-- Tom Hoefling
"Marriage is of a unique, sublime, ineffable nature. It is a God-breathed mystery. It is among His greatest gifts to mankind, the nexus of His eternal plan and all true, lasting, earthly riches. It is the foundational building block of all decent civic, governmental institutions. It is the basis of all true economics. It breeds peace and prosperity. It is the great stabilizer of civilizations. It is the well-spring and nursery of posterity. It must be protected, or America will fail and fall."
-- Tom Hoefling
"Marriage is the familial, societal, governmental, and economic building block of our civilization, our country, and our communities. It is a God-ordained, God-given institution, the first and most important one. It is fundamental to the laws of nature and of nature’s God, and absolutely necessary to the fulfillment of the ultimate stated purpose of the U.S. Constitution, which is “to secure the Blessings of Liberty to our Posterity.” It must be fiercely defended on every front from any and all who would pervert it or subvert it, or America cannot possibly survive. The attack on the natural family represents an existential threat."
-- Tom Hoefling, December 12, 2012
1. Analysis: How 'gay marriage' won in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington.
2. Important: Where we go from here.
1. Analysis: How 'gay marriage' won in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington.
On November 6, four states voted in favor of "gay marriage." Up until now, "gay marriage" had been defeated in 32 statewide elections. But this time in all four states the homosexual lobby won, though in all four the margins were slim:
The homosexual victories were won as follows:
Maine: 53% - 47%
Maryland: 52% - 48%
Washington: 52% - 48%
Minnesota: 51% - 48% (1% were blanks - counted as "no" & added to 51%)
Maryland and Washington were both voting to overturn "gay marriage" laws recently passed by their state legislatures. Maine's legislature had passed a gay marriage law in 2009 which was overturned by statewide vote in November that year. The homosexual lobby re-introduced that referendum this year to reinstate the earlier law. Minnesota was voting on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, to protect against future actions by their legislature or courts.
Intimidation. Vandalizing and destruction of pro-marriage signs was more widespread than ever.
These results were unfortunately not unexpected. After observing these four races since last summer and talking to many pro-family activists on the ground, we sensed this would happen. This is not meant to demean the energy and efforts of the various pro-family forces. Our people worked hard. But this time too many factors weighed against them.
How the pro-family side was organized
Nationally, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) tirelessly raised several million dollars -- the major share of all the money on our side -- which was distributed to all four races. They also worked out strategy, produced commercials, and much more. NOM did an impressive job. Without their efforts and leadership things would have turned out infinitely worse.
As in past gay marriage votes, NOM coordinated its efforts in each of the four states through an established statewide pro-family group. Each state group set up a special "marriage" PAC with its own website and volunteer activist organization distributing signs, doing outreach to churches, etc.
Other organizations helped, also. Family Research Council (FRC) provided valuable aid. In Minnesota, the Catholic Church raised enormous sums and did a lot of work.
MassResistance also sent out thousands of copies of our booklet, "What Same-sex 'marriage' has done to Massachusetts." Many people copied and distributed them locally. And much of our "gay marriage" research was used by local groups and activists.
Our side worked much the same as we had in previous gay marriage races. But this time the combination of homosexual lobby's enormous funding, sophisticated propaganda campaign, intimidation tactics, and support by the mainstream media--along with a flawed pro-family strategy--could not be overcome.
The top ten reasons the homosexual lobby was able to win
(1) Huge money
The homosexual movement raised enormous amounts of money. Corporations and individual millionaires (and billionaires) poured endless resources into their coffers. NOM did its best to keep up, but it was impossible. Overall, it's estimated that our side was outspent by at least 5-1.
NOM said that they put $5.5 million into the four states, and were outspent by at least $20 million. However, the homosexual group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) claimed they raised $32 million for the gay marriage races, giving them a very big advantage.
(2) Sophisticated campaign tactics
The homosexual groups put their money to use through extremely sophisticated campaign tactics and an array of well-crafted psychological techniques, weaving emotion with flawed reasoning, to persuade people who had opposed gay marriage, to support it. In addition, throughout the four states, they able to bring thousands of pro-homosexual volunteers into critical areas for their "ground game."
The day after the election, a very revealing article, "How gay marriage finally won at the polls" was posted on various websites describing what they did in Maine: The gay rights movement succeeded by using one of the most sophisticated issue campaign operations ever deployed -- and by making it stick with old-fashioned commitment, hard work and face-to-face conversations.
