Today has been a great day for homomentum, as SCOTUS has struck down part of the United States’ Defense of (heteronormative) Marriage Act and overturned California’s Proposition 8.
The guts of the first decision striking down part of the DOMA was that the federal government is not allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation when it comes to providing the benefits of marriage. Proposition 8 was struck down on a technicality: standing.
The National Assembly of France has voted 331–225 to enable marriage equality (via):
French lawmakers have legalized same-sex marriage after months of bruising debate and street protests that brought hundreds of thousands to Paris.
Tuesday’s 331-225 vote came in the Socialist majority National Assembly. France’s justice minister, Christiane Taubira, said the first weddings could be as soon as June….
And regarding those protests, they were weird in light of something I mentioned years ago:
The number of PACS [the French acronym of the Civil Solidarity Pact] celebrated in France, both gay and heterosexual unions, has grown from 6,000 in its first year of operation in 1999 to more than 140,000 in 2008, according to official statistics. For every two marriages in France, a PACS is celebrated, the statistics show, making a total of half a million PACS[']ed couples, and the number is rising steadily.
Perhaps more important as an indication of how French people live, the number of heterosexual men and women entering into a PACS agreement has grown from 42 percent of the total initially to 92 percent last year .
Notice how all those PACS were actually reducing the number of marriages? Enabling same–sex marriage eliminates this justification for PACS. But the protestors would rather there be fewer marriages rather than marriage equality.
I think we should file this under the “You can’t make this up” category (emphasis added):
WASHINGTON — Marriage should be limited to unions of a man and a woman because they alone can “produce unplanned and unintended offspring,” opponents of gay marriage have told the Supreme Court.
By contrast, when same-sex couples decide to have children, “substantial advance planning is required,” said Paul D. Clement, a lawyer for House Republicans.
This unusual defense of traditional marriage was set out last week in a pair of opening legal briefs in the two gay marriage cases to be decided by the Supreme Court this spring.
This argument from shotgun wedding pretty much shows how opponents of marriage have no real arguments. That’s why they’ve come up with an argument that actually comes up with a reason to support same–sex marriage. Also juxtapose how many of those who oppose marriage equality also attack Planned Parenthood and seek to restrict access to abortion and contraception.
The apparently disturbing thing about this argument is that it has been used before and apparently accepted by some US court.
Via Lawyers, Guns, and Money.
Barack Obama has officially come out in favour of marriage equality.
Credit’s due where credit’s due, but frankly, this is no surprise to me. There was no doubt in my mind that he supported same–sex marriage the whole time. He just didn’t say so in a hopeless attempt at hair–splitting, meet–in–the–middleism in a pathetic try at compromising with unreachable wingnuts.
At Fannie’s Room I came across a link to this article at Slate. It mostly concerns different–sex couples in Illinois who are opting for civil unions rather than marriage. In other words, there are fewer marriages than would otherwise have been the case.
The appropriate response to this is, of course, “I told you this would happen”. Just as I predicted over a year ago when this law was passed, and just as has happened in France, by allowing different–sex couples access to civil unions, it creates a competitor to marriage, and therefore weakens marriage and reduced the number of marriages. Had marriage equality simply been allowed none of this would have happened. This is why the supposed concern over the “sanctity of marriage” actually isn’t. Someone who was truly concerned about the sanctity of marriage would not create alternative to it. Rather, they would support marriage equality and therefore increase the number of marriage. Since none of the opponents of marriage equality (that I know of) appear to be doing anything to prevent the benefits of marriage from being available to those who aren’t married, it is clear that opposition to marriage equality is really motivated by bigotry.
And since Hawaii’s civil unions law also allows different–sex couples to enter into civil unions, I predict that the same thing will happen there.