There’s nothing to see here. Move along.



The Hague Netherlands Temple
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
(click to enlarge)


As advocates of same-sex marriage have long insisted, there is not and will never be any threat to religious liberty or freedom of conscience from government redefinition of marriage to include gay couples, etc.


An illustration, from a foreign but closely related legal system, demonstrates clearly how this can never happen:


Posted from the 2013 FAIR Conference, in Provo, Utah



Another Hamblin/Jenkins fix
"Bait and Switch: How Same-Sex Marriage Ends Marriage and Family Autonomy"
New Testament 189, 190
Jerusalem 4000 años en 5 Minutos
  • Will

    Daniel, does the UK have a first amendment? Whether it is a closely related legal system doesn’t really mean anything. The underlying law is quite different.

    • DanielPeterson

      I think I’ve known that most of my life. And I just spent July in England, so I’m aware that it’s a separate country. Thanks, though!

  • JamesJ

    Sweeping changes looming in San Antonio, TX. Forget running for city council or obtaining a contract with the city if they deem that you’ve ever spoken out against homosexuality.

    So much for the “it could never happen in the US, we have the 1st Amendment” argument. The ramifications are startling.

  • wayfarer

    Dan, I’m curious what kind of scholarship takes an isolated example — an anecdote — from a country with distinct laws and an established STATE church, and makes any conclusion that might apply to the US?
    If anything, the UK case demonstrates the NECESSITY of honoring the first amendment’s provisions not to establish religion nor prevent the free exercise thereof. In UK, the Head of Church is also the Head of State, therefore if the state declares that same sex marriage should be allowed, then the official state church, which solemnizes marriages for and on behalf of the state would have to follow suit.
    Restrictions on same sex marriage in the US both ESTABLISH a specific religion’s or set of religions’ qualifications on what constitutes marriage, while PROHIBITING the FREE EXERCISE of those religions whose practice allow and encourage same sex marriage. To say that marriage should be one man and one woman is patently hypocritical of the Church, as I’m sure you share with me a Polygamist ancestry, and the Republican Edmunds and Edmunds-Tucker acts of the 1880s, coupled with teh Republican-dominated Supreme Court of 1890 both disenfranchized the Church as well as jailing our ancestors.
    Intermixing religion with the state is bad for both — which is what the UK case demonstrates.
    I wonder, when I run across people like you who want to inflict your interpretation of morality onto those who do not share our standards — do you have a gay close relative? And if you did, would you still oppose gay marriage? I think not.

    • DanielPeterson

      I can’t think of any kind of scholarship that does what you describe. Why do you ask?

      As for the rest of your post:

      I disagree with most of it.

      I have no particular interest in forcing my view of morality on anybody — although, as a matter of fact, laws commonly do just that.

      And my opposition to gay marriage is based on principles such as those laid out in “What is Marriage?” (by Anderson, Girgis, and George). There is no need whatever for you to attempt a condescending pop psychological analysis.

      • wayfarer

        no disrespect, condescension, or pop psychological analysis was or is intended. Your blog makes the claim that you are a mormon scholar and islamic expert, hence, my queries are appropriate.

        As a Mormon scholar, please tell me what affect the Edmunds-Tucker act had on the ability of the Latter-day Saints in the 1880s to practice their religion.

        As an Islamic expert, please tell me how a law forcing a definition of marriage as one man and one woman would be interpreted by a muslim who, practicing his religion, had more than one wife?

        As a human being, I ask if you have a family member who is gay, and if you did, would it affect your stance?

    • Anyotheruser

      “In UK, the Head of Church is also the Head of State, therefore if the state declares that same sex marriage should be allowed, then the official state church, which solemnizes marriages for and on behalf of the state would have to follow suit.”

      Except that the law that has just been passed (only a month ago) specifically established a so-called ‘quadruple lock’ that the Prime Minister claimed would prevent any such legal issues arising. Much like debates in the US, there’s been worries about unforeseen legal consequences and insufficient protection for religious liberty, and assurances (in this case including by David Cameron) that such fears were overblown. This time it has even taken a month for that to be falsified.

      “do you have a gay close relative? And if you did, would you still oppose gay marriage? I think not.”

      I would. Why should my opinions on an essential social institution that precedes the existence of the state, on an issue that has both pivotal importance for freedom of conscience not to mention theological importance, be affected by the status of my relatives? Should my political, social and religious convictions be swayed by some sort of nepotism?

