This morning’s story from Andrew Hawkins:
When it comes to gay marriage, Republican Senate hopeful Wendy Long subscribes to the Rick Santorum worldview: legalizing same-sex nuptials could open the door to animal and incestuous weddings.
In a radio interview with conservative talk show host (and close friend) Laura Ingraham in August 2010, Long said a California court’s rejection of the anti-gay-marriage Prop 8 would send the nation down a very slippery slope, one where men and women could marry their dogs. Or their mothers.
“Who says I can’t marry my mother?” Long said to Ingraham. “You and I love our dogs. Who says we can’t marry our dogs?”
She continued, “The rationale — and it’s not to cast any aspersions or to discredit my mother or the dog — it’s simply saying there are no principle distinctions. There’s no principle distinction to why you and I and five other people can’t get married, if we wanted to form a commune and say we are married.”
Long isn’t alone in this sentiment. Presidential candidate Rick Santorum once claimed homosexuality undermined the fabric of society. In a 2002 interview, he said: “In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.”
And Long isn’t the only candidate in the Senate race to espouse controversial views on same-sex marriage. Nassau Comptroller George Maragos told a Long Island reporter back in August that he also believed gay marriage would open the door to unsavory relationship scenarios like Long and Santorum described.
“Some people would even like to marry with their pets,” Maragos told a reporter from This Island Now.
Long is the favored candidate of Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long (no relation), who is also a fervent opponent of same-sex marriage. Mike Long said yesterday he was sticking with Wendy Long, despite his ally Rep. Bob Turner entering the race.
Some New York Republicans are concerned Wendy Long is too conservative to run in a general election against a well-funded opponent in a Democratic-leaning state like New York. This week, City & State reported she maintained ties to a student newspaper at Dartmouth College that regularly sparked controversy by mocking black, Jewish, female and gay students.
In a statement, spokesman David Catalfamo defended Long’s past comments by linking them to President Barack Obama’s current opposition to same-sex marriage.
“Gas prices are skyrocketing, unemployment is too high, our nation is swimming in debt and yes, Wendy Long agrees with President Obama that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Catalfamo said.
Here’s the full transcript of Long’s interview with Ingraham:
Ingraham: Joining us now to give us some perspective on this is Wendy Long. Wendy was a former law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas, also Ralph Winter on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. She’s an attorney and a mom in NYC, and has been examining this issue. Wendy, are you surprised by this ruling?
Wendy Long: Well Laura, sadly I’m not. This has been a slow motion train wreck that has been unfolding for years, as you said. Go back to Lawrence v. Texas, even before then. It has been unfolding in ugly and graphic detail and it keeps replaying in my mind. We knew this was coming; we’ve tried to warn of it for years as we’ve had presidents appointing more and more liberal activist judges to the federal bench. We’ve seen it coming down the pike, and here we are now, really on the precipice of losing not only a fundamental building block of a stable society — that is, one man, one woman marriage — but we are also on the precipice frankly of losing our right and privilege of self-government that has been ours for 234 years.
Ingraham: And that is at the heart of this — states’ abilities to, for themselves, determine what works for them. California, in this Prop 8 referendum vote, said, “This is what we want, this is what we’ve always had,” and this attempt to re-engineer the definition of marriage is just not what we desire. And the federal court came along and said, “We don’t care what you think, basically, we don’t care.”
Wendy Long: Right, and it’s not just the states, it’s in the form of the people of the states, but more than states, it’s the people in the themselves. This is 7 million voters, citizens of California, and so it’s not so much the states in that it’s the state government, in fact Governor Schwarzenegger, and other state officials just rolled over and did nothing to defend this law that their citizens had enacted, so really to me this is about self-government. It’s the classic, prime example of judicial tyranny, and I think it’s a classic example of a revolution devouring its own children. These are all wrapped in these beautiful principles of the American Revolution, and then the things you talk about and recall in the Obama diaries about Regan saying that this is a shining city on a hill, it’s the best example of freedom in the history of the world, and this American republic, this great experiment, is really being crushed in the name of its principles, just like in France, where we get the expression of the revolution devouring its own children. Because these gay rights activists are invoking these scenes of fairness and trying to crush all opposition, the way these elites do, crush all opposition, its not fair, its not objective.
What’s incredible to me Ted Olsen says that these are wonderful witnesses, and in the clip you played that the court carefully analyzed the wonderful evidence. It was a sham. This was a sham trial, and I’m shocked to hear Ted say that. We already knew that he had betrayed the Constitution in the side that he took in this litigation, but what’s incredible to me is he’s now betrayed even the ideals, the high ideals of good litigation, because the witnesses that he put on weren’t neutral, scientific experts, they were all hard core culture warriors in the battle for gay rights. They weren’t neutral experts, and Judge Walker, as many of your listeners probably know, is not a neutral judge. He is an openly gay jurist who is in a long-term committed relationship and stands to profit both personally and financially from the outcome of this decision. Everything about it, from the witnesses to the judges to the way that this is being presented is completely wrong, and not surprisingly, on its merit as a judicial decision, the opinion is just laughable.
Ingraham: Did anyone challenge his neutrality as the sitting judge in this pivotal case that could affect all of American society? Did anyone challenge him? Try to get him to recuse himself?
Long: I don’t believe they did, Laura, I’m trying to check into that.
Ingraham: That was stupid.
