Thursday, February 13, 2014

Man, evangelicals have REALLY bad lawyers.

It's like they don't understand how to do their job.  Even I could kick their ass, and I only have three years of paralegal training.  Seriously, this one is just bad.

What am I talking about, you ask?  Well, the Mormons and a few various Evangelical organizations (including the Lutheran-Missouri Synod folks)have filed an amicus curae brief in the Utah marriage equality case, and their arguments are bad.  I mean "milk that you left sitting on the counter for a month in a Mexico summer" bad. I'll forgo giving them the Courier treatment (they deserve comic sans, really, but that option isn't available in the dropdown, and I'm too lazy to do so many HTML tags) and stick their crappy arguments in Trebuchet font, with my responses in the default font.  The headings are from their brief, and will denote different sections.  Stay with me, this'll get long.
  I will be restricting myself to their "Arguments" section, since it's the only one with any actual idiocy on their part.  Rest looked clean.  Do follow along, as I won't be repeating every autofellating word that they say, so some of what I respond to won't be repeated here.

Utah’s and Oklahoma’s Marriage Amendments Should Not Be Invalidated or Subjected to Closer Judicial Scrutiny Based on False Accusations of Animus.

This is their main argument, and it's broken down into several points, which will each get their own subheading.  In this opener, they stress that they simply support "traditional marriage" - without, of course, explaining why they can't support traditional marriage and gay marriage like, you know, normal people.  That kinda thing is why folks like me think that your opposition to equal rights is indeed based on animus.

Obviously, the actual argumentation is below this opening.

We Defend Traditional Marriage Out of Fidelity to Religious Beliefs That Include But Transcend Teachings About Human Sexuality, Not Out of Animus.

Right out the bat they go "because Jesus", forgetting that the first amendment forbids the judge from ruling for them simply "because Jesus":

Jesus expressed no disapproval or hostility when he taught, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be  joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’”
19:4-5 (RSV).

Granted, this is in attempting to explain the whole "there's no animus" thing, but seeing bible verses being quoted in legal documents always makes me feel disgusted.

Of course, when they say:

Many of this Nation’s prominent faith traditions have rich religious narratives that extol the personal, familial, and social virtues of traditional marriage while barely mentioning homosexuality.

they happily forget those of us who don't follow these traditions (as well as the effects of the first amendment to the U. S. Constittution.  You're free to follow those "don't let them gays get married" traditions in your own church, but you can't use the law to force others to do the same.

They then delineate the various traditions in the little group of morons.  I won't repeat them here, as I find them entirely irrelevant as to whether or not the state - which in its laws must (for the most part) ignore religious traditions and instead focus on treating all citizens equally - can discriminate against gay people.

We Defend Traditional Marriage to Protect Vital Interests in the Welfare of Children, Families, and Society.

Really now?  Then why do you keep citing studies that use single parent homes while saying that they prove teh ghey marage is bad?  Seriously, go in there.  Of course, this one's ALSO divided into more subsections...

Procreation and Child-Rearing Ideally Occur Within a Stable Marriage Between a Man and a Woman.

First, your point being...what, exactly?  Should single people have their children taken away, then? Because that's what you're arguing for with this line of reasoning:  "Children do best when raised by a mom and a dad, therefore no gay marriage" is actually less valid than "children do best when raised by a mom and dad, therefore we should take the children of single parents away from their families and put them in two parent households."  At least the second one does something about the "issue".

Second, where is the mention of gay households (outside of the {forced, in the case of gay people.  no marriage, remember?} cohabitation, which straight people have as well) in "[c]hildren in single-parent families, children born to unmarried mothers, and children in stepfamilies or cohabiting relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes than do children in intact families" or in the paper this is from?  Not that this one (it's just a policy recommendation, not even a study) actually helps you:  It actually argues that we should help those in cohabitation to marry.  This would include, by implication, gay couples.

And while we're on the subject;  "optimal" does not mean "only acceptable".  And if we follow the "biological" shtick you seem to be stuck on in this one, it becomes "biological families are best, so no more adoptions, because fuck orphans."  Really, this whole thing is very sad.