Within weeks of the Maine loss [in 2009], Freedom To Marry helped assemble a coalition of state-based gay groups, polling experts and academic researchers to centralize and share information so that each campaign didn't have to start from scratch for each new battle.
Third Way, a centrist think tank working in the coalition with Freedom To Marry, began to unpack exactly how straight people reacted to such tactics [advertisements showing kids being given books on homosexual relationships in school]. The group found that when straight people were asked what marriage meant to them, they spoke of love, commitment and responsibility. But when asked why they thought gay people wanted to marry, they cited rights and benefits. Tapping into anti-gay stereotypes, they suggested gay people wanted marriage for selfish reasons while they themselves wanted to express love and commitment.
Thalia Zapatos of Freedom To Marry, who oversees the coalition's messaging research, describes another revelation from the data. [NOM's ad person Frank] Schubert's misleading "princess" ads [describing homosexual books for kids] implied that schools could usurp the role of parents in teaching pro-gay values, but that was wrong. As Zapatos and her team pored over the research, they watched conversations in which voters spoke among themselves and kept circling back to the same insight: Parents are the parents, and they teach their kids values at home.
The first step to combating that fear were ads that showed (among other story lines) a mom who was also a teacher speaking at home with her husband. "What we do in a school is no substitute for what happens at home," she says. Her husband chimes in: "No law is going to change the core values we teach our kids here at home." The takeaway: No one would force parents into uncomfortable conversations when their own child returned home from school.
But advertising is a one-way conversation. Zapatos began to find that once voters became engaged (either by pro- or anti-forces), new concerns arose. The next step was to turn the messaging into a conversation.
In the end, the Maine campaign spoke to 250,000 people, nearly one-fifth of the state's population -- and that was likely the fifth that mattered most. This sort of effort is ongoing in more states beyond this week's election, such as Oregon, which may be next up for an initiative.
Research shows that knowing a gay person makes you 65 percent more likely to support same-sex marriage - and having a conversation with that gay person about marriage raises the figure to 80 percent. Third Way recently released a report showing that 75 percent of positive movement in support for same-sex marriage comes from people of every age group changing their minds. It's about having the right message and imparting it with patience and labor.
And that's not all. Since older people tend to be more conservative, the homosexual lobby specifically targeted them with their emotional outreach. One of their most successful ads, "The Gardner Family" of Maine was written up in the New York Times. It is a masterpiece of emotional propaganda. The ad conjures references to discrimination, cruelty to other people, having a relative who's gay, and more. You can see the article and video HERE.
Their campaign tactics also targeted Christians by emotionally portraying "true" Christianity as being "compassionate" and not "cruel" regarding people loving each other and letting them marry.
Finally, unlike in previous years, the homosexual lobby's TV commercials contained almost no actual gay characters. Their research found that it was more effective to use straight characters who would talk about their friends and relatives who were homosexual.
As described above, these tactics worked so well that the homosexual lobby has already indicated that they will re-use them the country in future races.
(3) Flawed pro-family strategy
In sharp contrast to the homosexual lobby's slick, sophisticated propaganda machine, the pro-family overall approach was largely the same moderate, inoffensive, often logically incoherent approach that they've coasted on until now. A number of activists made it a point to complain to us about that.
For example, most of the pro-family message was some variation of: Every child needs a father and a mother; the word "marriage" is special; marriage is about procreation; marriage is a timeless institution; gays already have all the rights marriage brings; etc. These arguments are not emotional, fairly general, and not very compelling. In contrast, the homosexual lobby made the arguments in their ads emotional and personal.
At its root, "gay marriage" is really about the forced acceptance of homosexuality as a normal part of society. But both NOM and the state pro-family groups went to great lengths not to criticize homosexual behavior. They were very fearful of being perceived as "anti-gay" or "homophobic" especially in the liberal press. So they insisted on moderating everyone's messages. In Minnesota, for instance, activists were specifically told, "Don't make this a gay issue."
Those who deviated from this and took a more direct approach were shunned and even publicly criticized by the pro-family establishment. This included some of the vocal black churches in Maryland who wanted to quote the Bible, and activists in Maine and Minnesota who felt compelled to discuss the negative aspects homosexual behavior.
