Americans United: Marriage Equality is a Matter of Simple Justice

The U.S. Supreme Court today is hearing oral arguments in a case about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law that bars federal government recognition of the marriages of same-sex couples. Yesterday, the justices heard arguments in a case dealing with Proposition 8, a California constitutional amendment that removed the right of same-sex couples to marry.

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, gave the following address today at the “United for Marriage” rally in front of the Supreme Court building.

Said Lynn:

“I am a minister in the United Church of Christ and a member of the Supreme Court bar. Long ago, I gave up thinking I had the gift of prophecy generally and I’ve also given up trying to predict specifically what the justices behind us will do.

“Two groups of Americans have been gathering here for the past two days.  I know quite a few people in both camps. Those who are anti-marriage equality are not all haters and bigots. But – they are all wrong. Their time is past and they know it; polls demonstrate that they cannot even convince their own children they are right. Their ethical analyses and their purportedly moral viewpoints will soon be relegated to the dustbin of human history.

“I oppose the agenda of the Religious Right every day at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, because I know that the United States is not a theocracy; it is not a place where the law reflects some powerful group’s narrow and crabbed view of what any holy scripture allegedly says. It is why we have fought for a separation of church and state – and why we need to get that correct each day.

“We would not have DOMA or Proposition 8 if it were not for the wealthy and powerful sectarian forces that stand behind the rubric of marriage inequality and who treat some to a second-class citizenship our Constitution abhors.

“American history is an interesting thing. Taking the long view, it is crafted by ordinary people like us more than by presidents or senators or Supreme Court justices. And sometimes sooner, sometimes later, we the people tend to get it right. And we – the second camp – are getting it right today: we are standing up for something so fundamental, so real, so remarkably simple that these marble steps cry that we haven’t seen it sooner.

“I have been married to my spouse Joanne for 42 years; we have two great children – one girl, one boy; we are just what one anti-equality speaker on the radio yesterday said was the dream American family. I know how good that feels. Yesterday, I was in tears listening to the dreams of other families, dreams that cannot yet be fulfilled for them because of the very law being debated today inside that building.

“You shouldn’t need a theological or a legal degree to recognize one simple equation. All people who are willing to accept the rights and responsibilities of a long-term commitment deserve equal treatment under our Constitution no matter what job they do, no matter what state they live in, no matter who they love. A simple equation of simple justice!

“As I said, I don’t know what this Supreme Court will do in June.  I don’t know whether our side will win or lose or get a mixed message or perhaps get no definitive answers at all. This I do know. If decisions don’t go our way, we will find every other venue in which to make our arguments; and we will return to this court one day.

“Even if we prevail on the arguments of the past two days, our job will not be over. Decisions of this court are not self executing. We will need to be vigilant that every family is accorded whatever rights this Court grants them. Just like Brown v. Board of Education, we will need to be sure that every state, every community, puts the principle into practice and that no one is left behind.

“And we will do that because we have always done that. We do not stop litigating, we do not stop marching, we do not stop debating, we do not stop organizing until we win for everyone. “

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.

  • pjmaertz

    “All people who are willing to accept the rights and responsibilities of a long-term commitment deserve equal treatment under our Constitution…”

    Perfectly stated. There is not a non-theistic argument against it. And theistic arguments have no place in deciding US law.

  • Uncle Bobolink

    I believe in equality for all human beings.

    But you don’t, JT.

    And I am going to prove it.

    • Nate Frein

      *pops popcorn and waits*

      • sqlrob

        Yeah, why the hoopla? Just put the content in that first comment. He’s got nothing.

    • JSC_ltd

      I believe in equality for all human beings.

      But you don’t, JT.

      And I am going to prove it.

      If it’s the last thing I doooooooooooooooooooo!

      • baal

        I think bobo is trying to speak in the voice-of-god(tm). JT’s supposed to wait with baited breath* breath until he dies to see the truth.

        *god wants you to eat worms.

    • Loqi

      And I am going to prove it.

      With well-reasoned arguments and claims that are supported by evidence, I assume? Or are you just going to say everyone has the right to believe what you believe or get executed (or, if you’re a more liberal theocrat, replace “or get executed” with “or get out”)?
      Yeah, I’ll bet it’s the latter.

