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Yet more amicus briefs in support of Prop 8

Timothy Kincaid

September 24th, 2010

Adding to the growing pile (both in size and in lunacy) of amicus briefs filed in support of the Prop 8 Proponents, today we have Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and Mat Staver and his merry crew at Liberty Counsel.

Whelan chimes in to “provide a survey of the district judge’s remarkable course of misconduct in this case.” Liberty Counsel’s amicus was designed to make sure that the crazier elements of the anti-gays were represented, specifically Campaign for Children and Families and Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing. CCF is the home of Randy Thomasson and is so wackadoodle that the Prop 8 Proponents went to court to bar them from participating. JONAH is the Jewish ex-gay group founded by convicted Wall Street con-man Arthur Goldberg.

Whelan basically just whines about how Judge Walker was not fair!! There wasn’t much of interest in the he’s a big ol’ meanie brief, but the Liberty Counsel brief was a delight. Predictably, they thought it was a smart move to prove the judge’s point that the anti-gay marriage movement was motivated by fear and loathing of gay people.

You might say that Liberty Counsel, CCF, and JONAH presented the quintessential Animus Brief.

II. SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIPS ARE DIFFERENT THAN OPPOSITE-SEX RELATIONSHIPS.

Wholly apart from the biological and procreative differences between opposite-sex and same-sex couples, the psychological and medical risks associated with the homosexual lifestyle are contrary to the district court‟s conclusion that same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples are, in essence, the same. (FF nos. 48, 70). It is well documented that those engaged in the homosexual lifestyle have much greater incidence of substance abuse, mental health problems, medical illness, and relationship dysfunctions. Documenting these facts, a recently published, peer-reviewed journal concludes that “it is difficult to find another group in society with such high risks for experiencing such a wide range of medical, psychological, and relational dysfunctions.” NARTH, 1 J. of Human Sexuality 1:53 (2009) (“Journal”).

Oh, and then they quote NARTH’s self-published “Journal”

In addition, “”30.3 percent of homosexually active women were ‘very high or drunk 3 or more days’ in the past year compared to 16.6 percent of heterosexual women,” and “8.4 percent of homosexually active women were ‘very high or drunk an average of once per week or more’ in the past year compared to 2.3 percent of heterosexual women.” Id. at 1:58.

Lesbians shouldn’t be allowed to marry; they’re all drunks! But if the women are all lushes, the men are all diseased:

The prevalence of HIV/AIDS among the homosexual community also is significantly higher than among heterosexuals. “In the 20th century, HIV/AIDS risk was approximately 430 times greater among homosexuals than among heterosexuals.” Id. at 1:66. In 2005, “the risks of acquiring HIV from a single act of unprotected sex within the male homosexual community in the United States remained about 500 times greater than within the heterosexual community.” Id. “Lifetime prevalence for STDs in homosexual men was 75 percent compared with 16.9 percent for heterosexual men.” Id.

It’s amazing how much bile you can spew when your source is NARTH. I can just see Charles Cooper cringing at the idea of the Ninth Circuit judges reading this recitation of bigotry and spite.

Part II of this exercise in animus is dedicated to presenting the NARTHian models of what causes homosexuality.

Here we find that “the family pattern involving a combination of a dominating, overly intimate mother plus a detached, hostile or weak father is beyond doubt related to the development of male homosexuality” (though a “sports wound” might contribute as well). As for the drunk lesbians, “a narcissistic (self-absorbed) mother may interfere with her daughter‟s separation and individuation and propel her in the direction of lesbianism, but severe hurt by a male may also communicate the same message of insecurity and vulnerability.”

Well that sounds to me like a good reason to ban heterosexual marriage. Or at least procreation. Yikes.

But, having just trashed heterosexual parents, this brief then argues that it is precisely for the purpose of channeling procreation into these dysfunctional messes that marriage exists. So it is to Randy Thomasson and Arthur Goldberg that I dedicate this lovely picture of a pair of loons.

Comments

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MJC
September 24th, 2010 | LINK

To quote from the film _On Golden Pond_:

“Norman, Norman!! The looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooons!”

Theo
September 24th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy,

Would you consider doing one of your excellent thought pieces on the use and origins of the term “homosexual lifestyle”. That term is constantly thrown around by every single one of the anti-gay groups, and is used liberally and without definition in the brief discussed above. I can’t fathom what it is supposed to mean. Does it include everyone who has homosexual intercourse or is it meant to refer to homosexuals who are promiscuous and engage in other negative behaviors that are inherently linked in some way to homosexuality? I’d love to learn more about this because I don’t recognize being gay as a style of living.

Richard Rush
September 24th, 2010 | LINK

I wonder why all the authoritative information contained in the flood of amicus briefs wasn’t presented at the trial. We know it existed because we’ve heard it all before. Gee, I wonder if the reason might be those little inconveniences of being under oath, and having to submit to cross-examination.

John in the Bay Area
September 24th, 2010 | LINK

I have heard of loons, but aside from the human variety, I haven’t actually seen a picture of the avian variety. Thanks.

TampaZeke
September 24th, 2010 | LINK

Theo, the short answer, it is designed to give the impression that homosexuality is a behavior, or collection of behaviors, that are changeable rather than a inborn orientation like handedness that is, though less common than heterosexuality, natural and morally neutral.

