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Colson's Bad Arguments on Marriage Equality

Colson's Bad Arguments on Marriage Equality September 8, 2011

Watergate criminal Chuck Colson continues his lifetime perfect record for being loathsome with this column about same-sex marriage.

In a debate, you are judged in two main areas: substance and style. In the debate about so-called gay “marriage,” we believers are winning on the substance. But we’re not doing very well on style.

Actually, you’re losing on both counts — mostly because of claims like this:

Study after study has shown that gay “marriage” undermines the institution of marriage. In those societies where homosexual “marriage” has been tried, traditional marriage is increasingly discarded.

Really? Please name one such study. The only attempts I’m aware of to reach such a conclusion come from Stanley Kurtz and his arguments have been completely shredded and are contradicted by the facts. We now have a decade’s worth of data from many places that have legalized same-sex marriage and all of the scary boogeyman arguments raised by the bigots have turned out not to be true. No straight marriages had their “sanctity” ruined by it, people didn’t stop loving their kids or their spouses and, as near as I can tell, dogs and cats are still not living together.

Furthermore, the research is nearly unanimous that children do best when they grow up with a mother and a father – which gay “marriage,” by definition, denies them.

Which has precisely nothing to do with whether same-sex marriage should be legal or not. Even if this claim was true, not a single child has ever been denied a mother and a father by same-sex marriage. It’s not like keeping same-sex marriage illegal means that gay people are going to say, “Oh, okay, if you don’t like it I guess I’ll just marry someone of the opposite sex and have children with them instead.” That used to be fairly common back when we forced gay people to live in the closet and the results were mostly disastrous for those families. This is not a time anyone should want to return to.

Based on all this, you might think that we are winning the debate. And yet, the tide of public opinion appears to be turning against us. According to columnist Michael Barone, “In 1996, Gallup found that Americans opposed it by a 68 percent to 27 percent margin. Last May, Gallup found Americans in favor by 53 percent to 45 percent. That’s a huge change in 15 years.” And a new Pew Research poll confirms this, finding those in favor are in a dead heat with those who oppose it.

Much of that new support is coming from young people, who increasingly see marriage in terms of civil rights and fairness. That’s a demographic factor that makes winning the debate in the coming decades that much harder.

You aren’t going to win it. You’ve already lost it, you just don’t know it yet. Get over it.

He then goes on to talk about Jerry Buell, the Florida teacher who got briefly suspended for saying same-sex marriage made him want to throw up. He thinks Buell should cover up his real feelings because it plays better with kids:

However much we sympathize with the substance of Mr. Buell’s comments, I hope you’ll agree that he earned a zero on style points. Of course it’s ridiculous – and alarming – that Mr. Buell’s livelihood and religious freedom came under threat. But that’s nothing new with the gay-rights movement, which frequently attacks one person’s rights to gain someone else’s. That, I’m afraid, is the world we live in.

As frustrating as this debate can be, prudence dictates that we Christians be especially mindful of our responsibility to remain civil. First of all, it’s the right thing to do. Secondly, the supporters of gay rights are waiting for any opportunity to pounce on their opponents if we give them any opening.

“Hey, maybe if we all pretend not to be hateful bigots, we can attract the younguns.” Sorry, isn’t gonna work. See, more and more kids these days actually know gay people. And because of that, they actually see them as human beings just like them, with equal rights and everything. And when you try to deny equal rights to those they care about, they aren’t gonna like it. I know that’s baffling to you, but you’re gonna have to get used to it.


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