Five Homophobic Quotes From The First Federal Judge To Uphold A Marriage Ban (In Louisiana)

Gulf Oil SpillThe Supreme Court will have the final say on marriage equality, probably in the upcoming term. So it’s not the end of the world that a judge in Louisiana has issued the first federal court ruling upholding a state ban on marriage. What is noteworthy about Judge Martin Leach-Cross Feldman’s decision is just how baldly homophobic it is. Not as perversely eloquent as Antonin Scalia, Feldman nonetheless uses his opinion to parade a series of outdated and offensive arguments to justify what looks a lot like a pre-ordained decision.

Feldman basically says that the plaintiffs in the case have no case, have no legitimate argument and haven’t had any rights violated. As for all of the other federal courts that have ruled otherwise, Feldman essentially says that he doesn’t care. The rulings that he cites to justify his decision are not the pro-marriage rulings but the dissents, most notably in the Virginia marriage ruling.

Feldman relies upon the rhetoric sneer to diminish the argument for gay marriage. Here are five worst examples from his opinion.

Marriage equality paves the way for incest. “And so, inconvenient questions persist. For example, must states permit or recognize a marriage between an aunt and niece? Aunt and nephew? Brother/brother? Father and child? May minors marry? Must marriage be limited to only two people? What about a transgender spouse? Is such a union same-gender or male-female?”

It’s all about the babies. “This Court is persuaded that Louisiana has a legitimate interest…whether obsolete in the opinion of some, or not, in the opinion of others…in linking children to an intact family formed by their two biological parents.”

Unspecified bad things may happen. “This Court is powerless to be indifferent to the unknown and possibly imprudent consequences of such a decision.”

Voters should have the say on your rights. “It is not for this Court to resolve the wisdom of same-sex marriage. The nation is witness to a strong conversation about what is marriage. The central question that must first be asked, is what is the fairest forum for the answer? A new right may or may not be affirmed by the democratic process.”

I’m the last bulwark against the end of civilization. “Perhaps, in the wake of today’s blurry notion of evolving understanding, the result is ordained. Perhaps in a new established point of view, marriage will be reduced to contract law, and, by contract, anyone will be able to claim marrige. Perhaps that is the next frontier, the next phase of some “evolving understanding of equality,” what what is marriage will be explored.”

Perhaps none of this language is surprising when you consider that Feldman, a Reagan appointee, is  80 years old and began his law career in 1957. Too bad his thinking hasn’t advanced much since then.

Photo credit: Office of Judge Feldman 

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  • queenrosered

    I’ll bet this ancient cracker was also against interracial marriages on many of the same grounds/arguments. Thankfully his breed is rapidly dying and the matter will end up in the SCOTUS anyway. Even THEY cannot deny that keeping same-sex couples from the same rights as their opposite-sex counterparts is a clear violation of constitutional law. I have never thought this to be a matter for States anyway. It’s a Federal issue, pure and simple. The LAWS OF THE LAND need to apply equally and fairly to ALL. Period.

  • Tracy Pope

    @queenrosered: He’s a judge. He knows full well his ruling will be appealed and could go all the way to SCOTUS. I think he’s just a bigoted p***y.

  • uticaboy

    A well written article, but your last statement that his opinion isn’t surprising given his age, is, in my 70-year old view, ageist. I think all you have shown is that you can be young and equally capable of discrimination.

  • DickieJohnson

    Whatever Judge Feldman’s age, this bigotry sounds as if it came from the Dark Ages.

  • tdx3fan

    @uticaboy: Statements based on solid researched statistics are NOT -ist statements. The facts simply show that it is much more likely for a 70 year old to be homophobic than an 18 year old. Period!

  • Aromaeus

    Time for this stale saltine to be put in a home.

  • Daniel-Reader

    A corrupt government official in Louisiana? And a judge no less? It’s only news if government officials there aren’t corrupt! Look at what the New Orleans police did to witnesses to their corruption. Look at the legislature. Look at all the state judges. The Louisiana Supreme Court would make Iran proud. The good officials are definately in the minority in Louisiana. It’s been that way since it began its statehood.

  • schwma

    He also was the asshole that ruled to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling placed by President Obama after the Deepwater Horizon tragedy.

  • Zekester

    He’s also a Jew who converted to Scalia-style, fundamentalist Catholicism. His delusions go waaaay back.

  • m1sf1t

    Leaving the emotion aside, here’s how I currently make sense of it:

    Consanguinity and age, just like sex, sexual orientation, and race etc. are immutable.

    Why can the state discriminate based on two and not any of the others?
    Loosely, there are no absolute rights, and the state can – and does – discriminate where there is a compelling reason to do so (e.g mental capacity to consent, based on age).

