At yesterday’s NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation luncheon on the future of marriage equality, Chris Brook, the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, made it pretty clear what he intends to argue in federal court when he next gets the opportunity in the organization’s challenges to North Carolina’s marriage discrimination law. Brook said he’s going to point to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond (the precedents of which apply to North Carolina), show the judge that court’s decision in the recent Bostic v. Schaefer case and then just sit down.
It’s an obvious strategy — namely, that the ruling striking down Virginia’s discrimination law in Bostic is right on point and there really isn’t much that a North Carolina federal judge can do but abide by it.
This is why Attorney General Cooper made his recent announcement that he would stop wasting North Carolina taxpayers’ money by trying to defend North Carolina’s indefensible law. It would be a futile and costly gesture — not unlike attempting to defend a law that banned interracial marriage.
Of course, as Sharon McCloskey’s story immediately below makes plain, this patently obvious logic is apparently lost on Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis who are, quite remarkably (if one of Berger’s members is to be believed), taking steps to impeach Cooper over his utterly reasonable, constitutional and ethically-bound decision.
By all indications, Berger and Tillis simply want Cooper to tilt at the Bostic windmill and manufacture insipid, sure-fire-loser arguments as is being tried in a few other states. Today, we got a good idea of what some of those arguments would look like when the folks at ThinkProgress published a handy list of “The 10 Craziest Arguments Two States Are Using to Defeat Marriage Equality.” This is from the post:
The petitions filed by Utah and Oklahoma suggest which arguments will be presented at what could be the final court showdown for marriage equality. Here are some of the claims these states made to the Court this week.
1. The bans do not discriminate based on sexual orientation.
According to Utah, the state’s laws banning same-sex marriage “do not classify based on orientation; they classify based on sexual complementariness.” Because “the creation of new life requires both a mother and a father,” the state argues, only couples with the different genitals qualify for marriage (regardless of whether they’re actually capable of producing a child).
2. There aren’t enough same-sex parents to warrant protecting them.
Utah argues that the benefits of marriage encourage unmarried parents to marry and stay married, but that’s not true of same-sex couples. Quoting the dissent from Tenth Circuit Judge Paul Joseph Kelly, Jr., the state claims that “because ‘far more opposite-sex couples will produce and care for children than same-gender couples and perpetuation of the species depends upon procreation,’ it is rational to retain the marriage requirement of opposite-sex couples. An estimated 786 same-sex couples are raising children together in Utah….
Read the other eight craziest arguments by clicking here.