Except for some material posted on websites of the local pro-family groups, there were no attempts at all that we know of to persuade the public through advertising that homosexual behavior was perverse, dysfunctional, and unhealthy. Our side basically conceded that argument completely, and even went to lengths to state that "we're not anti-gay." The homosexual lobby took full advantage of that by aggressively portraying homosexuality as just another facet of normal human behavior.
This tactic is not sustainable, as it soon became clear. It certainly does not effectively counter the emotional strategies put forth by the homosexual lobby. At some point you have to engage in the real battle at hand.
(4) Hard-hitting pro-family commercials came too late
In the final few weeks when they finally hit the airwaves with a "red meat" anti-gay marriage commercial, it was too little, too late.
This mirrored a disturbing pattern we noticed in past gay marriage races. Our side would use the "soft" message until it became clear that the race was in trouble of losing. Then at the last minute bring in the hard-hitting David and Tonia Parker / Robb and Robin Wirthlin TV ads. They were first used in the California Prop 8 reverendum in 2008, and have been used in several since then.
These ads are emotional and direct. The Massachusetts parents describe how their elementary school children were read children's books describing homosexual relationships. The schools refused to let parents opt out their kids or even be notified. When the Parkers and Wirthlins took it to court, a federal judge ruled against them -- because "gay marriage" in Massachusetts obliges schools to portray homosexual relationships as equivalent to real marriage. The ads are very effective.
VIDEO: Maine version of the hard-hitting David and Tonia Parker TV ad.
But in all four states, the Parker / Wirthlin ads were held back until about two weeks before the election, then finally unleashed. But that was too late, according to activists we talked to. These -- and similar ads -- should have been on the air for months.
It's clear that the gay lobby hates and fears these ads, and anticipated them. In Maryland, the homosexual groups ran TV ads all summer saying that homosexual issues would NOT be taught in the schools. Nevertheless, as soon as the Parker ads showed up they seemed to panic, and their only defense was to claim that the Parkers were lying, which their allies in the media ran with.
These ads really exploited the homosexual lobby's weakness. As one Maryland activist told us, "Our side should have been running the David Parker ads early and often."
(5) Obama and the targeting of the black community
This past summer Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage. In Maryland, where blacks have been a large anti-gay marriage constituency, this had a terrible effect on many black churches. Almost immediately many either stopped dealing with the issue and some even switched to supporting it.
The homosexual lobby used that crisis to its full advantage by directing huge efforts and money into a full-court press to target blacks to support homosexual marriage. Not long after the White House announcement, they created very slick pro-gay marriage flyer featuring Michelle Obama which was widely distributed in the black community. It was even brought to the polls by some voters.
But their biggest target was the black churches, which they started working on even before the Obama announcement. Back in January, Maryland's pro-gay Governor helped persuade two of the most prominent black ministers in the state -- who had already started to go soft on the issue -- to take an active role in persuading their community to abandon their support for traditional marriage.
The two pastors, Rev. Donte Hickman Sr., pastor of Southern Baptist Church in East Baltimore and Rev. Delman Coates, who leads a megachurch in Prince George's County, were ultimately a major part of the homosexual lobby's propaganda campaign.
As the Baltimore Sun later described, things progressed considerably since their January meeting with the Governor: Ten months later, the two had become the highest-profile pitchmen for Question 6, appearing in nearly identical commercials that played on television for three-quarters of the campaign. In Baltimore -- during some stretches -- the average person saw the commercials 10 times a week.
Voters' approval of Maryland's same-sex marriage law last week can be traced in part to the decision by Hickman, 41, and Coates, 39, to lend their names, faces and reputations to a campaign on an issue that remains highly controversial in their community.
. . . The group [Marylanders for Marriage Equality] spent about $800,000 a week on television time, and Hickman and Coates remained on the air for most of the campaign.
VIDEO: Pro-gay marriage TV ad with Rev.Delman Coates that flooded the Baltimore airwaves.
(6) Intimidation tactics
Probably the most vile aspect of these races was how homosexual activists and their allies turned their intimidation machine into high gear. It started out with everyone on the pro-family side of the issue being loudly labeled a "bigot" and "hater" at every opportunity. Many people became afraid to discuss the issue or even put up signs, we were told, because of this.
Before long it escalated into vandalism. A church in Maine was vandalized with swastikas painted on it to send a strong message to the congregation.
