The U.S. Supreme Court upheld marriage equality almost two years ago, and some supporters of the Religious Right are still smarting about that.
They carp loudly, but these sore losers are running out of options. The high court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges means that marriage equality is recognized in all 50 states. Religious Right groups had predicted that this decision would lead to the collapse of civilization and that pastors would be compelled to preside at the wedding ceremonies of same-sex couples. Those things haven’t happened.
Add in the fact that most of the American public accepted the decision with little fanfare and supports marriage equality, and you can understand why leaders of Religious Right groups and their supporters are feeling so blue.
This family is not a threat to Western Civilization.
But they haven’t given up just yet. In a stunning display of immaturity, some marriage equality opponents are filing frivolous lawsuits in the courts seeking the right to marry animals and inanimate objects.
One of these cases, Sevier v. Bevin, was recently rejected by a federal court in Kentucky. Two individuals filed the case, seeking the right to marry a parrot and a laptop computer.
U.S. District Judge Henry R. Wilhoit Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky dismissed this nonsense in a brief opinion.
“Plaintiffs are asking this Court to recognize their constitutional rights to marry an inanimate object and an animal,” Wilhoit wrote. “No such constitutional rights exist, nor are any known constitutional rights violated by the denial of a marriage license under these circumstances. In short, the Plaintiffs have failed to identify a single constitutional injury.”
The Religion Clause Blog charitably called the lawsuit “rather fanciful.” I’d call it something else: mean-spirited and hateful. This lawsuit, and a few others like it in other states, have been brought by a man named Chris Sevier as a protest against marriage equality. Sevier, who has a checkered legal history, claims he wants to marry his laptop, but all he’s doing is clogging courts with suits that are bound to go nowhere. Sevier is just making himself look foolish. How this is helpful to his sad cause is anyone’s guess.
Nevertheless, at least one Religious Right honcho thinks Sevier is on to something. Liberty Counsel issued a press release quoting its chairman, Mat Staver: “To marry a laptop computer or a parrot is nonsense, but the same was said about same-sex marriage, and yet there are now five lawyers on the U.S Supreme Court who pulled that rabbit out of a hat.”
Staver goes on to trot out this old chestnut: “Deconstructing nature comes with a price. Unfortunately, children will be directly affected by the deconstruction of natural marriage.”
Religious Right groups brought this matter up ad nauseum during the debate prior to the Obergefell ruling. They were never able to point to any legitimate research showing that marriage equality harms children, and for good reason: There isn’t any.
You know what does harm children? Putting their parents’ relationship in legal limbo and encouraging society to look at loving and stable unions with hate, fear and disdain.
Thankfully, more and more Americans are rejecting the Religious Right’s view of marriage equality. And if these groups keep backing pathetic and desperate lawsuits like the ones filed by Sevier, that number is only going to keep growing.
P.S. The legal battle for marriage equality may be over, but members of the LGBTQ community still face threats – such as attempts to use religion as a vehicle to discriminate against them. AU is fighting back, and you can keep on top of the latest developments through our Protect Thy Neighbor project.