Gay Marriage | Nevada | News

11 Attorneys General Sign Federal Appeals Court Brief Defending 'Natural' Marriage

Eleven attorneys general have signed a brief submitted to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals defending Nevada's ban on same-sex marriage, the Salt Lake Tribune reports:

Nevada"If public affirmation of anyone and everyone’s personal love and commitment is the single purpose of civil marriage, a limitless number of rights claims could be set up that evacuate the term ‘marriage’ of any meaning," the attorneys general said in a newly filed amicus brief in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

And once "natural limits" are gone, "it follows that any group of adults would have an equal claim to marriage," the attorneys general said.

The officials who signed the document are from Nevada, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma,  South Carolina, and Utah.

The attorneys general say 33 states adhere to a "historical" definition of marriage, which predates the nation’s founding and is centered on procreation, that limits access to the civil institution to one man and one woman.

"The theory of traditional civil marriage, that is, turns on the unique qualities of the male-female couple for procreating and rearing children under optimal circumstances," they argue. "As such, it not only reflects and maintains deep-rooted traditions of our nation, but also furthers the public policy of encouraging biological parents to stay together for the sake of the children produced by their sexual union."

Civil marriage "channels" sexual desires into stable unions, they said, and has a core purpose of "ameliorating the frequent consequences of heterosexual intercourse, namely the unintended issuance of children."

More at the Salt Lake Tribune...

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  1. Didn't this argument already fail even at the most basic rational basis in court case after court case? Have these AG's learned nothing in law school about legal precedence?

    Posted by: Keith | Feb 2, 2014 6:41:28 PM


  2. And, as such, under this classification of 'traditional marriage', a man and a woman can only get married if they can have children. This would presume that they are of childbearing years.

    Lets take this further. Married couples MUST have offspring that carry both sets of parental genes. People cannot get married and then adopt. Men and woman who cannot medically conceive cannot get married. Married couples must not use birth control (contraception) as they must have children in order to maintain their status as married couples. All pregnancies entered into by married couples must be carried to term and children raised by their biological parents. Should a couple desire a divorce and their children are not yet considered adults, these children will be placed into the hands of other married couples with children and these children will be classified as 'placed'. Once an adult has entered into a 'divorced' state they will not be entitled to become married again...

    This whole 'definition of marriage' business is absurd. Nobody will ever fully agree to a singular definition and the argument will continue ad nauseum. Nobody has the right to define the concept of two people, who love each other, making a commitment to spend the rest of their lives together and to support each other in the process. What about the couples that choose not to have children? What about couples that are unable to have children due to one reason or another?

    Nobody owns the word marriage.

    Posted by: UmYeah | Feb 2, 2014 6:46:59 PM


  3. And, once again, they have repeated the same fatal flaw: they have not shown that letting gay couples marry has any effect whatsoever on straight people's marriages.

    Posted by: woody | Feb 2, 2014 6:49:29 PM


  4. The legal problem with slippery slope arguments is that it assumes that anyone that makes any case for their wacky marriage proposal (say to a desk or a tree or something) will get a pass by the courts when the courts could enact all sorts of legitimate interest arguments against such arrangements. It's not a one-way street if you let gay marriage through.

    Posted by: anon | Feb 2, 2014 6:54:43 PM


  5. And where is the merit in 'adhering' to any historical definition if it can be shown to be;
    [a] discriminatory against a class of citizens;
    [b] inherently no more than a definition;
    [c] being only 'traditional' it has no presumption of exclusive legal validity;
    [c] in itself is inherently of dubious merit in that 'traditional marriage' couples do not stay together;
    [d] if it is 'traditional' it has no standing as against a constitutional right to equality;
    [e] can be demonstrably proved not to include procreation for many couples as asserted by the traditionalists;
    [f] adversely deprives a class of citizens of a civil right;
    [g] sacrifices rights of individuals to an inherently religious biased definition;
    [h] to have no civil, social or economic detriment to 'traditional marriage' couples where such traditional definition is overturned.
    -----------------------------------------
    Of course the real reason behind all the opposition to our rights is bigotry; and all the intellectual posturing of dumb lawyers cannot disguise the medieval heaven/hell/bible thumping/ sterile/ frigidity of these fools. These are vicious malevolent tools......I'm glad that they will be opposed at every turn.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 2, 2014 7:13:54 PM


