Maybe disgraced Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill has a new career plan.
Perhaps he’s heard somewhere that there are casting calls for a new version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”
That might account for Hill’s mean-spirited attempt, on his way out the door, to bust up families, deny parents their children and children their parents.
Hill recently submitted a brief arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court should overrule a Southern Indiana U.S. District Court decision that would allow both parents in a same-sex marriage to be listed on their child’s birth certificate. The case began when a Tippecanoe County couple — two women — found that Indiana’s software system wouldn’t allow both their names to be listed when their child was born.
Judges in Indiana’s federal Southern District Court found that denying both parents in a same-sex marriage the right to be listed on birth certificates was discriminatory. The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that lower-court decision.
Those courts and judges were following precedent.
In 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the constitutional rights of an Arkansas same-sex couple were violated because they both couldn’t be listed on their child’s birth certificate.
This clear precedent didn’t deter Indiana Attorney General Grinch — er, Hill — from springing into action.
That’s because a couple of strange notions animate his peculiar brand of conservatism.
The first involves Hill-like conservatives’ odd definition of “activist” judges. In their dictionary, an “activist” judge isn’t simply one who ignores both precedent and law but one who refuses to ignore both precedent and law when precedent and law refuse to conform to these conservatives’ prejudices.
Thus, now that Justice Amy Coney Barrett has been instilled on the nation’s highest bench, Hill and his fellow travelers hope the court will throw out the decision recognizing the rights of same-sex couples to marry. They hope this will happen even though it will do lasting damage to millions of American lives and families and create chaos in our legal system.
But what happens to gay Americans, their children and the millions of people who love them doesn’t worry Attorney General Grinch — er, Hill — all that much.
This brings us to the second point.
Our outgoing attorney general touts himself as a family-values conservative. (His definition of “family values” seems to include gripping and groping women young enough to be his daughters without their consent and over their protests, but that’s another story.)
As such, he doesn’t much care for the idea of same-sex marriage. Doubtless, he doesn’t like the idea of gay people serving as parents. He even may not have any fondness for gay people, period.
That is his right, even if his beliefs seem short-sighted and ugly to many of the rest of us. It’s a free country, and he’s allowed to think what he wishes.
What is downright bizarre is his notion that he’s entitled to use the power of government to deny other human beings the basic right of parentage just because he doesn’t like the way they live.
And that, somehow, he thinks this use of government power to tell people how to live and how to parent is consistent with “small-government” conservatism.
But consistency doubtless isn’t what Attorney General Grinch is after here.
What’s he about is telling gay parents — gay citizens — that they don’t and shouldn’t have the same rights the rest of us do. He’s willing to throw good Indiana taxpayer money after bad to try to punish Hoosiers — Americans — who dare to think and live differently than he does.
He’s willing, even eager, to do this even though it will cause Hoosier families headed by same-sex parents unnecessary and cruel anxiety, even anguish, during this holiday season.
He’s a mean one, that Mr. Grinch.