Animus

This morning, I got email from Robert Broadus at Protect Marriage Maryland, an organization formed to oppose gay marriage in Maryland (and also the repeal of DADT, DOMA, and generally stand in the way of social progress), about the Maryland bill to legalize gay marriage (which recently passed both houses, but hasn’t been signed by the governor yet):

It is important to understand that re-defining marriage is not about “equality,” “civil rights,” or even the word, “marriage,” as homosexuals in Maryland already have domestic partnership benefits, and have intentionally rejected civil unions at every opportunity.  Instead, re-defining marriage represents the hope of “acceptance” for their godless lifestyles, imposed on the rest of society via the government and the force of law.

(emphasis added)

Could Broadus make it any more plain that he’s a bigot, and that that’s his main reason for opposing marriage rights for gays? (And, not incidentally, that he thinks this approach is a good way to raise money for his cause.)

One reason why this matters is that animus played an important part in the Proposition 8 trial: basically, the Supreme Court decided that you can’t just pass laws against people because you don’t like them; that legislation has to provide an actual benefit or solve a real problem.

Indeed, in the Prop 8 ruling, judge Walker wrote:

In the absence of a rational basis, what remains of proponents’ case is an inference, amply supported by evidence in the record, that Proposition 8 was premised on the belief that same-sex couples simply are not as good as opposite-sex couples.FF 78-80. Whether that belief is based on moral disapproval of homosexuality, animus towards gays and lesbians or simply a belief that a relationship between a man and a woman is inherently better than a relationship between two men or two women, this belief is not a proper basis on which to legislate.

Proponents’ purported rationales are nothing more than post-hoc justifications. […] What is left is evidence that Proposition 8 enacts a moral view that there is something “wrong” with same-sex couples.

Yes, I realize that Maryland is not California. But to the extent that they’re similar, if there’s an anti-gay-marriage referendum in Maryland, and it passes, and it gets challenged in court, then Broadus is laying the foundation for an animus charge.

I would have thought he’d be more subtle about it, though.

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