      • wayfarer

        As noted by Phil, below, the link between Church and state in UK is compromised by a law on one side that allows gay marriage, and a rule by the anglican communion against it. the issue isn’t whether a specific law can prevent such compromise — it is inherent to any state that proclaims that church enjoys slecial status — the point is that in US we have such separation.

        Dr Peterson’s post is a canard, a non-sequitur.

        As for your hypothetical that you would continue in your political stance should you had a gay family member, it has nothing to do with nepotism. I shared your position before it happened to me. if you had sat through as many suicide watches as I have, and saw them entirely disappear once my daughter came out and found a loving, supporting relationship, I came to understand a higher, more Christ-like position than the ignorant bigotry I once espoused.

        • DanielPeterson

          My post could only be a non sequitur if it had attempted to construct a chain of reasoning in which the particular English item played a role as a piece of evidence or a proposition. The property of being a “non sequitur,” of “not following” (as the Latin expression says), can only be present if one has claimed some sort of logical entailment. But I claimed no such thing.

          Thus, “wayfarer’s” comments about the post being a “non sequitur” are beside the point, They’re almost as far off the mark as his question about the nature of scholarship was. (I don’t cite “Sic et Non” among my scholarly publications; not all writing is scholarship — not even all SERIOUS writing.)

          • wayfarer

            Then, as usual, I have to remind myself to not take you seriously in the least. Why doesn’t that surprise me?

            So if your blog claims that this is the writing of a Mormon Scholar and Islamic expert, then scholarship and expertise is implied by the claim of the blog. I suppose that “not taking you seriously” means that the blog tagline is prevaricating — You’re right…nothing to see here, move along…

            And if you post a blog citing an anecote, an isolated legal suit to an british legal context as if it is a “Canary in a coalmine” (Your words), a harbinger for things to come in the US, you’re implicitly linking one event in an irrelevant context to a “fear” that such will happen as a result of US laws changing. that is as much of a “not following”/non-secuitur as one can get.

            What I find amazing about dialog with you is that you seem to continue to ignore the relevant questions and skirt the core issues.

            I pose, what I consider to be relevant questions:

            As a Mormon scholar, please tell me what affect the Edmunds-Tucker act had on the ability of the Latter-day Saints in the 1880s to practice their religion.

            As an Islamic expert, please tell me how a law forcing a definition of marriage as one man and one woman would be interpreted by a muslim who, practicing his religion, had more than one wife?

            As a human being, I ask if you have a family member who is gay, and if you did, would it affect your stance?

          • DanielPeterson

            Why doesn’t it surprise you? Well, obviously, for the same reason it doesn’t surprise ME — because hostility, unsympathetic incomprehension, and illogic have characterized your responses to me since the very first time I noticed them.

            Ironically, your post above IS an example of a non sequitur, because your “then” clause isn’t even remotely logically entailed by what I said.

            Moreover, a “canary in a coal mine” isn’t a “harbinger of things to come.” It’s a diagnostic test intended to alert people in the event that possible things DO come. That’s quite a different matter, and the difference is crucial.

            And, finally, I’m not skirting the relevant questions. You’re not posing them. More clarity of thought on your part would be very helpful to both of us.

            I wish you well.

          • wayfarer

            with that reply, refusing to answer the questions, you have demonstrated, once again, why you reap what you sow.
            You’re truly a lost cause.
            Why am I not surprised at your response?

          • DanielPeterson

            I’ve already told you why you’re not surprised. It’s the same reason that I’m not surprised at your reaction.

            You’ve been vocally, ostentatiously, “disappointed” in me from our very first interaction, and the act grew more than a bit tiresome quite a while back.

            I watched you a large number of times as you would rush from our conversations on one board to complain over at the Scratch Board about how wicked, heartless, and stupid I am and to misrepresent, often grievously, what I had said, so I’m not particularly disposed to care about what you claim to think about me nor to consider you particularly serious. Your arrival in the comments section of my blog wasn’t exactly a cause for celebration.

          • wayfarer

            Dan, I asked you three simply, direct questions, and you didn’t have the decency to answer them. Perhaps because you can’t without revealing the profound hypocrisy with which you operate. Instead of answering questions, you attack the questioner, which I find to be a typical Mormon Apologetic tactic.

            I seldom agree with Mormon Discussions, but their indictmment of you is rather accurate. And your characterization of my participation there is categorically false, as usual.

            Just answer the questions I posed.

