This ‘Roadmap’ Lays Out How Bigots Can Resist SCOTUS Marriage Ruling, Because ‘Freedom’


As with everyone else on the religious right, Ryan Anderson, the Heritage Foundation’s new face of anti-equality bigotry, had to weigh in on the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling. In his new book, and elsewhere, he provides a roadmap for anti-equality advocates to follow, now that the “icky gheys” can get married here.

Right Wing Watch reports that Anderson discounted the comparison to interracial marriage with:

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The problem with the analogy to interracial marriage is that it assumes exactly what is in dispute: that sex is as irrelevant to marriage as race is. It’s clear that race has nothing to do with marriage. Racist laws kept the races apart and were designed to keep whites at the top. Marriage has everything to do with men and women, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers and their children, and that is why principle-based policy has defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The sad thing is, the arguments against marriage equality now are, almost exactly, like the arguments against interracial marriage way back when. Anderson sounds like a pseudo-intellectual who didn’t do his homework.

He also compared the religious fallout of marriage equality to how they’re fighting abortion:

The pro-life community stood up and responded to a bad court ruling. Academics wrote books and articles making the scientific and philosophical case for life. Statesmen like Henry Hyde, Edwin Meese, and Ronald Reagan used the bully pulpit to advance the culture of life. Activists and lawyers got together, formed coalitions, and devised effective strategies.

The main thing here is that states are working hard to find ways around Roe v. Wade, by doing everything from enacting 20-week bans (or, like North Dakota, 6-week bans), to forcing doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at local hospitals, which forces many clinics to just close down. That limits women’s access to safe abortion services.

They’ve also tried to do things like defund Planned Parenthood, extend waiting periods, get rid of rape and incest exceptions, and force women to undergo ultrasounds and speeches that may not contain medically accurate information. In short, they’re doing everything they can to prevent women from making their own decisions, and they’re using both religion, and faulty science, to do it.

How are they going to apply these kinds of strategies to the marriage equality ruling without violating LBGTQ individuals’ civil rights?

This is absolutely sick. Unfortunately for us, Anderson didn’t stop with those two comparisons. So what’s the roadmap, then? According to Right Wing Watch‘s article, it’s this:

  1. Identify the decision as illegitimate judicial activism.
  2. Act to protect the rights of ‘conscience.’
  3. Wage a long-term campaign of ‘rebuilding a truthful, strong marriage culture’ to ‘bear witness to the truth’ within a culture that has been told a lie, in this case about the nature of marriage. This will be a long-term, ‘generational” effort,’ something our children and grandchildren will be responding to.

At the heart of this is complicity, which is the idea that, in helping someone do something you believe is a sin, even if it’s indirect, like prescribing them medicine, or driving them to a known abortion clinic, you’re complicit in their sin. The abstract of a paper published in the Yale Law Journal says this about complicity-based conscience claims in the courts:

The distinctive features of complicity-based conscience claims matter, not because they make the claim for religious exemption any less authentic or sincere, but rather because accommodating claims of this kind has the potential to inflict material and dignitary harms on other citizens.

Complicity claims focus on the conduct of others outside the faith community. Their accommodation therefore has potential to harm those whom the claimants view as sinning.

In other words, these people are trying to force their definition of sin onto others by denying them the truth, denying them legal services, etc. It’s a form of forcing religion on someone else.

But hey, that’s okay, because the religious right has the Right, Good and True™ way of thinking. The truth is, though, that the froth over the marriage equality decision, like their froth over abortion, is about control and dominance, not religious liberty. Neither of these affects any of them personally or directly, and neither of these negatively affects society. The only detriment to society is in their warped minds.


Featured image by Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center International Team from Germany. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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