Are Gay Marriage Activists Too Needy to Take Yes for an Answer?

Are Gay Marriage Activists Too Needy to Take Yes for an Answer? April 9, 2015
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Kreg Steppe https://www.flickr.com/photos/spyndle/
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Kreg Steppe https://www.flickr.com/photos/spyndle/

They’re going to keep going until they lose this war they’ve won.

Gay marriage is knocking over barriers everywhere. After a long, hard fight, it appears that gay marriage proponents are winning. If they were smart, they’d take “yes” for an answer and pick up their winning marbles before people start changing their minds.

But gay marriage proponents may be among the worst winners in political history. I’m beginning to think that, for whatever reason, they are just too dumb to take “yes” for an answer.

Maybe the reason is that it was never about marriage in the first place. It was always about affirmation.

It’s beginning to look like this whole debate over marriage was and is about forcing everyone, everywhere, to affirm to gay people that they are ok human beings. The trouble with that is that people who are that hungry for approval and affirmation from other people are also usually shot through with emotional holes that no amount of affirmation and acceptance will ever fill.

You can’t love people like this enough for them to feel lovable. You can’t accept them enough for them to feel good about themselves deep down where nobody’s looking. And you can’t affirm them enough to satisfy the gnawing empty spot in their souls.

The serious part of this is when, as so often happens in America, people with holes in their souls try to fill those holes with political action. That is one solution that, believe me, ain’t never gonna work.

Politics is never the place to go for affirmation, love or spiritual healing. Politics is the cold, cold world of power and more power. People who go into that world with some cockamamie need for affirmation hanging out are going to get used and abused and left in the dumpster when the users are through with them.

That’s as true of big-name preachers as it is of gay rights advocates. Politics is no place to find yourself. It is, rather, one of the deepest pits in which to lose yourself.

Gay rights advocates have played a mean, hard game, winning this fight to change the legal definition of marriage. They’ve enlisted many of the power players in our society, including the media and much of the corporate world in their column. They’ve resorted to personal attacks, public vendettas and character assassination. It has worked for them because they got the backing of the power players in the media in doing it.

But it would be a mistake bigger than Texas to think that these power players share an agenda with anyone based on touchy feely things like human rights, much less hungers for affirmation and acceptance. Those things are opportunities for manipulation and exploitation to power players. Nothing more.

They have their own agendas and those agendas are always about power and money. This current fight to restrict and entomb the First Amendment freedom of religion in a behind-church-doors coffin is at base about power and money and eliminating opposition to the agendas of those who hold power and money.

So long as the gay rights people, or the nitwit atheists, or any other group, serves the purposes of the power brokers — in this case weakening the one remaining societal force with the voice to challenge their hegemony — they will be bestest friends. But friends like that will leave you alone on a dirt road with a storm coming anytime it suits their purposes to do so.

Gay rights leaders need to consider carefully what they are doing by broadening and continuing this fight for what they said all along they never wanted, which was to force people to violate their religious beliefs and participate in gay marriage against their wills.

They need to consider it, because it does not advance their cause of gaining public support. In the long run, this kind of behavior will raise up an opposition against them that is unlike anything they have ever encountered before.

They also need to consider that the freedoms they are attacking keep them free as well as everyone else. They are seeking affirmation by attacking the basic freedoms on which they have been able to advance their own cause.

It would be a mistake of mammoth proportions to assume that the same power brokers who have aided them in this fight and who are gleefully using them to attack the one institution that speaks with force against the evils of corporatism are their friends. Gay rights leaders and these power brokers have been using one another.

But if gay rights leaders think the power in question is actually theirs, they are mistaken. If they also believe that this same power will not turn on them when it suits, they are naive to the bone.

When that day comes, these freedoms which they are now attacking may very well be the only thing that stands between them and whatever evil their erstwhile allies seek to visit on them. Tyranny is not the way to achieve freedom. Violating other people’s human rights is not the way to ensure your own human rights.

Crushing a few small business owners under the government heel will not assuage the gnawing hunger for affirmation that drives gay people in this fight. It will instead weaken the ability of all the people, everywhere, to defend themselves against the increasing hegemony of power brokers that seek to use all of us.

When gay rights no longer is useful to those in power, they will turn on gay rights. They’ll do it because corporate interests do not and will never act in moral ways. They are amoral and nihilistic to the core, and they always follow the money.

My advice to gay people is to take yes for an answer and be happy. Live your lives and try to heal those wounds inside you that won’t be filled. Find your solace in living and loving, not hating and attacking.

Politics based on coercing other people will not heal you. It will only wound you further. It also stands a very good chance of raising up a long-term and principled opposition that will reverse the things you have accomplished.

 

 


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87 responses to “Are Gay Marriage Activists Too Needy to Take Yes for an Answer?”

  1. “It would be a mistake of mammoth proportions to assume that the same power brokers who have aided them in this fight and who are gleefully using them to attack the one institution that speaks with force against the evils of corporatism are their friends.”

