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FOX News Uses NOM Propaganda To Misinform and Fearmonger About AZ’s Domestic Partnership SCOTUS Lawsuit

Not that this should really be a surprise to anyone, but on FoxNews.com Wednesday they published an anti-gay propaganda article warning their audience that an “under-the-radar case pending before the Supreme Court” could “invalidate traditional marriage laws altogether.”

Which is a lie.

What they are really reporting on is  Arizona’s Tea Party Governor Jan Brewer’s July 2 filing with the Supreme Court asking them to reverse the September 2011 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that kept same-sex domestic partners health-care benefits in place in the state despite her attempts to invalidate them.

But according to Fox News,“traditional marriage laws could be on the line” if the case makes it to the Supreme Court:

One veteran 9th Circuit judge thinks his colleagues have declared a war on marriage.

Those judges “all but expressly held that opposite-sex-only marriage rules are unconstitutional — indeed, that such rules are irrational per se because they can rest only on a ‘bare desire to harm a politically unpopular group,'” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote in dissent of his court’s decision not to grant the case further review. He said his colleagues were ignoring Supreme Court precedent and all but called upon the high court to take the case. Arizona’s attorney general recently filed a brief with the justices asking them to accept O’Scannlain’s invitation.

Lawyer John Eastman, with the National Organization for Marriage, called the 9th Circuit ruling “groundbreaking,” and one that could render traditional marriage laws across the country “unconstitutional” if it takes hold. 

Eastland [sic] says the legislature’s action was perfectly reasonable given the budgetary fix it was in and that courts are supposed to defer to elected lawmakers to make difficult decisions — like what programs or benefits to cut when money is tight. “The 9th Circuit has now effectively gone on record as saying it’s irrational for the state to provide benefits to traditional married couples that it doesn’t extend to everybody else. And that the only explanation for it is bigotry toward homosexuality.”

Other than the fact that Eastman is probably the last legal analyst in the world who should be asked about this case given his position with the National Organization for marriage. Eastman also has a history of making poor legal judgments in order to advance his anti-gay agenda, including defending unconstitutional state sodomy laws.

And for the Supreme Court to invalidate AZ’s state marriage laws based on this case, it would have to introduce a whole slew of issues and arguments that neither the plaintiffs or Arizona have introduced.

The Arizona case is not about same-sex marriage.  Its about fairness since opposite-sex  domestic partners health-care benefits are not being challanged by Brewer and the state.

There are plenty of cases that will give the Supreme Court the ability to weigh in on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans starting in the fall.

But despite Fox News’ propaganda and  fearmongering this case is not  one of them and is very likely not even to be heard

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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