Thirdly, all studies you cite only compare single-family homes to those of heterosexual married homes.  They do not compare homosexual couples - male or female- to either group -- Not Bradford, not Harper, not (what I can get from) Popenoe (as I can't buy his book without money, and there's no free version.  I suspect Google's search function is limited in Google Books).  You won't find "gay" or "homosexual" in any of those.  I looked.  They aren't there.  For you, bringing these up were POINTLESS.

Finally -  and most important - even if this was all true, it does not, repeat DOES FUCKING NOT justify discrimination against gay people when it comes to the rights and responsibilities that come with marriage.

Limiting Marriage to Male-Female Couples Furthers Powerful State Interests.

Wait, isn't this the issue that was SOUNDLY rejected?  Multiple times?  This'll be fun, won't it...

You start with WILSON, and you ADMIT that it didn't cover teh gheys?  Why the blue hell are bringing it up, then?  It. Doesn't. Help. You.  At all.  It's like comparing tomatoes to a salad, complete with croutons, bacon bits, and dressing.

We have seen boys, bereft of their fathers or any proper male role model, acting out in violence, joining gangs, and engaging in other destructive social and sexual behaviors. We have cared for and mourned with victims left in their destructive wake. And we have ministered to those boys in prisons where too many are consigned to live out their ruined lives. We have seen young girls, deprived of the love and affection of a father, engaging in a wide array of self-destructive behaviors. All too often the result is pregnancy and out-of-wedlock birth, thereby cruelly repeating the cycle.

And how many of those were from two-parent gay households, hmm?  I'm gonna go ahead and say "zero" because that's the amount of two-parent gay households in all the previous citations that you've brought up (including, I'm reasonably certain, the ones I haven't mentioned) so far, you dishonest hacks.

Speaking of:  If I see Regnerus and his lying ass brought up, I am going to go to the local sex shop, buy the biggest, most painful looking dildos I can find, then find you (ALL of you), and superglue them up your ass.  You'd deserve it for reaching staggering heights of intellectual dishonesty - hell, you'd be bordering on fucking perjury.

The inescapable truth is that only male-female relationships can create children. Children need their mothers and fathers. And society needs mothers and fathers to raise their children. That, in a nutshell, is why society needs the institution of male-female marriage,

Here, we agree.  Marriage is fucking important, and we should do all we can to keep marriages - especially those where children are involved - are kept together as long as possible.

and why Utah and Oklahoma are right to specially protect and support it.

And here's where I call bullshit.  Again.  Just because something is or is not "ideal" does not mean we get to punish people for making a choice we wouldn't make.  Should I hit you in the face for choosing flounder over cod?  Deny you tartar sauce? Deny you a table?  Charge you twice as much?  Deny you hospital visitation rights when your partner gets a severe case of food poisoning?

If that sounds absurd, that's my goddamned point:  it IS absurd.  YOU are absurd.

By reserving marriage for the relationship between a man and a woman, the law encourages socially optimal behavior through an institution that supports and confirms the People’s deep cultural understanding— and the sociological truth—that stable mother-father marital unions are best for children. “If same-sex partnerships were recognized as marriages, however, that ideal would be abolished from our law: no civil institution would any longer reinforce the notion that children need both a mother and father; that men and women on average bring different gifts to the parenting enterprise; and that boys and girls need and tend to benefit from fathers and mothers in different ways.”

Again, this sounds like "fuck orphans" to me.  And you seem to be forgetting the whole "equal protection under the law" thing.  The law, by fucking definition in this country, cannot give more rights to group X than it does to group Y, which is what you're proposing it do.

A gender-neutral marriage definition unavoidably changes the message and function of marriage by altering it to serve the interests of adults.  

I'm sorry, I was unaware that we FORCE MARRIED COUPLES TO HAVE CHILDREN.   Oh, wait;  that's something we DON'T do.  Which means marriage isn't just for children, you disingenuous twat.