    • http://anthrozine.com Cubist

      Maybe we should start a betting pool on Unca Bobowink’s Sure-Fire, Never-Fail Proof That JT Hates Equality. I’ll put a fiver on You don’t tolerate my intolerance!!!—anyone else interested?

      • phantomreader42

        You’d lose. His “argument” is the classic “fetuses are human beings, but women aren’t” bullshit that fetus-fetishists always resort to when denying bodily autonomy. Not that they’re honest enough to actually ADMIT what they’re saying…

    • Thumper1990

      “And I am going to prove it!”

      … Now? No, not now, obviously. Why not now? Well, because… because now is not the opportune moment, that’s why. Yes. Huh? No, I totally can prove it! I can! I SO can! I can! I CAN I CAN I CAN I CAN I CAN!

      etc.

  • John Eberhard

    Proud that I donate to AU.

  • Uncle Bobolink

    JT does not support equality for all Human Beings.

    Example, he would allow a right to abort an unborn viable healthy human being at 8 months development for the reason that the mother decided she did not want a girl.

    No hearing. No due process. No rights. Even though the 8 month developed human being will have the same genetic makeup at 21 years of age as it will now.

    Oh Wait…I know, JT will say “it” is not a Human Being. Of course. Dehumanize your opponent. Make the a SubHuman.

    It makes it easier to deny rights.

    Equal Rights for Gays!

    Equal Rights for viable unborn Humans!

    Now!

    • pjmaertz

      Women have bodily autonomy, and I trust them to be able to make correct decisions about their bodies. And even if I didn’t trust them, it wouldn’t fucking matter, because I’m just some guy. You don’t trust women to make correct decisions about their bodies. Well, so much for equal rights.

    • Katybe

      Oh yay. Does this mean we finally get the next installment of the story? It was left at a bit of a cliff-hanger (or rope-hanger, if you prefer!)

      • http://talkorigins.org jatheist

        Don’t you mean coat-hanger? ;)

        (too much?)

    • Glodson

      Look, another delusion idiot that wants to limit a woman’s autonomy, and uses a non sequitur argument to attempt to make the stupid point, based on a the inane idea that a woman would randomly abort a pregnancy at 8 months for no good reason.

      • Katybe

        Disclaimer – I’m not American, but from what I’ve read of the news over there lately, I wouldn’t entirely describe aborting a pregnancy just because it’s a girl as no good reason anyway. If I were living over there and pregnant right now, I’d be having serious concerns about my daughter’s future!

        • Glodson

          I would say that the future is likely going to be brighter for a girl growing up.

          It is going to be rougher for awhile, as the idiots see their power dwindle even more. But unless the GOP does some major changes, even their gerrymandering efforts won’t keep them in power much longer.

    • iknklast

      Uncle Bobolink believes in equal rights for all human beings. OK, that tells us one thing. He doesn’t consider women human beings. That’s the difference. JT considers women human beings, and embryos not human beings. Uncle Boblink considers embryos human beings, and women not human beings. Complication: what if the embryo is female? Is it human until it’s born, then not human?

      • Uncle Bobolink

        I did not argue about an Embryo.
        I argued for a healthy viable 8 month development human being.

        • sqlrob

          But you’re giving precedent to the fetus. Therefore, you don’t believe in equal rights. Try again.

        • Thumper1990

          So you would support abortion at, say, seven months?

      • phantomreader42

        Everyone knows that fetus-fetishists think life begins at conception, and ends at birth.

    • Nate Frein

      A fetus does not have more right to the mother’s body than the mother does herself.

      • Uncle Bobolink

        Agreed. But a healthy viable 8 month development human being does not deserve to die just because mama does not want another girl.

        Rights have to be balanced.

        The Supreme Court does it all the time.

        • Beutelratti

          Nothing tops the rights to my own body. That’s the whole point.

          Besides, aborting is really the wrong word here. Even in the unlikely case that a woman decides to end a pregnancy at 8 months (which really never happens and you know that you fucking moron), what happens is that labour will be induced early and result would in most cases be a living baby. No dying involved. So shut the fuck up and get your facts straight.

          • Beutelratti

            *the result

          • Nate Frein

            Cite a source for the number of completely viable eight month old fetuses being aborted.

          • Uncle Bobolink

            Actually it was done at the Tiller Clinic in Wichita Ks. many times.

            The doctor who signed off on them as the “independent” medical expert, Christen Neuhaus, lost her medical license over phoney reports.