  6. The church thinks they own the definition of Marriage. All marriages must result in pregnancy and the resulting children must be raised in the Church(doesn't matter what church we are talking about, they all have the same goal/requirement). You see, they can no longer count on or even believe in winning souls for their church, they want REPRODUCTION resulting in ready-made church goers/tithers.

    Posted by: jeff | Feb 2, 2014 7:17:53 PM


  7. If this is the supposed reason for marriage why is it NOT in any state's laws about marriage? This reasoning is not even in any of the state marriage amendments.

    The rationale that marriage is required to raise children disregards all the other parenting scenarios out there - single mother, single father, adoptive parent(s), and any number of other scenarios.

    If these bozos were so concerned about marriage they would outlaw divorce.

    Posted by: bkmn | Feb 2, 2014 7:27:02 PM


  8. So can a man marry his brother in Massachusetts? If not, why not? In particular, what state interest could possibly justify denying a couple's right to spend the rest of their lives together in a loving, legally-recognized commitment just because they happen to share the same parents?

    Posted by: TKinSC | Feb 2, 2014 7:40:38 PM


  9. "Natural"? You mean, like the animals do?

    Posted by: Tigernan | Feb 2, 2014 7:42:05 PM


  10. It sounds like we need to be denied marriage. because heterosexuals can't keep it in their pants.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Feb 2, 2014 7:43:05 PM


  11. So: slippery slope, tradition, and accidental children?

    Yep... these are the same old failed arguments.

    By the way, if they're going to claim tradition, to "[predate] the nation's founding" then they must admit that in some times and in some parts of the world (and possibly some aboriginal inhabitants of this land), same-sex marriage was recognized... even in Christianity. I think it was Dr. Nancy Cott who told us this in the Prop 8 trial.

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 2, 2014 7:43:14 PM


  12. [1] in Nature, there is no marriage.
    [2] in History, the right to marry has never been limited to those able to procreate.

    Posted by: Vint | Feb 2, 2014 7:47:52 PM


  13. Same tired arguments which is why they will lose. Not every heterosexual union is for the purpose of having children. Many straight couples have no such desire. And what do children have to do with getting married anyway? It's simply a commitment between two adult individuals. Their arguments are also a slap in the face to adopted kids and their parents. As if somehow they are less "natural" because these kids weren't biological offspring of the parents who adopted them. Polygamous marriages also predates the founding of the U.S. Doesn't it also adhere to a "historical" definition of marriage?

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Feb 2, 2014 8:21:09 PM


  14. "...it follows that any group of adults would have an equal claim to marriage," the attorneys general said.

    And the problem with that would be...??
    The only 'problem' would be state and government paperwork.
    Too bad so many of these people don't know of or don't remember the hippie movement and notions regarding Free Love, the communes, etc. - and that was a mere 50 years ago.

    Posted by: rroberts | Feb 2, 2014 8:33:21 PM


  15. Poppycock and balderdash, they're saying we can't have any rights because if we did then heterosexuals couldn't behave themselves. That, if it were even remotely true, would be a problem inherent in heterosexuality; why should we need be the whipping boy for their perceived propensity to transgress?

    Posted by: Nick | Feb 2, 2014 8:37:30 PM


  16. Based on these bigots argument, marriage should be denied to any couple unable to procreate. No remarriage for older folks after losing a spouse or divorcing. Once a man receives a vasectomy, he must divorce since he can no longer procreate. And lets not forget those who are or become sterile due to natural (god's plan) reasons. They will say anything to deny equality without thinking all circumstances through. At least 50% of these a**holes making the argument no longer qualify for marriage based on their own criteria but somehow they will be immune to it. Bigotry, plain and simple.