    What institution is that? The Catholic Church?
    Why hasn’t the Catholic majority on the Supreme Court heard about these ‘evils of corporatism’?

  2. Your assertion that LGBT advocates have changed the legal definition of marriage. That is not the case. The legal definition has not changed, nor was the goal ever to change the definition. What has always been at issue is the equal right of LGBT folks to enjoy the same legal rights to marriage as the rest of society. As with the civil rights movement for African Americans, the civil rights movement for LGBT people must contend with an opposition that holds onto every privilege it has and refuses to budge an inch without political action. This is not about definitions, except in the minds of people who define LGBT people as less-than-human.

  3. First marriage has been around longer than Christianity,it has taken many forms in many cultures from one man and many wives to one woman and many husbands and yes even same sex marriage.
    Second what LGBT want is what is declared in the Constitution the 14th Amendment equal treatment under the law.Which means those that find Christians both in word and action to be evil in the way they are treating people still cannot refuse them service because they are Christian well LGBT expect to be treated equally.
    Third most people are beginning to understand that LGBT are born that way even many Christians.Some Christians can’t accept that God would make someone LGBT they continue to believe it is a choice and just a behavior therefore they feel justified discriminating against them.I would remind Christians that feel that way that being Christian is a choice and a behavior so should we be allowed to discriminate against Christians for their choice of behavior?
    Fourth I have yet to hear of any Christian business refusing service because of adultery,fornication,denying service to liars or thieves or those committing usury or any of the many sins equal to homosexual behavior let alone wearing two fabrics eating shellfish working on the sabbath etc.Stop being the hypocrites that Jesus hated.If you are a Christian read Matthew 25 then look at the GOP budget and actions and you will see the truly great sinners.

  4. I said it a while back that the traditional marriage argument was lost for good and it was from then on a process of being steamrolled into complete submission. What I think you’re missing in your post is that the gay marriage lobby isn’t just looking to have won a supposed right. What they want is to squash Judeo-Christian notions of homosexuality all together. They’ve won the right but now they want complete acceptance as normality, so that when we dissent as a conscientious objection they want to destroy that notion in our conscience. They want to alter our minds and thoughts and hearts. They want us to reject Judeo-Christian principles on the matter and in essence want us to eat our theology.
    As long as I have living breath, there is no way anyone can force me to say homosexuality is normal.

  5. “Politics is never the place to go for affirmation, love or spiritual healing. Politics is the cold, cold world of power and more power. People who go into that world with some cockamamie need for affirmation hanging out are going to get used and abused and left in the dumpster when the users are through with them.”

    And yet they are winning at what they are actually trying to accomplish: Legal change.

    You seem to understand that the debate is about power and yet you seem to be incapable of thinking it is about anything other than affirmation.

  6. Replace “gay marriage” with “civil rights” and read that again. Still sound good to you?!

  7. Rebecca, at some point the gay rights movement is going to have to seriously confront the small-but-growing incest movement. (Oh yes, that’s a thing.) There’s an underground population of people who actually do engage in secret incestuous relationships and network about it online. I advise not to go hunting too deeply for this stuff on the internet, but I would recommend looking up the story from a month or two ago in New York Magazine about a dad-daughter couple who want to live in New Jersey because it’s not a criminal offense there.

    Anyway, this movement basically uses the same norms and arguments as the gay rights movement: our love is real, it’s none of your business, we’re consenting, we’re not hurting anyone, etc. It will be interesting to see one social movement try to argue the “rights for me but not for thee” issue. More plausibly, I bet a lot of them will just cave and say, ok, incest is fine too.

  8. These are great questions, but the answers are too complex for a com box. I may do a post dealing with them, though. They are important questions.

  9. Have you ever stopped to think that maybe what Gay people want is to be treated just like everyone else. They want to be married just like everyone else and they want people to stop demonizing them for being themselves. Christians in general have fought tooth and nail to try and make sure gay people are never to be treated as normal people. They demonize them constantly and make it very difficult for them to just live their lives as normal everyday human beings. If Christians would just stop for a minute and realize that demonizing these people has nothing to do with their faith in a god, then maybe they could just move on. We as a nation could finally give the right of marriage to two consenting adults and make it illegal to discriminate based upon sexuality just like it is for being a man or a woman.

  10. Between gay and religious freedom issues there are a lot of unsettled Constitutional details, gray areas that all sides should challenge and have their say in the courts.

  11. I’ve known this for 11 years now.

    Why?

    Because in 2002, they passed a civil union law in Oregon. Ok, I was younger and a lot more liberal then. But even I could see it gave homosexuals 95% of what they were asking for- the right to buy a house together, the right to grow old together, the right to visit each other in the hospital, the right to inherit without a will, the right to file taxes jointly in Oregon.

    It wasn’t enough. Because it wasn’t ever about marriage- like you say, it was about affirmation.

  12. I no longer believe that after Indiana.

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t. It’s been 12 years since the initial win that gave exactly the same legal rights to civil unions as to marriage. It wasn’t good enough then, and it isn’t good enough now.