It’s a calculated attempt to sexualize the orientation so that when people think of homoSEXuals, they think of anal sex rather than ordinary people who live ordinary lives, sons/daughters, mothers/fathers, sisters/brothers, neighbors, coworkers, friends who are part of families and who have families of their own. It helps them promote the “ick factor” which is very important in their anti-gay campaign.

Just be glad I gave the SHORT version.

Candace
September 24th, 2010 | LINK

Perfect picture.

Theo
September 24th, 2010 | LINK

TampaZeke:

Well, I have no doubt about what they intend to imply when they use the term “lifestyle” and it is just as you say. But once you get beyond their attempts to imply certain things or evoke certain images and you call them on what the actual definition is, what do they say?

The other thing I have wondered about is who first came up with this odious term. I think, but am not certain, that it was actually 1970s gays who asserted that being gay was a “legitimate alternative lifestyle”, perhaps hoping to tap into the ethos of the early 1970s. But by 1977, Anita Bryant was using it and we opposed its usage. Seems to me that someone – whether Ms. Bryant or some gay hippy – should be held to account for birthing this atrocity.

Wyzdyx
September 25th, 2010 | LINK

Theo

The term “lifestyle” was used and misused by everyone in the ’70s and ’80s, especially in those new-fangled singles ads in newspapers.

George Carlin once observed that a barbarian warlord (I can’t recall if it was Genghis Khan or Attila the Hun) had an “active, outdoor lifestyle.”

cd
September 25th, 2010 | LINK

“The gay lifestyle” is a particularly loaded way of saying “Not Us”.

I think the loading is something like this: a “way of life” has an ethos, a ‘morality’, a creed. In short, traditional religion. It has rigid forms people conform to and specific kinds of suffering they accept on a cost/benefit rationale and specific measures of success. And specific, unadmitted, limitations.

A “lifestyle” is perceived to be a negation of the whole concept and worldview. Life lived in transgression of the established “way of life”.

It’s not just gay-ness per se that makes the “gay lifestyle” such a bugaboo. It’s that gay people largely have to live in Modern forms while they themselves live lives tacitly and often unknowingly constructed around Agrarian Age tenets that are incompatible with real respectability in our times. Such as fertility cultism, Biblical literalism, sacred materialism of other kinds, supernaturalism, etc. Gay people involuntarily manifest a critique of the ordering of their lives they find hard to bear.

customartist
September 25th, 2010 | LINK

Upon these contentions, if any group, African Americans for example, should suffer say, a higher incidence of high blood pressure, drug abuse, or poverty, then this might be used as arguement to prevent Their ability to Marry as a class of citizend, as an interest in the (majority) public good, although their rights to participate in the sexual practices of their choice in the privacy of their homes may have been previously upheld by the Supreme Court.

How perfectly logical!

iDavid
September 25th, 2010 | LINK

Which one is Randy and which one is Arthur? :)

Helen in Ireland
September 26th, 2010 | LINK

With ‘amicus’ like these, who needs ‘animus’?!

ebohlman
September 26th, 2010 | LINK

wyzdyx: Yep, “alternative lifestyles” was a section heading used in the personals pages of “alternative” newspapers. It probably had a benign origin, but it got co-opted by the phobes.

Regan DuCasse
September 26th, 2010 | LINK

As a matter of fact, customartist…

During the late 50’s and early 60’s when our country was finally confronting Jim Crow and it’s attendant brutality, those resistant to integration did EXACTLY what the anti gay are doing to connect black sexuality to immorality, immaturity and lack of respect for marriage.
Marriage records, and birth records were the only statistical information that could be obtained about blacks. But marriage rates were very low, compared to whites. And out of wedlock births quite high.
And still are to this day among blacks.

This information was used as a means of ‘proving’ that blacks didn’t care for, and had no respect for marriage. And slave records, were also put before law makers as a way of also proving that blacks birth and marriage situation hadn’t improved or changed, even though marriage was available to them.

The legislators in Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama, tried to institute a marriage ban on blacks who had EVER had children out of wedlock and/or cohabited without being married.

Of course, they are leaving out a big, gaping context to why such disparity in marriage and non married births exist among such a small minority of people.

Discrimination and it’s effect on economic equality played a big part in the disruption of the black nuclear family. Economic injustice made black men, and whole ghettoized communities, vulnerable to criminal behavior and it’s attendant risks and results.
Black people, AS a minority, couldn’t and didn’t have the economic and social justice support and integration NEEDED to keep a viable enterprise zone viable. In other words, blacks could not maintain an economic system healthy all on their own. And no one would work with blacks, further creating a profound separation other groups didn’t have.

Abuses by the medical establishment and lack of being able to afford better medical care, created a tragic confluence to this day where infection rates, addiction and preventable disease disable or kill blacks at higher rates than whites.

This is all familiar territory for another marginalized minority that are gay folks and parallels the black experience in America.

This is where legitimate discussion on how the effects of social injustice can take generations to heal, or may never heal, unless that injustice is acknowledged and done away with.
Gays are not the new blacks in such simple terms.
But gay people have been TREATED like blacks (or Jews and women) in similar ways enough to show that the results of their treatment have similar consequences.

It doesn’t have to be EXACTLY the same. But laws against gay people having any similarity to Jim Crow is a shame on our nation and a drag on it’s progress and a contradiction of it’s own moral creed of equality for otherwise productive citizens.

customartist
September 27th, 2010 | LINK

NARTH also refutes findings of the APA??

http://www.narth.com/docs/journalsummary.html

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