Thursday, August 29, 2013

Newsflash: Being Gay Doesn't Legally Inhibit Adult Decision-Making

I've got a chapter of Astronomy to take notes on, some Spanish to review and a Gay-Straight Alliance meet and greet to get to at Penn State Altoona tonight, but I had to take a few minutes to talk about how much the attorneys for Governor Corbett and thus Governor Corbett himself are just awful.  Perhaps you heard about this yesterday:

Attorneys for Pa.’s Republican governor say gay couples, just like 12-year-olds, can’t marry

I can't even begin to wrap my head around these people.  I really can't.  The argument that they've made is in regards to a lawsuit filed by the Corbett administration attempting to block D. Bruce Hanes, Montogomery County Register of Wills, from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  It should be noted that for organizations working for marriage equality in PA, like Equality PA, this is not the preferred method of challenging current marriage laws.  Regardless, Mr. Hanes has taken it upon himself to correct what is a discriminatory policy, and I have a hard time not applauding him just a little.  

So the Corbett administration can't possibly let this stand because forcing women to have unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds and denying us abortion coverage (even if we're paying for it) is fun and all, but denying gay people the right to legally recognized, committed relationships is where it's at right now.  The thing is, though, that all the really good invalid arguments have already been made and they apparently really desperately wanted something unique to throw in front of a judge.  What did they come up with?  Gay people are like 12 year-olds and so we shouldn't recognize their marriages.  

Gay people getting married is the same thing as two twelve year-olds getting married.  That's their argument.  I understand that what they're getting at is that Pennsylvania law currently defines marriage as being between a man and a woman and since that's a pile of bologna in and of itself, they can't possibly just say "hey look, we define marriage this way not that way."  If they just made that argument they might have to defend the law that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.  Solution?  Gay people equal twelve year-olds.  
My favorite response to this is actually from my husband who said:
Because just like twelve year olds, homosexual men and women aren't able to vote, drive, smoke, enter into other legally binding contracts, make their own medical decisions, etc.  
Except of course they can, because they're grown-ups.  They are adult human beings who are entitled, just like straight people, to legal recognition of their committed relationships if they want it.  The problem for Corbett and his attorneys and everyone who - inexplicably - stands against marriage equality, is that there is no rational argument against it that does not involve religious belief and, whatever Daryl Metcalfe may think, religious belief is not a legal standard in the United States.