Speaking on Thursday evening’s The Daily Show, Jon Stewart was heavily critical of some arguments heard in the US Supreme Court around equal marriage in the first two days of hearings this week.
The political satirist took offence at a question from Justice Samuel Alito, who asked during proceedings if the court should be ruling on equal marriage since the concept of it is “newer than cell phones or the Internet”.
Stewart said: “We want you to step in and render a decision based on whether it’s right, and fair, and just under the Constitution — having nothing to do with its ‘newness’ and what you think might happen, which, by the way, what do you think might happen?
“That they’ll discover that letting two ladies get married is going to rip open a hole in the ozone layer? I got news for you, gay marriage will definitely cause less national harm than cell phones or the Internet.”
He went on to say: “Here’s one thing I’m pretty sure you don’t have to do: you don’t have to beta-test rights. ‘Black people have only been here 50 years, I mean, let’s see how the Netherlands does with them before we lift the barriers.’”
Stewart also suggested that the Supreme Court had been ambivalent about the intention behind the Defense of Marriage Act, and said that it was meant as discriminatory against gay couples when it was passed in 1996.
Calling out Justice Antonin Scalia, who during hearings claimed that there was “considerable disagreement among sociologists,” Stewart said that there was a consensus amongst medical professionals that equal marriage was only beneficial.
He went on to cite the Regnerus study, which claimed to find that the children of gay parents were worse off, was defended by its author despite being described as “flawed and misleading”, and which featured as pivotal in anti-equal marriage campaigns.
He said: “Whereas on the opposing side, there’s some fucking guy who put out a thoroughly discredited study, or as that’s known on the right, ‘conclusive proof.’”
This was the second day of hearings, as Tuesday the court heard arguments around Proposition 8, the state of California’s ban on equal marriage. Then the justices questioned the meaning of marriage, and challenged arguments for the ban.
A decision by the Supreme Court in both cases is expected by the end of June.