            1. As a Mormon scholar, please tell me what affect the Edmunds-Tucker act had on the ability of the Latter-day Saints in the 1880s to practice their religion.

            2. As an Islamic expert, please tell me how a law forcing a definition of marriage as one man and one woman would be interpreted by a muslim who, practicing his religion, had more than one wife?

            3. As a human being, I ask if you have a family member who is gay, and if you did, would it affect your stance?

          • DanielPeterson

            I see that you’ve yet again scurried, breathless with excitement, over to the Scratch Board in order to malign me, misrepresent me (among other things, through selective quotation), lament my wickedness, and call me insulting names — just as I’ve seen you do every single time before.

            Yet you seem genuinely baffled by my lack of enthusiasm for conversing with you. Weird.

          • Josh Segundo

            How did you see that? Did you ‘scurry’ over to the Scratch Board yourself?

            I’d sort of like to see the answers to Wayfarers questions, as well.

          • DanielPeterson

            I expected Wayfarer to comment insultingly about me over there. He always has. So, yes, I looked.

            I’ve never made the slightest secret of the fact that I sometimes look in on the place. It’s one way of seeing what’s agitating the hive.

            And, as you will see if you look, I’ve answered his questions.

        • Anyotheruser

          You miss the point – it is in response to such concerns that *the state*, as part of the law creating same-sex marriage, legally forbade the Church of England from conducting them and announced this would prevent any issues. Before a month is out they are happening anyway. In our legal systems, these things tend to carry unintended consequences far beyond the intention of the legislators who draw them up. And that’s directly relevant to concerns about such consequences in the US (for example, the issue as to whether a wedding photographer should be compelled to provide such services for same sex weddings). Since our legal systems are similar, and such ‘separation’ hasn’t prevented people in the US already experiencing such unintended consequences, it’s far from a non-sequitur.

          And while I appreciate there was is a degree of personal tragedy in your own experiences, you have no grounds to proclaim your own position as ‘more Christ-like’, or others as ‘ignorant bigotry’. Christ commands us to love everyone, yes. We should also remember that we all sin, and that it’s easy to pat ourselves on the back for those temptations we don’t happen to have. But it is not ultimately loving, in view of the eternal consequences, to condone sin. Christ was and is merciful and loving, but he also warned of sin and urged repentance, precisely because of that love. And family circumstances, one way or the other, don’t begin to address the question as to whether something is a sin or not.

          But the discussion here isn’t even on such things, though they bear on it, but on the nature of marriage, which is also a long-standing social institution. In which – far from your claims that “people like you… want to inflict your interpretation of morality onto those who do not share our standards” – it is others who are keen to impose a redefinition of the nature of marriage through the state. Since such redefinition has also featured legal penalties for those who have not wanted to provide services for such events (in the US), or resulted in the loss of employment (in the UK), who are the real heirs of the Edmunds-Tucker act?

          • wayfarer

            My opinion was that I realized the Christ in having compassion for my gay daughter, and that this same compassion needed to apply to all those who desire those rights. My position was more Christ like than the “ignorant bigotry” of my previous position — i did not mean that my position was more Christ like than “others” — although in our language it’s easy to see how you could pick that out from what I said.
            If you are a temple-going LDS, you will recognize that the Law of Chastity as defined by LDS and explicitly in the temple is a law if the Terrestial Kingdom in preparation for the Celestial. One enters into the Terrestial kingdom without that law.
            The history of marriage is not so straight forward. In Israel, and at the time of Christ, there was no marriage covenant at all. If I betrothed with a woman, that is, I got engaged, then whenever we had sex, the marriage was final. The betrothal involved, usually, some kind of family party, but there was no solemnity or temple covenant around the marriage.
            As well, there were a number of structures we can harly consider traditional: levirate marriage, polygamy, and concubinage. As spoils of war, men were allowed to take virgins an rape them without consequence or sin.
            I simply cannot follow your argument in the last paragraph about the real heirs of Edmunds-Tucker. My family was split up in the 1880s and 1890s, with a great grandfather who had live a clandestine life with multiple names — a dysfunctional system that destroyed his first family with my young grandmother in tow. So, what I see as the heritage of Edmunds Tucker is rather personal.
            I also submit to you that unless you have a close family member who is gay, you probably lack the experience I have in going through what we are doing in our institutionalized bigotry towards gays. My daughter was deeply devoted to the gospel and church, and has always been very faithful to one person. When she has been in relationships, she has been exclusive and completely faithful. Our church brought her to the point of suicide over an over. She is not alone.

