John M. Becker

The Bigots' Hail Mary: Marriage Equality Kills Babies

Filed By John M. Becker | April 21, 2015 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: abortion, amicus brief, Dana Milbank, gay marriage, Gene Schaerr, Heritage Foundation, marriage equality, Ryan Anderson, same-sex marriage, SCOTUS, slippery slope, Supreme Court

psycho-hitchcock-panic.jpgNo, you're not reading The Onion -- in a laughably desperate Hail Mary attempt to disguise blatant bigotry as compassionate concern, 100 self-proclaimed "scholars of marriage" have signed on to an amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court that literally claims same-sex marriage kills the unborn.

Washington Post op-ed columnist Dana Milbank writes:

They're saying that legalizing same-sex marriage will cause 900,000 abortions. The logic is about as obvious as if they had alleged that raising the minimum wage would increase the frequency of hurricanes. If anything, you'd think that more same-sex marriages would mean more adoptions.

But comes now Gene Schaerr, unsuccessful lawyer for Utah in that state's case against same-sex marriages, to file an amicus brief with the Supreme Court on behalf of "100 scholars of marriage."

"On the surface, abortion and same-sex marriage may seem unrelated," Schaerr acknowledged in a post on the Heritage Foundation Web site in advance of a presentation he made to the conservative think tank Monday. But "the two are closely linked in a short and simple causal chain."

To wit: Legalizing same-sex marriage devalues marriage and causes fewer heterosexual couples to marry, which leads to a larger number of unmarried women, who have abortions at higher rates than married women. As a result, Schaerr wrote, "nearly 900,000 more children of the next generation would be aborted as a result of their mothers never marrying. This is equal to the entire population of the cities of Sacramento and Atlanta combined."

Case closed! Or at least it would be, if Schaerr's "causal chain" were real.

Milbank reveals that he attended Schaerr's presentation at the Heritage Foundation yesterday, and after the attorney was finished, Milbank asked him to produce his causative proof that nearly a million unborn fetuses will be aborted because gay marriage. Schaerr admitted that he had none.

Milbank continues:

"It is still too new to do a rigorous causation analysis using statistical methods," he admitted, saying that he had found only a decline in marriage rates in states that had legalized same-sex marriage (in fact, marriage rates have declined overall). "The brief doesn't even attempt to say conclusively that this reduction in marriage rates has been the result of adopting same-sex marriage," Schaerr said, though there are "theoretical reasons" such causation might occur.

buddy_christ_2.jpgRyan T. Anderson, the Heritage Foundation's token anti-marriage equality young person, was clearly caught up in the fervor of the moment as he went even further -- claiming that in every state and country with marriage equality, marriage rates have declined by at least five percent after the adoption of equal marriage rights, "even as the marriage rates in the rest of the states remain stable."

Mr. Schaerr also speculated that in marriage equality states, unemployed males who get their girlfriends pregnant will be more likely to abandon their obligations to the women and their unborn children. Because that makes sense.

Unsurprisingly, Anderson and Schaerr -- who "defended" Utah's marriage discrimination amendment by claiming that same-sex marriage leads to lower birth rates (unsuccessfully... imagine that!) -- are flat-out making shit up.

[T]he national birth rate has been declining for years, from 14.2 per 1,000 people in 2006 to 12.4 in 2013. Texas and Utah [marriage discrimination states] actually had larger drops than [freedom-to-marry states] Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut...

The national marriage rate declined to 6.8 per 1,000 in 2012, from 8.0 in 2002, before Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage. The Massachusetts rate dropped from 5.9 in 2002 to 5.5 in 2011, while Connecticut went from 5.7 to 5.5 and Vermont went from 8.6 to 8.3. But Texas and Utah, free of same-sex marriage, dropped from 8.4 to 7.1, and from 10.4 to 8.6, respectively.

But those are just inconvenient facts. Who cares about those? That's nearly ONE MILLION ABORTIONS, you guys!!

Joe Jervis points out that in the brief, the "scholars" also cite the work of Jennifer Roback Morse -- a deranged wingnut and former top NOM operative -- and Mark Regnerus, the discredited "researcher" whose right-wing-funded "study" of same-sex parenting was so pervasively flawed and blatantly biased that his own professional organization repudiated it (and whose "expert" opinions were essentially laughed out of federal court in Michigan as "entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration").

It ain't over until it's over, of course, but if our opponents' "scholars" are getting this desperate, I'm feeling pretty good about our chances at the Supreme Court next week.

The brief is below, via Equality Case Files.

100 Scholars of Marriage Amicus Brief by Equality Case Files

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