Dumbest Same Sex Marriage Argument Yet

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. I’ve heard all manner of terrible arguments against marriage equality, but Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who has never been the sharpest knife in the drawer, has come up with the dumbest one yet. From the brief he filed in the Supreme Court appeal on Michigan’s ban:

Because the Constitution is silent regarding marriage, such court orders indicate a lack of faith in democracy. By teaching that courts are the fastest mechanism to achieve social change, such decisions encourage reliance on the courts for change and thus weaken democracy. This approach lessens the very dignity that the petitioners seek; rather than achieving the dignity that comes from persuading fellow citizens through the democratic process, a litigation victory merely means that a court order requires compliance.

Concern troll is concerned, so very concerned about the dignity of gay couples. It’s almost touching how concerned he is, isn’t it? Let’s imagine that Schuette was filing briefs in some earlier cases like, say, Brown v Board of Education:

Because the Constitution is silent regarding school policy, such court orders indicate a lack of faith in democracy. By teaching that courts are the fastest mechanism to achieve social change, such decisions encourage reliance on the courts for change and thus weaken democracy. This approach lessens the very dignity that victims of segregation seek; rather than achieving the dignity that comes from persuading fellow citizens through the democratic process, a litigation victory merely means that a court order requires compliance.

Like when those black kids wanted to go to decent schools in the South and the courts ordered that they be allowed to do so. It was so tragic how the courts undermined the dignity of those poor kids before they could convince their racist fellow citizens to magnanimously give them the right to get an education by going to schools where they might pollute those poor white children with their flagrant blackness.

And Loving v Virginia:

Because the Constitution is silent regarding marriage, such court orders indicate a lack of faith in democracy. By teaching that courts are the fastest mechanism to achieve social change, such decisions encourage reliance on the courts for change and thus weaken democracy. This approach lessens the very dignity that the petitioners seek; rather than achieving the dignity that comes from persuading fellow citizens through the democratic process, a litigation victory merely means that a court order requires compliance.

Oh wait, that’s the same thing. Of course it is, because his argument could have been made word for word in that case too. It’s just so tragic that allowing Richard and Mildred Loving to get married before they could convince their racist fellow citizens to give them the right to do so, the Supreme Court hurt their dignity so much.

And remember back in 2004 when gay people were, in fact, trying to convince their fellow citizens in the state of Michigan to respect and uphold their dignity by allowing them to get married. Was Schuette standing up for their dignity then? Nope, he was a staunch advocate of the ban on same-sex marriage. Concern troll is just so very concerned, you guys. Seriously, Bill Schuette, you’re a moral and legal trainwreck.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Pierce R. Butler

    We don’t need courts to decide about criminal guilt or ignorance either, do we?

    Let the defendant persuade the citizenry with their ropes and barrels of tar and feathers whether he or she deserves punishment or not!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1017276335 Strewth

    I can’t agree with you, Mr. Brayton. This is indeed mighty stupid, but to me it still does not trump ‘If we let people marry the same sex, everyone will want to do it, no babies will be born, and humanity will come to an end.’

  • Loqi

    So he’s arguing against all constitutional law cases ever, then? I’m sure the Supreme Court will eat that right up.

  • Chiroptera

    Well, this may be the most self-serving argument, but the dumbest argument has to be, “can I marry my toaster?”

  • John Pieret

    Perhaps it is no accident that Schuette was not one of the two lawyers chosen to argue the states’ cases before SCOTUS.

  • dogfightwithdogma

    Bill Schuette, you’re a moral and legal trainwreck.

    Ed, you are being much to generous and kind. You are showing this idiot far more respect than he deserves.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    He apparently doesn’t understand that the democratic process is a short-hand to avoid people having to beat the shit out of eachother.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    You know, he kinda-sorta has a point here. I think it lets the bigots off the hook far too easily to have the courts decide the issue while the pols who are on the wrong side of history get to pretend to be the victims. I’d much rather see them forced to take responsibility for their beliefs and either get crushed at the polls or admit the error of their ways. But instead they’ll do like they did in the aftermath of desegregation: complain about using lots of codewords but stop short of openly trying to overturn it, and then decades later pretend to have been for it all along.

    Of course, justice is more important than comeuppance, and Schuette has something completely different in mind than I do, but still.

  • dogfightwithdogma

    Area Man,

    I understand your point. These bigots do need to be held accountable. But while we wait for their bigotry to be rejected, real people will suffer as long as that bigotry remains in embedded in the law. I am not comfortable with waiting to punish the bigots if it means their prejudice continues to inflict harm while we wait for them to get their comeuppance, assuming that they will actually get any comeuppance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1017276335 Strewth

    Besides which, Area Man, if the bigots hold a majority the oppressed population may never out-vote the oppressing laws.

  • teele

    As embarrassed as I always am about the Michigan state government these days (and, ouch, I’m a transplant from my native state of Indiana), I think Kentucky wins the stupidest argument. I read this article:

    http://news.yahoo.com/kentucky-argues-brief-gay-marriage-ban-not-biased-165105394.html;_ylt=AwrBEiJlBBtVhgcAmNrQtDMD

    (don’t know how to make it an actual link), and was stunned that actual grown up people who’d been elected to public office could make this claim without collapsing in laughter. WHUT?? Of course, I saw at the bottom of the article that Ed’s good buddy Matt Staver is involved, so I was forced to believe that Yahoo and AP weren’t pulling an early April Fool joke.

  • malta

    @dogfightwithdogma, 9:

    I really wish someone would keep a list of anti-equality statements from folks like Bill Schuette and in about 30 years’ time, send a letter to them reminding them of their statements. It’d be even better if there was a way to share the information with his kids and grandchildren. When Area Man talks about being “forced to take responsibility for their beliefs,” I imagine Schuette having to explain to future generations what a bigot he was.

  • pixiedust

    @ Malta #12

    I’ve had a similar thought prompted by a certain photo of a lynching. Lots of white folk are looking directing into the camera and smiling while the body of the murdered man is hanging just a few feet away. Their faces are clearly visible and their identities would be obvious to anyone who knew them. I think the photo was taken in the 1950s, some of those folk could still be alive today. What do they think of themselves?

  • pixiedust

    Here’s a link to the photo I’m think of:

    http://www.americanlynching.com/pic19.htm

  • pixiedust

    And I see I was wrong about the date by about 25 years.

    For this one.

  • dingojack

    teele – To do an ‘imbedded’ link, type:

    <a href=”[Page name]“>[description]</a>

    which looks like this*.

    Hope that helps.

    Dingo

    ——–

    * <a href=”http://news.yahoo.com/kentucky-argues-brief-gay-marriage-ban-not-biased-165105394.html;_ylt=AwrBEiJlBBtVhgcAmNrQtDMD”>this</a>.