This church in Maine had a pro-marriage message outside.
It was very widespread regarding pro-marriage signs. As one activist in Minnesota told us, "Everybody had signs vandalized, stolen, ripped apart." He added that he even had to go back to his church every few days with a new sign. In Maine it became so blatant that a video of pro-marriage signs being stolen and destroyed was posted on YouTube. Activists in Minnesota also posted a video of a sign being stolen.
VIDEO of pro-marriage signs in Maind being stolen and destroyed.
(7) Confusing ballot language
There was a lot of confusion even when you got into the voting booth. In Maryland and Washington, people were voting whether to overturn their legislatures' passage of a gay marriage law. But in both cases it was worded so that a "no" vote would overturn it and a "yes" vote would keep it. Moreover, wording on the ballot in Maryland referred to issuing "marriage licenses" to any two people and talked about religious protections, rather than the actual text of the law, which clouded the issue. Some people told us that the wording looked pro-family, and almost didn't realize it wasn't.
(8) Ballot fraud
During early voting in Maryland, in many cases the touch-screen machines which created paper ballots did not register the "no" votes on the marriage ballot question; instead it come out blank. One woman told us that she noticed hers came out blank, and she had to go back and re-vote on it. She said that this happened to many others she knew of, and that one person had to go back three times to get his "no" vote properly registered. This is outrageous.
At least one relatively conservative area in Maryland surprisingly voted "yes" for gay marriage. There is suspicion that some kind of voter fraud was behind that. "It was really startling that we lost there," one local activist told us.
We have been informed that pro-family attorneys are getting involved in the continuing counting of absentee ballots in some of the key areas where the vote was close.
(9) The Democrat machine vs GOP non-help
The Democratic Party machine and its various allies were actively helping the homosexual lobby. In Maryland, teachers' union people were handing out their pro-gay ballot sheets at the polls. But as far as we could tell, the GOP played a very minor role, if any. In Maryland, the GOP did robo-calls supporting candidates and one ballot question, but didn't mention this one. In Maine the GOP also avoided this issue. Some GOP politicians came out for marriage in Minnesota, but were very moderate in their approach. On the national level, the Romney people had stated that marriage was not an issue in their campaign and they offered no support.
(10) The media
The news media continued its overwhelmingly biased coverage of the gay marriage issue and the homosexual issue in general. This was particularly noticable in the simultaneous attacks on the David and Tonia Parker ads by media in all four states.
But also, television's general embrace and normalization of homosexuality in its prime-time programming has had its intended effect of softening up many people on this issue. And conversely, the media routinely portray the pro-family side as bigoted, hateful, and dysfunctional.
All four of these races were lost for basically the same reasons: Our side was enormously outspent and out-organized, along with a phalanx of other forces enumerated above.
Furthermore, the groups running the campaign opposing gay marriage had an arsenal of weapons about homosexuality, homosexual behavior, and the destructive nature of homosexual relationships that they didn't use because it would not be "politically correct" and would likely anger the liberal media -- and because it wouldn't be seen as "nice." And when they finally were willing to use the very effective issue of schools forcing homosexuality on kids, it was too late.
Voters are now so dumbed down and are constantly fed a twisted view of church and religion by the media and academia. They don't examine issues but follow emotional and often illogical propaganda. So the verdict often comes out: "Everybody should be happy. Leave it up to God. My nephew's gay, so it should be legal."
It's not surprising that, as mentioned above, they are already talking about using these campaigns as a template for "turning over" other states one by one. And of course, they are also focused on overturning DOMA (the federal Defense of Marriage Act, allowing states to stand by their own laws banning same-sex marriage).
Nevertheless, we are still confident of the future.
Looking at everything they had to do, it's still very clear that the ONLY way the homosexual lobby can win a gay marriage referendum - even in these four very blue states, and by those relatively small margins -- is through the extraordinary measures and expenditures listed above, along with our acquiescence on moderating our opposing message.
If our side can get its ideological act together, toss out our milquetoast rhetoric, get some political courage, and be aggressive rather than reactive, we would be pretty unstoppable. But right now, that's a big "if."
2. Important: Where we go from here.
Someone once said that the Left treats elections like a war and conservatives treat them like a dinner party. That's certainly what it felt like this time.
