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Sen. Mike Lee to align with rabidly anti-gay Family Research Council

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 At 1.25.39 PmThe far-right is determined to make a thing out of Solicitor General Verrilli's relatively unremarkable comments during the recent SCOTUS marriage hearing. To this end, Republican US Senator Mike Lee is aligning his name with the Family Research Council, one of the most viciously anti-LGBT organizations working today:

WASHINGTON, May 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Next month's Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage and the consequences for religious institutions will be the focus of a Senate swamp news conference held by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) on Wednesday, June 3, at 11:00 a.m. Family Research Council will join Senator Lee and several University officials in responding to comments made during oral arguments by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr.

Looking ahead to a possible constitutional right to same-sex "marriage," Justice Samuel Alito asked a key question: "In the Bob Jones case, the Court held that a college was not entitled to tax-exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same-sex marriage?" Verrilli admitted, "It's certainly going to be an issue. I don't deny that. I don't deny that, Justice Alito. It is -- it is going to be an issue."

A letter to Congress signed by more than 70 educational leaders from across the country will be released at the news conference. The letter expresses "deep concern about the potential loss of tax-exempt status for educational institutions should the Supreme Court find constitutional legitimacy for same-sex marriage."
FRC to Join Sen. Mike Lee, Education Leaders at News Conference On How SCOTUS Marriage Ruling Could Threaten Tax Exempt Status for Educational Institutions
[PR Newswire]

The Solicitor General simply said he doesn't deny that the matter of how religious colleges handle same-sex marriages is going to be an issue. Because clearly it is. FRC and allies are determined to make it one, but also it's a near certainty that some employee at some religious school is going to enter into a same-sex marriage at some point. This will be a discussion, just like interracial marriage bans were at one (thankfully passed) time.

But the Solicitor General didn't say how he thinks that issue should or will play out, one way or another. He just simply noted that it will likely be a further discussion. Because again, it certainly will. In a less broken discourse than the one that surrounds American politics, this would not be notable.

But with loss seemingly inevitable for them, hardcore Republican senators and hardcore far-right groups are determined to find any way to make the pro-equality side seem unsavory. It's a continuation of the very same game they've always played against us. They couldn't stop same-sex marriages, so now they're moving into what will surely be a long effort to create every single "see, we told you so!" that they can find. The through-line remains: those shady gays and their shady ways are out to get us!

If the GOP's electeds want to help FRC with what I expect will be a publicly unpalatable quest (deliberately aligning you cause with interracial bans? Really?), then they can go right ahead. As the American public moves on from this issue, they might just move on from that party's national stage electability at the same time.

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