Creep of the Week: The New York Court of Appeals

By |2006-07-13T09:00:00-04:00July 13th, 2006|News|
New York Court of Appeals

Straight folks are reckless, accidental baby-makers; thus, gay folks shouldn’t be allowed to get married.
Such was the twisted logic of New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, when they issued their 4-2 decision July 6 against letting same-sex couples get married. It’s an issue for the legislature to decide, they said.
From the ruling: “…for the welfare of children, it is more important to promote stability, and to avoid instability, in opposite-sex than in same-sex relationships. Heterosexual intercourse has a natural tendency to lead to the birth of children; homosexual intercourse does not.”
But wait, it gets better. Saying that heterosexual relationships are “all too often casual or temporary,” the court concludes that straight folks need the marriage carrot dangled in front of them as an incentive to stick together lest their children become bastards.
As for gay couples, “These couples can become parents by adoption, or by artificial insemination or other technological marvels, but they do not become parents as a result of accident or impulse,” the ruling continues. “The Legislature could find that unstable relationships between people of the opposite sex present a greater danger that children will be born into or grow up in unstable homes than is the case with same-sex couples, and thus that promoting stability in opposite sex relationships will help children more.”
In other words, because the children of same-sex couples are so well planned and gay relationships so inherently stable, same-sex couples don’t need to be married.
“The argument, essentially, is that because straight couples are so irresponsible, can have children by accident, and have made such a hash of civil marriage, they need more incentives than gay couples to stay together – and civil marriage as an exclusive privilege for them is such an incentive,” wrote Andrew Sullivan in a July 6 posting on The Daily Dish. “I find it quite candid of the court to argue that straights are less responsible than gays, far more capable of sexual recklessness and inherently dangerous to children.”
The ruling made me think of Goofus and Gallant, the brothers from Highlights for Children – you know, the magazine only dentist’s offices have a subscription to. Goofus is the fuck up, and Gallant is the good son. If their parents, hypothetically, were to use the logic of the NY court, they would say to Gallant, “We’re sorry, son, but we’re writing you out of our will and leaving everything to Goofus, even though he blows all his cash on strippers and coke. You’ll only use your money to pay for college or feed the hungry and we’re hoping that the promise of an inheritance will straighten your brother out.”
Thankfully not all the members of the New York Court of Appeals have lost their minds. “Marriage is about much more than producing children,” wrote the court’s chief judge, Judith S. Kaye, in her dissent, “yet same-sex couples are excluded from the entire spectrum of protections that come with civil marriage — purportedly to encourage other people to procreate.”
Stranger than fiction, indeed.

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