Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Send In the Clowns

I wasn't in the Federal courtroom in Chicago yesterday, so I can't be sure of everything that was said, but if the Associated Press story was an accurate portrayal of the oral arguments presented to the three judges of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal--then the Attorneys General of Wisconsin and Indiana should have been wearing red wigs, bright red balls on their noses and huge, floppy shoes--because they sounded like a bunch of clowns.  The arguments presented to the appeals judges were so laughably bad they were almost embarrassing. 

Take for instance the claim that allowing same-sex marriage will "destroy the institution of marriage".  Were the AG's referring to the same "institution" that features celebrities divorcing after just a few months of marriage?  Or reality show contestants getting married after knowing each other for all of a month?  Or the ability of anyone to get married at a drive thru window on the Las Vegas Strip with an Elvis impersonator officiating?  Or were they referring to the "institution" that ends in divorce more than 50% of the time in the US?

And then they tried to make the argument that a one-man-one-woman marriage is a "tradition" in Wisconsin.  It was also a "tradition" for generations to take your kids to smokey bars on Friday and Saturday nights to hang out with your friends. Or to drive home from said bars after having a few too many and having the local cops just tell you to "be more careful" after they spotted you weaving all across the road.  It also used to be a "tradition" to hand out home-made candies at Halloween, send cookies with peanuts in them to school or to work as birthday treats and to ride your bike without a helmet in heavy traffic.

The AG's even tried to lay a little psycho-babble on the judges, claiming that children "need to have a mother and a father in their lives to be successful".  Perhaps they should save that message for the millions of "heterosexual" single-mother families across the country.  And the deadbeat dads who pay neither money nor attention to their children from the day they are born.  Or the tens of thousands of children in the foster care system who would be more than happy to have two Moms or two Dads--as opposed to neither of each.

I'm sure that the members of the groups supporting the same-sex marriage ban wanted to jump up and tell the judges that "It's a sin and God will punish us if we let it happen!"--but they had to bite their tongues knowing that argument holds absolutely no water this legal debate.  This is a matter of the State recognizing marriages--and the Government is to be a-religious in its application of the law (unlike the Hobby Lobby decision in which the Government was denying individuals--who are the ones bestowed with religious freedom--to right to practice as they see fit).

It is time for opponents of same-sex marriage to realize that the supporters have the most powerful weapon in this fight--the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.  I would suggest that they instead work on developing a new "Governmental term" for two people forming a legal union--and return the use of the word "marriage" to what it was originally: a religious rite of the Christian church--or don the red wig, the bright nose bulb and the huge, floppy shoes themselves.

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