Marriage Equality Opponents Only Support Shotgun Weddings

This may be the most ridiculous argument I have heard yet against same sex marriage, and the fact that it’s being made to the Supreme Court and not by some fringey figure (are there any of those left?) just shows how incredibly desperate the right is getting to find a secular reason for their opposition that passes legal muster.

From the Los Angeles Times, via Greta Christina:

“It is plainly reasonable for California to maintain a unique institution [referring to marriage] to address the unique challenges posed by the unique procreative potential of sexual relationships between men and women,” argued Washington attorney Charles J. Cooper, representing the defenders of Proposition 8. Same-sex couples need not be included in the definition of marriage, he said, because they “don’t present a threat of irresponsible procreation.”

Read that again. Seriously, read that again. They are actually arguing that a marriage shouldn’t be valid because it’s impossible for a same sex couple to get pregnant when they weren’t specifically planning to.

I suppose there are a lot of ways to look at this, but what’s jumping out at me is that the argument against same sex marriage is entirely, 100% religious. People believe something ridiculous and expect that everybody else live by their ridiculous belief. In this case, it combines two express favorites of the religious right:

1. Gay people are icky, they can’t have marriage.

2. Sex is a dirty thing and people who have unapproved (i.e. not done within the context of marriage and attempting pregnancy) sex should be punished for it.

This is part of what being “sex positive” means: sex is not viewed as a means to an end that can only be good in very limited circumstances. Arguments like this reveal a truly warped perspective on human sexuality. Homophobia aside, it casts at least some children as a prison sentence levied by the Divine Jailer for having the audacity to enjoy an incredibly enjoyable activity.

The religious right’s opinions on sexual ethics, be they related to homosexuality, pre-marital sex, contraception, abortion, etc., can be summed up in one sentence: it should be illegal to take away our ability to control your sex life. As Darrell Ray pointed out in his Skepticon video and once in comments right here, controlling a person’s sexuality is a powerful way to control that person.

So now the argument is being made before the Supreme Court that not being able to control people via unplanned pregnancy is endangered by same-sex marriage.

At least the argument is getting more honest.


5 thoughts on “Marriage Equality Opponents Only Support Shotgun Weddings

  1. According to the logic of their argument, infertile couples cannot get married, post-menopausal women cannot get married, men with erectile disfunction cannot get married, men with vasectomies cannot get married, women with hysterectomies cannot get married, people with no effective libido cannot get married… in fact – extending the argument behind this “logic” – if you get married and don’t start pumping out babies, then that could be the grounds of a government annulment.

    • On my bad days, when I’m at my most cynical, I can’t help but imagine that that is the ultimate goal, but I realize that it’s irrational to assume that the religious right is basically a giant Quiverful family who would reserve marriage only for those who are popping out babies for Jesus.

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