Sometimes I think conservative Republicans, especially those from Texas, couldn’t do anything else that would surprise me. After all, this is the state that gave us George W. Bush, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Louie Gohmert, and Steve Stockman. Remember Stockman and Gohmert, the two members of the House that make Michele Bachmann look like a sane, balanced human being in comparison?
Well now, I’m totally not shocked, but still surprised at the argument that current Texas Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott presented in his brief which was filed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears cases from Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
It is worth noting that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is known for being very conservative, and some people (myself included) believe the eventual ruling from this court will conflict with other federal appeals courts, thereby forcing the Supreme Court to finally rule on the matter of marriage equality.
Anyhow, in this brief, Greg Abbott was supposed to explain why allowing same-sex marriage in Texas would somehow undermine heterosexual marriage. Well, he decided not to do that; instead, he rambled on about how heterosexual marriage was better:
“The State is not required to show that recognizing same-sex marriage will undermine heterosexual marriage,” the brief read. “It is enough if one could rationally speculate that opposite-sex marriages will advance some state interest to a greater extent than same-sex marriages will.”
The new filing largely reiterated the same “responsible procreation” argument Abbott made in July, when the state first appealed a February district court’s ruling overturning the Texas gay marriage ban. In it, Abbott argued marriage among heterosexual partners is more beneficial to society because it encourages married couples to have children and provides an example for other couples to do the same.
“First, Texas’s marriage laws are rationally related to the State’s interest in encouraging couples to produce new offspring, which are needed to ensure economic growth and the survival of the human race,” Abbott wrote.
He added, “Second, Texas’s marriage laws are rationally related to the State’s interest in reducing unplanned out-of-wedlock births. By channeling procreative heterosexual intercourse into marriage, Texas’s marriage laws reduce unplanned out-of-wedlock births and the costs that those births impose on society. Recognizing same-sex marriage does not advance this interest because same-sex unions do not result in pregnancy.” (Source)
Yes, according to Attorney General Greg Abbott, heterosexual marriage is more important because apparently that’s the only way people can reproduce, and we need it to encourage others to do the same. I’m really wondering if Greg Abbott actually believes this nonsense, or if like many other politicians, he’s just pandering to the far right which does believe that society will fall apart and people will start marrying their pets if same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land?
You might think I am joking, but there are actually people out there who think that if we allow two consenting adults of the same gender to enter into a contract that says they promise to love and honor each other for the rest of their lives, that the next stop is polygamy or immediate family members marrying each other. They also believe that allowing two adult men, or two adult women the same privileges that any heterosexual couple is automatically entitled to will result in a man marrying his dog, at least according to Rick Santorum.
The tide is turning against the likes of Greg Abbott, Rick Santorum and other members of the religious right who are bound and determined to force their twisted version of Christianity on the rest of us. Either way the Fifth Circuit rules, we win. If they rule against marriage equality, then the Supreme Court has to step in since it refused to hear the appeals from marriage opponents in Virginia and other states. If they rule for it, then it drags Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
I predict that by the time the 2016 presidential primaries begin, marriage equality will be the law of the land regardless of the opinion of the likes of Greg Abbott and the religious right, and history books will perhaps one day highlight his response as an example of the ridiculous arguments made against same-sex marriage.
You can read the entire brief here.
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