Last Monday, Texas Republicans proved once again that they have little grasp of reality when it comes to the consequences of marriage equality.
Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage was struck down in February, but U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia suspended the decision pending an appeal from the state. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has pledged to reinstate the ban, and 63 Republican lawmakers who are part of the Texas Conservative Coalition want to show their support.
So they did — by signing an amicus brief asserting that marriage equality could lead to pedophilia, incest and polygamy.
“The district court broadened the definition of the ‘existing right to marry’ as one that includes the right of people to ‘select the partners of their choosing’ for marriage, without regard to sex,” the brief contends. “If the right to select ‘partners of their choosing’ is the criterion used to invoke marriage as a fundamental right, then marriage restrictions on age, polygamy, and consanguinity are also ripe for challenge.”
“Another ground cited by supporters of Texas’s marriage laws and subsequently dismissed by the district court is that recognition of same-sex marriage ‘could lead to the recognition of bigamy, incest, pedophilia, and group marriage,’” the brief continued. “As already discussed in this brief, restrictions on marriage relating to these moral considerations remain valid. Thus, the goal of actively trying to prevent those practices from becoming valid is entirely rational public policy.”
The brief does include the mandatory suggestion that maybe marriage equality won’t cause all these other evils, but it still asserts pretty clearly that this is Republicans’ biggest fear.
While the Republican lawmakers concede that “recognition of pedophilia or other morally reprehensible actions” may not actually be the “logical next step” following marriage equality, they maintain that legislators enacted Texas’ marriage laws “with the intention of supporting marriage arrangements that they believe support valid goals related to those concerns.”
In the meantime, Texas has the fifth highest rate of income inequality of the 50 states, far-below-average high school graduation rates, and one of the lowest percentages of people with health insurance in the country.
Yet this is the moral atrocity that Texas politicians think they need to formally comment on. Something doesn’t add up.