Peter Sprigg - FRC

Family Research Council relies heavily on Peter Sprigg to be their expert on all LGBT matters. Somehow that expertise flows from the fact that Mr. Sprigg is a Baptist minister. According to Rev. Sprigg (on the “news” blog of American Family Association):

This flood of judges who have ruled against state constitutional amendments defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman I think reflects an unseemly desire to be on what they perceive to be the cutting edge of history rather than due respect for the existing constitution and law and precedents.

Rev. Sprigg seems not to know that there are at least two Supreme Court cases that provide precedent with regard to same-sex marriage. They are Loving v. Virginia and Unites States v. Windsor. Taken together these decisions provide limitations on the state’s authority to regulate marriage (which is a fundamental constitutional right).

To legislate the families of same-sex couples out of existence would require more than religious disapproval of gay people. It requires an overriding and legitimate interest on the part of the state to do so. Thus far, about the closest that marriage discrimination advocates have come to defining a state interest is the notion of encouraging “responsible procreation.” That argument is preposterous per se because it requires the state to demonstrate how same-sex marriage mystically affects the offspring of opposite-sex couples. No one has been able to provide a link thus far.

In the same piece, Joe Grabowski, an “associate content editor” (NOM-bot) at the National Organization for Marriage weighs in:

They’re insisting on reading that decision as somehow implying that the federal government has this right to impose same-sex marriage universally or that that’s demanded because that section of DOMA is no longer in place – and that’s just an erroneous reading of the law. We know that if you read Windsor rightly, you see that if anything the justices affirmed the right of states to determine their marriage laws for themselves.

I am unable to determine whether these people are functionally illiterate, liars, or in denial. Possibly a bit of all three? What the decision in Windsor clearly and unambigously states is that states have the power to regulate marriage providing that they do not interfere with the constitutional rights of citizens. Justice Kennedy then cites Loving as an example of prohibited regulation. The reference to Loving is really quite substantive in and of itself.

Grownups are capable of reading a decision in full to see exactly what it says. Mr. Sprigg continues to stand by some utterly insane predictions about same-sex marriage. According to him:

  • Fewer people would marry
  • Fewer people would remain married for a lifetime
  • Fewer children would be raised by a married mother and father
  • More children would grow up fatherless; and
  • Birth rates would fall.

Sprigg fails to explain how any of these things could possibly be a consequence of marriage equality.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.