Not unexpectedly, there’s plenty to make your blood boil in today’s hearings on the newly announced Respect for Marriage Act which seeks to overturn DOMA. Fortunately there’s plenty of eloquent testimony in support of the new act to balance out all the hatery.
Clips of the hearings will be posted below as they become available.
Chief Judge Vaughn Walker declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional in a landmark decision today. From New York Magazine:
In a decision just handed down to lawyers for both sides, Walker ruled in that Proposition 8 is “unconstitutional under both the due process and equal protection clauses.” The court, therefore, “orders entry of judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement.” We’re staying tuned for more updates and details on the 136-page decision, but these two sentences from the conclusion are critical:
“Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same sex couples.”
The depositions of Prop 8 witnesses Paul Nathanson and Katherine Young who may have withdrew out of fear for their own safety reveal today how damaging their statements could have been (and ultimately are) to their case. Watch:
Paul Nathanson a Canadian religious scholar who just happens to be gay (duh!) was also trotted out in Varnum v. Brien which ultimately led to the Iowa Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage. In the document Defending Faith, Family and Freedom by the Family Research Council Nathanson is quoted as saying that cultures can only survive and thrive via opposite-sex marriage.
“Because heterosexuality is directly related to both reproduction and survival … every human society has had to promote it actively … Heterosexuality is always fostered by a cultural norm” that limits marriage to unions of men and women. He adds that people “are wrong in assuming that any society can do without it.”
Not surprisingly marriage scholar Maggie Gallagher also surfaces in said document.
Argument 7: Children would be no worse off with happily married gay parents than they are with unhappily married straight ones: This comparison is false, because it involves the best of one scenario with the worst of another. A legitimate comparison would compare either the best of both or the worst of both. Once again, we suggest that the best of marriage (providing at least one parent or other adult of each sex) is better than the best of gay marriage (which provides two parents of the same sex and none of the other one).
Argument 15: Anyone who opposes same-sex marriage is homophobic: This argument amounts to verbal terrorism. By “homophobic” is meant prejudice and hostility, although this word actually connotes the neuroticism of a phobia. The implication is that only evil or sick people can possibly disagree with any claim made by gay people. So much for the possibility of rational debate. (Never mind that not even all gay people are in favor of gay marriage.)
Moreover, this is an ad hominem argument. It is easy to trivialize arguments by attacking the personal integrity of those who make them. That way, you need not deal with the argument itself.
It’s a lengthy document but a good source for “verbal terrorists” such as myself in developing counter arguments.