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That Anti-Gay Double Standard

Rob Tisinai

December 4th, 2012

The National Organization for Marriage is thrilled with a Nevada judge who ruled that banning same-sex marriage does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. NOM’s chairman writes:

In stark contrast to the findings of a rogue judge in California who himself was engaged in a long-term homosexual relationship, the federal court in Nevada has quite properly found that true marriage serves an important public purpose and is entitled to protection.

I’ll pass over the hilarious notion that a judge who wasn’t overturned by the Ninth Circuit Apellate Court is somehow “rogue.” I’m more interested in that side comment:

…who himself was engaged in a long-term homosexual relationship…

You know what he’s implying. Judge Walker had a personal stake in Prop 8, which compromises his ruling. You can certainly dispute that, but for the sake of argument, let’s accept NOM’s principle and apply it to Robert Clive Jones, the Nevada judge whom NOM so deeply admires. What do we find?

  • Robert Clive Jones is Mormon who is active in the church.
  • Robert Clive Jones is married to a woman.

Personally, I have no problem with that. But NOM? Oh my gosh. If NOM is true to its principles then it ought to be in full repudiation mode against the man.

NOM, you see, holds that marriage equality is a threat to religious freedom. It’s probably their central argument these days. And Mormon religious leaders have said the same, and have done so more than once.

This means that as an active Mormon, Jones has a personal stake in the ruling — according to both NOM’s standards and those of his church. Obviously, then, NOM should issue an ad hominem fatwa against him, just as they did against Judge Walker.

No? Not enough?

Then how about this: NOM holds that same-sex marriage is a threat to “traditional” marriage, and Jones is “traditionally” married. In fact, you can find some of this sentiment in Jones’ own ruling:

Should [marriage] be expanded to include same-sex couples with the state’s imprimatur, it is conceivable that a meaningful percentage of heterosexual persons would cease to value the civil institution as highly as they previously had and hence enter into it less frequently…

“Conceivable”? I suppose it is, at least in the sense that anything you can describe in words is “conceivable,” in the sense that it’s conceivable North Korea actually has discovered a medieval unicorn lair, but still, we’re not basing our judicial rulings on the possibility.

This conceivable notion is so implausible I have to wonder why Jones considers it “meaningful.” Could it be that Jones is worried he’d value his own marriage less if marriage equality were made law? Once again, there’s a personal interest, a reason for NOM to reject his ruling.

This is all ludicrous, of course. And that’s the point. We let black judges rule on civil rights cases. We let women judges rule on birth control and abortion cases. We let devout judges rule on religious freedom cases. And we let gay judges rule on same-sex marriage cases.

But NOM screams STOP at that last example. Not that NOM has anything against gays. There’s no anti-gay double standard at work. Surely not — NOM is just standing by its principles. Principles they only want to enforce against, well, gays.

 

Comments

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homer
December 4th, 2012 | LINK

The procreation argument was also used in Arizona and the Supreme Court upheld the marriage amendment here based upon it. The Democratic Attorney General had used it because he thought it was likely to fail, and was probably surprised when it didn’t.

Shofixti
December 4th, 2012 | LINK

Now that would be too sensible.

Donny D.
December 5th, 2012 | LINK

Rob Tisinai wrote,

There’s no anti-gay double standard at work. Surely not — NOM is just standing by its principles. Principles they only want to enforce against, well, gays.

And bisexuals who wish to get married to a person of their same gender.

Steve
December 5th, 2012 | LINK

Actually, Jones being a Mormon – and not just any Mormon, but an extremist with a BYU degree – explains his ruling perfectly. It’s really based entirely in religious doctrine rather than the law.

Neil
December 5th, 2012 | LINK

My impression is that NOM’s central idea is that any official recognition of LGBT persons is an unreasonable burden on those who believe in the “natural law” of essential gender, the doctrine that asserts biological sex determines gender and sexual orientation.

Our very existence to them is, in their view, against nature. There is no debating that position because it comes from a place of religious certainty and faith. Faith, by definition, is independent of reason.