          • Anyotheruser

            I don’t see anywhere where I suggested marriage as a long-standing social institution was a Temple marriage with Temple covenants?

            My argument about the “real heirs” was referring to the real consequences that some (thankfully few at the present time) are experiencing as a consequence of their belief – in some cases, for merely expressing their beliefs – around marriage.

            That’s a reading of the Temple that would seem to be significantly complicated by the likes of Section 76:103 or 2 Nephi 9:36. God is the judge, so the actual cases are up to him, but it would suggest we shouldn’t be blasé about the consequences of sin. It certainly isn’t compassionate. I realise your personal experiences will affect this – but your personal experiences also provide no logical reason for you to change your mind on what is sin or what isn’t, or what the eternal consequences are. They don’t provide any insight. And speaking as one who in the past has suffered intense despair because of sin – it doesn’t do anyone any favours to tell them they’re not sinning. There’s only one real way out of that pit.

    • rockyrd

      Yes I do and Yes I do.

      Marriage standards are societal standards. They have not given preference to any one religion as marriage of man and woman tends to be a standard of most religions and almost all societies. Currently, many seem to want to jump headlong into a major values shift without considering possible consequences.

  • DanielPeterson

    I see that the uncivil haters have arrived.

  • RaymondSwenson

    The legal system of the United Kingdom included the judge-made Common Law and use of juries which is still a core part of the US legal system. The concepts and language of British practice continue in the Common Law still enforced in our state and Federal courts, and even the statutory enactments rely on those inherited meanings and terms. Thus, when the US Supreme Court was asked to interpret the Second Amendment “right to bear arms”, it looked to the meaning of those words in Acts of Parliament. Because of the language we share, and the common core of inherited law, British decisions have much more persuasive influence on American judges than rulings in most other countries. For example, even though Americans virtually wrote the constitution of Japan imposed after WW II, the rulings of its courts have zero effect on the views of judges in the US.

  • RaymondSwenson

    It should be remembered that when the thirteen British colonies declared their independence in 1776, it was to preserve the rights they already believed they enjoyed as “Englishmen”. The Bill of Rights did not create new rights but enjoined the new Federal government from violating the long held.rights of citizens that were recognized and developed under British law. The one marked departure was the First Amendment bar against creating a Federal church, but it allowed the states to continue with their own established churches. While the states had disestablished those churches within a few decades, the Supreme Court in its religion cases of the 20th Century turned the Establishment Clause on its asserting Federal control over state-approved religious activities.

  • RaymondSwenson

    Wayfarer alludes to the link between same sex marriage and polygamy. The judges who have dissented in the court rulings mandating SSM have frequently pointed out that the reasoning used to set aside laws enacted by Congress, state legislatures, and voter initiatives, will apply equally well to polygamy, polyandry, and adult incest as being relationships that can argue entitlement to government sanction as marriage, and entitled to income tax deductions, estate tax deductions, social security survivor benefits, etc.

    Since the “B” in LGBT means bisexual, recognizing SSM presents the immediate question why a bisexual person who can now legally marry a person of the same sex, and could always marry a person of opposite sex, should not now be allowed to do both at the same time. Bisexual persons can then build long chain molecules of marriage of unlimited length. An individual polygamous man will be able to be married to multiple bisexual women, so telling a polygamous man and his strictly heterosexual wives that they cannot be legally recognized will become absurd. And once that line is crossed, what lines will remain?

    My personal view is that the advocates of this process want the destruction of the traditional meaning of marriage through adoption of SSM to be completed before all of the natural consequences can be apprehended and used to persuade the public that those consequences are not desirable. What America is doing is a massive experiment in social engineering with consequences of a size comparable to adopting communism, with absolutely no consideration of the effect of this experiment on raising emotionally healthy children who can sustain our society. There has been no analysis made of the cumulative impacts of these changes on families, on national identity, on religious belief and practice, on government itself, and of our ability or even willingness to defend our society against threats.

    • Lucy Mcgee

      Our Christian nation’s history is replete with social experiments: Women’s Suffrage, abolition, workers rights, etc., and through these “social engineering experiments”, we managed to increase our population and wealth while massively benefiting all of society. People shouldn’t forget how much misery was foisted on married women, slaves and children (as the twentieth century opened, 284,000 children between the ages of ten and fifteen worked in mines, mills, factories) during the first century our nation’s founding by Christian men. Progressive social movements have moved our society forward.

