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Supreme Court Questioning Threatens 650,000 Same-Sex Couples And Their 250,000 Children

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America’s top justices appear poised to threaten 650,000 same-sex couples, many of whom are raising 250,000 children today. The Court must answer five moral questions before they can decide the top two civil rights cases of this generation.

Five moral matters are about to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, in two of the many civil marriage disputes that have been percolating for 22 years in agencies, legislatures, and courtrooms across the nation.

The Court, yesterday and today, will hear oral arguments challenging two same-gender marriage bans. California’s Proposition 8 bans civil marriage for same-gender couples and families, and forces them into second-class domestic partnership. The federal Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) ignores civilly married couples and families whenever spouses are of the same gender, and denies them access to 1,138 federal programs, including most military pay and benefits. These are the first two marriage equality cases to get Supreme Court reviews since 1967, when all laws banning interracial couples from civil marriage were declared unconstitutional.

In these and many similar lawsuits now underway, looming over the cases, the judges, and America are five moral questions. In order to recognize the moral questions, one must first understand the disputes, and then hear the arguments.

Four core facts are undisputed.  (1) Families — headed by both same-gender couples and mixed-gender couples — often raise children from prior marriage, fertilization, surrogacy, foster care, and/or adoption. (2) Regardless of pregnancy type or family structure, all children have the same constitutional rights. (3) In 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau counted 646,464 same-gender couples nationwide, and 20% of those couples (129,293 families) are raising nearly 250,000 children. (4) Of those 646,464 couples, 22% live in states where they now can marry, but 78% live in states where they still cannot marry.

Given these facts, the two lawsuits arise from two practical questions. Should states ban marriage for same-gender couples? Should governments treat such couples and their children as inferior to other families? More than anything else, the outcomes will be driven by the ultimate morality query for Americans: Do we treat others the same way that we ourselves want to be treated? The opponents of equality say, “No, we do not, and we should not.”

Those opponents of equality are the Mormon and Roman Catholic church officials who funded the campaign and legal defense for California Proposition 8, and the Republican Party officials who are funding the legal defense for DOMA.

In their latest briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, Mormon- and Catholic-funded leaders (here and here) and Republican Party leaders (here and here) now argue: that true gays and lesbians don’t even exist, that all of humanity is heterosexual, that people who claim to be gays or lesbians are just heterosexuals who “choose to misbehave,” that they’re mentally ill, and they’re curable, but they refuse to be cured, so that’s why they should be denied equality under the law.  [No peer-accepted, scientific evidence supports such ideas, and all major professional organizations reject these claims.]

These opponents insist that mixed-gender couples are superior to same-gender couples, that government should promote “natural” procreation (no contraception, no fertilization, no surrogacy), and should ban same-gender marriage to promote mixed-gender marriage.  They argue that because mixed-gender couples produce unplanned, unwanted offspring and same-gender couples do not, that’s why society should ban marriage for same-gender couples.

These opponents claim that mixed-gender parents are ideal and superior to same-gender parents [even though peer-accepted, scientific studies disprove that claim.]  These opponents admit that most children of mixed-gender parents are unplanned and unwanted, and then argue that government should promote mixed-gender parents and their children by penalizing same-gender parents and their children.

These opponents claim that same-gender couples don’t procreate, they rarely raise children, they cut marriage/birth rates and raise promiscuity rates among mixed-gender couples, they kill civilizations, and they’ll make humanity extinct. [That’s untrue. Same-gender couples do procreate (via fertilization and/or surrogacy); they do have children (from prior partners, foster care, and adoption); and they often raise children (most of whom are abandoned by mixed-gender couples). Despite 22 years of campaigns and courtroom trials, marriage equality opponents never once showed how banning marriage for same-gender couples would raise marriage rates, boost birth rates, or cut promiscuity among mixed-gender couples. And there’s no scientific evidence suggesting that same-gender marriage kills civilizations, or could end the human race.]

These opponents imagine that same-gender marriage might have an unknown flaw today that could be catastrophic tomorrow, and that this is why the justice system should do nothing.

These opponents of equality argue that same-gender couples should stop asking courts to overturn unjust laws, and should instead take the long, unaffordable route of obtaining fairer laws through 43 legislatures (41 states, the Puerto Rico territory, and Congress). They say that since same-gender couples are gaining political power, they might eventually get to marry after all, and so past and present discrimination should count for nothing. They say that national divisiveness is beneficial, and a court ruling would end that benefit, so the current divisiveness should continue.