    So, what compelling reason can the state have to prohibit marriage based on biological relationship? In the case of traditional marriage (between an xx and an xy), because the possibility of producing offspring exists and there is therefore real risk of harm to the health of that offspring (i.e genetic defects)from such a union, the state has had reason to prohibit such unions. With marriage no longer limited to being between an xx and an xy, there are numerous scenarios where that potential harm is impossible and there is therefore no reason to discriminate. So, while it is inflammatory to read about “aunt+niece, brother+brother” etc., those are real **possibilities** the law has to address if it is going to be equitable. And, in addressing these scenarios in an equitable way, it is going to have to make the linkage to children. That is, it is going to be unreasonable discrimination if it prohibits adult brother+brother unions, as there is no harm to anyone from that union. However, it can be reasonable discrimination to prohibit aunt+nephew, based on the possibility of offspring, hence the “linkage to children”.

    I don’t think something simply being “icky” is going to be sufficient for the state to keep this Pandora’s Box shut.

    We can be myopic about our rights and think we are the only ones who will ever agitate for equality but, just as those who agitated for civil rights in the 1960s likely didn’t foresee people many of them might have considered “icky” agitating for their rights in the future, let’s not dismiss the judge’s prescience.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Polygamy and the other forms of marriage mentioned in your post are forbidden to all, so there is no equality issue, as nobody can have it. Marriage is (was) forbidden only for the “unpopular” Americans, and that is where the inequality exists.

  • uticaboy

    @tdx3fan: Puleeze. No doubt age has something to do with views on marriage equality, GENERALLY SPEAKING, but to attribute Judge Feldman’s decision because he’s 80 years old just seemed like a cheap shot to me. Would you say Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who is 81, has legal opinions that are a product of her age?

  • lykeitiz

    @uticaboy: I have known, and still know, MANY people in their 80’s and even 90’s who are EXTREMELY liberal. Having said that, they are mostly Jewish, not Christian. If there’s a stereotype to be thrown around or a common cause to point a finger at, then I agree……age isn’t it.

  • melanoman

    After the strong support for justice shown by the Honorable Richard Posner, an elderly Reagan appointee, I was a little disappointed to see Feldman’s status an elderly Reagan appointee held up as being explanatory. Age is no excuse for bigotry.

  • scott609

    Why do all the right wing arguments start with the hyperbolic extreme (even Scalia). They never stick to the question at hand, they always go to the extremes of what if. They know that if they just stick with the issue addressed, they have no legitimate winning argument, outside of religious ones (never legal ones).

    I also don’t understand their other constant argument about procreation. If gays are allowed to get married, does that decrease the number of hets who will get married and reproduce? Does it reduce the number of unwanted or unplanned pregnancies created by the promiscuous heterosexuals? Will it reduce the number of out of wedlock births?

    Don’t many gay couples adopt children out of the foster care system (and orphanages) where the children often flounder until they age out. It seems gays should be the answer to all the unwanted babies that hets seem to throw away (literally) far too often. How many more babies will be put it dumpsters or drowned in toilets before we see that the regular het way of reproduction does not produce an Ozzie and Harriet world.

    The real answer is, that there has to be more than one way to raise a child. Intact heterosexual marriages are not all sunshine and roses. They have produced record levels of divorce, child abuse and neglect, and spousal abuse. Try going through a news day without hearing about another het male murdering his wife and kids. Or mothers drowning their children in bathtubs or by backing their car into a lake.

    Let’s face it. Society can’t go on and continue to thrive if we let the hets run things the way they have. It is not fair to us, and it most certainly is not fair to the children.

  • Xzamilio

    @uticaboy: Calm down, dude. It’s getting old as hell (no pun intended) that some of you get butthurt over language and then go to the tired and overused “You’re as bigoted as the bigots”…shut up. The author tying this bigoted old coot’s homophobia to his age and generation is just common knowledge. Are you gay? Because something tells me that if you are gay, your open mindedness is not shocking at all. And if you’re not, sorry, but you’re an exception, not the standard.

  • Xzamilio

    Age is no excuse for bigotry… who the hell said it was? But pretending like these homophobic notions are not a product of their environment, generation, and belief systems is being willfully ignorant. Plenty of senior citizens are for gay marriage…and guess what? A heck of a lot more of them aren’t. If you’re from the south, you’ve been around this kind of BS and had it spoken to you in a harsher manner than this ignorant Judge. Why else are people not surprised by Feldman’s stance and shocked by Posner’s?

  • tricky ricky

    marriage IS contract law! that is why you have to go to court to dissolve it!

  • tricky ricky

    @Zekester: there’s nothing worse than a catholic convert.

  • Kieran

    Whether Judge Feldman is a Jew or not is as irrelevant as whether Donald Sterling is a Jew. The point is both of them are repellant bigots that are fully deserving of public scorn and ridicule.

  • Spike

    @queenrosered: This guy would own slaves if not for the Civil War.

  • AtticusBennett

    he’s just cemented his place on the wrong side of history and guaranteed that his grave site will be a place for teens of the future to piss on.

  • queenrosered

    @Spike: No doubt in my mind at all. And he would have fornicated with them in private. He and his ilk are disgusting and can’t die off soon enough.

Comments are closed.