Op-Ed: Texas logic on gay marriage would also ban marriage of minorities

Posted Jul 30, 2014 by Calvin Wolf
Texas attorney general Greg Abbott, the Republican nominee for governor this fall, says that the state's ban on gay marriage should be upheld because gay couples are allegedly not as conducive to "stable" families and child-rearing.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott
Attorney General Of Texas Website
Texas attorney general Greg Abbott is supporting the state's continued ban on same-sex marriages by arguing that the ban allows for Texas to better promote "stable, lasting relationships," reports the Associated Press. Abbott, the Republican nominee for governor this fall, also says that Texans have the right under the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause to define marriage in the way they wish. Unfortunately for Abbott, he is on the wrong side of history. As a Texan, I am displeased that this man is a mouthpiece for our state.
Like other conservative state politicians, such as New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Abbott is trying to disguise bigotry as freedom. The U.S. Constitution was created expressly to prevent the "freedom" of the majority vote from oppressing the minority, which is why Abbott's citation of the equal protection clause is puzzling. The equal protection clause is intended to uphold the rights and freedoms of the minority, not give the majority free reign.
If we followed Abbott's logic, states and state voters would still be allowed to uphold the doctrine of separate but equal, for separate but equal was once supported by majority vote. Would any politician, even a conservative like Abbott, dare suggest that we allow institutionalized racism to return in any U.S. state just because a majority of voters wished it? Obviously not. To me, it is strange that ultraconservative politicians will pay lip service to the policies that helped bring about racial and gender equality while still trying to justify discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Replace "gay" or "same-sex" with "black" and "Hispanic" and see how these conservative laws against certain types of marriage sound. Does this sound too extreme? Consider Abbott's own logic as to why the ban on gay marriage should be upheld: It is allegedly less conducive to "stable, lasting relationships." Then look at the statistics on marriage by race and level of education. How many racial, ethnic, religious, or other societal groups have marriage statistics indicating that those marriages are less than stable and lasting?
When you throw in other statistics, including annual income, level of education attainment, and incarceration rates, how many different groups should be banned from marrying in Texas? I doubt, of course, that Abbott would be willing to broach that issue. But, if in the name of protecting voters' rights, we are going to go there, let us go there.
Should blacks be allowed to marry? Do they form stable and lasting relationships conducive to productive child-rearing? What about Hispanics? Asians? Whites? Native Americans? Native-born citizens? Immigrants? Which groups should be allowed state-sanctioned matrimony? Perhaps we should only allow college-educated people to marry each other since, statistically speaking, those couples are better at raising healthy, productive children.
Do ex-cons have stable, lasting marriages? The disabled? Those with depression or personality disorders?
Sorry, Greg, but your logic does not stand up to the type of scrutiny you are inviting. It's a hop, skip, and a jump to totalitarian eugenics, all masquerading as voter freedom. I do recall that there was some guy who was voted into office in Germany in 1932 by majority vote as well...but I forget his name.