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Oklahoma Judge’s Marriage Ruling Demolishes Every Argument Anti-Gay Right Uses

by David Badash on January 15, 2014

in Marriage,News

Post image for Oklahoma Judge’s Marriage Ruling Demolishes Every Argument Anti-Gay Right Uses

The last thing most people want to do is read a court ruling. They’re tiresome, filled with legal jargon, footnotes, and all sorts of oddities.

So I did.

Yesterday, United States District Judge Terence C. Kern ruled that Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional because it “violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution” — another huge win for marriage equality.

(We should note he stayed his ruling upon appeal, so Oklahoma same-sex couples can’t marry yet.)

And Judge Kern took a sledge hammer to every argument the anti-gay and religious right is using to prevent same-ex couples from marrying.

It’s actually so affirming of the rights of same-sex couples it may make you glow for the rest of the day.

The Judge notes that Oklahoma’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage “intentionally discriminates.”

He labeled Oklahoma’s ban “a classic, class-based equal protection case,” and cited numerous press releases noting animus as the reason the law was passed, like this:

State Representative Bill Graves said, “‘This is a Bible Belt state . . . . Most people don’t want that sort of thing here. . . . Gay people might call it discrimination, but I call it upholding morality.’”

And he effectively slammed every so-called “pro-family” anti-gay group, every evangelical and every Christian organization’s arguments against marriage equality.

The Court recognizes that moral disapproval often stems from deeply held religious convictions… However, moral disapproval of homosexuals as a class, or same-sex marriage as a practice, is not a permissible justification for a law.

But wait — it gets better!

Judge Kern writes “there is no rational link between excluding same-sex couples from marriage and the goals of encouraging ‘responsible procreation’ among the ‘naturally procreative’ and/or steering the ‘naturally procreative’ toward marriage.”

Permitting same-sex couples to receive a marriage license does not harm, erode, or somehow water-down the “procreative” origins of the marriage institution, any more than marriages of couples who cannot “naturally procreate” or do not ever wish to “naturally procreate.”

And then, bingo!

If a same-sex couple is capable of having a child with or without a marriage relationship, and the articulated state goal is to reduce children born outside of a marital relationship, the challenged exclusion hinders rather than promotes that goal.

Kern keeps on hitting it out of the ballpark, exploding the so-called “every child deserves a mom and a dad” claim groups like NOM and the Family Research Council use.

He writes “the Court cannot discern, a single way that excluding same-sex couples from marriage will ‘promote’ this ‘ideal’ child-rearing environment. Exclusion from marriage does not make it more likely that a same-sex couple desiring children, or already raising children together, will change course and marry an opposite-sex partner…”

“The Court concludes that denial of same-sex couples from marriage “does nothing to promote stability in heterosexual parenting.””

Excluding same-sex couples from marriage has done little to keep Oklahoma families together thus far, as Oklahoma consistently has one of the highest divorce rates in the country.

And then, finally, this:

“Exclusion of just one class of citizens from receiving a marriage license based upon the perceived ‘threat’ they pose to the marital institution is, at bottom, an arbitrary exclusion based upon the majority’s disapproval of the defined class. It is also insulting to same-sex couples, who are human beings capable of forming loving, committed, enduring relationships.”

Now, doesn’t that feel good?

Image by Ivan McClellan via Flickr

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usorthem3 January 15, 2014 at 8:46 am

Sally Kern and Jim Inholfe's blood pressure must be through the roof. That makes me smile more than anyone can know. #winning

Zack12 January 15, 2014 at 10:19 am

Same here,so many bigots,so little time.

iron07maiden January 15, 2014 at 8:49 am

These should be the arguments used throughout the entire country! Bravo to Judge Kern.

LOrion January 16, 2014 at 7:21 pm

They have been except for specific Okalhoma quotes.

BeeQueenbee60 January 15, 2014 at 9:44 am

Pat Robertson is going to have a fit! The GOP says they've accepted the fact that same-sex marriage is becoming acceptable across the country, yet they still are saying derogatory/insulting things. They refuse to change with the times.

