Proposition 8 defenders have gender anxiety
Even if the Supreme Court does decide to punt on the Proposition 8 case, today's oral arguments again made something clear: Defenders of the marriage equality ban are very, very anxious about gender roles. And a majority of the Court may not be buying it.
Defenders of California's ballot referendum banning gay marriage said today in court, and in their brief, that if marriage becomes a "genderless institution," children will suffer, because gay people can't procreate without help -- or rather, because marriage evidently exists to sanctify the accidental baby-making of men and women, despite the fact that so many women and men making babies today are rejecting marriage. Yes, this is their real argument.
Making it into a "what about the children" question sounds better than hating gay people for being gay, and it also sounds better than saying that men are intended for one thing and women for another. And yet that's exactly the implication made clear before the Supreme Court today. (The child-welfare argument may not work, either, no matter how much Antonin Scalia fulminated about the "sociological evidence" being too inconclusive about the impact of being raised by gay parents -- there was swing voter Anthony Kennedy wondering aloud whether the "voices of the children" of gay people should be heard.)