Ah, Kentucky. To the one, it is true that I believed nobody could top the stupidity of Paul Clement, arguing for House Republicans in Hollingsworth that irresponsible procreation by heterosexuals was a good reason to ban gay marriage.
To the other, there is Kentucky.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says the state’s ban on gay marriage should be upheld in part because it is not discriminatory in that both gay and straight people are barred from marrying people of the same gender.
In an argument labeled absurd by gay marriage advocates, Beshear’s lawyer says in a brief filed last week at the U.S. Supreme Court that “men and women, whether heterosexual or homosexual, cannot marry persons of the same sex” under Kentucky law, making the law non-discriminatory.
The argument mirrors that offered by the state of Virginia nearly 50 years ago when it defended laws barring interracial marriage there and in 15 other states, including Kentucky, by saying they weren’t discriminatory because whites were barred from marrying blacks just as blacks were barred from marrying whites.
The Supreme Court in 1967 rejected that argument in the historic case of Loving v. Virginia, in which Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred Jeter, a black woman, were charged with a crime for marrying.
• It is certainly acceptable, and even encouraged, to laugh yourself happy. Weeping over the morbid stupidity does nobody any good.
• I haven’t encountered this argument for over six years, and back then it was a run of the mill internet troll with a penchant for wanting to hurt other people’s feelings and LOLing gregariously at his own bad jokes. Yes, this is what bigotry is reduced to―its true form.
• There is a modicum of comfort to be found. While Wolfson’s article notes that “Beshear has declined to discuss his personal view of gay marriage”, conservatives have known since before he was elected that he supports marriage equality. That is to say, his heart isn’t really in the fight. Then again, his Attorney General, fellow Democrat Jack Conway, refused to even argue this case, which is why it is in the hands of Ashland attorney Leigh Gross Latherow. Perhaps aiming for some additional argumentative nostalgia, Ms. Latherow also argued that gay marriage threatens the entire human species.
Call it a throwback to that time when … er … ah … you know, I really loathe that “that” trend. That time, that guy, that moment. Still, as the clock runs out on this particular bigotry, it is hard to not enjoy the desperate howls. And, yeah, there are some misty memories, there. But it’s like the last quarter-century is flashing before their eyes, and we are obliged, at the bigot’s deathbed, to sit and listen to it all. Call it compassion, if you like. Call yourself a hero for simply not vomiting. But, you know, we’re almost there. This is almost over. If nothing else, take some pleasure in the bigots’ desperation; the fire burns brightest, the night is darkest, and the bigots are loudest.
The end is nigh.
Image note: Top ― “Lebanon’s memories”: Pictures of Lebanon’s family, in happier days. Left―”Lebanon’s mourning”: Lebanon weeps for his late wife, Michiru, and his son’s grief. (Details of frames from Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor, episode 5, “Gunsmoke Blows, Life Flows…”)
Wolfson, Andrew. “Ky: No one can marry same sex, ban not biased”. The Courier-Journal. 31 March 2015.
Savage, David G. “Gay marriage opponents take unusual tack with Supreme Court”. Los Angeles Times. 26 January 2013.
Savage, Dan. “A Little Good News on Election Night”. Slog. 7 November 2007.