  13. Why is it up to the gay rights movement to confront an incest movement? One has nothing to do with the other.

  14. One privilege was the ability to treat LGBT people lesser humans with respect to marriage. Another privilege is the ability to treat LBGT people as lesser humans with respect to commerce.

  15. That’s why they insist on making people violate their most deeply held beliefs. That’s why they pilloried Brandon Eich. Because they just wanted to be left alone. No, this was never about just being allowed to be themselves. This has become about destroying those that don’t agree. We are now being told that we must leave the country if we don’t agree with gay marriage.

  16. So sad that someone would say something so obviously wrong. Of course they are attempting to change the definition of marriage. On what planet are they not?
    Notice how many comments here by the pro gay marriage people are proving every point that Rebecca made.

  17. Incest is incest whether it is gay or straight. A straight married man having incest with his daughter is just as horrible as gay incest. You don’t need to scapegoat gay people.

  18. When incest advocates are using the rhetoric of the gay rights movement, yes, they have everything to do with each other. Things are pretty much going like this:

    Gay marriage advocate: “No one should stand in the way of two consenting adults who love each other.”
    Incest advocate: “Yeah, that includes us too!”
    Gay marriage advocate: “Whoa, wait, we didn’t mean you guys.”

    Seriously, the incest advocates out there are pissed that consanguinamy isn’t included in the ever-growing LGBTQ acronym. From their perspective, they consist of consenting adults who just want to love each other and they want gay rights advocates to stick up for them, too. And yes, they’ve anticipated your arguments about coercion and potential genetic deformities of children and have answers to those too.

  19. “It’s beginning to look like this whole debate over marriage was and is
    about forcing everyone, everywhere, to affirm to gay people that they
    are ok human beings.”

    No, actually, I don’t think so. Gay people don’t care if you don’t like them. They care if you don’t treat them as equal citizens.

  20. Sophia never stated that straight couple would be giving up anything. That is the point. They have privileges through marriage and the LGBT activists were seeking the same privileges.

  21. Such a good article. Along with this I urge people to read Joel Kotkin’s recent article “Calling Out the High Tech Hypocrites” which explores how the large tech corporations are embracing liberal values while simultaneously undermining them.

    While pushing “gay rights” these companies join other corporations to push the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) which would give global corporations legal protections over people and nations when laws conflict with their corporate “rights” and profits. And let’s not forget how the large tech corporations are helping the government to create and maintain the huge NSA machine that invades our privacy.

  22. Which planet are you living in? No one in their right mind ever conceptualized marriage between the same sexes until the last twenty years. Actually no one in their right mind has still conceptualized marriage between people of the same sex.

  23. I am not aware of any culture that had institutionalized SSM until the last twenty years. If you know of one, name it.

  24. The argument that homosexuality is not normal, or it is a choice is getting old. I didn’t choose to be sexually attracted to women, I just am. Just as you are, I’m assuming based on your words, are sexually attracted to women – and didn’t think it over. My homosexual friends and family didn’t have to think it over. They just knew – were born that way. Homosexuality happens in the animal kingdom, as well as the human kingdom. It’s nature, not nurture. It is fine and acceptable that you don’t like same-sex sex. Don’t have gay sex. Be disgusted or repulsed, even. Just don’t prevent others from enjoying their freedoms and lifestyle. You don’t have to be submissive, just let other people live their lives.

  25. Some people are born with one arm. That doesn’t make being born with one arm normal. Sexually attracted to one’s gender violates the fundamental principle of procreation. It’s not normal as people born with one arm are not normal. I never said whether homosexuality is chosen or a birth defect. Don’t put words in my mouth, but whichever is irrelevant. I’ve never advocated discriminating against homosexuals, just like I would never advocate discriminating against people with one arm. Homosexuals are free to live whatever lifestyle they want. But that doesn’t mean we alter the definition of marriage. Marriage is a coupling to form a male and female family unit, and if homosexuals want to marry they are still free to marry a person of the opposite gender.

  26. First issue I have is that most normal, practicing-what-they-preach Christians do NOT demonize homosexuals. We love them as brothers and sisters, and we all know several of them. What we may do is not accept the act of practicing homosexuality as “normal” and “healthy”.

    Consider any case where there is something that may be legal, but which you as an individual disagree with. Perhaps it is slavery (circa 1850), murder/abortion/death penalty, destroying the environment, human trafficking, whatever. Doesn’t matter much.

    But let’s take slavery, even if it isn’t a perfect example. You know plenty of folks who own slaves. They’re good people otherwise, and you even love some of them as your brother or sister. Some of them were born into families who owned slaves. Does not mean that you think slavery is right. You may even be in the business of cotton. Doesn’t mean you want to be forced to conduct commerce with businesses who own slaves. You want the right to buy or sell only to businesses or individuals which do not, because you believe it to be wrong. Sure, you own a restaurant, you maybe shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate because you happen to know the person owns slaves (how would you?). But they ask you to cater a big event down at their plantation, now maybe you wouldn’t want to do that?

