NV Attorney General Links Gay Marriage To Bigamy, Incest In Brief Defending State’s Ban

Masto56Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D) has an onslaught of backlash headed her way after a brief she filed on Tuesday linked same-sex marriage to bigamy and incest. The brief, responding to the Lambda Legal-filed case Sevick v. Sandoval which is challenging Nevada's 2002 ban on gay marriage, stands in vehement opposition to repealing the ban, reportedly "on the basis that it reflects the will of the people." Masto believes that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals need not apply heightened scrutiny to this case as “There exists neither fundamental right, nor suspect or quasi- suspect class, justifying a different standard of review.” A controversial perspective, to be sure, but not nearly as much as the direct links she draws among gay marriage, incest, and bigamy.

The Washington Blade reports:

But in a section titled “Marriage Defined” explaining “what marriage is” and “what marriage is not,” Masto reminds the court that in addition to not being for same-sex couples under Nevada law, marriage is also not for those engaging in bigamy or incest.

Bigamyincest

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, took Masto to task for making an implicit comparison between same-sex marriage and bigamy or incest while saying she makes no solid argument against allowing gay nuptials in Nevada.

“Marriage is not ‘defined’ by who is denied it, and nothing in the brief explains why loving and committed couples of the same sex should be denied the legal commitment and bundle of obligations and protections that are available to different-sex couples,” Wolfson said.

Masto differs from other Democratic state attorney generals who have recently decided not to defend gay marriage bans based on their lack of constitutional validity. For their part, Lambda Legal will have words with Masto soon.

Jon Davidson, Lambda’s legal director, said “of course, we find any such comparison objectionable” between same-sex marriage and bigamy or incest. The organization is slated to file its formal response to the attorney general’s brief next month.

GetEQUAL Nevada lead organizer Derek Washington, a friend of Attorney General Masto's, issued the following statement in response to her brief:

"I count Attorney General Cortez Masto as one of my very first mentors, having met her at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. I am deeply disappointed that she would take the positions she has in her vigorous defense of a law that I find discriminatory and against the ideals of equality this great country was founded on. For the Attorney General to equate marriage equality with bigamy and incest is not only jaw dropping, but it is also a personal affront from someone I thought understood that we, LGBTQ Nevadans, are just the same as all other Nevadans. We work hard, send our children to school and contribute to the health of our communities. To be lumped in with bigamists and sexual criminals by a friend is, to say the very least, heartbreaking."

Comments

  1. jason says

    You’ve got to remember that homophobia towards male homosexuality is driven largely by a woman’s fear of men. Women fear the power of men and the power of their sexuality, be it heterosexual or homosexual.

    Women tend to be less phobic towards male homosexuality if it’s segregated away than if it exists in men who are also attracted to women. Once male homosexuality materializes in men who are also attracted to women, it threatens her ability to control men.

    Keep in mind that women control men through sexual consent. She’s the gate-keeper. If she’s not in the mood, the sex act cannot proceed. Men who can turn to men when the woman does not consent represent a threat to her ability to control men.

    This is why much of the homophobia towards us guys comes from women. It’s part of the gender war.

  2. Steve says

    Ah, Rick dusted off his “Jason” alias. Haven’t seen that in a while. But as usual his posts are easily identifiable within a few words.

  3. JackFknTwist says

    Calm down dear !

    Marriage is not divorce.
    Marriage is not the Immaculate Conception.
    Marriage is not possession of crack.
    Marriage is not two people living together.
    Marriage is not penetration by ‘the Holy Spirit’.

    Marriage may be Greek male bonding.
    Marriage may be the vows of the male couples of the Sacred Band before Cheronae.
    Marriage may be a man and a woman who want careers not children.
    Marriage may be two people, male or female who want/don’t want children.

    Marriage may be the freedom of two citizens to have what their next door neighbours have.

    But marriage is not what you say it is Citizen Masto…and Marriage is not defined by reference to a few statutory laws specifically referenced by you to manipulate your narrow self-serving definition.

    Calm down dear and get out more.

  4. Gerry says

    @E.C. That is EXACTLY what I was thinking. Her position is utterly absurd – but at the same time it accurately states the views of the anti-equality side. Personally, I believe she did us a great favor. It shows just how ridiculous the arguments against marriage equality are.

  5. Bob K says

    ANOTHER RIGHT WING CATHOLIC — a Gonzaga graduate — unwilling to go against what the bishops want.

    WHY IS EVERYONE NOT PICKETING CATHOLIC BISHOPS AND CHURCHES?
    Without the pressure from the bishops, NJ, IL, CA, WA, HI, and other States would have had equality sooner.

    WHY DON’T THEY GET THE BLAME?

  6. says

    This is puzzling.

    Obviously Masto knows that the fundamental right part of her argument is nonsense and she used it in conjunction with a question of scrutiny. Now the Ninth has to answer that assertion. Should they use Kern’s ruling or find on their own that LGBT citizens are indeed a suspect class that pretty much seals the fate for marriage equality in the Ninth district states.
    She may have done us a favor here.

  7. Bernie says

    what Ms. Masto said is an insult to the gblt community…….and bigamy is ILLEGAL in the USA and I am not quite sure how/why/where she ties incest in with being gay……….neither make any sense!

  8. JasonMacB says

    I’m going to take the high road and suppose she made an utterly ridiculous losing argument to make it easier for the court to find the statute unconstitutional.

    Otherwise, this is sad.

  9. Ben in Oakland says

    The proper response is…

    Incest isn’t marriage. It’s sexual relations with someone too closely related, and is a felony in the state of nevada. We’renot talking about that.

