Georgia Supreme Court Teams Up with Anti–Gay Marriage Group

| 11/26/2008 9:13:18 AM

Get Married billboardNot wanting to miss out on the nationwide marriage shouting match, the Georgia Supreme Court’s Commission on Children, Marriage, and Family Law (pdf) has recently sponsored a series of billboards with the message “Get Married, Stay Married.”

The sentiment might seem outdated, but the commission argues that science is on its side, pointing to research showing that children who grow up in two-parent households do better in school and are less likely to commit crimes later in life.

However, the good intentions behind these efforts are muddled by a potential conflict of interest. According to the Fulton County Daily Report, Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears has spearheaded the campaign and last week helped cosponsor a pro-marriage symposium that gathered participants from the fields of psychology, law, and religion. The other sponsor of the event was the Institute for American Values (IAV), a “private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that contributes intellectually to strengthening families and civil society in the U.S. and the world.” (Sears told the Fulton County Daily Report that "very little state money" was used for the event, with private foundations picking up the tab and the IAV covering speakers' honoraria and transportation costs.) 

But just like the benign-sounding “family values” behind the right's social agenda, the “American Values” touted by the IAV don’t include equal rights for the GLBT community. During a conference debate with the Brookings Institution's Jonathan Rauch, author of Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America, IAV president David Blankenhorn argued vehemently against gay marriage, claiming it would weaken the general institution of marriage.

Sears, who was targeted as a gay-marriage proponent in her 1998 and 2004 re-election bids, took pains to give both men equal time, but wouldn't take a stance on the issue, citing her position on the Supreme Court. The same care to maintain neutrality should have prevented the commission from teaming up with an organization that is so vocally against gay rights in the first place.

(Thanks, ACSBlog)

4/29/2009 9:16:26 PM

This ridiculous attack on the LGBT community is proof that hatred and fear is still deep in PEOPLES MINDS! I assure everyone that tends to condone or JUDGE the LGBT community are the very ones GETTING DIVORCED! CHEATING ON THEIR HETEROSEXUAL SPOUSES! Since the divorce rate is OVER 50% wheres the sanctity of marriage???????? Please tell me.... Im a trans gender female who is not in the gay community and COULD marry legally if i wanted to, YET IM ashamed to call myself a Georgia residence... God preaches LOVE NOT HATE!!! People truly like to use religion as a weapon (THOSE PEOPLE WILL MEET OUR MAKER ONE DAY AND BE JUDGED FOR JUDGING THE LGBT COMMUNITY!!!) Feel free to check out my youtube discussing more equality issues!

11/28/2008 10:07:41 AM

Azalea Sanchez, I grew us in Northern Florida in the 1950's and 1960's. I saw first hand the kind of bigotry and prejudice of George people who actually came to my town to attack and burn black churches and homes. Georgia had anti-miscegenation laws on their books until 1967 when FORCED to give them up. Some of the biggest groups of KKK were in southern Georgia, so please don't tell me about the state, You were in NYC during those days and YOU DON'T KNOW. Now that it is no longer (at least for the moment) acceptable to discriminate against black people, gays are the next viable group. The history of discrimination continues today in Georgia and you can't deny it.

Azalea Sanchez
11/27/2008 1:55:12 PM

First I would like to address MichaelFL's comment. I am Puerto Rican, was born and raised in NYC during the 50's and 60's, have lived in the south (Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama)since 1971. I take exception to your comment "Georgia loves its prejudice and bigotry. Its what they stand for." Today there is no more prejudice or bigotry than in any other state. Not a one of our 50 is exempt. Some hide it better than others but it is there none the less. I have lived here long enough and know better. That the Supreme Court is involving itself in matters of state is a whole other issue, nothing to do with the fine population of our state. I might also add that, personal opinion aside, comments sections are made available to post opinions about the stated facts of an article and not to vent whatever personal bias may exist against another. Now, I am very much saddened by the Supreme Courts intrusion into matters of state. And "very little state money" means some was used. Now, that too is/should be considered a conflict of interest. But as Hannah Lobel wrote in "Gay Rights As Civil Rights" and I quote her here: "We won't win victories on LGBT rights as long as we see the issue as part of a liberal--versus-conservative war. If we're at war, it's not with conservatives. Our enemy is not James Dobson or Sarah Palin. It is the sadly accepted notion that anti-gay measures are shoo-ins on the ballot, and that same-sex couples just have to sit tight for a decade or two and wait for public opinion to catch up."

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