  27. As if “Catholic” politicians all follow exactly what the Church believes. Sure, there are good ones out there like Rebecca. But there are also Joe B., Nancy P., Mario C., etc. who are a disgrace and “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. The master they serve is the same one who leads you to think that they speak for the Church.

    Also – lest we forget our Constitution – judicial and executive branch are NOT responsible for making laws, simply for interpreting the law and enacting it, respectively. If you want to blame anyone, start with the legislative branch and the interests which own it.

  28. Well, there are the famous “two-spirit” marriages in some Native North American groups, and some African groups permitted “Boy Wives and Female Husbands”— although I believe that most traditional societies do not categorize sexual orientation in the same way that we do in contemporary Western society.

  29. Re the definition or re-definition of marriage: Anthropologically speaking, marriage has been used for several purposes. And production of children is not one of them; children can be created very easily without any kind of previous legal or religious
    commitment.

    The raising of children is, yes, one purpose of marriage. But children raised to adulthood by their own biological parents is not the only possible arrangement. Even when the parents are still living, and still married, many societies have customs like fosterage, boys’ houses, boarding schools and the like. Further, many same-gender couples do in fact have children, either from previous mixed-gender relationships or by adoption, and they are no more and no less capable of caring for children than mixed-gender couples.

    Another purpose of marriage is the formalizing of kinship and inheritance rules, who’s related to whom, who’s entitled to speak for whom, who’s entitled to which shares of family assets. Again, is there any reason why such legal guidelines can’t be applied to families created via a same-gender union?

    Marriage serves to extend kinship bonds between groups. It increases the number of people who are considered to be one’s relatives, for alliance, cooperation, shared advantages, emergency assistance, In that way it’s a stabilizing social force. Is there any reason why such connections can’t exist between the families of two same-gender persons?

    Finally, in societies which have strongly-defined gender work roles, mixed-gender marriage ensues that there’s at least one adult of each kind of adult in the house to do the work. In contemporary American society, this is not so much of an issue. Unless one believes that men are constitutionally incapable of cleaning a bathroom and women are constitutionally incapable of mowing a lawn.

    So no, gay people don’t want to redefine CIVIL marriage. They want the opportunity to share in its advantages. And no, civil unions as currently defined are not an acceptable compromise. They’re uniquely defined in each state, they’re not recognized by every state, they don’t count for many federal statues and employee-benefits purposes, they need to be constantly proved and explained and defended. But everyone knows what a marriage is.

  30. The author of this article is right on target at every point she makes. I especially agree about her comment on their need for affirmation. I have said for years this need for affirmation is behind this. AND the reason they have this need is that they know, even if subconsciously, that their homosexuality is not normal. It is against the natural law and they know it in their gut. This had been classified as a pathological psychological condition since the beginning of modern psychiatry. Several decades ago the APA (American Psychological Association) announced without any really valid research to back their case, that homosexuality is now to be considered a normal condition and not a pathological psychological diagnosis. Years later we learned that the leaders at the APA at the time were homosexuals and those who were open to homosexual behavior. The fact is, it is still a case of psycho- social sexual arrested development. Just saying it isn’t does not make it so just as declaring that the earth is not round but flat make the earth flat. And those with this pathological condition need therapy, not to be told “Hey, you are normal and okay so go live your life happily.” You would not tell a cancer patient or a person with a bi-polar disorder that. Please don’t tell a homosexual that. It is a grave injustice to the homosexual and our culture. Yet we have some states that have outlawed treating homosexuals as people needing therapy for their disease. May heaven help us all.

  31. “Gay rights advocates have played a mean, hard game, winning this fight to change the legal definition of marriage.”

    Not nearly as mean and hard as the homophobia which persecuted, imprisoned and often killed gay people throughout the ages. The Catholic Church was as guilty as any other institution for that. In the current situation there might well be an element of revenge. And you can’t deny it’s understandable.

  32. As far as I can tell, no ancient nations had SSM. Yes the Greeks and Romans, for example, condoned and even celebrated homosexual behavior, BUT, homosexual marriage was not a legal reality in those cultures from what I have been able to discern. Of course we could go back to really ancient civilizations perhaps and find this to be the case, but those were barbaric times, before Western civilizations became, well, civilized. So you are wrong in claiming SSM was officially part of any of the major previous cultures. BTW, how does a baker condone adultery, fornication, etc. Does a person come in and say “Hey, I want an adultery cake?” Or, “Hey, I want a cake so I can go out and celebrate fornication?” I am sure if someone came into a bakery and said that, the same Christians who do not want to participate in a gay marriage would deny service. Hmmm…. would you have a problem with that?

  33. I am convinced that civil same-sex unions are no more damaging than civil heterosex unions.

    The problem is that civil unions period, are giving in to a paradigm of property rights over human rights.

