Okay, try to follow along if you can: Gays and lesbians shouldn’t be allowed to marry the person they love because most Americans are in favor of that, and also most Americans aren’t. In addition, marriage equality is bad for kids, according to a study had nothing to do with marriage. Also, religion. Tradition. And straight people don’t actually want to be married, so if gay people can marry then straight people will lose interest in each other. These are just some of the stupefying arguments presented to the US Supreme Court ahead of oral argument next week.
Maybe the strangest brief came from a group called “Same Sex Attracted Men and their Wives.” These are gay guys who married straight women, who seem to think that the case will result in a “mandate requiring same-sex marriage.” It won’t, don’t worry, nobody’s going to be required to have a same-sex wedding. The brief also argues that letting gay people marry each other suggests that there’s something wrong with gay people marrying straight people.
Whether it suggests that or not, the argument still doesn’t make sense. LGBTs should be prevented from marrying the person they love because it’s better to marry someone they don’t love? The logic here just doesn’t work. Which is probably why at least one of the couples cited in the brief, a gay man married to a straight woman, has since said that they wish they hadn’t been included.
Another brief claims that children of LGBTs do worse when their parents get married. But it cites a study from 1995, which is ten years before marriage equality was legal anywhere. Another says that gays are so politically powerful that they shouldn’t be allowed to marry because … well, that’s never explained. And it contradict’s NOM’s brief claiming that gays don’t actually have any public support.
Then there’s a brief signed by the “Leaders of the 2012 Republican National Convention Committee on the Platform.” That’s Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, former Republican National Committee Vice-Chairman James Bopp Jr, and Carolyn McLarty, the chair of the RNC’s Committee on Resolution and a retired veterinarian. Their argument: men are so promiscuous and women are so emotional that they need to marry each other to control those impulses.
The brief also argues that only straight families, and their children, can resist tyrants and totalitarian regimes. No explanation of how that works. It also claims that the average gay relationship only lasts a year and a half. Again, this was paid for and signed by Republican party leaders and at least one member of Congress.
It’s probably a good thing that the briefs against marriage equality are so convoluted. It’s certainly not doing any favors to the states trying to preserve their marriage bans. Oral argument will be the morning of April 28, that’s next Tuesday. So keep an eye out for that, and hopefully this is the last time we’ll have to roll our eyes at arguments like these.