Tuesday, December 22, 2015

AFA's attempt at an anti-gay diatribe via a polygamy case is all mucked up


Once again, anti-gay hate group, American Family Association, is trying to prove that the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges leads to polygamy. It does not but even if it did I don't understand why they are rattling pitchforks when same-sex marriage is a settled issue.

Today, AFA offers us: “Polygamy case - the 'consummate slippery slope'.” Ooooh! Quoting Jeff Laszloffy, president of the Montana Family Foundation:

The court said the same thing that the attorney general said, that there's no credible threat that Montana's bigamy laws will be enforced, and therefore the defendants don't have a case.

Federal Judge Susan Waters can still rule on the case. This isn't the final word, but basically it's a matter of standing as defined by the magistrate, and the facts of the case have not been ruled on yet.
To begin with, the federal judge is Susan Watters, not “Waters.” Laszloffy is partially correct. There is an issue of Article III standing (something that I have mentioned frequently when it comes to challenges to marriage equality).

The plaintiffs (the Colliers) filed this complaint in August. The Montana AG filed a motion to dismiss in October. The Colliers failed to file a response to the motion which was due on November 6.

That aside, there are three elements to establish standing. The first of these is that the plaintiff must demonstrate that they have suffered a real injury. The AG argues that the Colliers “have failed to show any history whatsoever of enforcement of Montana’s bigamy statues by the State or Yellowstone County officials.” That history goes back long before Obergefell.

Secondly, the AG argues that the case isn't ripe. It will only be ripe if, and when, the Colliers are prosecuted for bigamy.

The court agreed. Yet, AFA cannot help themselves:
Laszloffy says traditional marriage proponents warned that if homosexual "marriage" was ruled to be legal, it would open the door for legalization of other deviations from natural marriage.

“This is the consummate slippery slope,” he remarks. “You could see this coming a mile away. We've talked about it for the past decade, and the courts have now placed us on this slope and we have no idea where we're going to finally wind up when all is said and done.”

Montana residents are anxiously waiting for a federal court ruling. The case could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Plural marriage has nothing to do with same-sex marriage. Even if someone claims in court that the issues are linked, polygamy will have to stand on its own. Proponents and opponents will be funding research regarding the plight of children. There will be economic studies.

Someone will first have to be prosecuted. Then the matter could make its way through the federal courts over the next seven to ten years. The outcome is unknown. I do not know enough about polygamy to form an opinion. Conservative Christians are ever concerned about what other people do.

This is what we get when AFA isn't worked up over gay Doritos or gay Tylenol or whatever homophobia du jour is on their menu.

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