And I don't give a damn what pseudo-american think tanks you cite;  "think of the children" is something you AREN'T doing, as there are already children who have been adopted by gay couples.  Either let them get married, or take their kids away.  Pick one.  Otherwise you just look like a hypocrite.

And in regards to Mr. White:  Greece and Rome also practiced slavery, polytheism, paganism, wiping their ass with a sponge, public baths (including nudity, I would imagine), pederasty,  and religious persecution (among other no longer used practices).  All things, I would imagine, you are glad we are rid of.  "Old" does not mean "good" or "correct".  It means "old".  Maybe even "in need of serious upgrade or repair, perhaps even replacement".  To quote the late Mr. Dylan "You'd better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone,/ for the times, they are a' changin'".

We Support Laws Protecting Traditional Marriage to Safeguard the Marriage Institution Against Judicial Redefinition.

Isn't that kind of their job, tho?  To define what legal terms mean?  After all, marriage is not just some religious showcase;  there's a whole lot of legal issues to deal with as well.

[M]arriage amendments, like those challenged here, cannot be explained as manifestations of animus toward any citizens but as a safeguard against perceived overreach by State judges.

Except that these judges are following the "equal protection" parts of the constitution, while every argument I've heard (including here) boil down to either "because Jesus" or "gays are inferior".  I can understand (barely) how "because Jesus" might not have animus, but effectively calling someone inferior reeks of it.  So no, that won't work.  Not on me.

Also, regarding Glucksberg;  "deeply rooted" does not mean "right" or "legal".  Jim Crow laws were also "deeply rooted";  would you argue them to be good too?  What of slavery?  It, too, was "deeply rooted".  As was British rule of the American Colonies.  The state is engaging in discrimination.  This is impermissible under the U.S. Constitution.

Quite frankly, Your ongoing use of irrelevant and misdirecting data shows me that you don't care about being honest.  The only reason for that that I can think of would be that you have an actual animus towards the class in question.

Utah’s and Oklahoma’s Laws Reserving Marriage for a Man and a Woman Are Not Invalid Expressions of Animus.

So are they expressions of animus or not?  I know, I know, you're just CYA-ing here, but still...

Well, you say that the court will likely ignore these arguments (I am inclined to agree:  they're so bad that even this non-lawyer writing them can see right through them.), so I suppose I'll let you dig yourself a deeper hole...

Allegations of “Animus” Are Relevant Only If a Law Can Be Explained Solely By Animus with No Other Possible Rationale.

I'd give you this...if all the other possible rationales you've given weren't rancid pieces of donkey shit:  you have constantly been spouting irrelevant pieces of trivia and misguided/misguiding statistics (that are also irrelevant, BTW).  To say that you have any other possible rationale would - at this point at least - be to say that Carrot Top is a funny black-haired guy from Budapest.  And while "the[] presence [of bias or animus] alone does not a constitutional violation make," discrimination does, especially when dealing with governmental functions, which marriage is. This is an utterly vapid, worthless argument to make.  You do NOT have, as Garrett requires, "“unsubstantiated by factors which are properly cognizable” to back up your bullshit.

Neither Windsor Nor Romer Justifies This Court in Construing Utah and Oklahoma Marriage Laws As Expressions of Impermissible Animus

.You make an excellent point here.  Except for the fact that you still have that naked animus we just discussed, which in and of itself renders this whole section moot.

Windsor, by restricting its ruling only to the federal DOMA law, does not give the states blanket license to discriminate:  they must still follow the relevant federal statutes regarding the treatment of the citizenry.  You know, that whole "equal protection" thing I keep going on about.  Bringing up Windsor is, to my knowledge, pointless.  Unless, of course, you're trying to distract from the issue, which if true would simply demonstrate even more soundly just how much animus in involved in this case.

In case you still don't understand:  If you offer group X rights A, B, C, and D, you must offer group Y the same opportunity.  I believe this was covered in Loving v. Virginia, but what do I know; I'm just a layman.

