Maryland: Homophobic Reasoning

The Maryland Court of Appeals reversed the ruling of a lower court and upheld a discriminatory ban on same sex marriage (Washington Post):

Maryland‘s highest court yesterday upheld a 34-year-old state law banning same-sex marriage, rejecting an attempt by 19 gay men and lesbians to win the right to marry.

In reversing a lower court’s decision, the divided Court of Appeals ruled that limiting marriage to a man and a woman does not discriminate against gay couples or deny them constitutional rights.

In what fantasy land does prohibiting same sex couples from marrying not discriminate?  Its like saying interracial marriage bans don’t discriminate because everyone is prohibited from interracial marriage.  This isn’t valid reasoning, its inserting your premise up your conclusion.

The legal backflips don’t stop there.  Check this out:

Although the judges acknowledged that gay men and lesbians have been targets of discrimination, they said the prohibition on same-sex marriage promotes the state’s interest in heterosexual marriage as a means of having and protecting children.

Two problems.  Gay couples can have children.  Hell, they can adopt.  Unless Maryland is considering some kind of weird breeding program, this argument just doesn’t make any sense.  But here’s the insidious part (emphasis mine):

as a means of having and protecting children.

This heavily implies that gay couples cannot provide children with a safe environment.  It even suggest they are dangerous.  This ruling isn’t just an attack on marriage equality.  It is a strike against adoption rights.

What stings the most though, is the pretense that this is in any way reasonable, and in any way just.  The cowardly judges even tried to soften the blow with a little rhetorical massage:

The 4 to 3 decision cannot be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court because the lawsuit relied solely on state law. But the judges appeared to invite gay rights advocates to pursue their goals through the political system: “Our opinion should by no means be read to imply that the General Assembly may not grant and recognize for homosexual persons civil unions or the right to marry a person of the same sex,” Judge Glenn T. Harrell Jr. wrote for the majority.

Well yes, the General Assembly is able to grant such rights.  However they are now significantly less likely to do so because of this ruling.  One of the foundational arguments for equal rights for marriage is that anything less amounts to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and infringes upon the civil rights of the victims.  The court has just stated their opinion that this is not the case.

They have done so using predictably flimsy arguments.  This is often the case when you have ulterior motives.  Whether the judges were just fundamentalists using their interpretation of the Bible as invisible legal precedent, or they were just straight up homophobes, the result is the same.  In Maryland Gay rights get set back at the price of their legal system’s credibility.

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8 Responses

  1. This whole thing makes me so incredibly angry. Check out my blog for 4 parts of a many-part series picking apart the legal reasoning in the actual opinion… More to come later…

  2. Yarrr, me too. I’ll be checking out yer excellent blog.

  3. Good.

    When Jim is through with nursing school, we were thinking about him accepting an RN position at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center in Baltimore.

    We won’t be mmoving to Maryland now.

  4. Christopher,
    Where will you be moving?

  5. […] “We Hate Gays” Yesterday I wrote about Maryland’s discriminatory ruling against Gay […]

  6. Not Maryland. We may very well remain right here in New York.

  7. Try this on for size. I live in RI, originally from MA. MA illegally legalized gay marriage. Two women from RI got married in MA immediately after the illegal legalization took place. Now, 3+ years later, the two women want a divorce but can’t get it in RI because they don’t acknowledge MA’s illegal legality. They are forced to either, one moves to MA for the prescribed amount of time to get the divorce there or, be a couple of bitches and attempt to force RI to acknowledge same sex marriages (divorces). I think if you are gay then you have a condition that can be fixed but don’t try to force it down my throat (pun intended). Pushing your unnatural agenda on states (made up of people) and then using the illegal legalization to force it upon another state is insane. The concept is mind boggling, the tactics are reprehensible. The right to have sex with the same is to me your right to free speech, beyond that I do not wish to hear of the deviant factions of our society. Thank you.

  8. […] to Hate Gays, a Guide Posted on October 11, 2007 by fitnessfortheoccasion Commentator Michael D: Try this on for size. I live in RI, originally from MA. MA illegally legalized gay marriage. Two […]

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