Michigan’s Bigot-in-Chief, Attorney General Bill Schuette, has put forth some pretty remarkable excuses for his crusade to ensure that same-sex couples cannot marry or adopt children together. For example, he suggested that marriage in our state is for regulating sexual relationships to make babies, news that came as a HUGE surprise to Michigan couples who cannot or choose not to have children but marry anyway.
Schuette has also argued that Michigan voters decided this over a decade ago so that’s that and we don’t need to consider whether or not opinions have changed or even if the ban actually violates the U.S. Constitution.
But, in a brief filed with the Supreme Court on Thursday, Schuette makes his most laughably ridiculous and Orwellian excuse yet. According to Schuette, and I am not making this up, keeping our same-sex marriage ban in place is important for preserving the dignity of the same-sex couples who are denied the right to marry:
Because the Constitution is silent regarding marriage, such court orders indicate a lack of faith in democracy. By teaching that courts are the fastest mechanism to achieve social change, such decisions encourage reliance on the courts for change and thus weaken democracy. This approach lessens the very dignity that the petitioners seek; rather than achieving the dignity that comes from persuading fellow citizens through the democratic process, a litigation victory merely means that a court order requires compliance.
Schuette makes all of the same arguments he’s made in the past, too, of course, but this new one must have come to his bigotry-fevered mind since the earlier filings. It takes a truly twisted person to argue that a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality would strip same-sex couples of their dignity. I feel pretty confident that if you asked any of the couples impacted by the ban if they would feel like their dignity would be “lessened” by a positive SCOTUS ruling, they would laugh loudly right in your face.
The argument is a tribute to how far out of the mainstream Bill Schuette is and, frankly, how desperate he is. Given the multiple rulings in favor of marriage equality in the lower courts over the past couple of years, he’s got to see the handwriting on the wall. It’s hard to believe that the justices on the Supreme Court would do anything less than laugh at this fallacious argument and throw his brief in the rubbish pile where it belongs.
Arguments before the Supreme Court are scheduled to take place April 28th.
P.S. If the SCOTUS ruling doesn’t rule same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional and a ballot initiative is started in Michigan to overturn our ban, you can be very sure Schuette will be “on duty” fighting the ballot proposal tooth and nail, doing everything in his power and exploiting every legal loophole he can come up with to prevent it from getting on the ballot. If that happens, he will expose himself for the lying hypocrite many of us believe him to be.
P.P.S. This argument should be dubbed “The Schuette Doctrine”. The Schuette Doctrine goes beyond complaining about “activist judges” and appears to argue that the judicial branch of our government is both unnecessary and that its actions diminish the dignity of the LGBT community and, by extension, any group impacted by their rulings. It’s a rather bold statement, frankly. It’s a shocking rebuke of the structure of American government in which we have three, co-equal branches. I’ll be curious to see if anyone actually agrees with him.
[Peace Monument photo credit: Anne Savage, special to Eclectablog]