Really, REALLY Bad Arguments Against Marriage Equality

My attention was drawn to…THIS, today. It kind of makes me feel sorry for the opposition. Maybe, kind of, almost. If I’m inarticulate, it’s because reading this has caused me to lose brain cells.

For Charles Cooper, the lawyer defending Proposition 8, California’s gay-marriage ban, the worst moment of the proceedings probably came when Elena Kagan zeroed in on the most consistent and conspicuous weakness in the anti-gay-marriage case, namely that the unchanging purpose of marriage is procreation. (And in that purpose lies the state’s constitutionally defensible rationale—something above mere animus towards gays and lesbians—for excluding them from the institution.) Cooper had been explaining his side’s concern “that redefining marriage as a genderless institution will sever its abiding connection to its historical traditional procreative purpose” and “refocus” it—away from children and toward “the emotional needs and desires of adults.” Suppose, Justice Kagan asked Cooper, that a state were to pass a law saying it would no longer give marriage licenses to heterosexual couples in which both people were over fifty-five. Would that be constitutional? No, said Cooper. But why not, Kagan persisted, if gay couples could be constitutionally denied marriage rights for the reasons he stated? Cooper mustered a rather weak empiricism: “Even with respect to couples over the age of fifty-five, it’s very rare that both parties to the couple are infertile”; men, he said, “rarely outlive their fertility.” Kagan was skeptical. “I can assure you that if both the woman and the man are over the age of fifty-five there are not a lot of children coming out of that marriage,” she said, eliciting the biggest laugh of the morning.

I’m so sorry that I wasn’t sitting next to Justice Kagan. It would have been so, so much fun to ask Mr. Cooper to elaborate.

Dude…are you aware that a post-menopausal heterosexual couple is not HALF-fertile? If the woman can’t get pregnant, then she and her husband, together, are not fertile AT ALL. A heterosexual relationship involving a woman who has outlived her menstrual cycles is not a procreative one. Honestly, young lesbian couples make more babies than 55-year-old straight couples. You see, Mr. Cooper, the role of the uterus in reproduction is absolutely essential and non-fungible. It’s all or nothing, and it’s very costly to the body. Sperm, on the other hand, is not that difficult to acquire!

2 thoughts on “Really, REALLY Bad Arguments Against Marriage Equality

  1. Geez, that was a piss-ant defense by Cooper and he’s a prominent lawyer? It reminds me of that lawyer on the Simpson’s whose briefcase only has a sandwich.

    • It is amazing that this guy is presenting the case to the Supreme Court, isn’t it? This is why I (sort of, maybe, almost) feel sorry for the anti-equality side: they have nothing. They are a very big fish in a tight barrel. I still say “almost” because it is a choice to perpetuate the status quo. Ten years after this question is settled for the nation at large, these people are going to be pretending this was never their position. (Which is why we’re lucky now to live in the age of social media. Those screencaps never have to expire!)

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