      Would anyone care to list the top three or four problems they believe will impact our society when same sex marriage becomes the law of the land?

      • RaymondSwenson

        A law professor from my Alma Mater, George Washington University Law School, filed suit in Utah several months ago challenging Utah’s anti-polygamy law on behalf of the people featured in the “Sister Wives” TV program. He is using precisely the same arguments that have been used on behalf of SSM in other cases. This is not a hypothetical case, but a real one. And as more individual lawsuits are filed based on the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling, the ones arguing for recognition of polygamy are going to multiply as well, especially in states that have recognized SSM through court or legislative action.

        Exactly what misery is being foisted on gay couples per se? Their income tends to be higher than heterosexual couples. Laws that had criminalized homosexual acts between adults were not being enforced, and were then declared unconstitutional. Laws that bar discrimination in housing, etc. can address basic human rights. SSM does not actually address that kind of discrimination. It should.not be forgotten that “civil union” laws that addressed specific issues of inheritance, privacy in health care, and other matters that could not be addressed by wills and private contracts were NOT opposed by most people.

        The solution to the inheritance tax problem that was the basis for the DOMA lawsuit would more rationally have been to get rid of the stupid tax, which punishes saving your own, already taxed income, and forces the sale and liquidation of farms and other property just to pay the tax.

        The point of the SSM laws is to indoctrinate people, including children, that homosexual relationships are just as valuable as normal heterosexual marriage, and make it impossible to speak about normal marriage without qualifying it as only one alternative kind of relationship. As George Orwell argued, if you control the meaning of words, you control how people think. The success of SSM will make it harder to communicate to my grandchildren what my own marriage means, and what I desire for them in their own marriages. And it has become clear that supporters of SSM stand ready to punish me for refusing to use their vocabulary, regardless of my rights of free speech and religious conscience that are expressly guaranteed by the First Amendment.

        • Lucy Mcgee

          Religion has indoctrinated people for thousands of years. Our nation, built on religious principles has discriminated against tens of millions. Civil rights were abrogated for decades. And now, people are actually opposed to same sex marriage based on religious principles?

          If you can’t communicate well enough to your grandchildren that your own marriage is meaningful, then too bad for you. You are obviously extremely well educated and well spoken. You should just live and let live.

          • DanielPeterson

            Happily, countries based on no religious principles — such as Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Mao’s China, Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, and Stalin’s Russia — have been blissfully free of discrimination.

          • Lucy Mcgee

            As you know, those regimes drew their strength from massive propaganda, fear mongering and oppression, which replaced belief in God, with a belief in the Party. This is made exceedingly clear in the Stalin biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore.

            Think of the “great leader” and the regime of hereditary dictatorship and personality cult worship which has existed for decades in North Korea. Such societies have never been based on rational thought, egalitarianism, and humanism. Quite the contrary. A belief in deity was replaced with belief in a leader, which has nothing whatever to do with being irreligious.

            And by the way, discrimination on a massive scale by totalitarian regimes most certainly does not in any way excuse the discrimination foisted on millions by a largely religious society in America. After all, this same religious society and religious discrimination drove Mormons into the frontier. What about that?

          • RaymondSwenson

            Ms. Mcgee, please read the last sentence in my post you replied to. The essence of the problem is precisely that once SSM becomes established as law, it is being used to bludgeon and suppress dissenters with civil and criminal sanctions. That is the point of Dr. Peterson’s original blog post. No one was forcing gay couples to live apart and not voluntarily share their lives. But with SSM laws, they get to act as plaintiffs to use the courts to punish people who merely withhold their own vocal approval and active support to SSM. SSM ends a truce and begins a war on religious dissenters.

      • DanielPeterson

        I suggest reading through some of the materials produced by Ryan Anderson, Sherif Girgis, and Robert George — prominently including, though not limited to, their book “What is Marriage?”

        That would be a good start, if you really want a list of some of the problems that certain very serious thinkers see attendant upon the redefinition of marriage.

        • Lucy Mcgee

          My first reply quoted from their PDF paper online. I find many of their concepts quite banal as they define what they believe marriage is or should be. I wonder why it is that such unions ever fall apart? Why is it that one third or more marriages fail, given that they have been formed in the presence of God?

    • wayfarer

      I’m sure you are aware of the slippery slope fallacy?

      Concretely and seriously: what actual threat to your marriage is accrued by allowing gay people to marry?