Any honest assessment would be that the pro-family, pro-life movement has been steadily losing, and the losses are getting worse. This year, just for starters, four states were bombarded by the homosexual lobby in "gay marriage" referendums; Obama homosexualized large parts of the military and the federal government; Chick-fil-A was attacked over that issue; and of course the GLBT push into the nation's school system continues.
But we haven't seen anything yet. After this year's elections, especially with Obama continuing in power, we can expect our adversaries and even our government to become more ruthless and hostile than ever regarding these issues.
The conservative movement's current strategy isn't making us stronger but rather weaker. For example, not a single major "conservative conference" all year even discussed the homosexual agenda (and there was very little on abortion), even though it has been literally the 800-pound gorilla in the "culture war" living room. That's astounding. And we know why: It's considered too controversial, angers the Left too much; upsets libertarians, comes off as intolerant, and so on. That's what our movement has come to, and we are paying the price.
We need a different way of fighting the "culture war," a whole new paradigm.
Most people of a certain age have forgotten what normality was like. We discuss "gay marriage" as if it were just another philosophical issue. It wasn't too long ago that if you were to bring up the idea of men "marrying" each other, you would have been seen as having lost your mind. In the context of human history, it is beyond a lunatic concept. And it will be again, you can bank on that. This, too, shall pass. The only question is: How long will it take? The answer: It's up to us.
The progressive agenda is a house of cards that cannot be sustained without the constant pressure of propaganda and intimidation. It is actually exactly the opposite of the Civil Rights movement -- which they claim to be the inheritors of -- but which is universally seen as natural, not unnatural. Despite their mantra, ultimately history is on our side, not theirs.
We at MassResistance cannot change how every other pro-family group does things. That's a given. But we can change ourselves.
MassResistance is dedicating itself to giving as many people as possible the tools and guidance to fight back (a) fearlessly and (b) effectively.
During this election season we tried to study as many various movements and freedom struggles over the last century and across the political spectrum as we could. We looked at successes and failures around the world. Our conclusion is that all of this is winnable.
One thing is painfully clear: At this point in America the average person is emotionally and intellectually unequipped to confront the Orwellian and often vicious onslaught of propaganda, disinformation, threats, intimidation confusion -- and the force of law that often follows -- which engulfs us. That is something we must change.
Pope John Paul II famously observed that a major force that facilitated the collapse of the Soviet Union was the people who were no longer afraid to tell the truth. That's a beginning, along with internalizing the fact that we're in a war and not at a dinner party. And that being reactive instead of being aggressive only slows down our losses. All nonviolent movements understand that.Over the last few months we've been contacted by activists from as far away as England and Australia, as well as several states across the U.S., wanting to form MassResistance chapters! If you think that the Left can't stand us now, just wait!
What you can do to help right now...
The Inter-American Institute
Written by Stephen Baskerville
Defenders of marriage must face some hard facts or they are going to lose their fight—and with it, quite possibly, their religious freedom as well. Federal judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling nullifying Proposition 8 in California illustrates that, unless we can demonstrate very specific reasons why same-sex marriage is socially destructive, it will soon be the law of the land.
With conservatives as prominent as Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter joining those “influential Americans,” in the words of the National Review, who “have been coming increasingly to regard opposition to same-sex marriage as irrational at best and bigoted at worst,” we can no longer rely on vague assertions that homosexual marriage weakens true marriage in some way—which in itself, actually, it does not.
Considerable nonsense has been written by some opponents of same-sex marriage, while some critical truths are not being heard. Confronting the facts can enable us to win not only this battle but several even more important ones involving family decline and the social anomie it produces.
First: Marriage exists primarily to cement the father to the family. This fact is politically incorrect but undeniable. The breakdown of marriage produces widespread fatherlessness, not motherlessness. As Margaret Mead pointed out long ago—yes, leftist Margaret Mead was correct about this—motherhood is a biological certainty whereas fatherhood is socially constructed. The father is the weakest link in the family bond, and without the institution of marriage he is easily discarded.
The consequences of failing to link men to their offspring are apparent the world over. From our inner cities and Native American reservations to the north of England, the banlieues of Paris, and much of Africa, fatherlessness—not poverty or race—is the leading predictor of virtually every social pathology among the young. Without fathers, adolescents run wild, and society descends into chaos.
