Sodom, Gomorrah, And The Supreme Court

After listening to and reading the transcript of the oral arguments made available by the Supreme Court yesterday, I can quickly summarize the position of those opposed to legalizing same-sex marriage: homosexuals can’t produce kids by boinking, therefore the government has the right to withhold its official blessing from such boinking.

The attorney for those wishing to keep in force California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage, Charles Cooper, summed up his argument toward the end of the session:

That’s what this question really boils down here, whether or not it can be said that, for every legitimate purpose of marriage, are opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples indistinguishable? And with all due respect to counsel and to the Respondents, that is not a hard question. 

If, in fact, it is true, as the people of California believe that it still is true, that the natural procreative capacity of opposite-sex couples continues to pose vitally important benefits and risks to society, and that’s why marriage itself is the institution that society has always used to regulate those heterosexual, procreative relationships.

I’ll leave it to your common sense (or just listen to Justice Kagan dismantle it) to figure out what’s wrong with that ridiculous argument because I find its ridiculousness self-evident. But I will point you to the use of the words, “the natural procreative capacity.” Because homosexuals lack this capacity, goes the argument, they don’t enjoy the same entitlement to marriage as folks whose boinking can have crumb-cruncher consequences.

That’s what it boils down to.

The truth of the matter is that most of those defending the ban on same-sex marriage aren’t really worried about regulating “procreative” relationships, otherwise they’d prohibit Rush Limbaugh from having—count ’em—four wives. What they are really worried about is society legitimating what they consider to be illegitimate: homosexuality.

To them, people who are not sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex are defective human beings who need to be kept in their place as defective human beings otherwise the United States will go straight to hell because, after all, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

And we will soon find out whether our Supreme Court, the institution that actually tells us what the law is in this country, will side with the much-maligned, if imaginary, citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah or the angry, but thankfully imaginary, God who persecuted them for their imaginary sins.

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  1. King Beauregard

     /  March 27, 2013

    “To them, people who are not sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex are defective human beings who need to be kept in their place as defective human beings otherwise the United States will go straight to hell because, after all, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.”

    I think you do a small disservice to your conservative readers (all 2 of them). It’s not that most of them wish any ill upon homosexuals, or genuinely fear that God will go Bronze Age on our country. Their thought process is more along the lines of:

    “gays are weird” => “gay marriage is weird” => “gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed”

    That’s all it is for a great many people: a naked gut reaction to gay marriage, trying to clothe itself in arguments.

    Now, I’ll side with opponents of gay marriage on “gay marriage is weird”: I share their gut reaction, it doesn’t feel right. But then there’s also this part of me that says “So what? It’s their business, not yours. If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t gay-marry.” And that’s where the argument ends in my head; I don’t believe that my particular gut reaction deserves any legal standing, and since I can’t fashion any solid arguments against gay marriage, I’m left having to support gay marriage. Any internal resistance is my problem and mine alone, as it should be.


    • Honest confession, my friend.

      I would say that I once felt the same way, in terms of the sheer gut reaction of a heterosexual male being first exposed to man-to-man sexual interactions. I confess I never had that feeling about woman-to-woman interactions, and I can’t explain that difference except possibly by recourse to having been more exposed to the latter than the former.

      If you know what I mean.



  2. writer89

     /  March 27, 2013

    Not that I believe any of that crap, but according to the Bible, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed as a result of laziness and lack of care for the poor. There is no mention, in any translation, of Sodom and Gomorrah being full of homosexuals. Even their own made-up “evidence” is lacking. As for gays lacking procreative ability, I had myself fixed after our second kid, and my wife is over 55, so I guess our marriage license should be revoked. Young gay couples are more likely to have children (either to father them or to become pregnant, depending on gender) than we are. What terrible logic!


    • Another theory was that the Sodomites committed the sin of being inhospitable, etc. I find some of those explanations to be ad hoc attempts to justify the legitimacy of the ancient texts, when clearly they are replete with errors, prejudice, and bigotry.

      The truth is that for most people familiar with the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in popular culture, the sin was homosexuality.

      By the way, with your 55 reference, I assume you read Justin Kagan’s responses to the arguments presented. Fantastic stuff, I thought.



  3. In my religion classes at WFU, I was taught that the sin of the Sodomites was in their being inhospitable. My professor was (and if his Letters to the Editor are a guage, still is) quite
    conservative. But what I find interesting and puzzling is the question of why should government have anything to say about the religious institution of holy matrimony. I believe our government should give to all adults who apply for it a license for a civil union, or domestic partnership, with all legal rights. I’d say the government should not give anyone a marriage license. I wonder
    why this is never seen as an option? I’m probably missing something obvious.


  4. kabe

     /  March 27, 2013

    If Conservatives are so concerned about the procreation abilities of those that enter into marriage, then how do they explain the anti- abortion stance against those that are raped or molested by a relative? I would sincerely love to hear from a conservative on this question.



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