Nevada Federal Court Upholds Ban On Gay Marriage

Well, all good things, they say, must come to an end. Following a string of victories for marriage equality in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, a federal court in Nevada upheld the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Judge Robert Jones – a Mormon appointed by former President George W. Bush (so, shock) – ruled that gay couples lacked  a constitutional right to get married as their union precludes the creation of offspring:

Human beings are created through the conjugation of one man and one woman. The percentage of human beings conceived through non-traditional methods is minuscule and adoption, the form of child-rearing in which same-sex couples may typically participate together, is not an alternative means of creating children, but rather a social backstop for when traditional biological families fail. The perpetuation of the human race depends upon traditional procreation between men and women. The institution developed in our society, its predecessor societies, and by nearly all societies on Earth throughout history to solidify, standardize, and legalize the relationship between a man, a woman, and their offspring, is civil marriage between one man and one woman.

Which is clearly bullshit. Under that logic, a heterosexual man or woman who are unable to have children would also be prohibited from marrying. Further, in admitting that “traditional biological families” do fail,  Jones trivializes the importance of actually raising these children that have been created. But sensing that argument wasn’t going to fly, Jones launched this turkey:

Should that institution be expanded to include same-sex couples with the state’s imprimatur, it is conceivable that a meaningful percentage of heterosexual persons would cease to value the civil institution as highly as they previously had and hence enter into it less frequently, opting for purely private ceremonies, if any, whether religious or secular, but in any case without civil sanction, because they no longer wish to be associated with the civil institution as redefined, leading to an increased percentage of out-of-wedlock children, single-parent families, difficulties in property disputes after the dissolution of what amount to common law marriages in a state where such marriages are not recognized, or other unforeseen consequences.

Ah, that old logic. If you let the gays in, no one will want to marry and society as we know it will crumble. They’ll really give a law degree to anyone these days, wont they?

Jones also disputed the idea that laws pertaining to sexual orientation should not be held to higher scrutiny as he believes gays and lesbians are not politically powerless, citing the passage of laws legalizing same-sex marriage in Maryland, Maine and Washington.

We’ll just let someone else call bullshit on this one. How about you, Doug NeJaime, a gay law professor at Loyola Law School What say ye?

“I think some of those conclusions strike me as a little bit shaky — the idea that now that same-sex marriage has a few ballot victories contributes to the idea that gays and lesbians have political power, and the conclusion that the history of discrimination against gays and lesbians does not rise to the level that would lead to the heightened scrutiny findings,” NeJaime told the Washington Blade.

However, Nan Hunter, a lesbian law professor at Georgetown University, thinks that Jones’ perspective on the whole powerless issue might have bearing on the Supreme Court, should it decide to take up any of the marriage equality cases later today.

“I think that this aspect of Equal Protection review will be a major focus in the Supreme Court, assuming that it grants review in any of the gay-related cases, and this decision provides a good preview of what the opponents of gay marriage will argue.”

Still, Lambda Legal, which is handling the Nevada case, plans to appeal to the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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  • jniceny

    So instead of citing precedent, law, and the constitution, he just offers his personal opinion as a decision. Wow!

  • scott609

    Considering the wreck that straights have made of modern marriage, I doubt that letting gays get married will make it any worse. With a 50% divorce rate, they have no room to judge.

    As for the procreation argument, I will have to tell all my friends and relatives that their 2nd and third marriages don’t really count, since they were married after their child bearing years.

    We can also tell the thousands of kids languishing in foster care and those kids who are orphaned that they are better off without two loving parents. They are part of a “social backstop” for when the straight folks fail. Yes, let’s make them feel even better about themselves you moronic judicial hack.

  • Charles175

    All this Judge did was to honor his Mormonism through skilled wording in not saying this directly. Utah is almost owned by that so called “church”. It’s founder Joseph Smith was a con-artist and a swindler. He also was a staunch polygamous man with I believe about 27 wives. He even lied about it KNOWING that this was wrong. But then again that “church” has a policy when missionaries are proselytizing. It’s called “Lying for the Lord”.

  • Charles175

    Mistake, I looked at the map wrong but none the less something still stinks here.

  • Dumdum

    I guess when Lincoln said that all men are created equal.Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Or the declaration of independence.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Unless of course you are Gay.

  • macmantoo

    Of course he ruled that way, he’s a mormon. We would have had a lot more if Romney had been elected too. I think the US Court of Appeals will overrule him. Hopefully the Supreme Court will have some one with Balls to do the right thing.

  • ChuckGG

    This screams appeal and SCOTUS.

    Okay, let’s just make sure that all infertile couples and people past child-bearing years are banned from marriage.

    What absolute horse-hockey!

  • ChuckGG

    Any bets that Brian Brown of NOM has already posted this “victory” on his website?

