This week in Texas, 63 Republicans made their ignorance and bigotry official by signing a court brief calling on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the state’s bans on same-sex marriage. The court had ruled back in February that the state’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, a ruling that has been appealed by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
The brief that has been signed by the 63 Republicans is an attempt to influence the courts to overturn the February ruling and keep gay marriage illegal in Texas. All 63 are members of the Texas Conservative Coalition. The brief, which can be read in full at the bottom of this article, includes the following statement:
TCC membership supported the Texas legislature’s action to add provisions in the Texas Family Code restricting same-sex marriage. TCC also supported the adoption of Art. I, Section 32 to the Texas Constitution which defines marriage solely as a union of one man and one woman, and which was approved by a 76 percent favorable vote of the electorate. As a legislative caucus comprised of public servants who are answerable to a Texas constituency that overwhelmingly supported the same-sex marriage restriction, TCC maintains an ongoing interest in the outcome of this case
The brief signed by the TCC goes on and makes the highly dubious “slippery slope” argument that gay marriage will lead to the legal recognition of incest and pedophilia.
The district court broadened the definition of the ‘existing right to marry’ as one that includes the right of people to ‘select the partners of their choosing’ for marriage, without regard to sex. If the right to select ‘partners of their choosing’ is the criterion used to invoke marriage as a fundamental right, then marriage restrictions on age, polygamy, and consanguinity are also ripe for challenge
Another ground cited by supporters of Texas’s marriage laws and subsequently dismissed by the district court is that recognition of same-sex marriage ‘could lead to the recognition of bigamy, incest, pedophilia, and group marriage. As already discussed in this brief, restrictions on marriage relating to these moral considerations remain valid. Thus, the goal of actively trying to prevent those practices from becoming valid is entirely rational public policy.
None of this is to say that recognition of pedophilia or other morally reprehensible actions being recognized as valid is actually a logical next step that would follow recognition of same-sex marriages. Rather, it supports the fact that legislators and Texas voters enacted Texas’s marriage laws with the intention of supporting marriage arrangements that they believe support valid goals related to those concerns. Thus, the laws are entirely rational and constitutional
The “slippery slope” argument is one of the most common ones made by gay marriage foes, but given that it is now legal for gays to marry in 19 states despite this same argument being futilely used, suffice to say that the odds are stacked against these 63 GOP state legislators, as well as the many Texans who are against same-sex marriage.
Furthermore, it is a ridiculous argument to make that gay marriage will lead to legitimizing incest and pedophilia, since gay marriage is an act that takes place between two consenting adults, while obviously incest and pedophilia involve an underage victim. We’re pretty certain that the courts are well aware of the differences.
We’re actually surprised that these Texas Republicans didn’t bring up bestiality as an additional “logical” step after gay marriage. Maybe it didn’t come up because the act hits a little close to home for some of them?
H/T: Lone Star Q
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