Tony Perkins, president of the
Christian conservative Family Research Council (FRC), has applauded a
federal judge's ruling upholding Puerto Rico's ban on gay marriage,
while Slate columnist Mark Joseph Stern has called the opinion
U.S. District Court Judge Juan M.
Pérez-Giménez's ruling comes roughly six weeks after a federal
judge upheld Louisiana's ban, becoming the first to rule that such
bans are constitutional since the Supreme Court knocked down a
critical provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last year.
judge upholds Puerto Rico's gay marriage ban.)
In delivering his opinion,
Pérez-Giménez relied on the Supreme Court's 42-year-old decision in
Baker v. Nelson, which left Minnesota's marriage ban standing.
Pérez-Giménez said that Baker
was “still good law” and suggested that allowing gay couples to
marry threatens other restrictions on marriage.
“[A]re laws barring polygamy, or, say
the marriage of fathers and daughters, now of doubtful validity?”
Perkins applauded the ruling in an
emailed statement, describing it as “a model of judicial restraint
in the face of an epidemic of federal judges legislating from the
bench on the issue of marriage” and called on other courts to
follow his example.
“In my recent
Fox News Sunday debate with attorney Ted Olson, I
challenged him to articulate what boundaries may be placed if 'love
is the only criteria for marriage,” Perkins said.
Stern, on the other hand, described
Pérez-Giménez's ruling as “a hopelessly muddled mélange
of casuistry, magical thinking, and almost comic inanity.”
“The Baker decision was a
summary affirmance of a lower court's ruling and consisted of a
single sentence,” Stern
explained. “Summary affirmances, the Supreme Court once
explained, are no longer binding precedent when they have been
seriously undermined by later 'doctrinal developments.'”
“Pérez-Giménez seems to be
forgetting something: that little case called Windsor, in
which the Supreme Court ruled that a federal gay marriage ban
'degrades[s]' and 'demeans[s]' gay couples and 'violates basic due
process and equal protection principles.'”
“Given that Pérez-Giménez closes
his opinion by uncorking his paranoia and hissing about the looming
peril of father-daughter marriages, it is probably safe to say that
his ruling does not pose a serious threat to the recent judicial
trend toward marriage equality,” he added.