    Bigamy isn’t marriage. It’s one legal marriage followed by one illegal marriage. It,s also a felony in Nevada. Were also not talking about that, either.

    What were asking about is one legal marriage between two unrelated people.

  10. says

    I think it’s brilliant.

    Masto is not an idiot like Corbett in Pa and the hate groups that use this language all the time. She also personally supports marriage equality. Incest & bigamy are red herrings used only to appease the fundamentalists. It’s their language. Do you honestly think the Ninth doesn’t know this? I believe she couched these assertions deliberately so that the Ninth would have to address them.

    Now the argument is framed so that the Ninth has to answer the elemental questions of the fundamental right to marriage & level of scrutiny. This is exactly what you do to get the answers you need from the Courts.

  11. Bill Lundy says

    She’s forcing the court to recognize that, in the case of either incest or bigamy, the laws are consistently applied against all classes of people; in the case against marriage equality, there is a class distinction between those accorded the right to marry and those forbidden from marrying. I think she may be helping narrow the argument by focusing on the difference between fairly applied marriage laws and those that unfairly apply to a quasi-suspect and/or suspect class [despite her clearly erroneous claims to the contrary].

  12. Lexis says

    She’s a Democrat? .. And according to Wikipedia she’s not even up for re-election in 2014, since term limits prevent that, plus she declined to run for governor.

  13. woodroad34 says

    These egregious statements from a Democrat make me tend to agree with @E.C. above. And any real politician knows that “The will people” needs to be mitigated as much as the other branches of government. “The Will of The People”, like religion, is not omnipotent and all truth. It’s fallible, makes mistakes, and is sometimes ungodly.

  14. Ready says

    If Nevada held a referendum and 50.1% of the voters approved of removing a woman’s right to vote or hold public office would she be so quick to askl a court to rule based on the “will of the people”?

  15. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    It wasn’t too long ago in Western history when the popular consensus was against a woman’s right to vote. Mato’s use of the phrase “will of the people” is hypocritical.

    Also, if commenters criticize Jason’s post, they need to refute the points he is making, not simply stick a label on his post.

  16. JJ says

    @ARTIE_IN_LAUDERDALE, meet Hitchens’s razor:

    What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

  17. Macmantoo says

    That’s ok, I’m a democratic gay voter in the state of Nevada and this woman just lost my vote for any office she runs for.

  18. Chevytexas says

    Poor Derek is a poor judge of character. Or, she is very bwd at acting. Bad PR for Nevada Democrats, women in professions and Hispanic politicians…

  19. Chuckles says

    Such BS. There’s no such “linkage” there at all. Just the fact that there are boundaries and definitions. Hard to argue with. Actually, a given.

  20. Paul B. says

    Is she doing a bachmann thing with her eyes or do all the white bit$ches in the world look the same to me?

  21. jamal49 says

    @READY The right to vote for women is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. No legislation can take that away. However, all other rights that women think are theirs, such as running for public office, CAN be taken away by popular vote, if such ballot initiatives met whatever whatever is required to be placed in front of the voters in an election cycle. Women need to realize and believe this. The only way for women to guarantee full civil equality for themselves that can never be taken away by popular vote is to revive and ratify the ERA.

  22. emjayay says

    Catherine, I am loathe to give you any helful clues of any kind, and really totally not any kind of looksitst or anything….but that thing on your head is just not doing you any favors.

  23. jjose712 says

    I’m tired tired tired of the misogynist comments everytime a woman shows she is a bigot.
    For every woman there’s ten men doing that kind of comments.
    Yes some women are homophobic, and some men too (even some gay men shows clear symptoms of homophobia or at least self hatred), but that doesn’t mean there are a lot of fantastic allies, women and men who are not that way.
    The same with race, everytime somebody who is not white there come tons of semiracist comments like one man’s (or woman) oppion was representing a whole group

  24. Bill Perdue says

    She’s in the right party. Obama and most Democrats are rebranded bigots. Obama and the Democrats are not pro-gay politicians, they’re just ordinary, dreary, common rightwing lap dogs of the rich and mad dog warmongers who rebranded for votes or money. Many people made the mistake of voting for them in 2008, repeated it in 2012 and will go it again in 2016. They’re voting against their own community.

    Democrats are Republicans in drag.

    “There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt — until recently … and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.” Gore Vidal

  25. MIke says

    having experienced sex with a sibling, a farm animal and my current lover, I can tell you she is 100% wrong as all three experiences are quite unique and really share very little in common.

  26. jakeinlove says

    At least they could come up with an original argument that HASN’T lost in the courts already. Talking about stupid logic.

  27. Rick says

    What the hell!?!? A a person who voted for Attorney General Catherine Masto I thought that she was community friend. Her friends may feel fine with saying “I am deeply disappointed that she would take the positions she (has)” but I’m sure as hell not! This brief cannot be taken out of context. Masto betrayed the gay community and Democratic principles. I will remember this when she runs for any other office in Nevada. I will not forget and I will make sure others don’t as well!

  28. Junior says

    She should get no passes on here for her IGNORANT remark. Just because one is a democrat does not mean they always come from a place of good or understanding (albeit, republicans never seem to come from a place of good or understand) but I have higher expectations from our democratic leaders, and this woman should be ashamed for her ignorance on the topic

  29. Binor says

    Shame on her. It wasn’t long ago WOMEN were afforded lack of rights for arguments she is making. She is uneducated and doesn’t know her own history!