In particular, the Republican Party defenders claim that although DOMA does hurt couples and families, that was just an accident, so it should continue.  They claim DOMA saves money, i.e., mixed-gender couples get more benefits when same-gender couples get nothing.  [DOMA never saved money. That was proven nine years ago by the Congressional Budget Office.]

Facing all these claims made by the opponents of equality, America’s nine top justices can decide these cases only after they answer — for themselves — five morality questions:

• Will society admit that gays and lesbians actually exist, as real people?

• Will society allow couples seeking civil marriage to privately choose their own beliefs?

• Will society recognize that all legally married couples and families have the same constitutional rights, regardless of the number of children or their source (prior marriage, fertilization, surrogacy, foster care, adoption)?

• Will society treat every civilly married couple equally, regardless of their breeding ability, pregnancy method, desire for offspring, or intent to procreate?

• Will society treat every couple equally to every other couple, every spouse equally to every other spouse, and every child equally to every other child?

If the justices answer “yes” to all five morality questions, then their decisions will honor the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” But if they answer “no” to even one of these five morality questions, then the U.S. Constitution will cease to be inclusive, and American democracy will lose its moral authority.

If the Mormon, Catholic, and Republican opponents of equality win at the U.S. Supreme Court, then the federal government will continue its current unfairness, in which mixed-gender couples are still treated as if they all have children (even when they don’t, won’t, or can’t), and same-gender couples are still treated as merely unmarried friends, with children who are inferior.

Image, top, by The New Civil Rights Movement’s Tanya Domi, taken at the Supreme court yesterday

skitched-20130320-084004Ned Flaherty is an LGBT activist currently focused on civil marriage equality, and previously on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal. He writes from Boston, Massachusetts, where America’s first same-gender civil marriages began in 2004. He suffered a childhood exposure to Roman Catholic pomp and circumstance, but the spell never took, and he recovered.

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Fox News Host Suggests Trump ‘Force’ Court to Throw Him in Jail – by Quoting Him

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The Fox News host who targeted a juror serving on Donald Trump’s criminal New York trial is now suggesting the ex-president should violate his gag order and “force” the court to throw him in jail, by quoting the Fox News host.

Jesse Watters came under fire earlier this week for profiling juror number two, sharing possibly identifying information published by a myriad of reporters but then using that information to pass judgment on her ability to serve.

“I’m not so sure about juror number two,” Watters concluded on Fox News.

Jurors, at the judge’s direction, were to remain anonymous, for their protection and the protection of the trial.

The judge excused her, after she said she felt she was not able to be impartial because friends and family were calling her asking if she had been chosen to serve on the Trump trial, after the media blitz.

New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan admonished the press for reporting the information, but some news outlets appeared to ignore his warning.

Watters on Wednesday “did a segment with a jury consultant, revealing details about people who had been seated on the jury and questioning whether some were ‘stealth liberals’ who would be out to convict Trump,” the Associated Press reported.

READ MORE: Gaetz: ‘Corrupt’ Republicans Could ‘Take a Bribe’ and Throw House to Dems, Blocking Trump Run

Trump later posted Watters’ quote on his Truth Social platform, leading some, including New York prosecutors, to ask the judge to cite him for allegedly breaking his gag order.

Judge Merchan ordered Trump to not mention witnesses, jurors, prosecutors, court staff, or the family members of prosecutors and court staff, CNN has reported.

New York prosecutors told Juge Merchan Trump has violated the gag order at least ten times.

“Prosecutor Christopher Conroy described the ‘most disturbing’ example as a social media message Trump posted on Wednesday evening quoting a Fox News host as saying, ‘They are catching undercover Liberal Activists lying to the Judge in order to get on the Trump Jury,'” Politico reports.

That host was Jesse Watters.

RELATED: ‘Afraid and Intimidated’: Trump Trial Juror Targeted by Fox News Dismissed

Friday afternoon, Watters appeared to egg Trump on, urging the ex-president to violate the gag order.

“I would make them put me in jail,” Watters said on Fox News. “I would have a tweet about something perhaps I said on ‘The Five’ or ‘Jesse Watters Primetime,’ and I would force them to throw me in jail.”

Watch Watters’ remark below or at this link.

