Tag Archives: Gay Marriage

Does gay marriage undermine the marital norms of monogamy and permanence?

Does government provide incentives for people to get married?
Does gay marriage undermine marital norms?

Let’s see how gay marriage has changed the norms of natural marriage, using an interesting article by Ryan T. Anderson appeared on Ricochet.

First, a bit about the author.

Ryan T. Anderson researches and writes about justice and moral principles in economic thought, health care and education as the William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society at The Heritage Foundation. He also has expertise in bioethics, marriage, religious liberty and natural law theory.

Anderson, who joined Heritage’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society in 2012, also is the editor of Public Discourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, N.J.

Anderson’s recent work focuses on the moral and constitutional questions surrounding same-sex “marriage.” He is the co-author with Princeton’s Robert P. George and Sherif Girgis of “What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense” (Encounter Books, December 2012). The three also co-wrote the article “What is Marriage?” in the winter 2011 issue of Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.

[…]Anderson received his bachelor of arts degree from Princeton University, graduatingPhi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. He is a doctoral candidate in political philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, where he received his master’s degree.

The point I wanted to pull out his piece on Ricochet was that gay activists admit that one of the motives for redefining marriage is to destroy central aspects of traditional marriage, such as monogamy, sexual exclusivity and pledged permanence.

He writes:

Redefining marriage would abandon the norm of male-female sexual complementarity as an essential characteristic of marriage. Making that optional would also make other essential characteristics—like monogamy, exclusivity and permanency—optional, as my co-authors and I argue in our new book, What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense. We also show how it is increasingly confirmed by the rhetoric and arguments of those who would redefine marriage (“revisionists”) and by the policies that their more candid leaders increasingly embrace. Indeed, several commentators on Tuesday’s post explicitly jettisoned monogamy, sexual exclusivity and pledged permanence as demands of marriage.

Consider the norm of monogamy. In testifying before Congress against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), prominent New York University professor Judith Stacey expressed hope that the revisionist view’s triumph would give marriage “varied, creative and adaptive contours . . . [leading some to] question the dyadic limitations of Western marriage and seek . . . small group marriages.”

In their statement “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage,” more than 300  self-styled LGBT and allied scholars and advocates—including prominent Ivy League professors—call for legally recognizing sexual relationships involving more than two partners. University of Calgary professor Elizabeth Brake argues in her book Minimizing Marriage that justice requires using legal recognition to “denormalize the ideal of heterosexual monogamy” and correct for “past discrimination against homosexuals, bisexuals, polygamists and care networks.”

And exclusivity? Andrew Sullivan, who has extolled the “spirituality” of “anonymous sex,” writes in his book Virtually Normal that the “openness” of same-sex relationships could enhance the bonds of husbands and wives:

Same-sex unions often incorporate the virtues of friendship more effectively than traditional marriages; and at times, among gay male relationships, the openness of the contract makes it more likely to survive than many heterosexual bonds. . . . [T]here is more likely to be greater understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman. . . . [S]omething of the gay relationship’s necessary honesty, its flexibility, and its equality could undoubtedly help strengthen and inform many heterosexual bonds.

Similarly, in a New York Times Magazine profile titled “Married, With Infidelities”, Dan Savage encourages spouses to adopt “a more flexible attitude” about allowing each other to seek sex outside their marriage. A piece titled “Monogamish” in The Advocate, a gay-interest newsmagazine, supports this point still more candidly:

Anti-equality right-wingers have long insisted that allowing gays to marry will destroy the sanctity of “traditional marriage,” and, of course, the logical, liberal party-line response has long been “No, it won’t.” But what if—for once—the sanctimonious crazies are right? Could the gay male tradition of open relationships actually alter marriage as we know it? And would that be such a bad thing?

As the article’s blurb reads: “We often protest when homophobes insist that same-sex marriage will change marriage for straight people too. But in some ways, they’re right.”

These are the words of leading supporters of same-sex marriage. If you believe in monogamy and exclusivity—and the benefits these bring to orderly procreation and child wellbeing—but would redefine civil marriage, take note.

