Dan makes a good point. I figured a statement like this—from the 2006 ruling by Washington State Supreme Court Justices Jim Johnson and Richard B. Sanders in our state's gay marriage case—would be self-evidently absurd to most Slog readers:

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But yes, best to link to the counter-evidence.

What I think may be even more important, though, is to examine the "evidence" that supports the above claim, which Johnson and Sanders relied on heavily to support their opinion that gay marriage should remain illegal in Washington State. I was planning to do that today, "while we wait" as they say.

Let's do it right now!

First, note the footnote in the quote above. Here is what that footnote says:


Dr. Jeffrey B. Satinover
  • Dr. Jeffrey B. Satinover
"Satinover" refers to Dr. Jeffrey B. Satinover, a supporter of the "ex-gay" movement and a familiar figure on the anti-gay-marriage testimony circuit who filed a declaration in Washington's gay marriage case—a declaration that Johnson and Sanders cited repeatedly in their decision.

For example, Johnson and Sanders declared:


And, they continued:


All of that opining from Jonson and Sanders links directly, through footnotes, back to the Declaration of Dr. Jeffrey B. Satinover. (Which, by the way, I'm working on getting a copy of and happens to be somewhat difficult to locate in electronic form. If anyone out there in the Washington gay rights community has a copy, please send it me.)

Let's set aside, for now, the ex-gay background of Dr. Satinover and the dubiousness of his scientific evidence. Instead, let's play a little game to pass the "while we wait" time. It's called:

Try to spot the giant logical fallacy present in the decision by Johnson and Sanders!

Here, I've summarized a central part of their Satinover-citing decision to make it easy. Johnson and Sanders believe the following:

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Because a) homosexual couples with children necessarily mean a "motherless" or "fatherless" household then b) children of homosexual couples stand to suffer all the worst harms of being raised without a mother or father and therefore c) the state legislature has a rational interest in preventing homosexual marriage because d) banning homosexual marriage will stop children in Washington from being raised in motherless or fatherless households.

Well? Can you spot the giant logical fallacy in what Johnson and Sanders considered to be a "rational basis" for banning gay marriage in Washington?