Calling All Eunuch Judges

Tony Perkins (and others) thinks that judges having a sexual orientation should recuse themselves from cases involving sexual orientation. At least that is the only conclusion that one can reasonably draw from his comments on “Face the Nation.”
While I haven’t heard any as yet, there may be ethically based, rather than dogmatically based, arguments against same sex marriage. There may even be rational legal arguments against the recent judgment overturning California’s Proposition 8, a voter approved initiative (52.24% to 47.76%) that sought to codify marriage as only between a man and a woman. I haven’t read U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker’s complete ruling ( I have read about a third of it) and I am woefully unqualified to comment on it even if I had read it all. I suspect that the same is true of people like Perkins. I do know that rumors about Judge Walker being gay aren’t part of any rational set of legal arguments. Some judge needed to rule on this and most of the U.S. District Court judges have some sexual orientation. At least they do in California. Oh, and how can someone who is only rumored to be gay be openly gay?
On another argument against Judge Walker’s ruling, I just asked Shirley and she agrees with me that Judge Walkers’ ruling hasn’t harmed our marriage. Short of ruling that heterosexual married couples who are beyond childbearing age must divorce, I can’t image what ruling might harm our marriage. I doubt that even that would harm our relationship. But our marriage may not be completely safe from theocratic intrusion. There are those who seem to think that only people who together can produce children should be married.
The discussion of same sex marriage does raise a question about government’s interest in marriage as an institution. I’ve never been all that real clear on what that interest is. I think the government does have a legitimate interest in the sustainability of the population and in some cases, mostly now in the past, in population growth. And it surely has an interest in the welfare of its children. It also has an interest in seeing that no one denies anyone else the right of full, competent, uncoerced, consent in matters of sexual behavior even within marriage. But what I’m not so sure of is how or even if these legitimate interests are enhanced by this particular legal tradition.

One thought on “Calling All Eunuch Judges”

  1. Meanwhile, north of the border, gay marriage is already a non-issue. It’s legalized in Canada and no politician in their right mind cares anymore about raising it as an issue again.
    In fact, even in the late 80s/early 90s, openly gay Scott Thompson on Kids in the Hall was already doing some very risqué gay-oriented skits on CBC like The Male Slave, playing on all the gay stereotypes and then sarcastically beating the audience with them.
    His insightful perspectives on gay marriage seem most à-propos here. Fundies, eat your hearts out.

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