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06/27/2013

MassResistance admits its side did terrible job in court; wishes they'd been even worse

by Jeremy Hooper

From the viciously anti-gay folks at MassResistance, the state group that's been focusing on marriage bans longer than any other state org:

Screen Shot 2013-06-27 At 5.46.32 Pm We are reluctant to sound unkind to the pro-family legal people who worked hard on these cases. But this is such a horrible outcome that something must be said.

Both of these cases suffered from an unaggressive and short-sighted approach that bordered on incompetence. The pro-family side did not present a credible case in either of these cases. They were deathly afraid that telling the truth about homosexuality might offend someone. By not effectively countering the absurd arguments and assumptions by the homosexual movement, they made it easy for the judges to rule as they did.

The handling of the [Prop 8 case] was so bad that the Federal District Court judge -- the "out" homosexual -- rebuked the pro-family lawyers for the lack of evidence they presented! It was almost as if the judge had no choice but to rule against us, based on what he had to work with.

When it got to the Supreme Court, it was no better. Our lawyers gave no credible reasons why same-sex couples should be treated differently, nor did they point to the immorality or destructiveness of that "lifestyle".

The DOMA case was even worse. Issues such as the morality of homosexuality, the perversion of the behavior itself, the absurd "equality" of homosexual relationships to heterosexual relationships, the bizarre effects on children having "two dads", and the overwhelming medical and psychological problems associated with homosexuality were the underlying reasons for the law's original passage. These are all legitimate issues. But the pro-family lawyers were afraid to use these arguments.
...
The cowardly nature of the pro-family movement has wrought terrible consequences and continues to be a huge problem. The DOMA case represents the tip of the iceberg. This unwillingness to address the underlying issue of homosexuality itself -- the behavior, its associated health risks, the profound moral issues, and the "born gay" myth -- gives that movement free rein to continue its march through our institutions.
Analysis of DOMA and Prop 8 Supreme Court rulings: What happened and why -- and what's next [MassResistance]

I give MassResistance some honesty points here. They are one of the very few conservative groups willing to come out against the giants of their movement and state the obvious about their side's poor performance. The defenders of discrimination presented laughably bad cases, from beginning to end, in a way that shocked even some of us on the pro-equality side.

But of course MR is also laughably wrong in saying that going totally, absolutely, nakedly anti-gay (/pro-"ex-gay") would have made things better for them. In fact, if they had presented a full-on onslaught against LGBT people and our welfare, based on the egregious lies and unsupportable "science" of groups like MassResistance, I'm fairly confident we would have gotten a broad, sweeping ruling that gave us marriage equality nationwide. It would be really hard for even an Alito or Thomas to defend the kind of "gays are terrible and need to 'change'" case that MassResistance wanted to make. It's just a silly suggestion with no finger on the pulse of various realities (as much as I and my popcorn bag would have LOVED it).

So MassResistance is right that the case they did make was horrible, but MassResistance is wrong is thinking they knew the better path. This speaks to the ultimate truth, which is that the anti-LGBT side simply had no better path. They couldn't show animus, because they knew from the beginning that it would (and ultimately did) lead to loss. But at the same time, the carefully workshopped language of groups like NOM and the Alliance Defending Freedom, while able to score some points in the political space, is not something they can force a court, built as it is around scrutiny, to just accept at face value. The masterminds behind these fights tried the latter because it was about all they had, but all it managed to do was show the flimsiness of their movement's card-house. Adding a dash of anti-gay hot pepper to the mix would have only made things worse (for them). They were damned if they denounced; they were damned if they didn't.

And this is all going to be even more so as time goes by. There is no logical way this fight gets any easier for them. Precedents are being set every day. Thousands more people are getting marriage rights every day. Those of us who have already been lucky enough to marry are now going to receive federal parity. The polls are turning, and the likelihood of a future court going more conservative grows narrower with every GOP misstep. This was their biggest shot—and they truly blew it.

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