HRC Blog

Texas Legislators Argue Same-Sex Marriage Leads to Incest, Polygamy, Pedophilia

Post submitted by Bo Suh, HRC Digital Media Intern

The Texas Conservative Coalition (TCC) has filed a court brief urging the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the state’s marriage ban. In February, a federal district judge ruled that the state’s ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional, which Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott then appealed. 

The sixty-three legislators who signed the amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief are members of the TCC, a caucus in the Texas legislature. They filed the brief on Monday.  


The brief underlines the hackneyed argument that allowing same-sex couples to marry would be a slippery slope that leads to other "socially unacceptable" unions. The brief states: 

“The district court broadened the definition of the ‘existing right to marry’ as one that includes the right of people to ‘select the partners of their choosing’ for marriage, without regard to sex. If the right to select ‘partners of their choosing’ is the criterion used to invoke marriage as a fundamental right, then marriage restrictions on age, polygamy, and consanguinity are also ripe for challenge.”

The brief continues its argument by citing bigamy, incest, pedophilia, and group marriage as threats posed by the recognition of same-sex marriage. The brief recognizes the fallacy in such an argument, but continues supporting the ban regardless.

“None of this is to say that recognition of pedophilia or other morally reprehensible actions being recognized as valid is actually a logical next step that would follow recognition of same-sex marriages. Rather, it supports the fact that legislators and Texas voters enacted Texas’s marriage laws with the intention of supporting marriage arrangements that they believe support valid goals related to those concerns. Thus, the laws are entirely rational and constitutional.”

The TCC is out of step with an American public that overwhelmingly supports marriage equality. There are currently more than 70 marriage court cases before the courts in 30 of the 31 states that continue to ban marriage for same-sex couples.

Learn more about the marriage equality cases in the courts at http://americansformarriageequality.org/

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