            And the clinic is being reopened, so it is going to be happening again.

          • Nate Frein

            Cite please.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

            Oh please. The only reason any doctor “aborts” an eight-month-old embryo is that it has defects incompatible with life or the mother is going to die (pre-eclampsia, uncontrolled gestational diabetes, weak maternal heart, etc). A surgical abortion that late is dangerous and pretty much doesn’t happen; what usually happens is an induction or, failing that, a C-section. Both result in living babies. Dr. Tiller performed late-term abortions for women who would die without them or whose babies were going to die anyway, so this was to spare the babies the agony of days of pain before dying.

            Straw man much?

        • phantomreader42

          Uncle Bobolink the delusional fetus-fetishist babbled: “Agreed. But a healthy viable 8 month development human being does not deserve to die just because mama does not want another girl.”

          When has this EVER happened? Really, when and where? The percentage of abortions performed in the last month is vanishingly small, and most of those are of non-viable fetuses or those with debilitating defects. Better availability of contraception and prenatal care (both of which you fetus-fetishists oppose) would reduce the number of abortions even further. Why are you and your sick death cult so eager to restrict the rights of women based on an imaginary scenario that occurs only in your delusions?

          • Uncle Bobolink

            Where? At the Tiller clinic in Wichita Ks.

            The only issue I was dealing with was viable healthy unborn humans.

            Are you seriously trying to say there are no abortions of viable unborn?

            Then you are in denial.

            And what “death cult”? I am opposed to abortion of viable unborn humans, war for profit, and the death penalty, unlike some of the New Atheists. So please quit lying about me. I only expressed an opinion about equal rights.

            Which I believe in.

            For ALL Human Beings.

          • Glodson

            [citation needed]

          • phantomreader42

            So, Uncle Bobolink, you claim to have actual evidence that the Tiller clinic in Witchita, KS performed abortions “at 8 months development for the reason that the mother decided she did not want a girl”? Or are you just making shit up as your ilk always do?

            Where do you get your information on the reason Tiller’s patients chose to abort? Did you steal medical records (perhaps after one of your fellow fetus-fetishists MURDERED Dr. Tiller)? Are you so delusional you think you have the magical power to read minds? Or are you just lying through your teeth?

            You’re claiming that women chose to wait until the very last month of their pregnancy to abort SOLELY due to the gender of the fetus, despite the difficulty and expense of doing so, and despite the fact that they could have found out the gender earlier in the pregnancy, and would surely have made that a priority if they were as obsessed with choosing the sex as you depict them. Furthermore, you’re claiming that this happened in The United States of America, and that it happened enough times to justify making new laws restricting the rights of women to ownership of their own bodies. Your claims are not even remotely believable. You are not honest or trustworthy. You’re just a lying fetus-fetishist.

            Who the fuck are you to tell women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies?

          • baal

            http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7f/US_abortion_by_gestational_age_2004_histogram.svg/220px-US_abortion_by_gestational_age_2004_histogram.svg.png

            Look at the graph. The vast majority of abortions are first trimester with some happening in the first half of the second. Your 8th month abortions essentially never happen (really, unless something has gone very very wrong).

    • phantomreader42

      What about equality for actual living breathing WOMEN? Women who want to be able to decide for themselves whether or not to use their bodies to incubate a parasite for nine months at great risk to their own health, life, and general well-being? Oh, yeah, your cult has never given a flying fuck about women. If you did, you wouldn’t be trying to force them to suffer and die for fetuses that you only see as human in the sense of human shields that you can hide behind to enforce your sick dogma on others by law.

      • Uncle Bobolink

        I support equal rights for All Human Beings.

        I am talking about viable, healthy, unborn humans.

        I would not force any woman to suffer and die for a fetus. Why do you have to lie about me? Why can’t you just discuss the issue?

        • phantomreader42

          No, you DO NOT, support equal rights for all human beings, because you seek to restrict the right of WOMEN to control their own bodies. And no matter how desperate you and your cult are to pretend otherwise, WOMEN ARE HUMAN BEINGS!

          • Uncle Bobolink

            I support equal rights to for all Human Beings.

            Including women, of course.

            But that does not mean a healthy unborn Human Being deserves to die. That unborn Human Being is NOT “her body”.

            Even the Supreme Court balances rights, and even in Roe V Wade gave states the right to regulate in the later stages of pregnancy.

