Over at Slate.com, Mark Joseph Stern breaks down something we have all known since we started the fight for marriage equality; just how silly and animus-driven the arguments of our opponents have always been. In his op-ed, Stern deconstructs how the flimsy arguments used to conceal that animus is becoming more and more transparent as time moves along, and how this causes a real problem for those who want to keep equality from us.
The answer, it turns out, is that there are none—none, at least, that aren’t driven by animus. A review of the failed attempts here is instructive. At various points, conservatives argued that every child deserves a mom and a dad; that gay people simply make inferior parents; that marriage isn’t marriage without penile-vaginal penetration; that legalizing gay marriage would lower birth rates; and, best of all, that somehow, allowing gay people to get married would cause more straight people to have children out of wedlock.
Are you snickering? So were the judges who had the pleasure of hearing these arguments spelled out in court. Doctors and scientists have known for years that children do just as well with two dads or two moms, if not a little better; in fact, the only disadvantage the children of gay couples face is the stigma foisted upon them by anti-gay conservatives. (Even conservative Utah has stopped arguing that gays make bad parents.) The notion that vaginal intercourse a true marriage makes, while fun to talk about, surely has no bearing on equal protection jurisprudence. (It’s also rooted in Catholic dogma and is patently ridiculous.) The birthrate claim is made up wholesale.