Long: I don’t believe that they did. It’s always, even when you are the one who would raise the challenge, which in this case would be the attorneys who are defending the citizens of California, you hesitate to make a motion to recuse the judge because obviously if you lose, then you’ve attacked the judge who’s hearing your case. This is not a good dynamic to set up. So the thing is, it falls under the federal rules and the code of judicial conduct for the judge to recuse himself if he sees that he is either biased or that citizens might regard him as biased, even if he thinks he can be impartial. Here we have a clear case where any reasonable person would look at this and say, “Wow, he goes to bar functions with his long-term partner, maybe he has an interest in getting married. Gee, half the arguments about the reasons gays should be able to marry are financial ones, about financial accounts and health accounts and all the rest of it, and of course he stands to profit from it financially.” Those are classic cases were judges can’t be impartial and shouldn’t sit. But I don’t know if you want to get to the merits of the decision, I’m getting derailed on this.
Ingraham: You’re unpacking this in a way, frankly, Wendy, that I’ve heard no one do clearly. I want to play a sound bite for you. This was today on MSNBC. Now listen closely. This is David Axelrod, top advisor to President Obama, on this ruling.
(Voice of) David Axelrod: The president opposed Prop 8 at the time. He felt it was divisive, he felt that it was mean-spirited, and he opposed it at the time. The president does oppose gay marriage but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples, he supports civil unions. Nothing has changed. He does believe that marriage is an issue for the states.
Ingraham: Okay. It’s an issue for the states, Wendy. And Obama had said during the campaign that there should be no Constitutional amendment enshrining traditional marriage because this is an issue for the states, this is not a Constitutional question. While that kind of really goes up against the ruling itself, which is enshrined in the Constitution.
Long: Right. No, this is just a classical example, Laura, of Obama double-talk that you expose so well all the time. He’s between a rock and a hard place, but if they say all these things that kind of sound nice, like if they toss out words about traditional marriage and states’ rights, that oh, they won’t alienate some of the voters they needed to get reelected, and to maintain some level of support, which is in a free fall as you noted. But that’s all it is, it’s just classic Obama double-talk. Look at the person he’s now appointed to the Supreme Court, look at what her history is. Her history is as a crusader for gay rights, who said that it’s an error of the highest moral order to have DADT policy in the military. Does anyone have any doubt what she’s going to do when this case, as it will, makes it way up to the Supreme Court. The decision is laughable as a judicial matter.
Let’s just talk about the specifics of the decision. Judge Walker said, first of all, that there is a fundamental right to same-sex marriage, and there is no rational basis, none at all, not even a shred of the tiniest rational basis, that’s the lowest test in the law for constitutional scrutiny, no rational basis to support the law. He’s clearly wrong.
First of all, on the fundamental rights point, fundamental rights are rights that are deeply rooted in our nation’s history and traditions. Same-sex marriage is not, it just isn’t. I think that we have to approach this issue on both sides with sensitivity and care, and be really accurate. I mean there are people, you and I both have friends and loved ones who are gay and care a lot about this. We owe it to everybody on all sides of this to be honest and fair and accurate. Same-sex marriage is not deeply rooted in our nation’s history and traditions. It just isn’t a fundamental right. And so he has ripped this important policy question about the structure and meaning of marriage from the hands of the people who in our democracy for 221 years have decided it for themselves and he has completely turned his back on millennia of all organized religions and morality who say that this is wrong. Suddenly it’s completely fundamental to the American republic to have same-sex marriage. It’s just laughable; it’s not good legal analysis.
The other thing he said was that there is no rational basis to support it. What he said was, “The evidence shows conclusively that moral and religious views form the only basis for belief that same-sex couples are different from opposite-sex couples.” Moral and religious views. He’s saying that moral and religious views can’t possibly be rational. That’s what he’s saying. It’s just unthinkable, it’s crazy. And what’s amazing is that somebody like Ted Olsen can come out there and say that this is a respectable judicial decision.
Long: It’s so obviously biased and irrational itself.
Ingraham: As they say, there is no rational basis for traditional marriage, and gender norms don’t apply anymore. This is my question to you: is there anything that you see after going through this 100-plus page opinion that would prevent others in the future, if this ultimately is upheld, from others arguing for other forms of marriage whether it’s polygamy, or marrying the Eiffel Tower, as one woman did a couple of years ago, or marrying yourself. I declared myself marriage, by the way, at the beginning of the show. I’m married.
Long: Laura, you’ve just asked the perfect question, and that should have been examined more as a legal matter. It wasn’t, it’s a serious question, it’s not a joke. For example, when my mother was very ill, I couldn’t get health insurance coverage for her. I would have, I love my mother deeply, I would have married her to get that health insurance coverage. Why can’t I? Who says I can’t marry my mother? You and I love our dogs. Who says we can’t marry our dogs? The rationale — and it’s not to cast any aspersions or to discredit my mother or the dog — it’s simply saying there are no principle distinctions. There’s no principle distinction to why you and I and five other people can’t get married, if we wanted to form a commune and say we are married.
Ingraham: This is going to be something, Wendy, that we are going to have to have you back on when it continues to move through our judicial system. The Ninth Circuit will hear the case. I don’t hold out a lot of hope for the Ninth Circuit, given their past rulings, but perhaps we will be surprised and then ultimately the Supreme Court — Wendy I’ve said that Lindsey Graham, Judd Gregg, the Maine twins and Richard Lugar, who are all going to vote for Elena Kagan today — their votes are votes for gay marriage in the United States and also open borders, and people should just know that about them. That’s what their votes are for.
Long: They are, and Kagan’s position on this is unquestionable. So obviously, the pivotal vote on this as always is going to be Anthony Kennedy, but I have some hope that he might do the right thing. There are some distinctions between this and the Lawrence case. I’m not as doom and gloom as some people about that, because here we have people coming to seek a benefit from society, and that’s what distinguishes this from the Lawrence case.
Ingraham: Fantastic. Wendy Long, we appreciate your analysis. It’s the best that I’ve heard in any media forum, period. Wendy Long, from New York City, attorney, former Supreme Court clerk.
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