Apparently, gay couples trying to tie the knot in Pennsylvania are just like 12-year-olds.
Montgomery County in suburban Philadelphia has been providing same-sex marriage licenses since late July in defiance of a state law defining marriage as a union between man and woman. Pennsylvania attorneys filed a lawsuit to stop the county a week later, and recently, 32 married couples petitioned to intervene claiming the suit against the county could also invalidate their marriages.
In response, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, the state's legal team filed a brief saying that the couples' marriages have no "actual value or legitimacy" and used this example as proof:
"Had the clerk issued marriage licenses to 12-year-olds in violation of state law, would anyone seriously contend that each 12-year-old . . . is entitled to a hearing on the validity of his 'license'?"
Pennsylvania wants to make the legal argument that these couples can't claim a lawsuit would infringe on their marriages, when those marriages aren't legal under state law. But to imply that two adults of the same-sex desiring to be married are being as childish as two prepubescent tweens who fell in love in algebra class? That's polemical nonsense.
Language matters, and surely Pennsylvania's cadre of legal minds could have used less demeaning phrases and comparisons to make their point. As the Keystone State becomes a battleground for same-sex marriage, this is far from encouraging.
Plus, some wide-eyed 12-year-olds probably aren't thrilled about the comparison either.
In post-adolescent news:
- Newark Mayor Cory Booker's "so what if I am?" response to questions about whether he's gay makes him less of a man in the eyes of one Republican. Booker is single, likes manicures and is running for a Senate seat against Steve Lonegan. When Booker didn't issue a Manti Te'o-style denial to rumors about his sexuality, Lonegan felt it necessary to clarify that "as a guy, I personally like being a guy." So here are the choices, New Jersey: Clean nails or your man card. Deal with it.
- Continuing this blog's ongoing Russia watch, a Russian artist's satirical painting of President Vladimir Putin in lingerie has been seized by police. The artist has fled, according to The Atlantic, due to threatening phone calls and the fear of the arrest. Putin, for the record, has no problem flaunting his half-naked body, but he apparently doesn't take kindly to being misgendered. Hey, fun coincidence: Neither do transgender Russians struggling under the country's oppressive anti-LGBT laws.
- County-by-county, marriage equality has been coming to New Mexico, with Taos County the most recent municipality to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
- In a huge move for workers, Walmart announced it will offer benefits to its employees' domestic partners. That hardly solves the other issues the company's employees face, including low wages and reportedly tough working conditions, but it's a step toward progress.
- So Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won a Video Music Award for "Same Love," the same-sex marriage anthem that has helped bring LGBT rights into the mainstream and apparently made a few people weep. Truth be told, I've never been into the song despite supporting it's message, in large part because I don't need two straight guys telling me how great homosexual love is. So I was relieved to see openly gay rapper Le1f point out how the duo re-appropriated the LGBT rights struggle, even if he glossed over the "greater good" the song is doing for the marriage equality cause. Frankly, I wish he'd based his critique on the cringeworthy line "Have you read the YouTube comments lately?" is, but that's just me.
- After a summer that saw at least two WNBA players coming out, including high-profile rookie Brittney Griner, one other women's basketball star has made plain her opposition to LGBT equality. Forward Sophia Young joined hundreds of people in San Antonio who "prayed against" an LGBT anti-discrimination bill - although she may have been confused by the legal language. Young tweeted that "San Antonio should not allows Same sex marriages"... even though the bill has little to do with the marriage equality issue.
- A mother in North Carolina allegedly instructed her 12-year-old to "beat the gay away" from his older brother using a belt.
- As part of the Washington Blade's phenomenal sports issue, former Maryland wrestler Hudson Taylor mentions drawing on his Terps connections to recruit athletes to his LGBT equality group Athlete Ally. Read the interview if you can get past the photo at the top of the page.
Anything I missed? What LGBT-related news have you been talking about this week?