NOM can’t be bargained with. They can’t be reasoned with. They don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until we are excluded from all legal recognition and completely vulnerable to discrimination in all areas of life.

And if by some remote possibility they won enough public opinion to go that far, then we’d start hearing from them about the need for recriminalising homosexuality.

Lord_Byron
December 5th, 2012 | LINK

“that a meaningful percentage of heterosexual persons would cease to value the civil institution as highly as they previously had and hence enter into it less frequently…”

Umm, does he not read the newspaper? A large percentage of young guys my age do not want to get married. In fact more women my age are interested and value marriage more than guys. Of course if you listen to fox’s explanation for this it is that women are “no longer women” whatever the hell that means.

Dave
December 5th, 2012 | LINK

“Should [marriage] be expanded to include same-sex couples with the state’s imprimatur, it is conceivable that a meaningful percentage of heterosexual persons would cease to value the civil institution as highly as they previously had and hence enter into it less frequently… because they no longer wish to be associated with the civil institution as redefined.” I have to say I appreciate this statement, he admits what will be affected is perceived value, as a supporter of marriage equality I have made this very argument. To argue against the deceptive statement that marriage will be devalued by same-sex marriage. It will not cost more to enter a marriage nor will the benefits be any less, we don’t buy or sell marriages. So any change in it’s value is a change in perceived value not in actual value. I also argue that the government has no business protecting the perceived value of anything. I believe that the 9th circuit should be able to find that 1. perceived value of civil marriage may in fact be affected by expansion of civil marriage (both negatively and positively) 2. perceived value is not a legitimate government interest. On the upside this judge has made a major concession in the argument against gay marriage. HRC, EQ** are you listening.

Jeff
December 5th, 2012 | LINK

Though he wasn’t presented with it directly with it, Judge Jones seems to have accepted Charles Cooper’s argument that he doesn’t need any evidence to inform his decision. Casting that aside, he’s left to rely only on prejudice, his prior feelings as to how things should be.

Ben Vereen
December 5th, 2012 | LINK

Gays have always had exactly the same marriage rights as everyone else. Millions of gays have married someone of the opposite sex, as the law requires. There is no discrimination.

Rob Tisinai
December 5th, 2012 | LINK

My gosh, Ben, you’re absolutely right! How could I have never thought about that? You’re basing your argument on the principle that if everyone has the exact same right to do something — if the exact same rules apply to everyone — then there can’t be any discrimination.

Let’s see if that makes sense as a principle. For instance, you could use it to argue that if a country outlawed all churches except for, say, Methodist churches, then that wouldn’t be discrimination against Jews or Catholics or Baptists, because they’d still have the same right worship at a Methodist church as everyone else — the exact same rules would apply to everyone, regardless of their personal religious orientation.

You’re a genius.

Priya Lynn
December 5th, 2012 | LINK

Ben, would you want your sister or daughter to marry a gay man? If not, why would you think gays marrying women is a good idea, or is it that you are more concerned with hating gays than you are with the wellbeing of the women you suggest marry them?

Secret Advocate
December 5th, 2012 | LINK

From Judge Jones’s opinion:

“Should that institution be expanded to include same-sex couples with the state’s imprimatur, it is conceivable that a meaningful percentage of heterosexual persons would cease to value the civil institution as highly as they previously had and hence enter into it less frequently, opting for purely private ceremonies, if any, whether religious or secular, but in any case without civil sanction, because they no longer wish to be associated with the civil institution as redefined, leading to an increased percentage of out-of-wedlock children, single-parent families, difficulties in property disputes after the dissolution of what amount to common law marriages in a state where such marriages are not recognized, or other unforeseen consequences.”

Riiiiiiight.

It’s just like how allowing gay bars to operate openly has caused straight-themed establishments (like Hooters, strip clubs, and “tittie bars”) to go out of business.

It’s just like how allowing gay porn has completely and utterly destroyed the heterosexual porn industry.

