South Carolina Waves Constitution Around To Prove Gays Can't Get Married And Ladies Are Chattel
The Supreme Court is planning to hear arguments at the end of April in Buttsechs v. Phyllis Schlafly (not what it's really called), the case they will most likely use to permanently cram gay marriage into the throats and bottoms of all the American people. This means that everyone and their wingnut uncle is submitting an amicus brief that says either "here is why I want to be able to marry the person I love" or "God will bomb America with fire if we let those faggots destroy our way of life!" But the state of South Carolina has sent the Supreme Court a truly stunning love note, which essentially says that due to the 14th Amendment, they are TOO allowed to discriminate against the homosexuals. Why? Because the 14th Amendment says they can also clearly discriminate against ladies. According to this logic, ladies are just like gays, in that they are inferior to straight white Christian slaveowners, wait what?
See if you can follow this bouncing ball of sexist, nasty backwoods logic:
Here’s the gist of South Carolina’s fascinatingly sexist argument. The state wants to prove that the 14th Amendment—which guarantees “equal protection of the laws” to every “person”—was not intended to displace state marriage laws. And what did those laws look like at the time? One major feature: In many states, married women were not permitted to own property or enter into contracts and had no legal existence apart from their husbands. According to South Carolina, the framers of the 14th Amendment explicitly preserved the rights of states to deprive married women of the ability to function independently from her husband. This right to deprive married women of basic liberties, South Carolina argues, is enshrined in the 10th Amendment and is not at all undercut by the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equality.
Wait what? Okay, okay, we see, they are saying that because the 14th Amendment -- that nice one that says that all people are equal, and has been cited in Brown v. Board Of Education and Roe v. Wade -- was written when ladies were not considered full people, then gays are clearly not people either, for the purposes of marriage at least. And because of all this, the 10th Amendment, the one that gives states power to decide ABSOLUTELY EVERY SINGLE FUCKING THING IN THE WORLD, according to wingnuts, is totally the important one here, and we don't have to worry about no goddamn "equality."
What about blacks, South Carolina? They were ALSO not considered full people at the time, we think? No, do not worry. South Carolina says that, by their scientific interpretation of the Constitution, the 14th Amendment does not allow for racial discrimination, so everything's fine on that front.
Mark Joseph Stern at Slate points out that, as scary as it is, South Carolina might be technically correct, by the strict standards of "originalism." Stern also points out that this is why "originalism" is a totally fucked up philosophy:
Congressional records show that the men who drafted the 14th Amendment were pretty adamant that their measure wouldn’t force states to recognize married women as independent humans with rights of their own. John Bingham, the chief framer of the amendment, assured one sexist congressman that he “need not be alarmed” that the measure would alter “the condition of married women,” since it would leave intact state property laws. Another framer, Samuel Shellabarger, explained that under the equal protection clause, states could still “deprive women of the right to sue or contract or testify.”
And we can forget all those silly Supreme Court rulings that have happened in the last 200 years, the ones that say "no, actually, we're still working on getting it right, but the 14th Amendment definitely says that all Americans are equal." South Carolina knows what's up. Ladies are property, therefore gays can't get married, because South Carolina says so. It makes all the sense we have come to expect from the state that produced Lindsey Graham, Todd Kincannon, and that nice beauty pageant contestant, pictured above.
Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.
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