        • Thumper1990

          So, you have a healthy, viable, 8 month old foetus which will kill the mother if it is allowed to be born. Who would you let die?

          See? We can do unrealistic hypotheticals too!

    • Thumper1990

      So your idea of Equal Rights is telling women what to do with their bodies?

      Logic: How the fuck does it work?!

  • Nate Frein

    Bobolink (you’re not my uncle), how would you respond to being forcibly hooked up to a blood transfusion machine that was keeping another person alive?

    If you walk away, that person dies. Doesn’t that person have a right to life equal to yours?

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

      Don’t forget that you’re probably going to feel like crap for months, you’re going to gain a lot of weight necessitating expensive clothing purchases, your immune system will be suppressed, people are going to walk up to you and give you random advice, pet your body without your permission, and police your actions, and at the end of the blood transfusion time you get to look forward to 6-60+ hours of agonizing pain as the IV lines are withdrawn. Which might cause a massive hemorrhage, tear your body apart, cause a massive infection, or just kill you.

    • Uncle Bobolink

      False analogy. That person is not my offspring and I had nothing to do with setting up the situation.

      Here is what I see; at a couple of atheist meetups I have seen a number of attractive, intelligent 20 and 30 s0mthing women. Ostensibly atheists. In that group, three were married and they had two children between them.

      In a comparable sized church group, I saw a number of attractive intelligent 20 and 30 something women. Most were married and almost all had children, and those who did had at least two. Some more.

      So in this limited observation, which I think can be expanded, it seems that the atheists are not having children and the Believers are. Lots of them.

      Go figure.

      The atheists should get Darwin awards.

      • sqlrob

        I didn’t know religion was genetic.

      • sqlrob

        Who cares if that person is not your offspring. Your actions or lack thereof result in their death.

      • Beutelratti

        Yes, because everyone always takes their children everywhere.

        And here’s the neat thing: Atheists don’t only raise atheists and similarly church-goers do not only raise church-goers. Funnily more and more people leave religion behind and become non-believers. We do not need to breed our own little pious clones and indoctrinate them from birth onwards. They’ll come to us from all religions on their own.

        And unless you want to argue that religious affiliation or lack thereof is a genetic trait your snark at Darwin really makes you look even more ridiculous … didn’t think that was possible.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

        True analogy, Bobolink. If I don’t want to be pregnant, I didn’t invite anyone to use my flesh, blood, oxygen, and energy to build themselves. In the same way, the hypothetical person didn’t ask to be yoked to a stranger and give them blood. How are those situations different?

      • phantomreader42

        So, you think YOU have the right to deny others the use of your body, but women don’t have the same right. You’re just a standard misogynistic lying fetus-fetishist shitstain. Your worthless ilk are a dime a dozen. You have nothing that even vaguely looks like a worthwhile argument to anyone with a functioning brain. Fuck off.

      • Glodson

        Bobolink, this is really stupid.

        Did you know that there’s a link between intelligence and a lack of religiosity? Further that more intelligent people tend to have fewer children? Ever heard of the quiverfull movement? You know, the idea that one has as many children as possible to saturate the world by indoctrinating their beliefs onto the children? And do you know what the religious position is rapidly gaining ground? Do you know what fades as a society becomes more educated?

        So this statement:

        So in this limited observation, which I think can be expanded, it seems that the atheists are not having children and the Believers are. Lots of them.

        This is a true statement, but the problem you have is this: more people than ever are leaving religion. People born into it, raised with it, and then reject it.

        Besides, you still haven’t actually cited any evidence. Just assertions, anecdotes, and nonsense.

      • iknklast

        And your point is? Right now, we are in a situation where the world is rapidly becoming overpopulated. We are straining the resources. So those who are choosing to have several children are not necessarily the ones who are making the wisest choice. Plus, those with fewer children will have more time and money to give each child, so they are more likely to grow up and go to college, get a really good job, and not have to wait tables for a living (no disrespect meant to waiters, but there really are better paying jobs where you don’t have to deal with the crap the customers give you). Come back in 20 years and tell me which of these groups made the better decision. This is, by the way, something even birds know. They will limit their number of offspring based on how many they can raise to be healthy. We should be able to figure out what a bird can do by instinct.

      • Thumper1990

        So it’s only your business if it’s your offspring? So why are youtrying to tell other people what to do with their offspring?


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X