In a matter of just two weeks, three states have had their constitutional amendments that recognize a man and woman as being essential to a marital relationship struck down in whole or in part as unconstitutional. First, Kentucky was told they had to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages as marriages in the state of Kentucky. Then, Virginia’s constitutional amendment recognizing natural marriage as the only valid form of marriage was struck down. Now, on February 26, federal Judge Orlando Garcia ruled that Texas’ constitutional amendment that recognizes a man and woman as being essential to a marital relationship is unconstitutional. Like Virginia, however, the ruling does not go into effect immediately. Judge Garcia determined not to enforce his ruling until two similar cases are decided by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
I have not read each of these decisions, but similar decisions in the past typically argue that there is no rational basis for thinking a marriage requires persons of the opposite-sex. According to the news outlets, similar statements appeared in these latest decisions. I’ve always found this troubling. To me, it is either completely disingenuous, or reveals the judges’ complete ignorance of our argument. Those who think gender matters for marriage have an argument: Marriage is a pre-political, natural institution rooted in human nature and involves an organic, comprehensive union of two persons – a union only achieved by two complementary sexes whose sexual union is oriented toward procreation.
It’s one thing to say you do not find your opponent’s rationale convincing, but to say that he has no rationale at all, and his position is completely animated by animus and bigotry is ridiculous. Judges who make such claims ought to be ashamed of themselves. It’s not sound analysis and legal reasoning, but personal bias and rhetoric masquerading as legal reasoning.