As for Romer, again, your use of bullshit and irrelevant information comes back to bite you.  There is no reason to use data saying single parents are inferior to two-parent households against gays wanting to form said two-parent households, unless you have reason to slander (or would it be libel in this case?) the gay people wanting to make two-person households.  There is no correlation in the data you cite, and it appears that you cited it simply to be inflammatory towards gay people.  If that doesn't scream "animus" and "irrational[ hatred] and irrational[ fear]" than I don't know what does.  To directly quote Evans, you seem to have a "desire to harm a politically unpopular group", and that undermines your case.  Greatly.

Finally, the intent of the law is not the only thing that the court must take into consideration while deciding on the constitutionality of it.  While I do not remember the scrutiny tests involved, the court must also look at the effect the law has on the citizenry.  That's kind of why Prop 8 went the way it did:  it took a right away from a politically unpopular segment of the population.  This, and not the intent of those who supported the law, was the reason it was struck down.

This Court Should Reject Arguments Invoking Animus as a Justification for Nullifying State Marriage Laws.

Well, since you're gonna go point by point, I'll do so as well.

First, it would necessarily declare that Utah and Oklahoma voters hold views on marriage that are irrational or bigoted.

Yes.  And?  No, really; what's your point?  Alabama voters were irrational and bigoted to force black people to the back of the bus in the 50s and 60s, you rube.  When the voters choose to discriminate in such a fashion, they kind of deserve to have "their personal convictions condemned by a court".  The voters are not omniscient.  They are human, and they need to be chided when the fuck shit up like this.  'S why pork isn't banned in New York, you moron (not that I wouldn't put it past Bloomberg to try)

Second, it would seriously distort the Supreme Court’s well-settled framework for deciding equal protection claims, which assigns “different levels of scrutiny to different types of classifications.”

If you're going to go on about how sexual orientation isn't a suspect class, I suggest you reread Perry v. Schwarzenegger;  This shit fails rational fucking basis (see my response to your so-called "data" and "lack of animus"), much less the intermediate scrutiny that gender (and therefore sexual orientation by extension) would fall under (though a case could be made, based on levels of discrimination faced, that orientation deserves strict scrutiny, but that is a discussion for another day).

BTW, marriage itself is a "fundamental right".  Again, Loving v. Virginia.

Third, it would deny Utah’s and Oklahoma’s marriage laws the deference they are owed under rational basis review

As I stated above, even IF they deserve rational basis, they fail it.  Horribly.

And now we get to the top reason why you should be laughed out of court.  I'll let you say it in your own words:

Utah’s and Oklahoma’s Marriage Amendments Are Not Invalid Under the Establishment Clause Because They Were Informed by Religious and Moral Viewpoints.

Did you miss it?  Let me paraphrase it:

These laws are not invalid under the Establishment Clause because they are invalid under the First Amendment.

Yes, really.  What you just did was admit that this is you trying to force your religion onto other people who most emphatically DO NOT believe as you do.  This is not permissible. In effect, you are both establishing your religion as supreme while at the same time prohibiting the free exercise of those who do not believe the same as you do vis a vis same sex marriage.  And while you claim that it's just the religious fervor of the people of the state, tell me:  how deep into the pockets of the LDS church is the Utah legislature?  Rumor has it that it's pretty damned deep.  Not only that, there are no secular reasons, as currently presented (or that I know of, for that matter) to discriminate against gay people in such a manner.  The only reasons that are left are either religion or outright animus; neither of which are permitted on their own (or together, for that matter).

You bring up larceny.  Thing is, there's a reason to outlaw that:  that costs people money, time, and work.  There's more than "because Jesus" behind that.  Behind this law, however, seems to me to be only Jesus and hatred (and Jesus looks kinda uncomfortable to me).

Quite frankly, you should be ashamed at yourself for coming up with such utter tripe.

1 comment :

  1. Maybe these guys are TRYING to lose their case. You do a very good job of pointing out that their arguments are based on their religious beliefs. Which was still against the First Amendment last time I checked. I wonder when they will get around to trying to amend the amendment.


Honestly, I want you guys to comment at this point. I don't know fucking everything.