  • 2eo

    @Charles175: Yet more proof you just plain can NOT trust religious people with power. This cretin acted solely out of the wish of his religion, his nutter, not even a belief system which among christianity is really saying something considering they’re all garbage.

  • Daniel-Reader

    Remember mormon judges have a long history of ruling against women and black people even after the 14th amendment was passed. And many were angry, and still are, that their cult, which was founded on polygamy, isn’t allowed to practice their multiwives beliefs so a judge who belongs to the cult being bigoted against gays isn’t surprising. Male mormons are taught from the beginning that everyone else becomes their slaves in the afterlife so the views of current cult members are not surprising at all. Christians should really start talking about the mormon problem, since if you are an actual Christian in a mormon run state you aren’t going to get any decent justice, much less if you are female, non-white, and/or non-heterosexual.

  • Dumdum

    @Daniel-Reader: Like that crap should matter in a modern world. Tell us something we do not know. You people state the obvious like some revelation that we lesser humans cannot see. Unless you have the key, shut the hell up!!!

  • Psy

    Wait, is the Judge saying you need a license to have children?

  • CivicMinded

    Political scholars help me out to understand. This judge sits on a federal bench. Couldn’t he have just said that the federal Constitution grants the states the power to decide who may marry within their borders and that’s that?

  • ChuckGG

    @CivicMinded: I don’t think it is mentioned directly, anywhere at the Fed level. There is the understanding (and this is in the Constitution) that those rights/laws not addressed by the Feds are in the hands of the States. So, by implication/inference, I believe.

  • sangsue

    So for Nevada, prostitution is legal and wonderful and A OK.

    Gay marriage? Banned.

    I am not comparing the two. Rather I’m saying that they can’t use the church or morality for their reasoning because then prostitution should not be legal. Period.

  • Daniel-Reader

    @Dumdum – you are just angry the cult is dying out.

  • alexoloughlin

    I wasn’t aware that civil marriage had any religious component or mandate to procreate. After all, isn’t it civil marriage which allows divorced people and serial adulterers to remarry, hardly what one could call traditional marriage? These asshats NEVER address heterosexuals who are infertile but marry regardless. Does that diminish the validity of some other fertile couple’s ability to procreate or marry? There are now eleven countries where marriage equality is legal, more than a decade in the Netherlands. Wouldn’t that be sufficient for these morons to come forth with the factual evidence? Why is it none of them do? Why is it nobody counters them?

  • Alan down in Florida

    @sangsue: Actually only female prostitution with male customers is legal in one country in Nevada. So same-sex prostitution is not legal in Nevada so there really is no inconsistency in the same-sex marriage ban.

    That being said I’m very upset I can’t go to a Vegas casino, pick up a guy, get trashed and wake up in the morning after having been married by an Elvis impersonator at a drive-thru chapel at 4AM like the heterosexuals can.

  • Jeffrey

    If there is a rational public purpose in letting only procreative couples get married, how come non-procreative different-sex couples are allowed to marry? Does this judge not have a brain in his head, or something?

    And isn’t there a rational public purpose in seeing children raised by a stable two-parent household? Or for Mormons, children of same-sex parents are children of a lesser God? Who knows with those cultists!

  • tidalpool

    A marraige, under civil law is no more then 2 elegible people agreeing to a contractual obligation to share all things under the law. Today, in the USA, we have included codicils that cover income, real estate, art, even tax deductions. Children, or the lack there of do not seem to be included in a secular marraige certificate.
    Under Judeo-Christian beliefs, the bearing of children seems to be the primary function of sexual intercourse, however, under the LAW of the LAND, we are speaking of civil law, not a specific religious law.
    Under the constitution of the USA, Judges should never be allowed to ‘invent’ law or find ‘law’ based on their own beliefs. Any law in the USA, that creates a second class of US citizens in constitutionally illegal. Gay men and women will be allowed to marry, as soon as the US constitution is applied.

  • Billysees

    @Dumdum: Re 5, “I guess when…

    Well spoken.

    Your quoting “that all men are created equal…..that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are…..the pursuit of Happiness”.

    Perhaps there are no greater words than those which can be spoken to “undeniably affirm” our gay right and justification to pursue and obtain that great human relationship called marriage.

  • Billysees

    @sangsue: Re 15, “So for Nevada…

    Perfectly said…..excellent.

    Probably the prostitution existed before he became a judge is possible.

    I wonder what political and religious considerations and judgements went into allowing the legalization of prostitution anyhow.

    Modern and progressive ones I’m sure.

    What would the Book say —

    “All things are permissible and lawful for me” (e.g. engaging the services of a prostitute)…1 Cor 6:12, 1 Cor 10:23.

    And, as you say, you don’t want to compare the two of course.

    But the same modern and progressive application of biblical truths or similar considerations should also apply to gay marriage.

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