Rep. Trent Franks: Straight Marriages Deserve Special Rights

Nothing like a good dose of religion-infused stupid to get my blood boiling in the morning.

Republican Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona says that straight marriages deserve “special” rights, and says that gay marriage a “threat to the nation’s survival.” In a radio interview with SPLC-​certified hate group president Tony Perkins of the Family Research Association, Franks, a “birther” and climate change denier who said he would “absolutely…support” the impeachment of president Obama over the DOJ’s refusal to defend DOMA in court, appeared with Perkins to discuss this week’s House hearing on “The State of Religious Liberty in the United States.”

Sometimes people are so stupid that they become a waste of carbon. Sometimes those people make $174,000 per year to be informed, rational leaders of this beautiful country of ours. Trent Franks is one step shy of a drooling vegetable. He is a person for whom the charge of chief fry cook would be a position of extravagant authority. The fact that he has a hand in determining American policy is an indictment on an appreciable portion of our voting citizenry who prioritize love of Jesus over somebody having a single functioning neuron.

What special rights for straights does this hateful man want?

Joint parenting? Straights already have it as a special right.
Joint adoption? Ditto.
Joint foster care, custody, and visitation (including non-biological parents)? Straights get this one too.
Status as next-of-kin for hospital visits and medical decisions where one partner is too ill to be competent? That’s all you, asshole.
Joint insurance policies for home, auto and health? Also denied to gays.
Dissolution and divorce protections such as community property and child support? You can have that one too. Wait! You already do.
Immigration and residency for partners from other countries? Liberty for…all? No, silly!
Inheritance automatically in the absence of a will? That’ll probably go to the family that kicked them out for being gay, because it doesn’t go to their partner.

There are about 1400 rights conferred to only straight couples in the United States, of which about 400 are state rights and on the order of 1,000 are federal. Some more of the highlights include joint leases with automatic renewal rights in the event one partner dies or leaves the house or apartment; inheritance of jointly-owned real and personal property through the right of survivorship (which avoids the time and expense and taxes in probate); benefits such as annuities, pension plans, Social Security, and Medicare; spousal exemptions to property tax increases upon the death of one partner who is a co-owner of the home; veterans’ discounts on medical care, education, and home loans; joint filing of tax returns; joint filing of customs claims when traveling; wrongful death benefits for a surviving partner and children; bereavement or sick leave to care for a partner or child; decision-making power with respect to whether a deceased partner will be cremated or not and where to bury him or her; crime victims’ recovery benefits; loss of consortium tort benefits; domestic violence protection orders; judicial protections and evidentiary immunity.

What other special rights does your greedy ass want, Mr. Franks? How many would square away the injustice done to you by people loving whoever the hell they please?

Oh, that’s right! Gays are a threat to the United States. Of course, whenever we hear this line it’s never explained just how treating people equally will do harm to anybody.

We can look to other nations that now lay in cinders on account of their skewed attempts to foster equality by granting everybody the same rights. Almost eleven Six years ago Canada legalized gay marriage, yet they inexplicably seem to be chugging along just fine. What about Spain? How have they been doing since their incoming socialist government legalized marriage equality in 2005?

By all accounts, Spain has experienced an economic boom over the last decade. It has “continued its prolonged economic expansion” (International Monetary Fund) and “weathered the international slowdown” (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) making it “one of Europe’s best-performing economies” (Economist magazine).

By Jove! They’ve managed to survive this grave threat of equality as well. What about the states in the US that have legalized gay marriage? They also seem to be doing about the same as they were before. I swear, it’s almost like stopping discrimination against gay people has no effect other than stopping discrimination against gay people!

You know what’s actually a threat to America? Thousands of kids growing up in foster homes because there are not enough adoptive couples out there. That’s a huge problem. But fuck it if it means treating gays like they’re just as good as us straights, right? Right?

Alright Christians, listen up. The “sin” you hate so much is a harmless outlet to joy for millions of people. Only faith can get people to a point where they feel empowered to “defend” us against non-threats. In this case, it’s a non-threat that makes people happy. If you hate that “sin” or if you worship a god who hates that “sin”, I have no problem treating you like you the detriment to human happiness that you are, and I could give a shit less if it hurts your feelings.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • neatospiderplant

    “Almost eleven years ago Canada legalized gay marriage”

    I believe its only been since 2005.

