going to think “Well, they’re not gonna let us get married, so I guess I’ll just click my heels together and become straight” and The Gay will magically disappear?
There’s just so much that is illogical about these arguments, which is exactly why the district court found the purported rational basis for this ban on same-sex marriage to be nonsense. The very fact that their arguments for the ban are irrational proves that there is no rational basis for it.