  34. Actually, he has a point. I’ve already seen it. The argument has been put forth that as long as contraception is used, there is no reason left to oppose incest.

  35. Christian gays are only Christian when it doesn’t interfere with being gay. Kind of like Libertarians are only Christian when it doesn’t interfere with personal liberty.

  36. I wish more of them would speak up. But there is a flaw in the logic: there is nothing good that comes from homosexuality. What goodness there is- comes from outside the movement.

  37. By definition marriage is between one man and one woman so it is indeed the goal of the Gay lobby to change the definition and codify it in our laws. And your comparison of gay “rights” to the civil rights movement for black Americans is flawed. There is no comparison. Black Americans are identical human beings to white Americans and were being denied their civil rights because they had some extra pigment in their skin. Homosexuals are demanding rights based on aberrant behavior and actions that are against the natural law. One may not be able choose their sexual orientation, but one does choose how one acts on said orientation. Whether one is homosexual or heterosexual, sex is not a right. It is a responsibility to act on this in a way that is respectful of natural law and the moral foundations of civilization. We live in a nation where a minority currently rejects that. And our biased media continues to propagandize 24/7 to push this nonsense. Young people are being duped into this due to the constant propaganda of the media and in our schools, especially at the university level. Liberal so called ministers of the cloth and atheists, are demanding the dumping of Judeo-Chrisian principles upon which our laws and founding documents are based to embrace this radical agenda. Once these movements succeed and orthodox Christians are driven from the public square, the nation will crumble. No nation has lasted forever so America will be no different. But once this nation collapses, it will be the Christians who come out from the shadows who will rebuild our nation. There is nothing new under the sun.

  38. If homosexuality were innate, there would be some genetic code for it; so far no such code has been found. Among identical twins, if one is known to be gay, there is only a 50%, chance that the other is as well. It seems much more likely that the cause is environmental; even identical twins have a different sibling and therefore don’t have identical environments. I certainly don’t believe anyone freely chooses to be primarily sexually attracted to members of the same sex.

  39. The real privilege married people have is the procreation of legitimate children. I suspect most of the perks of marriage are due to the high cost of raising those children to productive adulthood.

  40. Those who are giving up something are children. They lose the right to have a mother and a father. Laws that foster traditional marriage protect the culture when they put the welfare of children first and foremost. A strong, traditional (one man and one woman marriage) makes for a strong nation. The traditional family has already suffered much when sex was redefined in the middle of the twentieth century during the sexual revolution to be reduced to basically a recreational activity separated from the procreative part of sex. Pope Paul VI was right. He correctly predicted that if the sex act was divorced from the procreative nature of sex that abortion, divorce and the abuse of women and children would result. Divorce, abortion, child abuse, etc. have exploded since the sixties or haven’t you noticed. So he was absolutely right. People bought the lie that as long as you love someone you could have sex even if you were not married. They also bought the lie that recreational sex was just fine (hook up culture is the fruit of that). Now we are being told gay sex is okay because they have this right to love each other fully. Yup, incest, polygamy and polyandry are next. There is nothing new under the sun.

  41. Amaryllis, I don’t agree. From what I’ve seen gays, etc want to force agreement and approval. Kind of a common trait for people in serious sin, whether idolatry, substance abuse, adultery, stealing or any other sexual sin.

  42. Ted, that isn’t true. I personally know gay people who are Christian and who live their faith with great integrity. To paraphrase something I said in another post, If you don’t like gay people, then don’t plan on going to heaven, because there are going to be a lot of them there.

  43. NOTE: Comments attacking the Catholic Church, Christianity, the Pope or Jesus will be deleted. No exceptions. Also, notes calling other people names or attacking them personally will be deleted.

    I do allow latitude in this last for two long-term Public Catholic readers. You may recognize them as you read through the comments. Also, if the attack on others is not too over the top, I try to admonish newcomers to this blog before I delete.

    That said, try to treat one another kindly and with respect. We are all, gay and straight, children of the same God.

  44. Your definition of marriage limits it to just two heterosexual people. There are some who limit marriage even further to two heterosexual people with the intention of making at least one baby. A marriage can be annulled if one of those two people intends to not make any babies.

    There was a time when marriage had absolutely nothing to do with love. It was a business partnership for purposes of procreation. It is not uncommon today for two people to get married only because they love one another. There are a number of people who marry with both partners intending to make no babies.

    Marriage is a social institution that reflects the values of the people in society. When people think of LGBT folks as broken and incomplete people without love, considering the possibility that they could be included in marriage is beyond the pale. More and more of us know that this is not the case.

    America is not weakened by marriage equality. It is weakened by demeaning and degrading people because of their natural sexual preference, denying their right to live together in love.

  45. I must admit, now that I understand a bit more about alternatives to the “Once Gay Always Gay” mantra, I don’t know anybody that I would call a gay person. I know people who have same sex attraction. I know people who are so deluded that they’re living the gay lifestyle. But they are going to have to give up all of that to get to heaven- just as I will have to give up my sexuality to get to heaven.