    • JT Eberhard

      You are correct. Fixed. :) Thanky!

      • neatospiderplant

        I think about 11 years ago is when they started recognizing same-sex couples as common-law partners.

        • JT Eberhard

          That’s what I had in my head. Thanks for correcting me. :)

    • Ibis3, denizen of a spiteful ghetto

      Actually, almost 11 years is right. The first legal same sex marriages in Ontario were held at the Metropolitan Community Church in Toronto on January 14, 2001. The provincial government went to court to challenge the legality, but lost.–ten-years-on-same-sex-couples-renew-their-vows

    • Jeremy

      It’s a bit more complicated – same-sex marriage was first legalized in Ontario in 2003, conferring all of the benefits, federal and provincial, to married same-sex couples. It was quickly approved by British Columbia in the same year. By 2004, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Yukon Territory also had court decisions legalizing same-sex marriage. While the legislation was going through parliament which would change the definition for the entire country, it was also approved in New Brunswick.

      I guess it bothers me that the legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada is always credited to the legalization by Parliament in 2005. In truth, they sat on the issue until same-sex marriage was already a reality for well over 80% of the population. In a global sense I suppose it was significant that it was approved through a vote; however, within Canada, voting to legalization same-sex marriage occurred so late in the process that it was pretty much just an informality. I hate to give credit to politicians who should so little courage in dealing with SSM at a point when a vote would have actually made a difference in most Canadians lives.

  • Ibis3, denizen of a spiteful ghetto

    Just to clarify: Between 2001 and 2005, there were same-sex marriages in several provinces upheld in court challenges (the two in Toronto’s MCC in January 2001 were upheld in a decision in 2003). By the time the Civil Marriage Act was passed in 2005, same sex marriages were already legal in 8 provinces and 1 territory.

  • Yellow Thursday

    I’m having an ongoing discussion with my aunt about the legalization of same-sex marriage. While trying to understand her objection to it, I asked her to clarify her reasons. All she could give me is 1. God doesn’t like it, and 2. if we legalize same-sex marriage, the next things to be legalized will be bestiality and pedophilia. [facepalm] Thanks for giving me some suggestions on how to respond to #2.

    • Ibis3, denizen of a spiteful ghetto

      1. [The Christian] God doesn’t like divorce. In fact, there are more direct admonitions concerning divorce than there are against homosexuality in the Bible. So why aren’t there constitutional amendments to prohibit divorce except in the case of adultery?

      Both Jews and Muslims think that God doesn’t like people to eat pork. Why shouldn’t we pass a law to forbid people from eating it? If she says because we’re not all Jews and Muslims, well we’re not all Christians either.

      The point is, we can only make secular laws that a) don’t make a law out of religious doctrine AND b) don’t infringe on other people’s rights to have their own religious ideas.

      There are Christian denominations that don’t subscribe to the idea that same sex marriage is something God doesn’t like. Not to mention all the people who aren’t Christian.

      2. In what way does she think that two adult humans who happen to have the same sex-determining chromosomes engaging in consensual sexual relations is comparable to an adult human having sexual contact with a non-consenting minor or non-human animal? This is one argument I can’t wrap my mind around.

      • Yellow Thursday

        I’m not sure it’s worth the headache of trying to continue the discussion with my aunt. The end of her last post read: “This all started because I am sad that people I care about don’t care what God says. That continues whether they are believers or non believers because I know the joy and peace that comes when I take His word into consideration and the confusion, anger and even hate that I feel when I don’t.” As long as she continues using the God goggles, I don’t think I’m going to be able to get through to her.

        • JT Eberhard

          Seems the only way to make progress at this point is to assault her belief in god.

          • Yellow Thursday

            Well, yes, I did assault her belief in God as the source of human morality. Assuming, for the sake of discussion, that her God exists, I asked her whether God doesn’t like homosexuality because it’s wrong, in which case there must be some more reason than “God doesn’t like it,” and I want to know what that is, or whether homosexuality is wrong because God doesn’t like it, in which case God is a dictator, perhaps a benevolent dictator (I said), but how do we know? If we follow God’s rules on faith, without investigating for ourselves if he’s correct, how can we ever know he is correct?

            She hasn’t had a chance to respond yet, but her response will likely tell me whether it’s worth the effort to continue the discussion with her.