Seven years later, former Congressman J.D. Hayworth, who is challenging Senator John McCain in the primary in Arizona, has taken up the Santorum mantle, asserting in an interview on Orlando, Florida’s WORL that gay unions could lead to “man-horse” wedding ceremonies:
“You see, the Massachusetts Supreme Court, when it started this move toward same-sex marriage, actually defined marriage — now get this — it defined marriage as simply, ‘the establishment of intimacy,'” Hayworth said. “Now how dangerous is that? I mean, I don’t mean to be absurd about it, but I guess I can make the point of absurdity with an absurd point — I guess that would mean if you really had affection for your horse, I guess you could marry your horse.”
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, in an interview with Hayworth, disputed his assertion that the Massachusetts Supreme Court, in the Goodrich decision, defined marriage as “simply, ‘the establishment of intimacy.'” Reading from the decision, she quoted several passages dealing with intimacy including this one:
Whether the Commonwealth may use its formidable regulatory authority to bar same-sex couples from civil marriage is a question not previously addressed by a Massachusetts appellate court. [FN3] It is a question the United States Supreme Court left open as a matter of Federal law in Lawrence, supra at 2484, where it was not an issue. There, the Court affirmed that the core concept of common human dignity protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution precludes government intrusion into the deeply personal realms of consensual adult expressions of intimacy and one’s choice of an intimate partner.
Far from redefining marriage the court’s ruling affirms marriage:
The opinion reformulates the common-law definition of civil marriage to mean “the voluntary union of two persons as spouses, to the exclusion of all others. Nothing that “civil marriage has long been termed a ‘civil right,”‘ the court concluded that “the right to marry means little if it does not include the right to marry the person of one’s choice, subject to appropriate government restrictions in the interests of public health, safety, and welfare.”
Note, the ruling denotes the parties in marriage as “persons” which would exclude horses or dogs – but given the recent ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court declaring corporations to be “persons” – I suppose marriage could be between one man and one corporation. All kidding aside, though, I think a wedding between a person and a horse or dog would violate “appropriate” restrictions on “public health, safety and welfare.”
Hayworth, after being proven wrong in his assertion by Maddow, simply discounts it to a disagreement. Even though Maddow insisted that the evidence isn’t one of disagreement, but is either true or false. Hayworth has remained unrepentant and released a statement claiming he’s being attacked by the “liberal media” for his position:
“But they don’t intimidate me at all. I know right from wrong and as a staunch defender of the institution of marriage, I know I can count on millions of supporters across America to stand with me when our values are under attack — and when I am under attack for standing up to defend those values.”
Hayworth is not afraid of controversy, this much is clear. At this year’s CPAC convention, he even took time out to sit down for friendly interview with the John Birch Society, where he accuses John McCain of presenting himself as conservative but who “legislates as a liberal,” which would certainly be news to actual liberals.
What is happening here is clear: this is yet another right winger using extreme statements to get his free 15 minutes of air time and to rally his religious right base who fervently believe that homosexuality is akin to bestiality or any other perversion of sexual activity. When it comes time for Arizonans to go to the polls, I wonder if this will make them vote “neigh” on Hayworth.