Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Coulter to Gays: Marriage 'is not a civil right -- you're not black,'

If you were not aware, Ann Coulter was set to speak at Homocon, a convention held by the gay conservative group GOProud.  During her speech, and comments made afterward, Coulter displayed more of that right-wing intolerance, and the sad thing is that the organizers of Homocon didn't seem to mind much, although those in attendence were a bit displeased with some of Coulter's more racial comments, like blaming the decline in marriage on African-Americans on welfare.

Megan Carpentier wrote the following for Talking Points Memo (emphasis added):
First, she ran down the stereotypical stand-up comedian's list of reasons, including that lacking the legal right to marriage allows the less-committed partner to weasel out of it. But in a more serious note, she parroted the losing arguments of the lawyers supporting California's Prop 8 and told the crowd that the reason she opposes (and they should oppose) same sex marriage is that it is strictly for procreation.

In one of a series of racially insensitive remarks that pervaded her speech, Coulter added, "Marriage is not a civil right. You're not black." It was part of a larger argument on which she later elaborated, telling the crowd that the 14th Amendment only applies to African-Americans and that it does not, in fact, apply to women, LGBT people or other minorities.

Despite the laugh lines, Coulter's arguments against same sex marriage were not well-received by much of the crowd: for instance, the question and answer session after the speech was dominated by Homocon attendees grilling her on her position on a range of issues, including whether opposition to same sex marriage was really in line with the conservative principles of limited government and whether she personally believes that homosexuality is a choice -- a question she declined to answer. In response to a question from GOProud chairman Chris Barron, she did imply that conservative opposition to same sex marriage from politicians who benefited from no-fault divorce was hypocritical and suggested that marriage-minded politicians ought to back a wholesale effort to repeal no-fault divorce laws in the states.
Whenever politicians and speakers cite the reason to ban gay marriage because marriage is strictly for procreation, I want to ask them how many sexual partners outside of marriage they have had, after all, the answer should always be "none," otherwise they would be a hypocrite.  What about married couples who choose not to have children?

I also think her comments about the 14th Ammendment were interesting, and not just because she told the gay conservatives in attendence that they couldn't get married because they were not black, but because she excluded women or other minorities from the protections granted by the 14th Amendment.

Here is the relevant passage from the 14th Ammendment:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
By Coulter's definintion, the only people who have any real rights in America are black and white men.

There was a reader on TPM, by the name of "George C," that posted the following comment:
It's probably best to focus on the fact that she's absolutely incorrect, as well as annoying. Here is a quote from the Supreme Court's decision in 1967 in Loving v Virginia:

These statutes also deprive the Lovings of liberty without due process of law in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.

Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival. Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942). See also Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888).
While the court ruling may be inspired by the idea of marriage for procreation, they also indicate that marriage is a "basic civil right."

According to GOProud's executive director, Jimmy LaSalvia, the group aims to redefine gay issues, claiming the Log Cabin Republicans have adopted a position of the "Gay left" - as an organization, they only take issue with federal policy, so to maintain the conservative opinion that gay marriage is a state issue, GOProud simply doesn't care whether or not homosexuals should be allowed to wed.

I am surprised by their position.  As for Coulter, I pretty much expected this much from her, and hope to see her comments publicized further - it would be interesting to see what the Log Cabin Republicans have to say about both her comments and LaSalvia's...

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