Speaking Sunday on Fox News, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore declared that he will continue to reject any federal court rulings that state same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional. Why? God’s law (as he interprets it) trumps everything:
“This power over marriage, which came from God under our organic law, is not to be redefined by the United States Supreme Court or any federal court.”
Moore clearly has the same disregard for separation of church and state that other religious-righters do. Consider, for example, similar arguments made by David Barton — head of Texas-based WallBuilders and something like the propaganda minister for the religious right in America — against same-sex marriage:
“From a constitutional standpoint, you cannot exclude morals. A number of conservative libertarians in recent months have been saying ‘hey, marriage is not a constitutional issue’ … yet it is because Article 7 of the Constitutional through the attestation clause incorporates the Declaration [of Independence] into the Constitution.
The Declaration erects the moral standard by talking about the laws of nature and of nature’s god. Marriage has always been defined not only as a law of nature – now, it’s not necessarily in nature, but they called it a natural law… Read More
— Jonathan Saenz (@jonathansaenzTX) January 22, 2015
“Redefining #marriage “equals” no safeguards against “freedom to marry” multiple people for love, polygamy.”
Jonathan Saenz, the lawyer/lobbyist who heads the anti-gay group Texas Values, is once again making arguments Americans heard long ago when interracial couples sought the right to marry.
Greg Johnson, a professor at the Vermont Law School, has compared the arguments made against same-sex marriage today to those made against interracial marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned interracial marriage bans in 1967 in Loving v. Virginia. Writing for the Vermont Law Review in 2012, Johnson noted the similarities in arguments against interracial marriage then and same-sex marriage now, including the argument — as Saenz makes — that allowing same-sex marriage will lead to polygamy:
Defenders of traditional marriage back then worried that allowing interracial marriage would lead to, as one court put it, “the father living with his daughter, the son with the mother,” and the “Turk or Mohammedan, with his numerous wives,  establish[ing] his harem at the doors of the capitol .… Read More
Religious-righters are turning to increasingly vitriolic rhetoric as they rally around proposed legislation that would bar any state or local officials in Texas from issuing or recognizing marriage licenses for same-sex couples if federal courts, including the Supreme Court, strike down the state ban on such unions. House Bill 623 by state Rep. Cecil Bell, R-Magnolia, would bar the use of any public funds for granting or recognizing marriage licenses for same-sex couples and strip salary and benefits from any public officials who do so.
Steven Hotze, a Houston physician and one of the most vicious anti-gay extremists in Texas, is praising the bill on the website of his political action committee, Conservative Republicans of Texas. He absurdly warns that making gay marriage legal in Texas is a threat to freedoms of speech and religion:
“If the Texas Marriage Amendment is overturned permanently, then every Texas citizen, every church and business would be coerced and compelled to recognize and affirm homosexuality and other deviant sexual relationships as morally and legally equivalent to marriage. If this occurs then anyone who speaks out against homosexuality and deviant sexual relationships will be prosecuted for hate speech and hate crimes, violating the Constitutional rights of the majority… Read More
Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott is getting well-deserved criticism for his comments at a conservative forum about city ordinances that ban fracking and disposable plastic bags at stores. Claiming that such measures show that Texas is being “Californianized,” Abbott absurdly argued that they represent intolerable limits on freedom:
“That is contrary to my vision for Texas. My vision is one where individual liberties are not bound by city limits. I will insist on protecting unlimited liberty to make sure Texas will continue to grow and prosper.”
Critics are rightly pointing out the hypocrisy in those statements. Abbott — like most Texas Republicans — has for years made a big deal about defending “local control” against state and federal interference. But it turns out that when local communities pass ordinances Abbott doesn’t like, “local control” becomes just another example of government tyranny that threatens individual liberty. Political expediency, not principle, guides our incoming governor.
But there’s another way that Abbott’s statements here are deeply hypocritical. Abbott claims that he “will insist on protecting unlimited liberty,” but that conviction apparently doesn’t extend to liberty for gay people. In fact, Abbott insists on using a convoluted and pitiful defense of the state’s ban on the freedom of same-sex couples to marry in Texas.… Read More
A Texas legislator who opposes same-sex marriage has a message for federal courts and gay people: “Screw you.”
The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is set to consider on Friday a case that could overturn the ban on same-sex marriage in Texas. But state Rep. Cecil Bell, R-Magnolia, wants Texas to ignore a ruling that the ban violates the U.S. Constitution. So he has filed House Bill 623, the so-called “Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act,” which would bar the use of any public funds to enforce a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
It gets worse. The bill also would strip salary, pension and other employment benefits from any local or state official who respects a court decision by recognizing, granting or enforcing a marriage license for a same-sex couple. Moreover, it requires state courts to dismiss any legal action challenging the bill’s provisions and forces the plaintiff to pay all attorney and court costs. And for good measure, the bill declares that the state is not subject, because of the Eleventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to lawsuits over the provisions of the bill.
In other words: “We don’t care about no stinkin’ Constitution. We’ll treat people we don’t like… Read More