Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Adam Serwer on yesterday's oral arguments in the Supreme Court Prop 8 case:
When it came to same-sex couples who already have children, [plaintiffs' lawyer Charles] Cooper argued that some nebulous harm could come to children raised in same-sex families. But California already has thousands of children with same-sex parents, and it is unclear what interest is served by preventing those parents from marrying. Finally, Cooper argued, the tradition of marriage is really old and you never know what might happen if it is "redefin[ed]... as a genderless institution." Kagan asked Cooper what harm he could see happening to opposite-sex marriages. Once again, Cooper couldn't answer. Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose vote will likely decide the fate of Proposition 8, impatiently asked Cooper, "Are you conceding the point that there is no harm or denigration to traditional opposite-sex marriage couples?"

No, Cooper said, without providing any examples of harm. When asked by Justice Sonia Sotomayor whether states would also have an interest in legalizing employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, Cooper, his voice trailing off, said, "I do not have anything to offer you in that regard." It felt like he had left the room.

Justice Antonin Scalia, trying to throw Cooper a life preserver, contended that there is "considerable disagreement among sociologists" whether or not being raised by same-sex couples is bad for kids. Actually, there's only disagreement if you count the work of sociologists hired by same-sex marriage opponents. The American Psychological Association has found that "lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children." And Scalia ... added the disclaimer, "I take no position on whether it is harmful or not."
If the wingers' hearts were really in this fight, they'd have massive amounts of evidence that gay marriage causes harm -- because they'd have made it up. They'd have done what they've done on climate change and guns. They'd be lavishly funding think tanks that are to gay marriage what the Heartland Institute and other well-funded climate-denial groups are to global warming. The disinformation generated by these groups would be on Fox News and in other winger media outlets every few days year round, and would flood the zone at key moments in the national debate. They'd try to groom a go-to "expert" who'd be on gay marriage what John Lott is on guns -- a tireless figures-lie-and-liars-figure propagandist who'll reliably show up whenever needed to reinforce the narrative with pseudo-science.

As Adam says, there is some effort to generate phony facts on this subjects -- but the big kahunas of the right-wing media don't seem motivated to catapult this propaganda at every possible opportunity. (Maybe the GOP doesn't want to lose too much of that sweet, sweet cash from gay-friendly Wall Streeters.) If the right really wanted to fight on this issue in its usual way, there'd be so many lies being promulgated that we'd barely be able to keep up.


Victor said...

I think that in the past decade or so, so many people have come out of the closet, that even Conservatives know someone directly or indirectly who are gay, like Senator Portman.

As long as they stayed in the closet, gays were easy to demmonize as child-raping sexual deviants who would stop at nothing to fulfill their sexual urges.

But, when they finally had the courage to come out, the haters knew too many of them, and saw that they turned out to be normal in every way, except sexual orientation.

I may be wrong on this.
And there will be pockets of gay-hatred in certain parts of certain states, if not all of them, for a long, long, time.

But, eventually, their homophobic worlds will end - not with a bang, but with whimpers.

Lit3Bolt said...

Spot on analysis, SteveM.

I think the Republican money has concluded there's no money in gay bashing.

But seriously, this entire analysis could turn into a 12,000 word article with evidence. You're onto something here.

aimai said...

Boies or Starr said during the Prop 8 trial: its one thing to make shit up for the popular press but its a very, very, very, different matter to lie under oath or to spin the shit in front of a judge--in this case that must go double in front of the supreme court. I think you are slightly underestimating the fear factor. The right wing hasn't given up but it may not have been able to figure out how to shoehorn non evidence into this hearing.

Anonymous said...

Like so much on the right, it isn't really about ideology at all. It's about money. There's no money to be made by opposing marriage equality, like there is in shilling for the gun or oil industries.

Lawrence said...

The money men in the GOP can take a tactical retreat on this losing issue, blame it on the "Liberal Activist Court", and let the Christopaths fight it out in the minor leagues of red state government.