A Kentucky judge has raised eyebrows after making a series of bizarre remarks on the subject of same-sex marriage ― in spite of the fact that he’s apparently ruled in favor of gay and lesbian couples in a series of adoption cases.
Speaking at the Francis Asbury Society in Wilmore, Kentucky on Sept. 8, Fayette Circuit Court Judge Tim Philpot argued that same-sex marriage was “an oxymoron,” not unlike “jumbo shrimp,” The Courier-Journal reported Thursday.
“The words ‘same-sex marriage’ don’t make sense to me,” Philpot told the crowd in his speech, a snippet of which can be found in the video above. “The union is in the difference.”
The judge, who served as a Republican state senator from 1991 until 1998, didn’t stop there. Arguing that same-sex couples are in “sterile” relationships, Philpot went on to note that his “biggest bugaboo” with marriage equality was what he perceived as its impact on heterosexual men. “I meet with men four or five times a week and we hug; we love each other at a certain level,” he said. “I don’t hug the way I used to.”
Despite his apparent distaste for same-sex relationships, however, Philpot said he has discovered “a phenomenal love” for LGBT people that he “didn’t have back in the old days,” and that “half the adoptions I do are for gay people.”
Still, the comments have incensed a number of LGBT rights advocates. Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman told The Courier Journal that Philpot “clearly has a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be LGBT, chalking it up to some arbitrary choice children must make.” Meanwhile, Peacock Panache blogger Tim Peacock offered faint praise for Philpot, calling the judge “one of a handful of anti-gay judges who checks his opinion at the door.”
Philpot has been making a series of public appearances to promote his new book, Judge Z: Irretrievably Broken. Released March 10, the novel follows Judge Atticus Zenas, who has witnessed “the slow death of marriage,” according to its official website. In the end, however, the judge “makes a journey of discovery” and concludes that marriage is “God’s best metaphor for his relationship of love with us.”
His opposition to marriage equality was made apparent in a Lexington Herald-Leader opinion piece published in July 2013, after the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional.
“The federal government must recognize legal marriages in New York or California, but Kentucky does not have to do so,” he wrote. “Kentucky’s constitution defines marriage as one man and one woman. Simple and traditional.”
What a piece of work!