On Tuesday, April 28th the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on several marriage equality cases. Mary Bonauto will argue for the couples on the issue of state power to forbid same-sex couples to marry and Douglas Hallward-Driemeier will argue for the couples on the issue of state power to refuse to recognize existing same-sex marriages.
On the other side, there were sixty-six legal briefs filed in defense of the four states’ bans on same-sex marriage. The SCOTUS blog looked at several of them:
Some, like the brief of brief of the Family Research Council, are sure that the arrival of same-sex marriage will destroy the institution of marriage as it has been known throughout western history. Others make ultimately the same point more subtly by using social science data to show the devastating effect they perceive for children of same-sex parents — as, for example, in a brief by a group known as the Ruth Institute, which suggests that a child’s capacity to develop “self-knowledge” has little or no chance when raised by same-sex parents who entered marriage only out of gay attraction to each other.
Concerned Women for America submitted a filing seeking to undermine any clam that gays in America are a politically isolated or powerless group, and as such, the group contends, there is no need whatsoever for the Court to fashion constitutional protections for them.
Former Arkansas governor and returning presidential candidate Mike Huckabee filed a brief seeking to show that a gay lifestyle is a threat to public health. He relies on data that he interprets as showing that same-sex parents are likely to die earlier than others, and a mixed group of conservative foundations and advocacy groups filed a brief which portrayed same-sex marriage as a mere prelude to all kinds of pagan practices.
The Texas Eagle Forum suggested that a national recognition of same-sex marriage would fracture the nation as nothing had since the Dred Scott decision validating slavery, foreseeing a “conflagration” that would be centered in the American South.
More than 200 anti-gay activists have signed a pledge vowing to resist any Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality. Here are the closing sentences:
A decision purporting to redefine marriage flies in the face of the Constitution and is contrary to the natural created order. As people of faith we pledge obedience to our Creator when the State directly conflicts with higher law. We respectfully warn the Supreme Court not to cross this line.
We stand united together in defense of marriage. Make no mistake about our resolve. While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross.
The language of revolution was echoed by speakers at a press conference at the National Press Club on April 24th who say they would not abide by, respect, or follow a decision by the Supreme Court that allows same-sex couples to get married. These speakers included James Dobson (Focus on the Family), Janet Boynes (ex-lesbian), Keith Fournier (Catholic Online), EW Jackson, SR (Staying True to American’s National Destiny), Rick Scarborough (Vision America), Matthew Staver (Liberty Counsel).
Most of the current crop of GOP presidential candidates are especially vitriolic on the issue of marriage equality: Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Ben Carsen, etc, etc, etc.
Do they really, sincerely believe that of ALL the horrors on the planet, same-sex marriage is the highest item on the list of atrocities?
Have they never opened a newspaper or skimmed the headlines or read a damn blog about what is happening right now?
Our world is filled with murderers, rapists, poverty, greed, and violence (including active genocides), yet these religious extemists have convinced themselves that marriage equality is the worst thing ever.
How in the Hell can anyone who claims to be a Christian, who claims to follow the teachings of Jesus, speak and act the total opposite of everything that Jesus tried to teach?
He was pretty clear – Heal the sick, feed the poor, don’t judge others, forgive others as you want to be forgiven yourself. Not a word about homosexuality (or abortion but that will be a rant for another day) but a lot about love.
In fact, love was pretty darn important to the early church. Read here from 1 Corinthians 13:1-13:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Pretty apropos, don’t you think?
Right now, if the polls are to be believed, 60% of Americans favor same-sex marriage. Marriage equality is legal in eighteen countries (Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, France, Brazil, Uruguay, New Zealand, Britain, Luxembourg and Finland). Mexico and 37 states of these here United States have regional or court-directed provisions enabling same-sex couples marry.
And you know what? The world hasn’t ended, titled off its axis or seen fire rain down from heaven.
The fight for marriage equality continues and, despite all the end-of-the-world rhetoric, we are advancing toward justice for all. In fact, the organization I am Chair of, Forum for Equality, is currently waiting a decision from the 5th Circuit on our marriage equality case, as well as the other cases in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. We are grateful to Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann and Lambda Legal for their phenomenal dedication to this case but we need your help, too.
Please invest in equality today and support the mission and objectives of the Forum here in Louisiana. Click HERE to go to the secure donation page.