Chicago Tribune Celebrates Gay Marriage and Christian Group Flips Out in Response

The Chicago Tribune editorial board put out a piece Monday afternoon in support of marriage equality:

Increasingly, the public understands that letting same-sex couples marry does no harm to the civil institution of marriage, but promotes family stability, rewards loving commitment, and safeguards the interests of children.

By “public,” they mean a lot of young people, Democrats, religiously unaffiliated types — and a surprisingly growing number of religious people, too.

Basically, everyone except groups like Illinois Family Institute whose members are still spreading the false idea that there’s something inherently wrong with homosexuality… even though they’re fighting a losing battle:

And how do they know what the “public understands”? They claim to know that the entire American public agrees with them on the nature and impact of “same-sex marriage” based on the narrow passage of “same-sex marriage” initiatives in four solidly Democratic states.

The majority of the public agrees with the reality of the issue… and the four Democratic states are just a harbinger of what’s to come if we keep putting same sex marriage on the ballot. (Keep in mind the same Christian groups could’ve said “They’ll vote for gay marriage in the Democratic states” but they never did. They thought they would win just like they’ve always won in the past. They invested time and money into all four battles and they were shocked to lose. Best of all, they can’t blame “activist judges” on these losses.)

Keep in mind we’re not going back to bigotry. It’s not like people are going to magically turn homophobic over the next four years. Support for gay marriage is heading in the right direction and will continue to do so — at least until the time comes when we stop putting peoples’ love lives on the ballot.

But just to pretend like her side is better than the rest of us, Higgins proceeds to use her twisted logic to stereotype all supporters of marriage equality as people who hate marriage:

The truth is that the Left cares far more deeply about the destruction of marriage than the Right does about preserving it. We tolerate the intolerable with unjustifiable equanimity. We tolerate censorship in public schools. We tolerate the presentation of false and evil ideas as objective truths to little children in the schools we subsidize. And we tolerate the destruction of marriage.

The Right’s version of “Objective Truth” is that sexually active LGBT people are going to Hell, condoms are a dirty words, Jesus loves everybody, and watching Brokeback Mountain will ruin high school seniors’ virgin eyes.

Higgins thinks the key to political victory on this issue is for conservative candidates to become even more hardline conservatives in the future. Yes, if only the Right had more Todd Akins and Rick Santorums, I’m sure they would’ve won the election hands down.

I hope someone’s listening to them, though. It’ll hasten their journey down the path of irrelevance.

(image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Helanna

    Dear Higgens:
    Fighting tooth and nail against something and then losing does not constitute “toleration”. It constitutes losing. Lying and misrepresenting the other side in order to trick people into supporting you does not constitute “toleration”. It constitutes fraud. And presenting yourselves as the few sane voices fighting against fascism and oppression does not make you the heroic minority. It makes you deluded. - Sincerely, Reality.

  • C Peterson

    The IFI is already “flipped out” by any reasonable definition of the expression. Indeed, they are so flipped out that they can’t get any more out, so there’s no real news here.

  • jdm8

    “The truth is that the Left cares far more deeply about the destruction of marriage than the Right does about preserving it.”

    Yeah, that’s it. It’s sad that people donate to these passive-aggressive people.

  • Neil Rickert

    This is welcome news.  It is unusual for the somewhat conservative Tribune to get out in front of such issues.

  • Aaron Scoggin

    Yes, I’d love to destroy marriage. I mean, I’m married myself, but I’m too dumb to care about that. Obviously, I know that letting gays marry is going to (somehow) destroy marriage, but I support it anyway. Silly old me.

  • Rev. Ouabache

    Fundie logic: Wanting to allow more people to get married means that you hate marriage and want to destroy it. 

  • Tim

    Marriage equality is starting to become an issue that unites left and right in support.  The left support it because they support equality, and the right can also support gay marriage for exactly the same reasons that they support straight marriage.

