Justice Breyer’s Got My Back

In a recent blog, I anticipated some of the arguments that would be made before the Supreme Court today regarding the issue of gay marriage.  I argued that the obsession with marriage existing solely for the purpose of procreation was anti-adoption – not just for a gay family but for a straight one, as well.  I was pleased to see that Justice Breyer seems to agree with me:

JUSTICE BREYER: What precisely is the way in which allowing gay couples to marry would interfere with the vision of marriage as procreation of children that allowing sterile couples of different sexes to marry would not? I mean, there are lots of people who get married who can’t have children. To take a State that does allow adoption and say — there, what is the justification for saying no gay marriage? Certainly not the one you said, is it?
MR. COOPER: You’re –
JUSTICE BREYER: Am I not clear? Look, you said that the problem is marriage; that it is an institution that furthers procreation.
MR. COOPER: Yes, Your Honor.
JUSTICE BREYER: And the reason there was adoption, but that doesn’t apply to California. So imagine I wall off California and I’m looking just there, where you say that doesn’t apply. Now, what happens to your argument about the institution of marriage as a tool towards procreation? Given the fact that, in California, too, couples that aren’t gay but can’t have children get married all the time.
MR. COOPER: Yes, Your Honor. The concern is that redefining marriage as a genderless institution will sever its abiding connection to its historic traditional procreative purposes, and it will refocus, refocus the purpose of marriage and the definition of marriage away from the raising of children and to the emotional needs and desires of adults, of adult couples.  [Link to Full Transcript]

It really leaves me wondering – did Mr. Cooper not anticipate the questions about sterile couples?  Or people getting married while in prison?  Or people marrying who are over the age of 55?   Why did the proponents of traditional marriage hire such terrible lawyers?  Or, more likely, did the lawyers know going in that the basis of their entire argument is weak.  I just can’t fathom it.

I’ll probably continue writing about gay marriage and adoption as this conversation plays out nationally, as well.


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