The notion that marriage exists for love or “to express and safeguard an emotional union of adults,” as one proponent puts it, is cant. Many loving and emotional human relationships do not involve marriage. Even the conservative argument that marriage exists to rear children is too imprecise: marriage creates fatherhood. No marriage, no fathers.
Once this principle is recognized, same-sex marriage makes no sense. Judge Walker’s “finding of fact” that “gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage” is rendered preposterous. Marriage between two men or two women simply mocks the purpose of the institution. Homosexual parenting only further distances biological fathers (and some mothers too) from their children, since at least some homosexual parents must acquire their children from someone else—usually through heterosexual divorce.
Here is the second unpleasant truth: homosexuals did not destroy marriage, heterosexuals did. The demand for same-sex marriage is a symptom, not a cause, of the deterioration of marriage. By far the most direct threat to the family is heterosexual divorce. “Commentators miss the point when they oppose homosexual marriage on the grounds that it would undermine traditional understandings of marriage,” writes family scholar Bryce Christensen. “It is only because traditional understandings of marriage have already been severely undermined that homosexuals are now laying claim to it.”
Though gay activists cite their desire to marry as evidence that their lifestyle is not inherently promiscuous, they readily admit that marriage is no longer the barrier against promiscuity that it once was. If the standards of marriage have already been lowered, they ask, why shouldn’t homosexuals be admitted to the institution?
“The world of no-strings heterosexual hookups and 50% divorce rates preceded gay marriage,” Andrew Sullivan points out. “All homosexuals are saying C9 is that, under the current definition, there’s no reason to exclude us. If you want to return straight marriage to the 1950s, go ahead. But until you do, the exclusion of gays is simply an anomaly—and a denial of basic civil equality.”
Feminist Stephanie Coontz echoes the point: “Gays and lesbians simply looked at the revolution heterosexuals had wrought and noticed that, with its new norms, marriage could work for them, too.”
Thus the third inconvenient fact: divorce is a political problem. It is not a private matter, and it does not come from impersonal forces of moral and cultural decay. It is driven by complex and lucrative government machinery operating in our names and funded by our taxes. It is imposed upon unwilling people, whose children, homes, and property may be confiscated. It generates the social ills that rationalize almost all domestic government spending. And it is promoted ideologically by the same sexual radicals who now champion same-sex marriage. Homosexuals may be correct that heterosexuals destroyed marriage, but the heterosexuals were their fellow sexual ideologues.
Conservatives have completely misunderstood the significance of the divorce revolution. While they lament mass divorce, they refuse to confront its politics. Maggie Gallagher attributes this silence to “political cowardice”: “Opposing gay marriage or gays in the military is for Republicans an easy, juicy, risk-free issue,” she wrote in 1996. “The message [is] that at all costs we should keep divorce off the political agenda.”
No American politician of national stature has seriously challenged unilateral divorce. “Democrats did not want to anger their large constituency among women who saw easy divorce as a hard-won freedom and prerogative,” writes Barbara Dafoe Whitehead. “Republicans did not want to alienate their upscale constituents or their libertarian wing, both of whom tended to favor easy divorce, nor did they want to call attention to the divorces among their own leadership.”
In his famous denunciation of single parenthood, Vice President Dan Quayle was careful to make clear, “I am not talking about a situation where there is a divorce.” A lengthy article in the current Political Science Quarterly is devoted to the fact—at which the author expresses astonishment—that self-described “pro-family” Christian groups devote almost no effort to reforming divorce laws.
This failure has seriously undermined the moral credibility of the campaign against same-sex marriage. “People who won’t censure divorce carry no special weight as defenders of marriage,” writes columnist Froma Harrop. “Moral authority doesn’t come cheap.”
Just as marriage creates fatherhood, so divorce today should be understood as a system for destroying it. It is no accident that divorce court has become largely a method for plundering and criminalizing fathers. With such a regime arrayed against them, men are powerfully incentivized against marrying and starting a family. No amount of scolding by armchair moralists is going to persuade men into marriages that can mean the loss of their children, expropriation, and incarceration.
The fourth point is perhaps the most difficult to grasp: marriage is not entirely a public institution that government may legitimately define and regulate. It certainly serves important public functions. But marriage also creates a sphere of life beyond official control—what Supreme Court Justice Byron White called a “realm of family life which the state cannot enter.” This does not mean that anything can be declared a marriage. On the contrary, it means that marriage creates a singular zone of privacy for one purpose above all: it is the bond within which parents may raise their children without government interference.
