Give Me a Break!

My friend Bill Groth has been posting to Facebook bits and pieces of the amicus brief that Indiana’s Attorney General has filed in the Supreme Court in the Proposition 8 case.

“The decision below invalidating California’s traditional definition of marriage represents about as radical a departure from deeply ingrained American legal traditions and precedents as one can imagine….The result [of the 9th Circuit’s decision] is disintegration of perhaps the most fundamental and revered cultural institution of American life: marriage as we know it.”Next, he tells us why “traditional” marriage is so grand–only we straights can “beget”:

“A state may rationally confer civil marriage on one man and one woman in order to encourage the couple to stay together for the sake of any children that their sexual union may create. Traditional marriage focuses on protecting children and creating optimal childrearing environments, not on adult relationships. The male-female relationship alone enables the married persons—in the ideal—to beget children who have a natural relationship to both parents and to serve as role models of both sexes for those biological children.”

Zoeller next scolds the 9th Circuit for even daring to suggest Prop 8 was mean-spirited:

“[T]he Ninth Circuit’s unsupported and insulting insinuation [was] that California voters adopted Proposition 8 out of sheer bigotry against homosexuals….”

Oh, no–it couldn’t possibly be mere bigotry! After all, the arguments against same-sex marriage are so logical and powerful. (Actually, they are powerful. Like zombies, they just won’t die.)

Let’s go over this one more time.

“Traditional marriage” has always been between one man and one woman. Bullfeathers. Read that damn bible you keep cherry-picking, and see how many wives those patriarchs had. Look at world history, where plural marriages–polygamy–have been the norm in many countries. For that matter, look around the globe today, where a significant percentage of the world’s population continues to practice polygamy.

Marriage is for procreation. Double bullfeathers. In the past, marriages have been arranged in order to maintain business relationships, cement national treaties, protect property…Furthermore, if we didn’t let non-procreators marry, there would be a lot of lonely old folks and sterile singles. I certainly didn’t marry my current husband in order to procreate–we’d both done that with previous spouses.

Allowing same-sex couples to marry won’t do a single thing to diminish my heterosexual union. It won’t cause divorce rates to skyrocket (Massachusetts, interestingly, has the lowest divorce rate in the nation.) It won’t require elementary school teachers to talk about sexual orientation, or ministers to perform same-sex marriages. It won’t establish affirmative action quotas.

Despite the whining coming from the Right, same-sex marriage won’t undermine Western Civilization as We Know It.

What recognition of same-sex unions will do is acknowledge that gay men and lesbians are citizens, not criminals, and entitled to be treated equally under the law. And that is quite clearly what sticks in the craw of the “defenders of traditional marriage.” Recognition of that increasingly obvious fact is what leads most fair-minded people to the inescapable, albeit “insulting,” conclusion that opponents of same-sex marriage are simply bigots.

What infuriates me even more than these tired and flimsy justifications for homophobia is the news that my tax dollars are being spent by the Indiana Attorney General to file a brief that purports to represent the position of the Hoosier state. I’m pretty confident that Indiana citizens are closely divided on this issue. I’m even more confident that, if asked, a significant majority of us would tell Greg Zoeller to spend his time on the duties statutorily assigned to him, the tasks for which he is being paid.

He can indulge his prejudices on his own time.


  1. Oy. Where to start? How about; bravo! Whenever I see the names “Sheila Kennedy” and “Bill Groth” in the same sentence, good follows. And common sense. And a little indignation.

  2. Rather than spend taxpayer’s money on such things, I highly recommend that Zoeller and folks of similar ilk promote a free-market solution to the whole issue: Marriage Protection Insurance for heterosexual couples who feel their unions threatened. Premiums would be based on the proximity of their principal place of residence to the nearest same sex household. Bain Capital, are you within earshot?

Comments are closed.