So the question becomes, does it weaken marriage to introduce these ideas of non-monogamy and non-permanence, and call them “marriage”? The secular left already champions policies like no-fault divorce, single mother welfare, premarital sex, etc. that undermine marital stability. As a result of the ascendancy of the secular left and their Sexual Revolution (not pushed by Christians!), we have a 40% out-of-wedlock birth rate, and much higher in minority communities. And now we see that same-sex marriage, which is endorsed by the secular left, undermines traditional marriage norms even more, exposing children to even more harm.

No-fault divorce was the first redefinition of marriage. The secular left advocated for it, whether they actually did it themselves or not. It definitely harmed children. Sometimes, a person can do harm by advocating for views that cause harm, even if they don’t directly do the harm themselves. In that case, pointing to their own moral goodness does not take away the fact that they are pushing a moral order that is opposed to God’s intended moral design for us.

Implications of the Supreme Court’s “Obergefell v. Hodges” decision

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign
Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

I am linking to an article posted at the Stream about an important new book by marriage defender Ryan T. Anderson, entitled “Truth Overruled”. I have already bought myself a paperback copy of it.

Anyway, here’s the excerpt:

Anderson lays out soberly all the radical, counter-intuitive and just-plain-crazy implications of the Supreme Court decision in June, Obergefell v. Hodges, that overturned all state laws predicated on the natural, timeless structure of marriage as one man and one woman, hopefully till death:

  • Marriage is not about protecting children and helping to form future free citizens. It exists to cater to the fleeting emotional needs of adults.
  • The state recognizes marriages in order to validate the “dignity” of citizens — that is, to boost their self-esteem.
  • Men and women are exactly the same, and therefore completely interchangeable as parents.
  • Children do not need or deserve continuity of care from their biological parents. Any adult present will do.
  • The U.S. Constitution has no permanent, substantive meaning. It is instead a means by which social and legal elites can override democratic majorities whenever they feel that the time is ripe to impose new philosophical premises on the populace.
  • The free exercise of religion is no more extensive than simple free speech, and can be restricted when a religious group’s views diverge from the Court’s majority view of what the Constitution means at the moment.
  • The connection between sexual activity and human reproduction is simply accidental, a quirk of biology that has no implications for morality, law or society.
  • Those who deny any of these points are morally equivalent to white racists, and will be treated by the government with no greater deference.

Anderson is not alone in recognizing the sheer radicalism of Obergefell v. Hodges; indeed, four justices of the Court, including its Chief Justice, John Roberts, issued a stinging dissent that raises most of the objections which Anderson coolly unpacks in the course of his book. Advocates of same-sex marriage were quick to brush such arguments aside, and cast their opponents as isolated, irrational extremists, motivated only by fideistic reliance on ancient religious texts. Anderson makes it clear that this tactic is fundamentally dishonest, expanding on the dissenters’ points and fleshing each of them out with reference to history, biology, social science — and yes, even religion.

Anderson rightly avoids the temptation to simply play whack-a-mole with every specious argument offered by those who claim to advocate “marriage equality.” While he answers such objections, he also does the reader the service of clarifying and simplifying the terms of the debate, showing how it is finally, starkly, the face-off between two irreconcilable views of marriage:

  1. A “comprehensive — permanent and exclusive — union of sexually complementary spouses who engage in a comprehensive act that is inherently ordered toward a comprehensive good: the procreation and rearing of new human life.”
  2. An “intense emotional union — a romantic, care-giving union of consenting adults.”

As Anderson demonstrates, the first view is the one that has existed in every human society of which we have any record, even those that tolerated polygamy and extra-marital homosexual relationships. The second, impoverished view is the program of the Sexual Revolution, whose gradual implementation (beginning with no-fault, unilateral divorce) has seen the virtual collapse of marriage, the enormous suffering of children, the disappearance of two-parent families in large swathes of society — in other words, domestic chaos.

Anderson cites solid, peer-reviewed research to show the grave harm this social change has done to the most vulnerable people in America: the children of the poor. Our prisons are disproportionately full of boys who grew up without fathers, and our welfare rolls of young girls who were sexually exploited and made pregnant as young teenagers, in part because they had no father to protect them. They in turn are likely to raise children without their biological fathers. This cycle of dysfunction can all be traced to the loosening of the marriage bond, which is only further weakened when the law itself — and even the U.S. Constitution — is invoked by our nation’s highest authorities to affirm that sex has no permanent unitive meaning, and that children’s interests must play second fiddle to the emotional needs of adults.