Parenthood, after all, is politically unique. It is the one relationship in which people may exercise coercive authority over others. It is the one exception to state’s monopoly of force, which is why government is constantly trying to undermine and invade it. Without parental and especially paternal authority, legitimized by the bonds of marriage, government’s reach is total. This is already evident in those communities where marriage and fathers have disappeared and government has moved in to replace them with welfare, child-support enforcement, public education, and tax-subsidized healthcare.
Marriage is paradoxical in a way that is critical to our political problems—and that causes considerable confusion among conservatives and libertarians. Marriage must be recognized by the state precisely because it creates a sphere of parental authority from which the state must then withdraw. Government today can no longer be counted upon to exercise this restraint voluntarily. We must all constantly demand that it do so. Marriage—lifelong and protected by a legally enforceable contract—gives us the legal authority and the moral high ground from which to resist encroachments by the state.
Prohibitions on homosexual marriage will not save the institution. As Robert Seidenberg writes in the Washington Times, “Even if Republicans were to succeed in constitutionally defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman, some judge somewhere would soon discover a novel meaning for ‘man’ or ‘woman’ or ‘between’ or ‘relationship’ or any of the other dozen words that might appear in the amendment.”
This is already happening. Britain’s Gender Recognition Act allows transsexuals to falsify their birth certificates retroactively to indicate they were born the gender of their choice. “The practical effect C9 will inevitably be same-sex ‘marriage’,” writes Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail. “Marriage as a union between a man and a woman will be destroyed, because ‘man’ and ‘woman’ will no longer mean anything other than whether someone feels like a man or a woman.”
So what is the solution? A measure already before Congress may show the way. Though not intended primarily to save marriage, the proposed Parental Rights Amendment is the first substantial step in the right direction. It protects “the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children.” How does this strengthen marriage?
Reaffirming the rights of parents—married parents particularly—to raise their own children would weaken government interference in the family. Especially if worded so as to protect the bond between children and their married fathers, such a measure could undermine both the divorce regime and same-sex marriage by establishing marriage as a permanent contract conferring parental rights that must be respected by the state. Within the bonds of marriage, it would preserve the rights of fathers, parents of both sexes, and spouses generally, and it would render same-sex marriage largely pointless. Marriages producing children would be effectively indissoluble, and there would be fewer fatherless children for homosexuals to adopt. Men would come to understand that to have full rights as fathers they must marry before conceiving children, and they would thus have an interest in ensuring the institution’s permanence.
This is not a small undertaking. It would mean confronting the radical sexual establishment in its entirety—not only homosexuals but their allies among feminists, bar associations, psychotherapists, social workers, and pubic schools. It would raise the stakes significantly—or rather it would highlight how high the stakes already are. It would also focus public attention on the interconnectedness of these threats to the family and freedom. It would foster a coalition of parents with a vested personal interest in marriage and parental rights.
The alternative is to continue mouthing platitudes, in which case we will be dismissed as a chorus of scolds and moralizers—and yes, bigots. And we will lose.
Stephen Baskerville is IAI's Senior Fellow in Political Science and Human Rights.
Originally published at theamericanconservative.com on November 22, 2010.
Many of his articles on family issues are available at: www.stephenbaskerville.net.
The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.
"No human law can abolish the natural and original right of marriage, nor in any way limit the chief and principal purpose of marriage ordained by God's authority from the beginning: "Increase and multiply." Hence we have the family, the "society" of a man's house -- a society very small, one must admit, but none the less a true society, and one older than any State. Consequently, it has rights and duties peculiar to itself which are quite independent of the State."
-- Leo XII Rerum Novarum, (12), MAY 15, 1891
Vice Presidential Nominee, America's Party
"And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
Though any two people might choose to join themselves together by contract, marriage is, by definition the life-long union of one man and one woman joined together by God. There is no such thing as "gay marriage."
Provided courtesy of the DefendtheNaturalFamily.com
Republicans retreat on "gay marriage"
Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer
Just a few years ago, House Republicans were trying to etch their opposition of gay marriage into the Constitution.
Now? They’re almost silent.
