Those wishing to inform themselves of the outcome of yesterday’s oral hearings in the US Supreme Court’s case Obergefell v. Hodges may do so by reading the transcripts (1, 2) and listening to the audio files (1, 2) that have been placed on the Court’s website. The hearing has been widely reported in US media (we may refer to the Washington Post or the New York Times), so there is no need for this blog to report all the details. Instead, here are just a few comments.
Disappointingly for a matter of such importance, the hearing was not a great moment in the Supreme Court’s history, but instead evidenced once more the stultification of society in regard to all matters related to sexuality. The questions asked by the judges gave the impression that most of them had their minds already made up: they were not really listening to what the parties might have to say, but rather exhibiting their own opinions. Especially Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, the two Obama appointees, showed very clearly that they both have been selected for their jobs not because of their outstanding qualification as lawyers or legal thinkers, but because they are to be the willing executioners of the current President’s anti-marriage and anti-family agenda. Their behaviour when questioning the Respondents’ counsel John J. Bursch was outright bitchy, bombarding him with rather far-fetched questions and not allowing him time to answer them. At the same time, the more conservative Justices, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito, gave a rather uninspired performance. Some of the questions they asked did, of course, unsettle the Petitioners’ Counsel, Mary L. Bonauto, and the Federal Government’s representative, Donald B. Verrilli, who intervened as amicus curiae on the side of the Petitioners. Verrilli fell into stuttering when asked for a definition of marriage, and then described it as “an enduring bond between two people”, without any reference to child rearing or procreation. Mrs. Bonauto, when asked by Justice Alito whether, following the acceptance of same-sex “marriages”, the State would have argument left to deny the recognition of “marriages” between more than two people, came up with the rather unconvincing suggestion that “if there’s a divorce from the second wife, does that mean the fourth wife has access to the child of the second wife? There are issues around who is it that makes the medical decisions, you know, in the time of crisis.”
Thus, the essential issue in this lawsuit, i.e. the question what marriage is, was briefly raised, but it was not answered properly. The ontological question was thus left out, and the sad conclusion is that America’s top lawyers, although they called it “sacred” and “noble” don’t really have a clue of what the institution of marriage is there for.
There was some talk about the religious freedom of those who believe same-sex relations to be immoral, or about the fact that for millennia it was universally held that marriage can be contracted only between persons of different sex, and that this view could not simply be outlawed. But these issues did not go to the heart of the matter.
The problem is that the case made by the proponents of same-sex “marriage” rests on deeply flawed premises, and those flawed premises were not challenged by anyone.
Here are some questions that might have been asked, but weren’t (all references are to the first part of the transcript):
• Are “gay people” really a class, and are they really excluded from marrying?
The obvious answer to this bizarre suggestion (Bonauto p. 4, line 16) is that “gay people” are not a “class” that is set off by some innate characteristic, but they are set off from the rest of society by their freely chosen behaviour. Everybody has the right to marry, provided that the person he or she marries is of the opposite sex. Many people who identify themselves as gay have actually done so, and have children from such marriages. It is thus simply and plainly wrong to say that they “cannot” marry, or are “excluded” from doing so.
The very premises of the case for same-sex “marriage” is thus an obvious falsehood.
• Is marriage really a man-made institution, or is there something in nature that pre-determines it?
The proponents of same-sex “marriage” describe marriage as a “State-conferred institution” (Bonauto, p.31, line 24), as if it were an arbitrary invention made up by law-makers some centuries ago, that could today be replaced by an equally arbitrary invention by the law-makers of our time. But nature has ordained that mankind exists in two sexes. Two persons of different sex are necessary, and at the same time sufficient, to be the natural parents of a child. If marriage has a main purpose, it is that of procreation and child-raising – and it seems therefore only logical to say that a marriage can only consist of two persons who must be of different sex. Any deviation from this principle turns marriage into something arbitrary, dissociated from human nature.
• Are “gay people” really “relegated to a demeaning second-class status” if they have no access to “marriage”?
The answer to this completely unfounded suggestion (Bonauto, p. 4, line 21) is that no person is excluded from marrying, but marriage is by its very nature nothing else than a union between a man and a woman. It is therefore not at all “demeaning” to maintain the definition of marriage as it always has been, even if it means that persons of the same sex cannot marry each other. On the contrary, what would be truly demeaning is to put the sodomy on a par with the conjugal act: the first is sterile and spreads disease, whereas the second is fertile and truly life-giving. More than anything else, the legal recognition of same-sex “marriages” is a disgusting and coarse mockery of genuine marriage.
