Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sprigg and the Roe v Wade analogy to marriage equality

The Roe v Wade analogy to marriage equality is pervasive in discriminatory circles. According to its adherents, Roe v Wade was premature and resulted in 40 years of avoidable antagonism. Should the Supreme Court reach decisions that favors marriage equality, this will trigger a similar backlash. "Family" Research Council's Peter Sprigg (FRC's gay expert), interviewed on the DC Fox affiliate put it this way:
[The Supreme Court] thought they were going to settle once and for all time a controversial social issue. Instead all they did was inflame it and it’s still as hot today as 40 years later as it was then. I think the court, even the liberal members of the court, learned from that mistake.
I shall enumerate:
  1. In reaching a decision in Roe, the Court did not seek to settle a social issue. At the heart of Roe v Wade is a woman's right to privacy as a matter of due process.
  2. The fact that some religious conservatives don't like the Court's decision is irrelevant.
  3. The fact that some religious conservatives don't like the Court's decision does not mean that it was a mistake.
  4. The Court today would probably reach the same conclusion as they did in 1973.
  5. The fact that some religious conservatives don't like marriage equality is irrelevant (or should be irrelevant) to the decision that the Court will reach.
  6. Marriage equality (in Perry and Windsor) is far less contentious than Roe. While religious conservatives are opposed, they have yet to demonstrate how gays marrying might affect society negatively. Spain, for example, has not plunged into disarray and it is still firmly attached to the continent. The only argument that they have put forward     in 1,000 different ways     is that God will be pissed. Well, God does not get a vote on the Supreme Court.
  7. Were the Court to decide against marriage equality that would, as Sprigg put it, "inflame" passions. Were that the Court's concern (and it is not), the "safe" move would be in favor of marriage equality. Indeed, most of the public and the President of the United States are in favor of marriage equality. The Episcopal bishops filed a brief in support as well as the American Jewish Congress. Dick fucking Cheney, Darth Vader himself, is in favor of gay marriage.
In other words, as usual, Mr. Sprigg is clueless. Sprigg, who might have some credibility as a theologian, is at sea on most secular issues. 
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