You might think that same-sex “marriage” could improve the well-being of children, but Anderson cites statistics showing a clear correlation between its legal adoption in particular polities, and declines in the marriage and even the birth rate.

No man is an island, and no woman neither. But least of all are children, those fragile and needy creatures who depend on us for their present, who will populate our future. The acceptance of same-sex marriage, as Anderson doggedly demonstrates, is only the latest stage in our culture’s narcissistic rejection of responsibility toward the vulnerable.

Federal enforcement of a new, invented Constitutional “right” poses a threat to religious liberty and freedom of association. Anderson lays out the well-known (and some of the lesser-known) cases of same-sex marriage advocates using the state’s coercive power to harm innocent citizens who were acting on their conscience, who declined to assist with same-sex marriages. He correctly notes the grave danger posed to churches, citing the now-infamous exchange between Obama’s solicitor general and Justice Samuel Alito, in which the former admitted that churches who decline to perform same-sex marriages may well face the same legal and tax penalties applied in the past to segregationist sects.

This little excerpt is a very good summary of the issues, and how marriage fits into the overall fight to defend the rights of children to their moms and dads, and a stable childhood where both parents sacrifice themselves for the good of their children. We need to get that culture back. If you are pro-same-sex marriage, then you are part of the problem. It doesn’t matter what you do in your personal life. If you are voting for this, you are harming society, and harming children, all for the self-esteem of self-centered grown ups. I urge all my readers to get informed about marriage and to be persuasive when talking about marriage to their neighbors.

Related posts

Oregon begins seizure of $135,000 from Christians who refused to celebrate gay marriage

Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties
Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties

How would gay marriage affect your marriage? Well, not at all, as long as you have $135,000 kicking around to pay the government when gay couples are offended by your disagreement with their view of marriage.

The Daily Signal explains:

The agency that ordered Aaron and Melissa Klein to pay $135,000 in damages for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex couple began the legal process last week to seize the money the Oregon bakers are refusing to pay.

“Our agency has docketed the judgment and is exploring collection options,” Charlie Burr, communications director for the agency, told The Daily Signal. “They are entitled to a full and fair review of the case, but do not have the right to disregard a legally binding order.”

Docketing the judgment is a preliminary step the agency must take in order to seize the Kleins’ house, property, or other assets in lieu of payment.

On July 2, Brad Avakian, commissioner of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, ordered the Kleins to pay $135,000 for the emotional, physical, and psychological damages they caused Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer for refusing to make a wedding cake.

Meanwhile, up north from Oregon in Washington state, the ACLU and the Democrat-run state government are looking for another 6-figure payout.

Life Site News explains:

A florist in Washington has appealed to the state’s Supreme Court in a fight for her religious liberty.

Barronelle Stutzman, who is represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), has been fighting prosecution under a state law that denies religious liberty to businesses when it comes to participating in same-sex “marriages.”

Stutzman turned down a longtime customer when he asked her to produce a flower arrangement for his “wedding” to another man. She instead recommended several other area florists.

That customer eventually sued Stutzman, as has the ACLU, but it has been the state’s prosecution that has caused her the most difficulty.

Stutzman is being sued both professionally and personally – meaning that her retirement savings and other personal assets are at risk.

In March, Stutzman was fined $1,001 for not providing flowers for the ceremony. However, that may not be all of the financial penalties she faces. ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco told LifeSiteNews that “if she loses, the ACLU (and maybe the state) will ask for attorneys fees. Those fees will be in the six figures, at least.”

Now, there was a time when the ACLU tried to pass themselves off as an organization that protected individuals from the state, but that time is long gone. Now they want to use the government as a tool to crush Constitutional liberties of individuals and groups that disagree with their values.

Remember when the progressive gunman attacked the Family Research Council?

Goodness Without God: is it possible?
Goodness Without God: is it possible?

Let’s walk down memory lane and remember what happens when “non-religious” people who don’t like “organized religion” get hold of guns and decide to act on their non-religious convictions. In this case, the shooter was a gay activist who was a great admirer of Friedrich Nietzche, the atheist philosopher who proclaimed the death of God.

The Daily Caller reports.