It’s been one of the swiftest shifts in ideology and strategy for Republicans, as they’ve come nearly full circle on same-sex politics. What was once a front-and-center issue for rank-and-file Republicans — the subject of many hotly worded House and Senate floor speeches — is virtually a dead issue, as Republicans in Congress don’t care to have gay marriage litigated in the Capitol.
Even more than that, Republican leadership has evolved, too. It has quietly worked behind the scenes to kill amendments that reaffirm opposition to same-sex unions, several sources told POLITICO.
It’s not like the GOP has become a bastion of progressiveness on gay rights, but there has been an evolution in the political approach — and an acknowledgment of a cultural shift in the country. Same-sex relationships are more prominent and accepted. There are more gay public figures — including politicians — and it’s likely that many Washington Republicans have gay friends and coworkers. Just as important — there’s also a libertarian streak of acceptance on people’s sexuality coursing through the House Republican Conference.
“In one decade, what’s shocking on TV is accepted as commonplace in the other,” said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), a veteran of the culture wars of the 1990s. “It’s the same with sexual mores all over that if you look at campuses and universities, they have a lot of gay pride clubs and so there has been a deliberate and effective outreach to the younger generation about being more accepting of same-sex relationships.”
But there’s also a political strategy at work: The economy has displaced moral issues in today’s politics. Ask most House Republicans today if they have deep convictions about gay relationships, and it hardly registers.
“I personally have deep convictions about my children having a financially stable country that they can live in,” Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) said in an interview. “I want my daughters to have the opportunities that I had, and that’s what concerns me. That’s what keeps me up awake at night, not worrying about who’s sleeping with who.”
House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), a 32-year veteran of Congress, never a man of many words, simply said, “I don’t hear it discussed much.”
Even die-hard social conservatives like Texas Republican Louie Gohmert aren’t digging in.
“That’s not something we’re focused on now,” Gohmert said.
-----National party operatives have taken notice. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions all did fundraisers in the 2010 cycle with the national gay and lesbian GOP grass-roots organization, Log Cabin Republicans.
The group’s Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper said that while the three party leaders got flak for doing the events, they stood their ground.
“Twenty years ago they would have thrown us under the bus,” Cooper said. The group recently hosted a 40th birthday fundraiser for Priebus.
Even among the most conservative ranks there has been some softening. Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) — who holds a 93 percent lifetime score with the American Conservative Union — recently attended a Log Cabin Republican meeting in Houston. Poe’s office said his “views on same-sex marriage have not changed, however, he found that there were plenty of things they did agree on and he really enjoyed listening to what they had to say.”
Leadership, too, has played a role. At the top levels of House Republican leadership, aides have tried to “quell” legislative proposals on the sanctity of marriage.
Read this story at dyn.politico.com ...
What if you went to a restaurant, read the menu, but every time you tried to order something you really want and need to keep body and soul together, they told you, "sorry, we're out of that"?
That's kind of the way it is nowadays for the conservative clientele of the Republican Party.
"Hello, welcome back to the Pachyderm-a-RINO Restaurant! I'm Mitt and I'll be your server today."
"Oh, hello again. Why don't you give me some of this 'Balance the Budget and Stop Deficit Spending Now' stew, please. I've always wanted to try it."
"Oh, that's really good stuff, you bet...but....sorry, Chef Boehner says that if you want that you're a big baby and just don't understand how the kitchen works."
"Oh my...well, okay, I guess...let's see...hmmm...then give me some of that 'Limited Government" salad..."
"Oh, the healthy dish that's in all our ads...well.....no....sorry, that's just too hard to make. The media critics would have a field day if we started cooking that up, and we'd lose our jobs, so no, you can't have that either."
"Wow. Hmmm...well...okey-dokey then...how about some of this 'Provide Equal Protection For the Right to Life' entre, with a side of 'Defend Marriage'..."
"No, of course you can't have that. Court order. What are you, a single-issue extremist?"
"Well, noooo...I like lots of things...uhmmm...do you have any 'Secure the Borders' succotash?"
"You are so heartless."
"Oh, well, gee thanks. So, is there anything at all I can actually order in this joint?"
"Well, no, but you can pay the bill, leave a big tip, and tell everybody in town how great it is that you didn't give your business to the Donkey Grill down the street - just like you always have!"
Tom Hoefling, March 25, 2012
PS ... if you want to eat at a place that actually provides everything that's advertised, and where the food is great, visit SelfGovernment.US!