So you might remember me saying a few words yesterday about bigots not being the best and brightest. I provided you with some examples as proof of this assertion. There was too much evidence to be all inclusive, but one more piece of evidence demands to be heard.
Attorney Gene Schaerr wrote in the Heritage Foundation’s rag, The Daily Signal, last week that “Forcing States to Recognize Gay Marriage Could Increase the Number of Abortions.”
Wait. Say what?
As Dana Milbank pointed out Monday in an op-ed at The Washington Post, “The logic is about as obvious as if they had alleged that raising the minimum wage would increase the frequency of hurricanes. If anything, you’d think that more same-sex marriages would mean more adoptions.”
You’d think. But this is a conservative we are talking about, writing for those professional liars at the Heritage Foundation, so yes, that’s what he says. What’s more, he’s serious:
On the surface, abortion and same-sex marriage may seem unrelated. However, as explained in an amicus brief of 100 scholars of marriage, filed in the pending Supreme Court marriage cases and summarized here, the two are closely linked in a short and simple causal chain that the Supreme Court would be wise not to set in motion.
Well, this must be some brilliant stroke of logic then, huh? I mean, I cannot wait to hear the reasoning behind this argument.
In a nutshell: A reduction in the opposite-sex marriage rate means an increase in the percentage of women who are unmarried and who, according to all available data, have much higher abortion rates than married women. And based on past experience, institutionalizing same-sex marriage poses an enormous risk of reduced opposite-sex marriage rates.
So Schaerr seems to think that gay men, being unable to marry other men, have been marrying women and making babies. But once free to marry other men, they will take themselves out of circulation.
The problem is, being gay is not a “behavior” or “lifestyle” choice, as people like Schaerr insist. Gay men don’t suddenly decide, “Well, since I can’t marry another man, I’ll marry a woman and settle for heterosexual sex.”
Certainly there are gay men in denial – Marcus Bachmann is often cited as one such – but these men are going to remain in denial whatever their marriage rights might be.
Therefore his claim that, “Accordingly, with 1.275 million additional women never getting married, nearly 900,000 more children of the next generation would be aborted as a result of their mothers never marrying,” is absurd.
I think the Supreme Court might laugh. Well, some of them. Perhaps most of them. Yet Schaerr is proclaiming that, “This is equal to the entire population of the cities of Sacramento and Atlanta combined.”
In answer to this, Milbank wrote,
Case closed! Or at least it would be, if Schaerr’s “causal chain” were real. He freely acknowledged that he had no cause-and-effect proof when I asked him about it at Heritage on Monday.
Uh oh. What?
In fact, as Milbank pointed out, “But the national birth rate has been declining for years, from 14.2 per 1,000 people in 2006 to 12.4 in 2013.”
And it turns out Utah already advanced this same argument – and lost.
Nor is there any correlation between same-sex marriage and declining birth rates, as Milbank demonstrates:
The national marriage rate declined to 6.8 per 1,000 in 2012, from 8.0 in 2002, before Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage. The Massachusetts rate dropped from 5.9 in 2002 to 5.5 in 2011, while Connecticut went from 5.7 to 5.5 and Vermont went from 8.6 to 8.3. But Texas and Utah, free of same-sex marriage, dropped from 8.4 to 7.1, and from 10.4 to 8.6, respectively.
Nobody can say Schaerr is not willing to make things up in order to get his way. It’s a case similar to that of the church whose pastor was accused of rape. The attitude of the congregation, which stands behind him, is one of, “Think what you want. We’re going to trust God. We’ve got to answer to nobody but God.”
And it turns out that Schaerr is a religious crusader, writing, when he quit his law firm last year that he was doing so in order to “fulfill what I have come to see as a religious and family duty.”
Lying for Christ. Some duty. Since Jesus said not an iota of the law should pass away, I’m not certain how that works out with the commandment against bearing false witness.
But hey, people have been committing atrocities for God for many centuries.
These people – people like Schaerr and the others I wrote about yesterday – are not the best and brightest. They’re only the most zealous and unscrupulous, people for whom the end justifies the means.
As Christopher Ingraham put it, writing yesterday at The Washington Post’s Wonkblog, “Schaerr and his co-signers construct a 100-page legal brief on questionable statistical foundations.”
That’s putting it generously.
Even though there is no evidence, and Schaerr knows there is no evidence, he is willing to go on record to claim that marriage equality kills people. It’s no longer simply an “unhealthy lifestyle” that kills its participants, but something that kills innocent fetuses.
Since logic means nothing to the Fox News crowd, this lie ought to appeal to the Republican base. They will gobble it up uncritically and it will become as real as that imaginary ISIL camp just south of the border, down Mexico way.
But it isn’t marriage equality that kills. It is ignorance. The Supreme Court ought to consider all evidence, but this is not evidence. Evidence ought to be fact-based. These are the rantings of a madman.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.