    It is, after all, just a delusion.

    That’s what purgatory is for, in part- to finish our final conversion, to give up our sinful nature and become perfect like our Father in Heaven is perfect.

  46. There are other benefits of marriage such as the right to be included in health care decisions. Marriage also makes adoption easier. I know a number of same-sex couples who raise fine adopted children.

  47. If that were so, the tax code and exemptions would be more narrowly tailored to that particular clause. And yet, it isn’t. The only obvious exemption (the personal exemption) is based on dependency, and not children strictly. Married couples filing MFJ get exemptions for owning houses (even if they don’t have children), for charity work (even if they don’t have children), and so on. Spouses get social security benefits whether they have children.

    So, actually, you are factually wrong. I suggest you pick up a copy of 1040 instructions and work your way through the tax code through the perspective of someone who files as MFJ – you will immediately realize that your hunch is completely wrong. Almost none of the benefits of filing as married have anything to do with children.

  48. I think the issue is larger than that, and the problem is people keep seeing this through the issue of gay wedding cake. The underlying constitutional question is whether we really want to establish a principle that people can opt out of generally applicable laws anytime they can assert a religious objection.

    Consider that if baking a cake constitutes a participation in a gay wedding, then paying taxes to a government that has decided to invade the Middle East, or despoil the environment, or that is sponsoring a contraceptive mandate might all be reasonably asserted as infringements upon religious liberties.

    As citizens in a plural and diverse society, it is impossible for us to disentangle each and every one of our actions for material cooperation with something we disagree with. Don’t forget that it was Scalia – really conservative and really Catholic – who thought that Indiana’s RFRA was a bad idea. People tend to forget that it was actually the conservative jurists who had a huge problem with religious liberty laws, and the liberals who wanted them (originally for peyote for Native Americans). Right now, the First Church of Cannabis is sueing to be exempt from generally applicable marijuana laws, because they are claiming pot is a sacrament.

    You can’t just protect the religions you like. Opening this door will allow everyone to assert sincere religious exemption to general laws.

  49. The hole in your logic — and it’s big enough to drive tyranny through — is that this question pertains to a constant teaching that is 2,000 years old of a religion that is followed by over 2 billion people. It also reflects law throughout Western society for most of that 2,000 years. Policy on the Middle East fits none of these parameters.

    Having said that, we allow conscientious objectors for service in war.

  50. Gonna get anthropological and historical on you again. People have always been able to separate marriage from the creation of children.

    “Traditional” marriage and family life includes polygamy (both legal and unofficial; even in supposedly monogamous marriages, men who could afford it often had mistresses, concubines, second and third families), polyandry, “serial monogamy,” “two-spirit” marriages, levirate marriages, child marriages, ghost marriages, extended multi-generational families, extended horizontal families, fosterships, apprenticeships, communal children’s houses… all sorts of arrangements that do not fall into the “one man, one woman, their biological children” model.

    I do understand the Catholic definition of sacramental marriage. I do not expect non-Catholics to live by it.

    And no, I haven’t in fact noticed that divorce, abortion, child abuse and mistreatment of women have “exploded” since the 1960s. Those things have always been with us.

  51. Oy.

    Two things: first, many participants in same-sex marriages are raising their own biological children.

    Second: if adoptions by same-sex couples are equivalent to “human trafficking” and the commodification of women, why is this not true of adoptions by mixed couples?Aren’t those couples “demanding other people’s children”? Should we prohibit all adoptions?

    (Ever read The Handmaid’s Tale or the chapter of Genesis which inspired it? There’s a scriptural example of women being exploited by legally-married men and women, if you like.)

  52. It is not my definition of marriage that limits marriage to one man and one woman. It is the standard that has been accepted by western culture for several thousand years. Polygamy had already been abandoned by the larger Jewish society by the time Jesus walked the earth and has been the norm in the culture of western civilization for the past two thousand years. The arguments you raise are beside the point and are irrelevant to the reality that Gays are wanting the definition of marriage to be changed. But if we stand by and allow that, the floodgates will open and ANY redefinition will then be possible. Period. So here comes polygamy, incest and polyandry. Gays are people who we should love and respect enough to hold up the mirror of reality to. If your child decided he was an apricot, would you not tell him the truth, that he is not an apricot? Of course you would. You should be just as concerned with those who suffer from the psycho-social sexual arrested development which results in people identifying as homosexuals. Patting them on the head and saying, okay, you are okay to act in this way is a lie and injustice to the homosexual. And it screws up the culture so everyone suffers.

  53. I don’t even know if that claim is true. I’ve heard the opposite. There is no homosexual behavior in the animal world. Nonetheless, I have no idea how one compares animal behavior with human behavior. Two guys hanging out at a bar might to a dog appear to be homosexual behavior. And even if homosexuality occurs in the animal world, it still doesn’t make it normal. Animals are born with one leg. That is such a specious argument.