There is absolutely no reason for society to celebrate, or sacralize, a sexual behaviour that is sterile and unhealthy. It is a known scientific fact that the homosexual lifestyle reduces the life expectancy of those engaging in it by 20 years on average – not as a result of social “discrimination” or “stigma”, but simply because it is intrinsically unhealthy and self-destructive. It was astonishing to see that the Supreme Court did not even discuss this. Nobody treats “gay people” as second-class citizens, but it is their own freely chosen behaviour that can be described as third-class.
Society does not need same-sex “marriages”, but it does need genuine marriages that allow children to grow up with their biological parents.
• Is it really true that “gay and lesbian couples raise their children side by side with the rest of us”?
This obviously is a patent falsehood, and it is astonishing that nobody dared challenge it when Mr. Verrilli, the representative of the Obama Administration, brought it up during the hearing (p.40, line 16). No gay or lesbian couple lives with “their” children, because by nature no two persons of the same sex can jointly be parents of a child. If same-sex couples have children in their households, these cannot be “their” children. In some cases those children may originate from a previous (different-sex) relationship of one of the partners, while in other cases they are adopted or originate from assisted procreation, all of which by necessity implies that these children are deprived of their right to live with, and be educated by, both their parents.
Thus through the recognition of same-sex “marriages” the institution of marriages is turned upside down: from an institution that protects the right of children to grow up with, and be cared for by, their true parents, it undermines the very concept of parenthood. As an ultimate consequence, the dissociation of the concept of “parenthood” from the laws of nature means that the child is turned into a tradeable commodity to which same-sex couples claim to have a “right”, just as they claim to have a “right” to be married.
The “liberty” of some comes at the expense of others. In this case it is the weakest members of society, children, who will have to foot the bill.
• Have all law-makers before 2001 (when the Netherlands were the first country to legislate for same-sex “marriages”) been irrational and mean-spirited?
This question briefly came up during the hearing (Justice Alito, p.9, line 16), but it was not answered.
Up until 2001, same-sex “marriages” have never been recognized in any legal system in human history, including in cultures that were generally tolerant with regard to sexual deviances. The Proponent’s assertion that there is no rational ground for not legally recognizing same-sex “marriages” means that everybody up until 2001, and a large majority of countries still today, must be deemed as “irrational” and mean-spirited. But if that is so, then the same verdict would apply to the makers of the US Constitution, or the drafters of the 14th Amendment (upon which they build their case). The whole argument therefore rests on a self-evident logical flaw.
Equally flawed is the suggestion (by Justice Kagan, p. 75, line 18) that the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman is in any sense comparable to the ban on interracial marriages that existed in various US States up until the late 19th century. That law indeed deprived people of their right to marry each other – but the meaning of “marriage” remained exactly the same before the ban was introduced, while it existed, and after it was lifted.
• So, what do different-sex couples lose when same-sex “marriage” is legally recognized?
Not only different-sex couples, but society as a whole, will lose the institution of “marriage” as such. When same-sex “marriages” are legally recognized, then “marriage” is transformed into an arbitrary invention with no discernible meaning. Certainly it is dissociated from its primary purpose, procreation. It no longer exists in the interest of children, but instead commodifies them.
Besides this, it also came out quite clearly during the hearing that the case is at least in part about “making available all of the benefits that marriage affords” to same-sex couples (cf. Justice Ginsburg, p.44, line 17). But who would have to finance those benefits (for example tax breaks, social benefits, etc.)? Obviously, it would be the rest of us, i.e. all those who do not happen to be couples in a same-sex “marriage”.
Unfortunately, these questions have either not been asked, or not been properly answered. As a result, the edifice of lies on which the proponents of same-sex “marriage” have built their case stands largely unchallenged. Glaring as these falsehoods are, it might have been quite easy to challenge them – but media have bullied possible opponents into submission.
As it appears, there is nobody left who would dare calling into question the sacred dogma that gay people are a “class” that historically has suffered injustices and that their freely-chosen sexual behaviour is just as good as anyone else’s. But of course, if one is not ready to speak that simple truth, then the discussion on same-sex “marriage” is lost from the outset.
Society has become too tolerant of sexual depravity. It is time for a roll-back.