Towanda January 15, 2014 at 10:03 am

Finally! Someone hits the nail on the head! Kern effectively exposes every claim anti-LGBT people make when talking about how same sex couples being granted access to a marriage license in somehow a bad thing. Kern realizes these people have nothing (I'm sure other courts realize this, but this ruling was by far the most blatant in stating this). I'm glad Kern brought up the things he did. It shows the issue of marriage equality for what it is: an incredibly simple issue which any person with a Fifth Grade knowledge of US government and civics could figure out (or should be able to, but that's another story). Hopefully, these arguments will be used in other states so we can finally put this issue to rest and talk about something else!

BJLincoln January 15, 2014 at 12:45 pm

I am so glad he stated these arguments! We need these listed for every court battle. I am warm and fuzzy. Thanks

Mike Dalgarno January 15, 2014 at 1:41 pm

It's refreshing to see a level-headed response to discriminatory arguments.

It appears that some people have major concerns about changing 'traditional' marriage so that it accepts same-sex relationships. I kindly remind them that 1) Same-sex marriage isn't new. Emperor Nero married a man in 54 A.D. and another 14 years later. 2) 'Traditional' marriage has constantly evolved through time whether allowing inter-race, banning forced marriages to even allowing divorce.

EdofTennessee January 16, 2014 at 12:52 am

<div class="idc-message" id="idc-comment-msg-div-785057306"><a class="idc-close" title="Click to Close Message" href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(785057306)"><span>Close Message</span> Comment posted. <p class="idc-nomargin"><a class="idc-share-facebook" target="_new" href="; style="text-decoration: none;"><span class="idc-share-inner"><span>Share on Facebook</span></span> or <a href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(785057306)">Close MessageSo many street preaching, religious frump, religious fanatic, self righteous, corrupt, evil,satan following, hateful, prejudice, conceited and bigoted so-called christian republiCON politicians;……. SO FEW LIONS AND LION'S DENS to take care of them all !!!!!!!! I say DEPORT all self righteous to Iran and Iraq !!!! Ed of Tennessee

Peter Blaise January 16, 2014 at 9:25 am

EdofTennessee — please re-edit and cleanup the code from your post — thanks.

Good post, by the way.

LOrion January 16, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Ed just an FYI when your ‘edit’ comes up looking like that. Just find the real part, usually at the end and delete all that garbage on top.

LOrion January 16, 2014 at 7:22 pm

He may not know how Peter. I explained, I think.

EdofTennessee January 16, 2014 at 12:54 am

So many street preaching, religious frump, religious fanatic, self righteous, corrupt, evil,satan following, hateful, prejudice, conceited and bigoted so-called christian republiCON politicians;……. SO FEW LIONS AND LION'S DENS to take care of them all !!!!!!!! I say DEPORT all self righteous to Iran and Iraq !!!! Ed of Tennessee

LOrion January 16, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Thank you so much… as we now seem to be debating LGBT execution methods instead of revealing LOVE IS LOVE! Will share, and possibly read before bed every night.
I read all the California ruling ..they are boring, but fascinating once you get into them, especially if there are a lot of precedent cases in the footnotes! I learned a ton from that one because it went back to Loving VS Virginia and Lawrence v Texas etc.
PS LOVE the Picture…If that isn’t the 'DEFINITION OF JOY' I don’t know what would be.

dbcexplorer January 18, 2014 at 9:19 am

BAM! BAM! A one, two punch for a TKO! Love it!

RomanWarrior9 January 19, 2014 at 11:51 pm

I am so glad that Judge Kern put the case before the court on why Gay Marriage bans are a violation of our constitution, but please people, do not think all Christians are like those who hate Gay people! A lot are not. I am a Gay man with a faith and belief in God and so is my husband to be! We do not believe for a minut that God hates Gay people and many churches around the country are renouncing Bigotry including right here in Arizona! Yes, I blame the religions for the Hate Ignorance and Bigotry, but religion and faith are two completely different things! And yes, I love my state of Arizona for it natural beauty and I hope to marry my husband here!

diamonion February 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm

the most potent weapon against bigots are their own words. good thing they never shut up.

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