  54. I don’t. I think homosexuality is contrary to the norm, i.e. abnormal. Like being left-handed, or a red head.

  55. Gay marriages add value to the community. Gay marriage fosters stability, unity, commitment and responsibility – same as straight marriage does.

    – a stable bond between two individuals who work to create a loving and caring household and a social and economic partnership.
    – requires thinking beyond one’s own needs and transforms two individuals into a union based on shared aspirations, and in doing so establishes a formal investment in the well-being of society.
    – promotes financial interdependence, shared living arrangements, and a commitment to mutual caring, all of which benefit society as a whole.
    – provides a mechanism for emotional stability and economic security. Those are both good for society.
    – places more responsibilities upon citizens, fosters social cohesion, emotional security, and economic prudence.
    – provides an anchor for a couple in the chaos of sex and relationships to which all people are prone.

    In short, civil marriage is such a good institution for society that we should allow gay couples to join that institution.

  56. That’s like blaming today’s German for the Jewish Holocaust. You can’t blame today’s generation for sins committed in the past. You can’t use things that happened 100 years ago to hurt people who were not even born at the time. I deny that it is understandable. By your reasoning, it would be understandable for me to sue Germany for reparation on account that they destroyed my family home in 1942 and killed all of the male members of my family. Under that theory, I would have to forbid my son to have contact with one of his best friends in the world whose grandfather was in Gestapo and convicted of war crimes… and for the record, that young man is an outstanding, upstanding, righteous, wonderful human being.

  57. No one is denying anyone the right to live together and love each other. What we are denying is the claim that when homosexuals live as a couple that that is the equivalent of marriage of one man and one woman, the basic foundation and unit of a healthy society. What gays want is affirmation that they are “normal” but they are not. Period. It is against the natural law. So what they do behind closed doors is their business. But when they force the culture to tell them the lie that they are equivalent to married couples, then we must speak the truth. You call it degrading. I call it respect. I respect gays enough to be honest with them. I have friends and family who are gay. I love them and they love me. And we are honest with each other. Would that all would be that way.

  58. Become a student of history….that is all the citation you will need. Note, the “sexual revolution of the nineteen sixties” has played a role in undermining the traditional family and note the disaster this has been for the family. But “blessing” and approving SSM will not help the culture but only worsen the collapse of our nation. We are not the first great nation to go down the tubes due to moral collapse of the populace and we won’t be the last.

  59. That was not the point of the article.

    And plenty of mixed-gender households turn out to have ill effects on their children.

  60. No, they don’t. Again, I recommend picking up a copy of 1040 instructions and looking at the difference between a single filer and MFJ. These differences are factual, and not interpretations. And what is factual is this: Nearly 99% of the distinction between the two status has nothing to do with children. And conversely, the exemptions that are based specifically on children (for instance, that children employed in occasional employment do not have to file SE tax under $400) have nothing to do with families.

  61. But as a matter of communication, I think some modes are more effective than others. I am new to Patheos and saw Rebecca Florence Miller’s blog. She also disagrees with same-sex marriage but her tone and style is much more persuasive than the posts here, which are sometimes shrill and in very black and white terms (e.g. gay rights supporters are “stupid” and “emotionally damaged”) – I am not sure how characterizations like these add to the debate, particularly when they are not stated once or twice but constantly.

    i think reasonable people can disagree about same-sex marriage. The question is how we engage those who disagree with us.

  62. Things started to change in Western culture starting around the sixteenth century when people began to investigate the natural world in earnest. The assumptions of centuries have been shown to be mere illusions. This includes things like the assumption that the Earth is static, the assumption that humans are slaves by nature, the assumption that authority and rights come from the material Creator, the assumption that homosexuality is against nature.

  63. Civil unions don’t deny legal protection to same sex couples.

    There is a reason why 97 out of the 100 paragraphs in the catechism on sins against chastity, are about heterosexual sins.

    We should do away with government sponsored marriage entirely- it’s a waste of resources.

  64. I am sorry for the author’s unhappiness. But I’m not sure she’d have been any less unhappy if her mom had stayed single, or married a man. Divorce is hard on children. (Sometimes, so is refusal to divorce. I’ve heard more than one person say that they’d have been better off if their paranets had divorced and gotten it over with, instead of living in a chronic state of unhappiness and conflict. But that’s only more ancedata.)

    Neither do I see why she’s not “allowed” to express her unhappiness. She just did.

    In the meanwhile, have some actual data, from an organization which should know:

    A great deal of scientific research documents there is no cause-and-effect relationship between parents’ sexual orientation and children’s well-being, according to the AAP policy. In fact, many studies attest to the normal development of children of same-gender couples when the child is wanted, the parents have a commitment to shared parenting, and the parents have strong social and economic support.
    Critical factors that affect the normal development and mental health of children are parental stress, economic and social stability, community resources, discrimination, and children’s exposure to toxic stressors at home or
    in their communities — not the sexual orientation of their parents.

