Reagan Judge Diatribe: State Marriage Laws ‘Based on Hate, Savage Discrimination’

Posner Credit ChensiyuanCHICAGO — During a federal hearing regarding amendments in Indiana and Wisconsin that enshrine marriage as being between solely a man and a woman, a judge appointed by then-President Ronald Reagan went off in a diatribe declaring his view that laws barring same-sex “marriage” are “based on hate.”

Attorneys for the states appeared for oral argument on Tuesday in front of a panel of thee judges with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Richard Posner, 75, also an abortion advocate, drilled both attorneys as he continually sought to shoot down any argument in favor of the marriage amendments. He interrupted Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher eight seconds into his presentation.

“All this is a reflection of biology: men and women make babies; same sex couples do not,” Fisher said. “It’s purely utilitarian. … Men and women make babies and there has to be a social mechanism to deal with that, and marriage is that mechanism.”

Posner rejected Fisher’s statement, saying that it included the “ridiculous idea that two 80-year-old cousins marrying will be a model for young couples.”

“Do you criminalize fornication? Would you like to?” Posner later asked. “And why do you prefer heterosexual adoption?”

“If we redefine marriage, I don’t know what we would be left with,” Fisher said.

Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Timothy Samuelson was likewise interrupted as he spoke, mainly presenting an argument that the institution of marriage is based on “tradition.”

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“It’s based on hate!” Posner declared. “You don’t think there is a history of rather savage discrimination against homosexuals in the states and the world?”

“It was tradition to not allow blacks and whites to marry—a tradition that got swept away,” he said. “We’ve been doing stupid things for 100 years or 1,000 years, so we’ll continue doing them?”

“You could make the same argument about what would happen if men stopped shaking hands,” Posner quipped. “It would be the end of a nation, right?”

Posner frequently steered the argument toward homosexual adoption, arguing that states should allow homosexuals to adopt, and that if they foster or adopt children, then they should be allowed to “marry” for the children’s sake.

“Come on!” Posner exclaimed. “What’s the offsetting benefit to harm kids? Who’s helped?”

But the judges also drilled the plaintiffs in the case, who sought to legalize same-sex “marriage,” asking where the line will be drawn in regard to allowing any type of relationship to be declared a marriage.

“That is a big position your opponents take,” Judge Ann Williams, appointed by Bill Clinton posited. “In terms of what are the limits, in terms of how you define marriage. What are the boundaries? Should the state allow two friends who are committed to living together … but didn’t have any romantic involvement … Should they be allowed to marry?”

“How many people can have the fundamental right to marry at one time?” added Judge David Hamilton, appointed by Barack Obama, asked. “Where do you draw the line?”

“What is the objection to polygamy?” Posner asked.

“[Polygamy] would have to rise or fall on its own merits,” Camilla Taylor of LAMBDA legal replied. “[T]he state would have to assert a sufficient governmental interest” in banning it.

Hamilton replied that Taylor’s answers sounded “an awful lot like the arguments versus gay marriage.”

Kenneth Falk of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, who spoke in support of same-sex “marriage,” argued that the union of solely two people would traditionally “look like” a marriage, and so he would oppose nuptials for those who love more than one person.

“If you have two people, it’s going to look like a marriage,” he asserted. “If you have three or four, it doesn’t. … There’s no slippery slope.”


Matt Trewhella, pastor of Mercy Seat Christian Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and author of The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates told Christian News Network that the arguments made by both the state attorneys and Judge Posner were disappointing, but not surprising.

“It’s just astounding to me that you have a judge talking about how biblical marriage is rooted in centuries of hatred, but the truth is that [the homosexual advocate’s] motivation is rooted in hatred—hatred for Christ and Christianity,” he said. “The whole basis for homosexual ‘marriage’ is an attack on Christ and Christianity. … [T]hey make openly clear their disdain for Christ and their despisement of Christianity [and] that their goal is not just to get ‘married,’ but to eradicate marriage itself.”

Trewhella said that it was the responsibility of the attorneys as ministers of God for good to speak up for the word of God, but they failed to do so.

“The magistrates have a duty in the sight of God to uphold both His law and His word. Romans 13 makes it clear that it is their God-given function in the earth,” he explained. “And so, for them not to mention what the law and word of God has to say about critical matters is absurd, and of course makes it easy for the judges to then side with homosexual ‘marriage.'”

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