A New Low in Anti-Marriage Equality Arguments

A New Low in Anti-Marriage Equality Arguments April 20, 2015

Every time I see an incredibly lame argument against same-sex marriage I think that’s as bad as those arguments get. Oh, foolish foolish Ed. Here’s a new argument filed in a legal brief in the marriage cases that will just leave you scratching your head.

It’s an insult to the gay men who marry women to suggest that they should have to marry the same sex.

One of the briefs advocating against marriage equality was filed by “same-sex attracted men and their wives.” Despite identifying as “same-sex attracted” (note: not “gay,” nor “ex-gay” for that matter), they “choose to build their families on the foundation of marriage between a man and a woman.” They worry that if same-sex marriage is legalized, it would communicate to other same-sex attracted men that “marriage to a member of the opposite sex is an impossibility, even meaningless, and only same-sex marriage can bring gays and lesbians the personal and family fulfillment and happiness that is the universal desire of the human heart. That one-size-fits-all message is false, and the Court ought not to send it.”

Almost all of the couples who signed the brief have participated in the “Voices of Hope” project, which collects videos of mixed-orientation Mormon couples, as well as other LGBT-identified Mormons who uphold the Church’s anti-LGBT teaching. The organization that oversees that project, North Star, does not explicitly advocate for ex-gay therapy, but last year, it did absorb the Mormon ex-gay organization Evergreen International. Among the signers is Jeff Bennion, who was featured on TLC’s My Husband’s Not Gay. Bennion co-founded North Star and has frequently defended ex-gay therapy.

Not all “Voices of Hope” oppose marriage equality though. Josh and Lolly Weed, who recorded a video for the project, were quoted several times in the brief, but objected to their inclusion, saying that they do not support its argument. “My wife and I support marriage equality,” Josh Weed told the Salt Lake Tribune, adding, “We know many wonderful people who are hurt by the current state of affairs.” Weed received a lot of media attention when he came out in 2012 as a “happily married” gay Mormon. He then had to deny rumors that he practiced ex-gay therapy in his own counseling work.

One of the only couples that signed onto the brief that wasn’t from the Mormon project was Doug Mainwaring and his wife, Valerie. Co-founder of the National Capital Tea Party Patriots in Maryland, Mainwaring believes the “liberal intelligentsia” is trying to dismantle marriage altogether and that gay dads are not capable of showing warmth and tenderness to their children.

So we should not let gay people marry other gay people because a tiny, tiny percentage of them might actually want to marry someone of the opposite gender even though letting gay people get married to one another will not prevent any of those people from marrying women if they chose. I don’t think it’s possible to invent an argument more stupid than that, but I’ve been wrong before.

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