Thursday, March 19, 2015

No NOM - Marriage equality is not Dred Scott and giving you money won't affect the Supreme Court in any way whatsoever

No NOM, it's Sandford
Today, in an email blast and blog post, NOM's Brian Brown wants to convince us that marriage equality is the next Dred Scott v. Sandford (which they misspell throughout as “Sanford”). They further claim that donating money to NOM will cause us to avoid the next Dred Scott decision (by which they mean national marriage equality).

It is important to note that National Organization for Marriage exists for a singular purpose; To impose the teachings of the Catholic Church on United States law in order to ban same-sex marriage. They spend most of their energies trying to obfuscate that simple truth while offering no compelling reason to thwart marriage equality. How same-sex marriage affects Brian Brown or Mrs. Brown or their children has never been explained. However, NOM's folks feel that they are engaged in a holy mission which permits dishonesty in defense of the faith. And dishonesty from NOM is a substance that has been in no short supply.
The Dred Scott decision was wrong on so many levels that it’s difficult to cover them all in this email. But the most important thing to realize about the decision is that it ignored both natural law and the principles of the American founding to impose a political ideology on the country.

Does that ring a bell for you with anything in the news today?
The intended inference is that Dred Scott and marriage equality are similar. They are not — not by a long shot. Dred Scott imposed discrimination against a group of people based on skin color. Marriage equality would remove discrimination against a group of people based upon sexual orientation. How could two matters before the Court possibly be more dissimilar? Even Robby George has been careful to point out that same-sex marriage is not the moral equivalent of slavery.
Abraham Lincoln decided not to go along with the Dred Scott decision. The nation fought a civil war, Congress eventually passed legislation designed to overturn the terrible Supreme Court decision, and then the American people adopted the Thirteenth Amendment to put a stake in the heart of this morally bankrupt idea, birthed by corrupt politics and the nascent notion of judicial supremacy.
Lincoln did no such thing. He criticized the decision in his first inaugural speech but never defied the Court. Brown tries to give the impression that Dred Scott was the predicate for the Civil War. The truth is quite the opposite as it gave the South reasons not to secede by confirming its property rights in slaves. While the Thirteenth Amendment freed the slaves it was the Fourteenth Amendment that undid much of Dred Scott by guaranteeing equal protection and due process to all citizens. Those are constants and concepts that have shaped American jurisprudence ever since.
My friends, we have an opportunity right now to act to avoid a Dred Scott decision on marriage. In a little over five weeks, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case that could give us a legal definition of marriage that either complies with natural and moral law and the principles of the American founding, or like Dred Scott ignores those principles to impose a political ideology on the nation.
By moral law Brown means the teachings of the Catholic Church. Most people find same-sex marriage to be perfectly moral. Invoking natural law is rather odd in the context of Brown's outburst. Natural law was used to justify slavery and then segregation. Indeed, in the criminal case that eventually resulted in Loving v. Virginia, it was natural law and a notion of moral law that guided the judge who said from the bench:
Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.
And then for the suckers:
What we do together between now and then is critical. Will you help us do everything we can to avoid a Dred Scott decision on marriage?

I'll make a quick donation of $50.00

I'll make a quick donation of $100.00

[ … ]
Critical mind you. And what is it that NOM proposes to do that will affect the decision of the Supreme Court?
We are working overtime to make it clear to the Supreme Court that the American people will not accept a ruling purporting to redefine marriage, any more than the people accepted a ruling purporting to redefine humanity as the Dred Scott decision attempted to do. Organizing the upcoming March for Marriage is a critical element of our plans.
If I recall correctly NOM staged one of their silly marriage marches to affect the outcome of United States v. Windsor. How did that work out for them? There is nothing like repeating the same behavior and expecting a different result. Then there is the seeming concession to what many believe is the inevitable outcome:
The US Supreme Court can no more redefine marriage than it could decide that some people are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights and others are not. If the court does issue a Dred Scott decision on marriage, we will resist it, refusing to comply, because it will be illegitimate. But our best outcome is to convince the Court not to issue such a ruling.
Precisely how does NOM propose to not comply? The Catholic Church is not obligated and will never be obligated to consecrate same-sex marriages. Nobody is forced to enter into a same-sex marriage. What, exactly – other than withholding the Church's blessing – do the Roman Catholic Church, National Organization for Marriage and Brian Brown propose to do? What? How will they resist? Will any of it matter a whit now and decades from now?

The answer to those questions is as absent as is an explanation of what NOM intends to do with donors' money. Just what are the expenses associated with getting people, at their individual expense, to march near the Supreme Court with quaint anti-gay signs? Westboro Baptist probably has some leftovers that they can borrow.

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