      • kiwi57

        Resting, as it does, upon the unspoken assumption that the whole has exactly the same properties as its parts — and no others — that argument is a fallacy. It is as if you were to demolish a building, and when someone protested that the building was worth preserving, you were to respond by pointing to a pile of largely intact bricks and claim that since those bricks were still undamaged, no real damage had been done to the building they once comprised. This is known as “the fallacy of composition”
        Since no defenders of holy matrimony have ever claimed that “same sex marriage” would materially endanger their own individual marriages, your argument is also an example of the straw man fallacy.
        It’s also highly unoriginal, being repeated verbatim by almost every anti-marriage propagandist.

        Incidentally, just so you know: some slopes are slippery. Was Churchill engaging in a “slippery slope fallacy” when he warned Chamberlain against appeasement in the 1930′s?

      • RogersDW

        “what actual threat to your marriage is accrued by allowing gay people to marry?”

        1. It sets a dangerous precedent to the overall protection of and identify of the institution of marriage, i.e., man, wife, children.

        2. “Gay marriage” is a Pandora’s Box, opening the door to a host of other previously inconceivable relationships and unions. Man marries sister; man marries his dog; etc. Where does it stop? As ridiculous as this sounds is as ridiculous as “homosexual marriage” sounded 30 years ago.

        3. The concept of “gay marriage,” is inextricably attached to the radical elements of society. These types are incredibly hostile towards Christianity and God’s laws of morality. Bring up the Law of Chastity with the likes of Dan Savage and you’ll see what I mean.

      • aloysiusmiller

        What is fallacious about it? I remember when everyone pooh-poohed Lawrence vs. State of Texas and the concern that it would lead to gay marriage. So here we are.

      • DanielPeterson

        I suggest reading through some of the materials produced by Ryan Anderson, Sherif Girgis, and Robert George — prominently including, though not limited to, their book “What is Marriage?”

        That would be a good start, if you really want an answer to your question.

  • ClintonKing

    I dispute that polygamy as practiced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 19th century violated the idea of “one man + one woman = one marriage”.
    I think that Edmunds-Tucker was and is unconstitutional.
    I am against ‘gay marriage’.
    As far as I know, I have no gay family members, gay friends, or gay acquaintances, although maybe they’ve just never said anything for fear of getting harangued or ostracized.

  • DanielPeterson

    “1. As a Mormon scholar, please tell me what affect the Edmunds-Tucker act had on the ability of the Latter-day Saints in the 1880s to practice their religion.”

    The Edmunds-Tucker Act interfered with the ability of Latter-day Saints in the 1880s to practice their religion as they understood it.

    “2. As an Islamic expert, please tell me how a law forcing a definition of marriage as one man and one woman would be interpreted by a muslim who, practicing his religion, had more than one wife?”

    A Muslim who had more than one wife would see such a definition as contradictory to tenets of his religion, just as many if not most monogamous Muslims would see it, to the extent that they thought about it.

    “3. As a human being, I ask if you have a family member who is gay, and if you did, would it affect your stance?”

    Readers of my blog have no particular right to know the sexual orientation of members of my family — by which assertion I’m neither confirming nor denying that any members of my family are homosexuals. When I decided to blog, I didn’t yield up all privacy, or put my family on some sort of interminable reality show. I’ll choose what I want to say about my family here, and this particular matter is, in my judgment, none of the general public’s business.

    But, in any event, my “stance” isn’t driven by lack of compassion, as the question seems to presume. (The presumption is entirely in line with the default understanding of me, by some vocal critics [among whom this particular questioner has ranked for some time now], as heartless, unyielding, and cruel — in addition, of course, to my other notable qualities of intellectual dishonesty, rigid fanaticism, stupidity, ignorance, general silliness, and etc.) I have considerable compassion for those of homosexual inclination, as I hope that those of them with whom I’ve counseled and served could testify. Moreover, I have not the slightest objection to any and all legal measures (consistent with the rest of my libertarian-leaning political views and with my stated opposition to same-sex marriage) designed to make life as painless as possible for those who choose to live a homosexual lifestyle. Thus, for example, civil unions don’t bother me in the least.

    • wayfarer

      thank you. on point 3, I fully appreciate the appropriate need for privacy and understand the response. My question in no way implies a lack of compassion, but rather, one’s perspective inherently changes when these issues come “home”, literally. As open as I was to “live and let live”, my daughter’s coming out was so immensely painful, so incrediby disruptive to my worldview, that I had to reassess all earlier assumptions.

      • DanielPeterson

        That’s obviously true and understandable.