Monday, December 10, 2012

Brian Brown Should Do Himself a Favor and Stay off of TEEvee

National Organization for Marriage has an ever decreasing shelf life. With whatever years NOM has left, Mr. Brown will undoubtedly continue to demonstrate that he is not the brightest bulb in life's chandelier in addition to his lack of management expertise.

I cannot tell when this Fox interview occurred other than over the weekend. Nevertheless, it was well balanced (pointing out the Fox poll in favor of marriage equality     49%-46%). It was also neutrally moderated with a gay rights advocate appearing with Mr. Brown. According to Brown:
There is no constitutional right to redefine marriage. Our Founding Fathers didn't see it that way and the last Supreme Court decision, Nelson v. Baker, the United States Supreme Court said there was no federal question here, so this is essentially making the law up as you go along, it is reading into the Constitution [which] is not there, and I do not believe the United States Supreme Court is going to launch another culture war, Just like Roe v. Wade did not end the abortion debate, creating a right to redefine marriage will not end this debate it will exacerbate it.
As is usually the case with Brown, he has his talking points and he is sticking to them.

Brown's first point is simply incorrect. Marriage has been changed ("redefined" is NOM-speak). At one time, in many states, it was limited to two white people. Then it was two white or two black people. Then it was consenting opposite sex people. Now, in 20% of the country     representing a third of the population     marriage is two unrelated consenting adults.

As for Nelson v. Baker, it was a summary decision without briefs or oral argument in 1972. It could serve as precedent for later cases raising precisely the same legal issues. However, the Court has established a limitation on precedent if it has been undermined by "doctrinal developments" (a phrase used by the Court in other cases). Brown does not seem to understand, for example, that, in 2003, Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) was overturned by Lawrence v. Texas. Much has changed in the last 40 years.

The notion that a potential culture war issue is at stake similar to Roe v. Wade is preposterous. The more that gay people marry, the more that people realize that equal marriage really doesn't affect anyone else. It's an idiotic, if not irrelevant, argument.


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