Martin Feldman


It’s hard to be all alone. To find the courage to break away from the pack. To be a nonconformist. To be the cheese that stands alone.

And so you’ve got to applaud U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman for handing down his brave decision upholding Louisiana’s antigay marriage ban as constitutional. If being wrong is wrong, Feldman doesn’t want to be right. And to that I say, “Brav-the-fuck-o.”

And I know what you’re thinking: “D’Anne, just because you don’t agree with his decision doesn’t mean he’s a Creep. People are entitled to their own opinions!”

To which I say, “Shut up. This is my column.”

But to which I also say, “Don’t forget that opinions are like assholes: Everybody is one, at least sometimes.”

And this is one of those times for Feldman.

It has been shown over and over again in courts across the country that there is no rational basis for banning marriage between two people of the same sex. Judge after judge has smacked down the arguments of those opposed to equality. The bans are based on and do nothing but uphold prejudice against gays and lesbians. Period. When people voted for these bans, most of them did so because they thought gays were weird or icky and that somehow marriage and society would be forever destroyed if two ladies said “I do.”

Fast-forward a number of years. It’s clear that marriage equality is not bringing about the End Times and more and more people realize that, hey, gays and lesbians aren’t this terrifying menace and are, in fact, people I know in my family, on my bowling team or in my department at work. BFD.

Feldman is not one of those people. And his ruling is clearly rooted in a lack of understanding that gays and lesbians are, in fact, people, and discrimination against them should not be A-OK.

For one thing, he refers to being gay or lesbian as a “lifestyle” choice, which indicates that he thinks that homos could just as well “choose” to un-gay themselves but don’t because they like being difficult. Granted, he calls it a “personal, genuine and sincere” choice, which is so kind and generous of him (i.e., condescending as hell).

To that end, Feldman writes in his decision, “Many states have democratically chosen to recognize same-sex marriage. But until recent years, it had no place at all in this nation’s history and tradition. Public attitude might be becoming more diverse, but any right to same-sex marriage is not yet so entrenched as to be fundamental.”

Which basically means, “Some people still think gay marriage is icky, so what are you gonna do but keep it banned, amirite?”

I would argue that he is not “right.” But he would argue that judges who have ruled against antigay marriage bans are just a bunch of softies who need to grow a pair.

“The federal court decisions thus far exemplify a pageant of empathy; decisions impelled by a response of innate pathos,” he writes.

In other words, “What a bunch of sissies. All of those judges are just gay for gays. Me, Feldman, is the real deal [pounds chest].” 

The grossest part of Feldman’s decision is the fact that he compares same-sex marriage to incest.

“[M]ust the states permit or recognize a marriage between an aunt and niece? Aunt and nephew? Brother/brother? Father and child?” he writes. “All such unions would undeniably be equally committed to love and caring for one another, just like the plaintiffs.” 

To which I say, “Nope.” That’s an opinion coming from a place of fear and ignorance, not a place of reason and logic. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

D’Anne Witkowski has been gay for pay since 2003. She’s a freelance writer and poet (believe it!). When she’s not taking on the creeps of the world, she reviews rock and roll shows in Detroit with her twin sister and teaches writing at the University of Michigan.