  • Desiree Bell-Fowlks

    I hate marriage so much I want to marry my longtime boyfriend that I love very much.  Naw I want to destroy marriage for “traditional christians” even though I want to form a committed and stable relationship to have children later on with my husband. Ms. Higgins caught on!!

  • Judith Bandsma

    We need to keep reminding them that the ONLY way to wipe out homosexuality is to keep heterosexuals from having children. (But I’m sure they won’t understand that reference)

  • Richard Wade

    Here’s a creepy, if a more to-the-point way of seeing it:

    Laurie Higgins wants to have the authority to tell two adults whether or not they can marry. She doesn’t care if the two people love each other or not. She is only interested in what’s inside their underwear. She has a sad, sad disregard for what is in people’s hearts, and a really disconcerting fascination for what is in people’s crotches.

    Laurie Higgins would like to be the Official Illinois State Genitalia Inspector, looking inside the underwear of every couple just before they file for a marriage license, to be certain to her satisfaction that the two people meet her Crotch Criteria.

  • MargueriteF

    In theory, supporting LGBT marriage should be the conservative position, because it means less governmental intrusion into citizens’ lives, which is supposedly what conservatives stand for. The fact that present-day conservatives are staunchly anti-gay marriage shows how badly the term “conservative” has been twisted by the religious right.

  • HughInAz

    If traditional marriage means a rape victim has to marry her rapist, I sure as hell want to destroy that!

  • Phil

    Higgins is a rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth, hatemonger – spittle running down her chin, eyes bulging and open wide, veins sticking out from her neck and face, which is red.  Anyone who disagrees with her is obviously (to her) out to destroy the entire world.  Talk about a paranoid lunatic!  

    Last week, she was complaining that a conservative church wasn’t conservative enough because it was allowing someone who disagreed with her theology to speak at their service.  

    Laurie, you evil, morally vacant old viper, you’re not drifting toward irrelevance, you’re speeding down the expressway and entering irrelevancy’s inner suburbs.  Apologies to vipers.

  • Sue Blue

    Here in Washington State, the religious haters are claiming that a narrow win means that a vast number of Washingtonians don’t approve of same-sex marriage, and that means it’s worth continuing the “fight” so the views of these poor, downtrodden Christian hordes can finally be heard against the overblown roar of the angry  perverts in Seattle.   Yep, instead of just admitting their outmoded bigotry is going down like the dinosaurs at the end of the Jurassic, they’re going to stick it out as long as even a few Washingtonians still cling to irrational hatred.

  • Phil

    You do understand that in IFI’s mentality, it’s the “wrong kind” of people.

  • 3lemenope

    Not just “anti-intrusion”, which is the libertarian side of conservatism, but even social and Burkean conservatism should in principle support gay marriage. If “family” is the most important basic unit of one’s beliefs about socio-political structure, then it’s not hard to argue that making that structure available to more people in a society makes that society behave more in line with the starting assumption of the indispensability of family. 

    Shortly, if marriage is the way families are made, then as a social conservative you should want access to marriage to be as broad as possible so long as the function of marriage (creating a stable family unit) is preserved through the expansion. Gay marriage clearly does that. When you look at people who have a problem with gay culture whining about promiscuity amongst the community as a primary reason why its “bad” or “degenerate”, the argument almost hilariously writes itself.

    In the end, the one and only root of the problem is religiously-based homophobia; even non-religious cultural homophobia is essentially sublimated religious influence. Liberals, libertarians, conservatives, and communitarians all have separate but compelling reasons to endorse gay marriage. Without gods sticking their noses in things, there is no intellectual refuge for those who don’t like it.

  • Russian Alex

    And we haven’t even started talking about transgendered people. I suspect there would be some imploded skulls if we did.

  • pagansister

    IMO the word “marriage” is not owned lock, stock and barrel by any religion.   Absolutely no one has to enter a religious building and say words in front of a ordained man or woman to be married!    Many a marriage has take place in front of a judge, or notary etc.    Fortunately there are religions that have “seen the light” and realize that their creator has no problem with same gender marriages—after all, their creator doesn’t make mistakes—right?    Good for the Chicago Tribune! 

