Bad Arguments against Marriage Equality

Bad Arguments against Marriage Equality February 20, 2013

According to Pew Forum, a whopping 94% of those opposed to marriage equality do so with religion as their top influence on that view. Which isn’t really surprising considering the non-religious arguments that are out there. It’s telling that the most common secular response you’re likely to get is the statements that “marriage is between a man and a woman,” which is just restating the position in a different way.

Other secular arguments are frankly worse. Consider Christian radio host Janet Mefferd’s argument:

Whether the homosexual activists like it or not, and I know this isn’t politically correct to say this, but not everybody wants to see that. I know that that’s offensive to the activist crowd, they want us all to see it, they want us all to approve of it, they want us all to call it blessed and okay and rejoice and have parties and throw confetti in the air over this whole thing. But the fact of the matter is it’s a moral issue. You will always have Christians who will disagree with this and why should the rights of the activists trump the rights of Christians?

So … Christian’s have the right not to see gay married couples? You’re really going to make that argument? That one doesn’t even pass the laugh test.

But you might suggest that this is nutpicking, and you’d probably be right. So let’s look at Paul Clement, an influential right wing lawyer tasked with defending opposition to gay marriage before the Supreme Court. Clement must have tremendous resources to draw from, yet he comes up with this:

Marriage should be limited to unions of a man and a woman because they alone can “produce unplanned and unintended offspring,” opponents of gay marriage have told the Supreme Court.

By contrast, when same-sex couples decide to have children, “substantial advance planning is required,” said Paul D. Clement, a lawyer for House Republicans.

So in Clement’s argument, marriage is essentially a safety net given to straight couples because they might come down with a bad case of babies. Since homosexuals cannot accidentally get pregnant outside of bizarre circumstances and bad slash fics, they don’t need this particular safety measure.

I’m hoping this is a result of a “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” approach to legal argument. If Clement thinks that this is convincing, then the marriage opposition has already scraped the bottom of the barrel, and are now looking under the barrel for ideas.

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