    Posted by: ToThePoint | Feb 2, 2014 9:06:59 PM


  17. Do those states disallow marriage to any couple who cannot have children because the female is too old or either spouse is sterile (naturally or by medical procedure)? If so, they are violating their bigoted reasoning.

    Posted by: Bobby F. | Feb 2, 2014 9:36:04 PM


  18. Keith nailed it right out of the box: how come these AGs aren't aware that this argument has never won in court? Shouldn't they maybe look at court cases on this issue? Or just pull arguments out of their nether regions?

    Posted by: KevinVT | Feb 2, 2014 9:38:55 PM


  19. Weird. I always thought marriage was about love and commitment.

    Odd how it became about "the children" once the gays wanted in on it.

    And, yeah, this ain't holding up in any court of law.

    Posted by: Michael | Feb 2, 2014 9:52:05 PM


  20. @KevinVT: are those AGs up for reelection soon? Maybe they know the argument is nonsense but are making it because they need the homophobe vote.

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 2, 2014 10:14:04 PM


  21. The oddest thing about this particular stance is the fact that regardless if gays are given the same right to marriage as heteros, it won't stop the heteros from having affairs on the side, being on the downlow with same sexes, getting pregnant by someone other than their spouse and on and on.

    It's as if they believe that by withholding marriage to gays, it somehow magically keeps all heteros pure and honorable (and the minute they give it to us, all hell will break loose).

    I'm certain we ALL know that's not the case, including these asinine AGs.

    Idiocy.

    Posted by: johnny | Feb 2, 2014 10:16:33 PM


  22. "natural marriage"? What an oxymoron. There's nothing natural about it - as about 50% of 'em fail anyway. It's as an unnatural a construct as mankind has yet come up with.

    Posted by: Geoff | Feb 2, 2014 10:44:24 PM


  23. The AZ Attorney General, Tom Horne, was caught having an adulterous affair with a female staff member. TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE!

    What a joke.

    Posted by: homer | Feb 2, 2014 11:07:05 PM


  24. Of course their arguments are illogical. Of course heteros are not held to the same standards. That seems perfectly fine to those speaking from a long held position of heteronormative privilege where subjective opinions and ignorance can be offered up without one bit of evidence to back up any of the predictions of doom. What credentials did these AG's show that would give their opinions credence in a court of law?

    These AG's apparently don't see or don't care that what they've signed onto here lambasting non traditional families also includes single parent, grandparent, or adoptive families.

    More than one third of American children are born out of wedlock. ALL of the foster and wards of the state children are from heterosexual parents. ALL of the homeless children are from hetero parents. And yet homosexual couples that make extraordinary efforts to have their own children or adopt the unwanted, neglected, or abandoned children of hetero parents are blamed for the 'potential' demise of 'traditional family'. You hate to think that 13 states have AG's that ignorant or heartless and yet here they are.

    One thing I can guarantee you for certain is that not one of those AG's have the first clue about the hardships same gender parents have to go through and yet our children do as well or better than children raised by opposite gender parents in spite of those hardships.

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Feb 2, 2014 11:37:29 PM


  25. Civil marriage...has a core purpose of "ameliorating the...unintended issuance of children." …[O]nce "natural limits" are gone, "it follows that any group of adults would have an equal claim to marriage," the attorneys general said.

    People can and do procreate multiple times with any number of partners, so the limit of two certainly doesn't follow from biology. It doesn't follow, then, that removing biology as a factor would remove the limit of two. One does not depend on the other. The limit of two is there for some other reason, and it's unrelated and irrelevant to marriage equality.

    Posted by: JJ | Feb 3, 2014 12:16:47 AM


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