“These Arguments Are Not Those of Serious People”


A federal judge struck down Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage today, saying that arguments made by the state are not serious.

On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional and issued a withering take-down of marriage equality opponents. “These arguments are not those of serious people,” wrote US district judge John Heyburn. “Though it seems almost unnecessary to explain, here are the reasons why. Even assuming the state has a legitimate interest in promoting procreation, the Court fails to see, and Defendant never explains, how the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage has any effect whatsoever on procreation among heterosexual spouses.”

“The state’s attempts to connect the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage to its interest in economic stability and in ‘ensuring humanity’s continued existence’ are at best illogical and even bewildering… The Court can think of no other conceivable legitimate reason for Kentucky’s laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage.”

I was unaware that the state was using this particular line of reasoning to argue in favor of their ban on same-sex marriage, and in hindsight it comes as a shock to me.

It’s a shock because former Solicitor General Paul Clement, who was hired by House Republican leadership to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the Supreme Court, used a similar argument in that case and, as you know, he lost.

While defending DOMA, Clement argued that marriage was created by the state to govern the off-spring of irresponsible parents, saying that “unintended children produced by opposite-sex relationships and raised out-of-wedlock would pose a burden on society.”

It was such a bad argument that it was almost an argument in favor of same-sex marriage rather than a ban on it. And in this case the state of Kentucky used almost the same terrible argument.

When you get right down to it, the only argument opponents of same-sex marriage have left is “ick.” Virtually every other reason they have listed for why it should be banned has been debunked by social studies or are otherwise unconstitutional.

There are opponents of same-sex marriage who still cling to the “states’ rights” argument, but they are oddly silent when a state chooses to pass same-sex marriage on their own without outside intervention from a court.