The man accused of opening fire and shooting a security guard at the conservative Family Research Council headquarters last August plead guilty to three charges in a D.C. federal court Wednesday.

Floyd Lee Corkins, II of Herndon, Virginia entered guilty pleas to a federal weapons charge as well as a local terrorism charge and a charge of assault with intent to kill, according to news reports.

The Washington Post reports that, according to the plea agreement Corkins signed, he told FBI agents on the day of the shooting that he “intended to kill as many people as possible” and planned to “smother Chick-fil-A sandwiches in their faces.”

Investigators found additional magazines and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches in his backpack on the day of the shooting.

Following the guilty plea the FRC issued a statement placing a large portion of the blame for the shooting at the feet of the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center, which had listed FRC as a hate group. FRC noted that prosecutors discovered Corkins identified his targets on the SPLC’s website.

“The day after Floyd Corkins came into the FRC headquarter and opened fire wounding one of our team members, I stated that while Corkins was responsible for the shooting, he had been given a license to perpetrate this act of violence by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center which has systematically and recklessly labeled every organization with which they disagree as a ‘hate group,’” FRC president Tony Perkins said in a statement, which went on to demand that SPLC stop attacking organizations that have a different opinion on gay rights.

The shooting happened shortly after Chick-fil-A made headlines over the company president’s disagreement with gay marriage.

Why does anyone think that people on the secular left are tolerant?

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Rick Santorum takes on liberal celebrities on The View

Unborn Baby - 10 weeks old
Unborn Baby – 10 weeks old

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum decided to go on a very liberal show called The View to talk about social issues. The View is a very popular show, and the hosts are very used to discussing all sorts of controversial issues. Would Rick Santorum be able to defend his views against the liberal hosts?

Here’s the 7.5-minute clip:

And Life News has a transcript of the most interesting part of the discussion:

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: So, Rick, you’re one much the most conservative candidates in the race. You want to ban all abortions, defund Planned Parenthood, ban gay marriage. Oppose same-sex unions. And yet, you want to govern all of the folks in the United States? Or are you just governing from — [ laughter ]

RICK SANTORUM: Well, my response is that people that have a different point of view, would you ask them the same question?

GOLDBERG:  Yes. I ask everybody —

SANTORUM:  But, I mean — but the point is, if someone has a different point of view, does that mean that they are only going to govern for people who support all those things?

GOLDBERG: That’s why I ask.

SANTORUM: The answer is to, of course not.

GOLDBERG: So, how will you say to your constituents who may be gay or may find themselves in a position with something like Planned Parenthood, what will you replace it with if you take it away?

SANTORUM: Well, first off, I’m for reallocating every dollar that goes to Planned Parenthood and put them in women’s health centers that actually provide more comprehensive services than Planned Parenthood does. Planned parenthood, for example, doesn’t provide mammograms. Now, I know people say they do, but they don’t. In fact —

GOLDBERG: Yeah, they do.

SANTORUM: In fact, Cecile Richards said yesterday in the hearing that, in fact, they do not. In fact, there are no Planned Parenthoods that provide any mammogram services. They basically provide abortion, contraceptive, STDs, things — and pregnancy tests. That’s it. There are much more comprehensive women’s health care centers. I spend a lot of time in Iowa. And in Iowa, there are 213 women health’s centers. Thirteen Planned Parenthood centers. So, If you said we were going to take the Planned Parenthood money, reallocate it to, actually, clinics that do provide a whole host of other women’s health services, women are probably going to get a more holistic health screening at those places than they would at Planned Parenthood.

What’s neat about this is how Hollywood celebrities and journalists basically form their worldview by listening to the words of the people they agree with, and never checking anything out for themselves by listening to the other side. So, Goldberg walks into a debate talking about Planned Parenthood doing mammograms on camera, and is corrected by Rick Santorum quoting Cecile Richards, the CEO of Planned Parenthood. That’s going to leave a mark.

To her credit, she is at least talking to people on the right. That’s not something I that happens often in academia, where the professors went out of their way to not engage with scholars who disagreed with them. They seem to not be able to handle the strain of having to listen to views they don’t hold. There seems to be a real dearth of critical thinking on the left, in general. But at least The View hosts had courage to listen to someone they didn’t agree with, and to be civil.