DOMA Defender Says Gays Make Better Parents, Straights Responsible For “Irresponsible Procreation”

Paul ClementA lawyer defending DOMA before the Supreme Court actually argued that gays and lesbians make more thoughtful and prepared parents.

Attorney Paul D. Clement, hired by House Republicans opposing marriage equality, says the institution should be limited to one man and one woman, because they can “produce unplanned and unintended offspring.”

Gay couples, on the other hand, have to resort to “substantial advance planning.”

Clement, a former United States Solicitor General, made that argument in legal briefs submitted to the Supreme Court in advance of the official hearings on Hollingsworth v. Perry and Windsor v. United States in March.

Reports the L.A. Times:

The traditional marriage laws “reflect a unique social difficulty with opposite-sex couples that is not present with same-sex couples — namely, the undeniable and distinct tendency of opposite-sex relationships to produce unplanned and unintended pregnancies,” wrote Clement, a solicitor general under President George W. Bush. “Unintended children produced by opposite-sex relationships and raised out-of-wedlock would pose a burden on society.”

“It is plainly reasonable for California to maintain a unique institution [referring to marriage] to address the unique challenges posed by the unique procreative potential of sexual relationships between men and women,” argued Washington attorney Charles J. Cooper, representing the defenders of Proposition 8.

Same-sex couples need not be included in the definition of marriage, he said, because they “don’t present a threat of irresponsible procreation.”

Clement also argued laws protecting the LGBT community aren’t needed—because we have it so good:

“Gays and lesbians are one of the most influential, best-connected, best-funded and best-organized interest groups in modern politics, and have attained more legislative victories, political power and popular favor in less time than virtually any other group in American history.”

We’re not legal experts like Clement—currently a law professor at Georgetown—but wouldn’t denying us the right to marry make us victims of discrimination?


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  • startenout

    I am so confused; I don’t see how he could have seen painting straight people as a burden on society as a boon to his cause. Did I miss something?? lol

  • 1EqualityUSA

    This logic will make sense to Scalia and Alito, for sure.

  • JasonMacBride

    So the reason for heterosexual marriage is to prevent children born out of wedlock from being a burden on society? It doesn’t seem to be workign too well. Maybe we should outlaw heterosexual marriage.

  • Dez

    What an idiot.
    Yeah, straight people are irresponsible breeders, therefore they should only have marriage, and not the responsible, respected, loving & committed same sex couples who actually have to plan out having a baby and be given the government okay to adopt or get married- that makes a lot of sense!
    The anti-gay marriage crowd will just keep digging that hole deeper and deeper, because their way of thinking clearly doesn’t make sense.

  • Aidan8

    Putting my personal opinion aside, as a lawyer I can’t even imagine trying to make that argument. I’ve made arguments over the years, novel and otherwise, that attempt to gain my clients’ advantage. Yet even the latest of those stressful late-night “holy shit I have oral argument in the morning” briefs never came close to this kind of silly argument.

  • Ridpathos

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m still scratching my head.

  • ncman

    It still doesn’t explain the need to allow marriage for those straight couples who are infertile or past the age of being able to reproduce. It also doesn’t explain the legal benefits of marriage that have nothing to do with children.

  • Caliban

    Um, wow. That is a huge heap of illogical BS masquerading as an argument.

    Until a relatively few shorts years ago in the US, marriage was exclusively reserved for male/female couples. Over the past several decades the number of children born “out of wedlock” has risen steadily and “traditional marriage” has done nothing to halt that trend. So his argument makes no sense.

    Personally I believe that when children are seen as an unfortunate side-effect of fucking it often leads to poor parenting, in or out of wedlock. But the Right wants to have it both ways, either opposing contraception across the board as an extension of religious (Catholic usually, but not always) dogma, or by trying to deny insurance coverage for contraception while at the same time blaming and shaming those who conceive children outside of marriage or when financially unable to care for them.

    At heart the Right wants to go back to the days of The Scarlet Letter and imprisoning gays, they WANT sex to have dire consequences, either disease or shame, because if you can control sexuality you can control populations.

  • rand503

    @ncman: Nor does is explain how any of the benefits of marriage to straight people will be in any way curtailed if gays get married.

    Futhermore, what’s the point of the argument? That if you allow gay marriage, it will somehow cause more out of wedlock births? If so, we should have evidence by now to back that up from the several states that allow it.

  • rand503

    He has to do SOMETHING to justify the $3 million congress has paid him. And it won’t do to say you merely rehashed arguments that other counsel have proposed. And in any case, those arguments were all losing arguments.

    Hence the need to come up with anything that was a bit different. And when you lose, you claim that it was a “judicial politics” anyway.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Do we even have to show up to defend our side? Couldn’t we just let this fucktard talk his way into a paper bag and lose for us? It’s almost entertaining if it weren’t so damaging to our community. Recuse yourselves Scalialito, your hatred for LGBT will not allow you to impart justice.

  • Michael

    “Unintended children produced by opposite-sex relationships and raised out-of-wedlock would pose a burden on society.”

    Wouldn’t all or, at the very least, the preponderance of all such couples who have produced unintended children(in today’s society) thus need be married for this argument to hold up in court?

  • jwrappaport

    1. Heteros are prone to have unwanted pregnancies, whose ill effects are mitigated by marriage.
    2. Gays do not generally (if ever) have unwanted pregnancies.
    3. Therefore, it follows that gays should not be allowed to marry.

    His argument is even thinner than his hair. I hereby nominate Paul D. Clement for Douche of the Week.

  • Joel J

    @Dez: That’s what the federal district judge said: The arguments against same-sex marriage make no sense, therefore the case must be based on anti-gay animus. It will be interesting to hear what legalistic acrobatics Scalia will have to engage in to deny marriage equality under the law.

  • Joel J

    @1EqualityUSA: I nominate Paul Clement to be Closet Case of the Year. Anyone who would make that argument has to be on our side.

Comments are closed.