Rolling my eyes here at some of the arguments...
So a State that has made considerable progress has to go all the way, but at least the Government's position is, if it has done -- the State has done absolutely nothing at all, then it's -- it can do -- do as it will.
Let's see, the complaint is that they are being asked re: Prop 8, effectively, to tell the states that if they would grant civil unions, then they have to define marriage as including same-sex too. According to the quote, this means that states that did something
for gay rights would be regulated more
than states that did nothing. It's a cute argument, but it ducks the point that providing a marriage in all but name, really is a half-measure
. That's the Prop 8 case. If it's not okay for states to provide segregated schools or buses, why is it okay for them to provide segregated marriage packages -- one with the title, and one without?
It does sidestep the fundamental problem -- and it's true that the Executive Branch comes out looking wobbly because it's trying to be dainty and sidestep the debate too! If we let it all default to saying everything
around marriage is first a matter of states' rights, well then basically the states can abuse whoever they vote to abuse, and who is to argue. Some states are
effectively more opposed to, or at least ambivalent about, equal protection than others.
You can comb through the politics around say, Georgia, and find plenty of racially motivated denial of funding for specific projects. At some point, when there is a challenge, which is
the very business of the courts to resolve, then: It's time to fess up and say yeah, this is simply unconstitutional for everyone. The whole country. It isn't about states' rights any more than racial segregation is about states' rights. A state doesn't get the right to refuse people a basic good. At which point, you either say let's all get with it and deal, or you linger back in the sort of ideology that sustained Jim Crow Laws.
I also can't stand the "sociologists are divided" argument Scalia attempted. Here's Scalia:
If you redefine marriage to include same-sex couples, you must -- you must permit adoption by same-sex couples, and there's -there's considerable disagreement among -- among sociologists as to what the consequences of raising a child in a -- in a single-sex family, whether that is harmful to the child or not. Some States do not -- do not permit adoption by same-sex couples for that reason.
That is distorting the existing research, and the whole ongoing nature of research generally
so many ways. Of course, when this is pointed out, someone will just fall back to insisting well there is too little
research and all
of it should be ignored in lieu of a few more thousand years' history to back it up. No contradiction there, anyone? No contempt for academic arguments that take account of existing discrimination, oh surely none at all.
Sociology by and large has found no compelling evidence that same-sex marriages are any more problematic than different-sex ones. That is, apart from issues that might well be the result of well-known discrimination against same-sex couples in general. Of course, being scientific inquiry, there are plenty of things one could ask and wait for long-term studies on. There probably always will be,
in fact. Despite different-sex marriage having more following historically, we can still find oodles of unanswered questions about the good of that,
too! So what?
The only "benefit" that the plaintiffs for Prop 8 have argued is parents with genetic procreation, and the answers to that have been withering in my opinion. We don't refuse or dissolve marriages as a matter of law based on their probability of bearing genetic children. Far from it. (Nor I would add, even on the probability of successfully raising any
And what about
, just for example -- one group of related people, and one array of practical outcomes -- those 37,000 kids with same-sex couples parenting them in California -- as below? (Olson here:)
However, to the extent that my opponent, in the context of California, talks about child-rearing or adoptions or -- or of rights of people to live together and that sort of thing, those arguments can't be made on behalf of California, because California's already made a decision that gay and lesbian individuals are perfectly suitable as parents, they're perfectly suitable to adopt, they're raising 37,000 children in California, and the expert on the other side specifically said and testified that they would be better off when their parents were allowed to get married.
Would they obviously have a comparable alternative if they didn't have those parents? Does it follow that it's obviously, proven
any more beneficial to label their families as second class in name in California ("it's just not marriage")? For that matter, what about children of same-sex couples in other states where there may not even be civil unions or financial support through various benefits tied directly to the word "marriage"? How could that be beneficial to them
? Are they rendered expendable, just in order to 'protect' others from the terrifying unknown future impacts of gay marriage??
Oh, but we are supposed to be afraid of some massive, yet unseen social upheaval or failure of child-rearing how many years in the future because something is untested (and more or less, untestable
if you keep up with this line of reasoning much further). Name your test, then, and be specific. Whenever is it going to end? Who are you willing -- if not eager -- to sacrifice in the process.