Meet The Anti-Gay Lobby: Margaret Somerville
Who’d have thought one could make a career out of being scared of change and gay people? In this exciting series of slaptacular mini-bios, we take a look at the very special, terrified folk who are lobbying against your rights.
Name: Margaret Somerville
Butchified Name: Marg
Favourite Food: Anything painstakingly prepared by an obedient wife over a vintage 50s electric stove
Actual quote:“It’s a big mistake to think marriage is really about two adults’ public commitment to each other and a declaration of their love.”
[caption id=”attachment_3040” align=”alignleft” width=”250” caption=”Margaret Somerville reacts to a gay wedding card at the Hallmark store.”] [/caption]
What she does: Margaret currently teaches a seminar on torts (not to be confused with tortes, which are much, much tastier) at the law department of McGill university, but is much better known for preparing rich, flaky, anti-gay testimony to go. Margaret has not only testified against same-sex marriage here in Canada, but regularly travels abroad acting as an expert witness to try and stop gay marriage in strange and foreign lands. Margaret calls herself an ethicist, heading the Centre for Medicine, Ethnics, and Law—which she created.
Harshest Reality Check: It’s a three-way tie! In 2006, Margaret’s nomination for the Order of Canada was rejected because she was deemed “too controversial.” Later, Ryerson University went on record to say they regret giving her an honorary degree. The real kicker, though, has to be the complete dismissal of her testimony before the Iowa District Court. After travelling all the way to Iowa to testify against same-sex marriage, the courts had this to say about Somerville and two of her colleagues at McGill:
The Court concludes that these individuals are not qualified to testify as experts regarding the issues in this matter. […] Though these experts desire to make statements regarding gender, results of same-sex marriage on children and the universal definition of marriage, they do not appear to possess expertise in relevant fields such as sociology, child development, psychology or psychiatry. Ms. Somerville specifically eschews empirical research and methods of logical reasoning in favor of “moral intuition.” She has no training in empirical research and admits having no knowledge of existing social science research relevant to this case. She concedes that her views do not reflect the mainstream views of other ethicists.
Party invitation index: Hmm… I’d give her an 8, just to see how an ethicist does at a game of Scruples after a few drinks.
(A special hat tip goes to Dr.Dawg over at Dawg’s blog for alerting me to Somerville’s involvement and subsequent amusing thrashing at Iowa’s courts.)