  • Librepensadora

    What exactly constitutes ‘Biblical’ marriage?  In most Old and New Testament accounts, the parents of the bride and groom had a big party for everyone in the extended family, and at some point in the celebration, the bride and groom went off to their tent to begin their life together.  In other words, living together without ‘benefit of clergy’ seems to have been how it was done during the time period covered by the ancient documents known collectively as The Bible.

  • James Buchy

    Meanwhile, here in Canada, we utter a collective yawn. Been there, done that, still doing it and nothing bad has happened.

  • ReadsInTrees

    Mainly, I’m just upset about Maine being referred to as a “deeply Democratic state”. For about the last zillion years, our two senators have been two Republicans (until one just stepped down and was replaced with an independent) and our governor is a Tea Partier. Also, have you seen how many guns we have up here?

  • The Godless Monster


    ” Also, have you seen how many guns we have up here?”

    Can you tell us what the legal and constitutionally protected ownership of firearms has to do with the subject of gay marriage? You DO realize that many gun owners are NOT Republicans or right-wing religious nutcases, right?
    While your state politics may be dominated by Republicans, it’s Democrats that have won your state in the last SIX presidential elections.

  • Peekaboo

    But that’s what every politician or political group says when they win. Obama could say he won with 50.5%? of the vote so that means the vast majority of Americans want what his platform stated. When in reality he won 50.5 or so percent of those who voted which takes him down below 50% by quite a bit. 

    I would say that the election was pretty close when looking at the popular vote. But Obama ran the better campaign and that plays into it quite a bit. 

    For him to say “see the majority of Americans agree with me” would be absurd, but just about everyone does it. Oh an trends, of course trends do not matter no matter which side of a debate your on. Unless your view is trending up of course ;)

  • Baal

    “Best of all, they can’t blame “activist judges” on these losses”
    I’ve always hated the ‘activist judge’ argument.  Whenever I’ve bothered to investigate one of these claims, the claimant was making political point and usually contrary to the rule of law. 
    Taking just the MN example, (group of people) can’t (do X) when every else can  (gays can’t get married with whom they want) .  Judges, and the law generally, don’t like intentional discrimination and writing removal of rights into the law; it’s not how good laws work.  When  you apply that general principle to gay marriage, legally, the outcome is clear.  It’s not activist to rule pro-gay marriage.   

  • Baal

     Religious folks are often confused about this point.   Since most marriages occur in churches and churches set rules about who can marry (mixed faith marriage is not ok in many Catholic churches if you don’t promise to raise the kids Catholic), and when and how; lots of people think that marriage is a religious act that the State then  comes behind and buttresses with law and not the other way around.

    It’s good to remind people from time to time that marriages can be done by about anyone.  One of my sisters was married by a family friend in a park and another one was married on a California beach by my atheist ex-pat British brother-in-law in a made up half Catholic half Hindu (oddly enough, this was to appease the mothers and it was a lovely ceremony) wedding.

  • pagansister

    Neither of my children were married in a religious ceremony.  One was married in their back yard by a notary, (friend) and the other in the court house and the next day had a lovely ceremony with “words” chosen by them and “presided over” by a friend. That took place in the house owned by a garden club.   We agree —marriages can be done by about anyone.  :o)

  • freemage

    They’ve lost their last reasonable-sounding objection with this vote, and they know it.

    1: They first claimed that it was only activist judges–that it was never state houses passing those laws.

    2: Then they complained when state legislatures DID pass gay-marriage bills, claiming that those state houses had betrayed their own populace.

    Now we’ve got multiple states that actively voted in support of gay marriage.  So they’ll turn to defending DOMA for a time, until the number of states that have ditched their systemic homophobia for enlightenment reaches 26–at which point, they’ll squeal about “states’ rights” for the remaining cesspools of bigotry to hold on to the wrong side of history.

  • Random

    And then, when gay marriage is fully accepted, they’ll crow about how they were champions of gay rights all along, just like there were the driving force behind abolition of slavery.