63 Texas Lawmakers: Gay Marriage Will Lead to Incest, Pedophilia, Polygamy

Dozens of Texas lawmakers try to scare a federal appeals court into reinstating the state’s ban on gay marriage.

By Chris Hoenig

63 Texas lawmakers are pushing to reinstate the state's ban on gay marriage.Dozens of Texas lawmakers believe that overturning the state’s ban on same-gender marriage will lead to the legalization of incest, pedophilia and polygamy, and are using that argument to try to convince a federal appeals court to reinstate the ban.

In an amicus brief filed with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, 63 members of the Texas legislature claimed that a federal court overstepped its bounds in ruling the state’s same-gender-marriage ban unconstitutional.

“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,” the brief—officially filed by the Texas Conservative Coalition, a caucus of state legislators—reads. “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.”

An amicus brief is a legal testimony filed by a party with a strong interest in a case, but not directly involved (amicus curiae literally translates to “friend of the court”). The lawmakers filed in support of Attorney General Greg Abbott—also the GOP gubernatorial nominee—who is leading the state’s appeal to reinstate the ban.

Anti-gay-marriage advocates are returning to many of the same arguments they made in the original lawsuit. But the federal court ruled that the legalization of “morally reprehensible actions” like pedophilia was not a “logical next step” to the legalization of same-gender marriage, and that the ban violated the equal-protection clause of the Constitution.

“Another ground cited by supporters of Texas’s marriage laws and subsequently dismissed by the district court is that recognition of same-sex marriage ‘could lead to the recognition of bigamy, incest, pedophilia, and group marriage,’” the amicus brief continued. “As already discussed in this brief, restrictions on marriage relating to these moral considerations remain valid. Thus, the goal of actively trying to prevent those practices from becoming valid is entirely rational public policy.”

In his appeal, Abbott attempts to portray marriage as a biological partnership. “Texas’s marriage laws are rooted in a basic reality of human life: procreation requires a male and a female,” he wrote. “Two people of the same sex cannot, by themselves, procreate.”

He goes on to argue that the federal court misapplied the law when it used Abbott’s own argument against him by noting that the state allows infertile couples and post-menopausal women to marry, and questioned the role of the court. “Rational-basis review does not allow courts to invalidate a law by weighing evidence or resolving disputed questions of fact,” he wrote.

Both Abbott and the 63 lawmakers also attempt to question the socioeconomic and psychological impacts of same-gender marriage.

Abbott argues that banning same-gender marriage will “minimize the societal costs that can result from procreation outside of stable, lasting marriages” and that “the State’s recognition and encouragement of opposite-sex marriages increases the likelihood that naturally procreative couples will produce children, and that they will do so in the context of stable, lasting relationships”—despite studies showing that the average divorce rate in states with legal same-gender marriage is 20 percent lower than states that ban it.

The coalition, meanwhile, said that limiting marriage to one man and one woman “gives women and children the surest protection against poverty and abuse,” and “provides for healthy psychological development of children.”

But it also cites widely debunked research by Mark Regnerus about the quality of life for children of same-gender couples. “There is a wide range of literature supporting this view, particularly with regard to child development, making it plausible and, thus, rational for legislators to believe,” the brief said.

Regnerus’ research has been slammed by colleagues who say his research is flawed. An independent audit found that his reports should never have been published, while a Michigan court found his testimony “entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration” and that his research was “hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder” seeking skewed results. Same-gender-marriage opponents in Utah have dropped his research from their legal briefs.

16 comments


  • Continued marriage between a man and a woman who are part of the Dozen Texan Lawmakers and their supporters leads to alcoholism, DUI’s, legalized pharmaceutical abuse, call-in sex, internet sex-links, prostitution, mistresses, gay hook-ups, spousal abuse, child abuse, misappropriation of funds, favoritism ….

    • JR! You nailed it.
      AND don’t forget, all those heterosexual couples that don’t have children are not allowed to be married either. Unbelievable.

  • The Dixie Chicks were right: being from Texas really can get embarassing! :)

  • In his appeal, Abbott attempts to portray marriage as a biological partnership. “Texas’s marriage laws are rooted in a basic reality of human life: procreation requires a male and a female,” he wrote. “Two people of the same sex cannot, by themselves, procreate.”

    By this logic, I should not have been allowed to marry my husband as we were unable to have children. No woman who is unable to conceive should be allowed to marry because marriage is all about procreation, right. It amazes me that no matter how illogical, some people always find a way to justify things in their minds.