    American Academy of Pediatrics

  65. The debate about same sex marriages is going on. There is a spiritual angle to it. spiritualresearchfoundation.org/spiritual-life/same-sex-marriage-debate

  66. From re-reading the post, I don’t think that the author says that gay rights activists are “emotionally damaged,” but she IS saying that those people who insist that everyone must affirm their lifestyle and opinions, or else be coerced into agreement are damaged.

  67. I disagree that ‘everyone knows what a marriage is’. If society had not lost sight of what marriage truly is, the topic of two people of the same sex being “married” would never have gained a foothold. The gay lobby framed the issue very cleverly as one of their supposed rights, as they rode roughshod over what God designed for His people, and demonized God’s Law of Righteousness.

    From https://testifyingtotruth.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/the-overhauling-of-straight-america-by-marshall-kirk-and-erastes-pill:

    “The meteoric success of the LGBT agenda is not a chance occurrence but rather the result of deliberate and well-conceived strategy. The essay :
    “THE OVERHAULING OF STRAIGHT AMERICA By Marshall Kirk and Erastes Pill”, which outlines the strategy is available on line and may be seen at:
    http://library.gayhomeland.org/0018/EN/EN_Overhauling_Straight.htm

    “It is said “The Overhauling of Straight America” has become the “bible” of the homosexual movement, as it presents strategies both to make homosexuals more acceptable, and to demonize opponents of homosexuality. The entire campaign is based not on intellectual arguments, but on emotional manipulation of the public.”

    I offer that America has been very tolerant of this issue, for people to believe not only that homosexual acts are normal, but that their sexual acts can be blasphemously called marriage, marriage, which God created. Pandora’s Box has been opened, and we can look ahead to all manner of abnormal, unnatural acts demanding their day in court to be included in the defiance and rebellion against God’s plan for the human race.

    We need to pray unceasingly for God’s help to open people’s eyes and minds. Society is in an ever-increasing moral decline. Children are being raised in environments that teach them that right and wrong are morally relative, and Truth is only what gives individuals their own wants and desires, to the detriment of the continuity of the foundation, the cornerstone, of society: marriage and the family – a man a woman, and their children. The worst aspect of this entire sorry situation, is that children, innocent children, are being involved in unnatural partnerships. (One can not accurately call these partnerships unions, as two people of the same sex cannot, by physical and emotional design, ever achieve union). The minds of children are being shaped to have a warped view of human sexuality. The argument that commenter Paul above proposed, that ” homosexual behavior is present throughout the animal kingdom (even including homosexual bonding for life in some animals). That’s the very definition of “natural.” No, it is not. God did not make us to be like the animals. It is irrelevant what is allegedly present in the animal kingdom. God made human beings above the animals, and the attempted justification that ‘animals do it’, is yet another example of faulty rationale for sexual sin.

    I believe the following is worth noting, especially for those who like to interpret Scripture to agree with their moral relativism. Human beings ignore, defy, and rebel against God at their peril:

    “Would it turn out well if he examined you? Could you deceive him as you might deceive a mortal?” – Job 13:9

    “But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors.” – Hosea 10:13

    “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men will enter the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9

    “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” – Galatians 6:7

  68. And yet you believe that Salesforce or AngiesList can opt out of doing business in Indiana, but a photographer cant opt out of photographing something they find offensive or against the own moral code?

  69. Your anecdotal accounts are very general and therefore not scientifically valid. What about the children from those homes who are now coming forward to protest such marriages. They should do a clinical study of those children if they really want to know the truth. The sexual revolution which began more than half a century ago has undermined the traditional family unit and now this redefinition of marriage will further undermine the family unit, the foundation of our culture. All great civilizations have fallen and always it is due to moral decay. The USA is no different. But when the culture is destroyed, it will be people of traditional faith who will come out from the shadows and rebuild. So go ahead, you brilliant “progressive” people, keep driving those of faith from the public square. Continue to take all morality out of our laws. Keep it up. There is nothing new under the sun.

  70. If you haven’t noticed the explosion of divorce, abortion, child abuse and mistreatment of women since the sixties, then you have been living in a bubble. BTW, the list of lifestyles you enumerate have always been part of the human condition, but so has infanticide, slavery, etc. But cultures that have a strong Judeo-Christian monogamous model for marriage are the model that have been most protective of women and children. And note, by the time Christ walked the earth, mainstream Judaism had embraced monogamy. Polygamy had been rejected. But I guess you would prefer the Roman or Greek way that saw women and children as property. It was the Christianization of the West that brought protection to women and children. But today, the loopy left is doing its best to drive Christians from the public square. This SSM is just the most recent manifestation of that. How insulting to non-Catholics you are to say that non-Catholics cannot live up to a traditional marriage. I know many who are quite respectful of traditional marriage and live it honorably. Sorry you don’t think these people exist. The reality is, they do.

  71. Marriage equality is about homosexuals wanting affirmation that they are normal. Sadly, they are not. And enough of them know that, but the gay mafia has brow beaten some states into outlawing therapy for those who want it because they know they need therapy. So sad….