Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Organization for Marriage is back to "Protect the Children"

Fighting for relevance, National Organization for Marriage is organizing a demonstration in Washington, DC to coincide with oral arguments before the Supreme Court in Hollingsworth v Perry (Prop 8). I am reasonably certain that the Catholic Church hierarchy can produce a considerable body count. I am equally certain that it's not going to make any difference to the outcome of the case.

In 2004, NOM campaigned for Proposition 8 by claiming that it was necessary to protect children. That is when Frank Schubert introduced "gay marriage will be taught in schools." NOM spent tens of millions of dollars convincing voters that children needed to be protected from exposure to the notion that gay marriage is OK or that gay marriage is the equal of traditional marriage.

Then in court, proponents of Prop 8 changed their argument to a redefinition of marriage claiming that the purpose of marriage was to promote "responsible procreation." Aside from the fact that NOM's definition would deny infertile couples the right to marry, gay couples would somehow have to affect procreation for this argument to have merit. That would require heterosexual couples to have fewer, more of different children because gays can marry. Yes, it is preposterous.

NOM arguments for public consumption are different than those used for explaining the merits of their case.

In an email blast sent out today, Brian Brown claims that people must "stand for the rights of children to experience the love of both a mother and a father." So we are back to a variant of protect the children. That argument is no less absurd than "responsible procreation." Of course, NOM's constituency is not exactly composed of the most critical thinkers.

It is ironic that they are using an argument that won't fly in court to organize a demonstration at the Supreme Court.

First of all, marriage equality does not create children who have no mother and father. Gay and lesbian couples are already choosing to have children irrespective of marriage equality. Gay men ordinarily adopt children who have no mother and no father. Surrogacy is expensive and legally risky. Lesbian couples may adopt or they may choose artificial insemination. I would point out that single heterosexual women are using artificial insemination as well.

This is all irrelevant to whether or not gays should be permitted to marry.

Aside from the fact that the issue has nothing to do with parenting, all of the science concludes that children raised by gay couples do as well as children raised by heterosexual couples. Again, this is a distraction. This issue is about equal protection under the law. NOM is quick to point out that the 14th Amendment was designed to provide rights to freed slaves. Again, NOM is incorrect.

One of the better discussions of the meaning of the 14th Amendment can be found in the amicus brief authored by Cato Institute [pdf]. They point out that the Supreme Court has already determined that 14th Amendment protections apply to all. Through the writing of the amendment's authors, they demonstrate that the intent was far broader than just to guarantee the rights of freed slaves. Their original intent was to reorient the constitution to provide equal protection for all.

By the time I hit the "publish" button, NOM will probably trot out a new bit of bullshit.
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