    • Luke Visconti

      I find it amazing that people are suckered into these issues. It’s all about a bunch of politicians leveraging hate to build a constituency. Why on earth is Senator Cruz worried about what I do with my penis? Unless there’s somebody having gay sex on his desktop and he can’t read his computer screen, what difference does it make to him? Against your religion to have sex with another person of the same gender? Well, then for Pete’s sake, don’t do it! Against your religion to not have same-gender marriage? Well, for Pete’s sake, make sure your church doesn’t do that! Stop bothering the rest of us. What you or I do with our genitals is our business; Senator Cruz (and each of these Texas nincompoops) has only one set of genitals to worry about—his own. You don’t have to read the news for long to find out that there’s a lot of politicians who don’t have that under control. My hunch is that the folks most concerned about this issue are people who have problems of their own—deep, terrible conflicts with their own sexuality and how they feel about it.

      As far as incest, pedophilia and polygamy, the overwhelming majority of people doing these things are heterosexual. Solve the problem, don’t use it to hate people. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

      • That is a faulty logic: the whole “if you don’t agree with gay marriage, then don’t do it” I do not think that murder is okay. I would definitely not shoot a person. But if I see some of my country, rising up, doing something I know is wrong, should I just stand by? I’m not pulling the trigger, so it’s not my problem? No. It is my problem. There is no proof that you can be “born gay”. Neither can you be born a pedophile, incest, or with polygamic desires.

        • Luke Visconti

          Your logic is why Proposition Hate (8) was overturned in California. Unlike murder, same-gender marriage doesn’t hurt anyone. The busybody, so-called “conservative” defenders of Prop 8 couldn’t produce a single shred of evidence to the contrary.

          Nor does it matter if a person is born gay, or decides (for some odd reason) to be the target of gay bashers like you.

          Why do you feel threatened, Ashlee Lynn? Husband in the closet? Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

    • Luke Visconti

      Same here—my wife and I have two adopted children. If the intensive process to qualify to adopt children was followed by everyone, there would be far fewer problems in this world, because a lot of people wouldn’t qualify to have biological children. We went through health checks, home checks, financial qualifications, background checks, job references and psychological training. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

      • Stan Jefferies

        Are you serious? They check your financial background and your home in order to adopt but you can spit out a dozen and have no job? That is absolutely disgusting. ….Youre a good man for adopting and giving those children better lives.

      • Cynthia Jeffers

        Mr. Visconti, I agree with everything you said. EVERYTHING! To try and blame incest, pedophilia and polygamy, on gays or gay marriage is not only nuts but absolutely ludicrous! They make it seem as though we should believe the myth that all gay people want to jump the bones of every man or woman they see, depending on their sexual preference. Perhaps everyone should read your column, I know I do.

        And when it comes to adoption, as a social worker in the adoption arena I know that if biological parents had to go through what families wanting to adopt have to go through, we would have fewer bio parents having children. Families are under a microscope and every page of their life is examined. It would be more palatable if it was based on state laws, but being on the inside I know (sadly) that more of it has to be with biases of the workers than with laws.

    • michael thompson

      The basic foundation for marriage is for MAN AND WOMAN to become one flesh. God saw man by himself, as opposed to the animals that were created, and said It is not good for man to be alone. So I will make him a help-meet comparable to him. God purpose was for MAN and Woman to be together to live, work together and ultimately have dominion on this earth.

      • Luke Visconti

        I’m glad you have YOUR beliefs. YOU should follow that belief, but please leave the rest of us alone. Not everyone agrees with you, and the Constitution forbids the establishment of a state-run religion. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

        • There is nothing wrong with him sharing his belief, I don’t see where he is being antagonistic. If he would have said that same sex marraiges should not be legal then we could all chime in and tell him how ignorant his argument is. However, I read his comment as I won’t recognize the marraige and he has every right not too.

          • Luke Visconti

            No, that’s not quite right. I don’t have the right to not recognize his citizenship, nor do I have the right to limit his civil rights. If the law permits same-gender marriage, then the ONLY place a person can not recognize it is in his or her church/synagogue/temple/mosque. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

  • Mr. Visconti:

    Your headline blatantly contradicts your objection to “scare tactics” used to promote an agenda.

    I am not expressing my opinion on this issue. I am expressing my opinion on your sensationalizing the issue.

    The Teas lawmakers did not say that legalizing gay marriage will lead to incest, pedophilia and poligamy. They said that legalizing gay marriage will lead to legalizing incest, pedophilia and poligamy.

    • Luke Visconti

      I think you’re making a hair-splitting semantic difference. There’s no meaningful difference in intent to defame gay people. It’s hateful either way. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

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