Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear two big gay marriage cases, we're getting a glimpse into the legal arguments against same-sex marriage.
They're all pretty absurd.
This week, supporters of California's anti-gay marriage law Proposition 8 filed a Supreme Court brief supporting their case, as did Republicans who are fighting to keep the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act.
Prop 8 supporters argued that marriage should be limited to opposite-sex couples because the state has an interest in regulating relationships that have the "unique capacity" to "create new life."
Of course it's silly to imply gay people can't make babies.
Lesbians can get pregnant pretty easily by going to their local sperm bank, and gay men can "create new life" by enlisting a surrogate mom.
The group of Republican lawmakers who are defending DOMA – which defines marriage as between a man and woman for federal law purposes – seemed to acknowledge in their own brief that gays can have kids.
That brief argues that straight couples should get special marriage privileges because they're the only ones who have a "unique ability to produce unplanned and unintended offspring."
It's true. Gay couples actually have to plan their pregnancies, unlike straight couples who can get knocked up without much effort at all.
Jokes aside, the fact that neither group acknowledges the existence of infertile straight couples makes their arguments rather illogical.
But this debate isn't really about making logical legal arguments. It's about homophobia.
If gay couples can't have the same rights as straight couples, then they're simply not equal.
As the New York Times columnist Frank Bruni wrote in a moving op-ed, laws like DOMA "codified unequal treatment of gays and lesbians and, in doing so, validated the views of Americans who see us as lesser people."
"If our love is suspect, then so is who we are," Bruni added. "No two ways to interpret that."
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