‘More discrimination doesn’t make straight people’s lives any better’

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Over the weekend, sponsors of California’s anti-gay Proposition 8 made a last-ditch legal effort to stop same-sex couples from getting legally married in the state, which went nowhere – Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy turned down the appeal without comment.

And right around the same time, former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), now head of the Heritage Foundation, was on “Meet the Press,” arguing that discrimination against gay Americans hoping to marry is “better for children,” adding, “[I]t’s not about the desires of adults, it’s really about the best environment for children.”

Rachel’s response seemed noteworthy. For those who can’t watch clips online:

“Justice Kennedy addressed that issue specifically in his ruling. He says that by denying marriage rights to same-sex couples who have kids, you’re humiliating and demeaning those kids by denying their families equal protection under the law by the parents who are raising them and who love them and who make their family.

“So we can put it in the interests of children, but I think that cuts both ways. And I think the ruling cuts against that argument. I mean, gay people exist. There’s nothing we can do in public policy that makes more or us exist or less of us exist.

“And these guys have been arguing for a generation that public policy ought to essentially demean gay people as a way of expressing disapproval of the fact that we exist. But you don’t make any less of us exist, you just are arguing in favor of discrimination. And more discrimination doesn’t make straight people’s lives any better.”

The argument seemed to offend disgraced former lobbyist Ralph Reed, who was also on the panel, and who insisted he didn’t want to be called a “bigot.” Rachel added, “No one’s calling anybody a bigot. You’re the only one who’s saying ‘bigot.’”

And then there was Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.).

The far-right Kansan responded to last week’s Supreme Court rulings by vowing to fight for anti-gay constitutional amendment. He, too, weighed on the issue on “Meet the Press, and for those who can’t watch clips online, here was the key exchange:

GREGORY: What is it that you have against gays and lesbians marrying?

HUELSKAMP: Well, this issue here some the definition of marriage for centuries in this country and elsewhere around the world. And every major world religion has identified marriage as between a man and a woman, and that’s the simple issue here. And as Senator DeMint did note, the research is very clear that the ideal for raising our children should be the issue here, and that’s what we need to focus on in this debate.

GREGORY: Right, but Justice Kennedy speaks to this, there’s also research that indicates– everybody talks about the interests of children. Children tend to prosper in homes where there is a loving marriage, right? I mean, there is really not evidence to suggest that, if you are a same-sex couple or a heterosexual couple, that it makes one difference one way or the other.

HUELSKAMP: Well, actually the research does not show that. Actually, the research is very clear, as we have indicated here. But what the Court did –

GREGORY: No, no. The research actually shows that, in broken homes, it hurts the children, which I think most people would say that would be true with same-sex couples or heterosexual couples.

For the record, Huelskamp’s proposed constitutional amendment was formally introduced on Friday. It’s been given a bill number – H.J.RES.51 – and has 28 original co-sponsors.

Tim Huelskamp, Marriage Equality and Jim DeMint

'More discrimination doesn't make straight people's lives any better'

Updated