J.D. Hayworth: Could gay marriage lead to people marrying horses?

The media’s outrageously outraged, but he’s getting a bad rap here — sort of. He’s not saying that gay marriage is the moral equivalent of bestiality; in fact, he repeatedly emphasizes that the horse example is “absurd.” He’s arguing that courts have done such a piss-poor job of defining marriage that it could lead to unintended ridiculous results, which is why the public needs to step in and enact a Federal Marriage Amendment. I’m not sure where he’s getting the idea that the Massachusetts Supreme Court defined marriage as the “establishment of intimacy,” though. Laying aside the fact that animals are incapable of “intimacy” as we understand it, that phrase doesn’t appear in the court’s gay-marriage opinion. The word “intimacy” does appear, but in a broader context. Here’s the key passage:

Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. “It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects.” Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 486 (1965). Because it fulfils yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.

That’s the original decision from 2004; if he has another one in mind, I’m not sure which it is.

But never mind that. If a court really did go bonkers and find a constitutional right to marry an animal based on “intimacy,” does anyone doubt that voters in any state in America could and would overrule it with a constitutional amendment? California’s electorate, as liberal as it is, wouldn’t even abide same-sex marriage between people; Massachusetts, I hasten to remind you, is still sufficiently center-left to elect a Republican to replace Ted Kennedy. Why do we need a Federal Marriage Amendment to deal with this?