 

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Gaetz: ‘Corrupt’ Republicans Could ‘Take a Bribe’ and Throw House to Dems, Blocking Trump Run

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U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) says some of his fellow House Republicans would “take a bribe” to throw the razor-thin GOP majority to the Democrats if a far-right faction calls up a motion to oust Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, allowing Democrats to hand the gavel to the Minority Leader, Hakeem Jeffries. he warned if that happens, Democrats would immediately declare Trump ineligible to be President, pack the U.S. Supreme Court, and pass numerous laws like the American Rescue Plan.

“I do believe in a one seat majority there could be one or two or three of my colleagues who would take a bribe in one form or another in order to deprive the Republicans of a majority at all,” Gaetz said Friday on his podcast (video below.)

He added, “the risk that one or two of my corrupt Republican colleagues might take a bribe, take a walk, feign an ailment and flip this thing to the Democrats is a risk that is too high for me at this time.”

Gaetz’s fellow far-right Florida Republican member of Congress, Anna Paulina Luna, told listeners, “I heard that when, if and when the motion vacate is introduced, that there will be immediate resignations of a couple of more moderate members of Congress. And in the event that that happens, that ultimately means it does go to a Democrat speaker.”

RELATED: Jeffries Vows Democrats Will Ensure Ukraine Aid Passes as Johnson Defectors Grow

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) last month filed a “motion to vacate,” which she can use at any time to force a vote to oust the GOP Speaker, Mike Johnson. U.S. Rep. Tim Massie (R-KY) and just today, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has signed on as co-sponsors.

Congressman Gaetz told listeners if Democrats do take the House through a force vote to remove Johnson, Democrats would “be declaring Donald Trump an insurrectionist and setting up a barrier to him being able to become the president United States.”

“That’ll be their leadoff hitter, and then the chaser to that shot will be a massive spending package that looks a lot more like the American Rescue Plan. They will blow past every concept of every cap ever imagined. You’ll be looking at Universal Basic Income, you could be looking at packing the Supreme Court.”

Watch a short clip of Gaetz’s remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Stop Bringing Up Nazis and Hitler’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Smacked Down by Democrats

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Jeffries Vows Democrats Will Ensure Ukraine Aid Passes as Johnson Defectors Grow

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Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries vowed Friday the majority of Democrats will support Republicans’ Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and Gaza foreign aid legislation as Republican Speaker Mike Johnson lost support of another member of his conference to a faction determined to oust him.

“Democrats will provide a majority of our majority as it relates to funding Israel, humanitarian assistance, Ukraine, and our allies in the Indo Pacific,” Minority Leader Jeffries said. “It remains to be seen what Republicans will do in terms of meeting the national security needs of the American people, but it was important for House Democrats to ensure that the national security bills are going to be considered.”

Despite Republicans having a one-vote majority, more Democrats on Friday voted to move the critical and long-awaited foreign aid bills forward than did Republicans.

READ MORE: ‘Stop Bringing Up Nazis and Hitler’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Smacked Down by Democrats

The 316-94 vote included 165 Democrats and 151 Republicans voting yes, and 55 Republicans and 39 Democrats voting no.

Axios’ Juliegrace Brufke posted the list of Republicans voting against their party’s legislation.

Calling it a “rare” moment in modern congressional history to have to rely on opposition party votes to pass legislation, BBC News reports Speaker Johnson’s “hold on power is tenuous, and the legislators who oppose him – and his bid to provide aid to Ukraine – occupy some key positions within the House’s power structure.”

Amid the procedural vote to move the foreign aid funding bills forward, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, a far-right Republican of Arizona, announced he is joining Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Congressman Tim Massie (R-KY) in formally announcing their will vote to oust Speaker Johnson.

Gosar, like Greene, is reportedly a Christian nationalist. In 2022 CNN reported his “lengthy ties to White nationalists, [a] pro-Nazi blogger and far-right fringe received little pushback for years.”

RELATED: ‘Repercussions’: Democrats and Republicans Stand Against ‘Pro-Putin’ House GOP Faction

“We’ve been very honest in our assessment of the situation from the beginning,” Jeffries on Friday also declared. “At the appropriate time as House Democrats, we will have a conversation about how to deal with any hypothetical motion to vacate.”

“Moscow Marjorie Taylor Greene, Massie, and Gosar are quite a group. But central to our conversation is to make sure that the national security legislation in totality is passed by the House of Representatives.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

 

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