And it’s just like Lawrence v. Texas has caused straight people to stop wanting to have sex with each other.

It makes sense to me.

Indeed, so many predictions from the other side of the political aisle have come to pass that we may as well just pack it in.

Repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has destroyed the United States military and has gotten American service members killed.

Instituting gay marriage has led to changes in public school curricula.

Instituting gay marriage has caused the courts to be flooded with litigation. You can’t even get a court date for your car accident or breach-of-contract case, with the courts so jammed with all of those gay lawsuits.

Mitt Romney won the 2012 presidential election with an Electoral College landslide of more than 330 electoral votes. The pre-election polls were wrong, biased, and “oversampling Democrats.”

With such amazing predictive abilities, how could we even think anything else?

Mark Oliver
December 5th, 2012 | LINK

I have attempted to argue the point with a “Christian” lawyer who insisted that Judge Walker could only make a biased ruling: by that logic, only homosexual judges should hear cases involving opposite-sex marriages because only such a person could – in principle – produce an objective finding on the law. But trying to induce one of the “Christians” to defend their logic is about as satisfying as trying to nail Jello to a tree.

Ben in Oakland
December 6th, 2012 | LINK

Rob, a better argument than “we all have the right to attend the same church ” is this one.

Men have the right to marry women.

Women have the right to marry men.

However, as men and women are legal equals in our society,..

men don’t have the same right to marry men that women have.

Women don’t have the same right to marry women that men have.

Men and women don’t have the same rights.

Priya Lynn
December 6th, 2012 | LINK

Ben, I often use those points myself, but I think Rob’s argument is necessary too.

jpeckjr
December 6th, 2012 | LINK

@Secret Advocate (a clever nom de blog indeed)

Thanks for quoting that entire sentence. His Honor appears to be saying that if same sex marriage is allowed, the legal protections of marriage will become less important to opposite sex couples. Marriage would be perceived to be disgraceful and shameful if same sex marriage is allowed, as opposed to honorable and noble as it is now.

Disturbed as I am by the judge’s ruling, I am more disturbed by his ignorance. He seems to be unaware that all of the ills he cites as a consequence of same sex marriage are, in fact, happening even without same sex marriage. Even without “redefinition”, opposite sex couples are opting out of marriage. Even in Nevada.

The law can provide for marriage, but cannot compel it. Regardless of the law, individuals will make their own decisions whether or not to marry.

I think his notation of “purely private ceremonies,” meaning ones without a marriage license, not ones without guests, is telling. He is correct on the facts about the increased difficulty of dissolving a relationship that is not licensed by the state. Most states actually do not provide for “common law marriage.”

However, the argument that the law provides protection to the individuals in the marriage is an argument in favor of same sex marriage. Should not the protection of the law apply equally?

On the other hand, the sentence is so convoluted it is difficult to decipher. Where’s my sixth grade sentence diagramming teacher when I need her?

It would not surprise me to learn that this judge was “influenced” by a personal matter, such as a close relative (sibling, child, grandchild, neice, nephew) choosing to have a “purely private ceremony” instead of a licensed marriage, and he’s still all upset about it. I bet that’s his “personal interest.”

cowboy
December 6th, 2012 | LINK

Mormons believe any civil marriage is inferior to their sacred Temple ritual called a “sealing”.

I don’t understand why a Mormon Judge couldn’t see gay marriage as a civil marriage and leave the judgmental attitude at the door of his church.

Dave
December 6th, 2012 | LINK

Should [marriage] be expanded to include same-sex couples with the state’s imprimatur, it is conceivable that a meaningful percentage of social conservatives would cease to value the civil institution as highly as they previously had and hence enter into it less frequently leading to an increased percentage of out-of-wedlock children, single-parent families, difficulties in property disputes after the dissolution of what amount to common law marriages in a state where such marriages are not recognized, or other unforeseen consequences.
I’ve corrected the quote to reflect reality. Could someone please read it and tell me why I should care about this problem?

Dave
December 6th, 2012 | LINK

And why should the government care either? (see above comment)

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