Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

What are some of the arguments against gay marriage?

Marriage and family

Marriage and family

Here are 10 from the Family Research Council. (H/T Dangerous Idea)

The list:

  1. Children hunger for their biological parents.
  2. Children need fathers.
  3. Children need mothers.
  4. Evidence on parenting by same-sex couples is inadequate.
  5. Evidence suggests children raised by homosexuals are more likely to experience gender and sexual disorders.
  6. Same-sex “marriage” would undercut the norm of sexual fidelity within marriage.
  7. Same-sex “marriage” would further isolate marriage from its procreative purpose.
  8. Same-sex “marriage” would further diminish the expectation of paternal commitment.
  9. Marriages thrive when spouses specialize in gender-typical roles.
  10. Women and marriage domesticate men.

The eleventh one they missed is that a husband’s leadership is beneficial to a woman because it gives her direction and balances her emotional highs and lows. It’s not politically correct to say what women need from men in marriage, but it’s true. Just like men, women have weaknesses that can be corrected and compensated for by the opposite sex. The twelfth one they missed is that same-sex marriage is incompatible with religious liberty, as recent court cases have shown.

Anyway, here are the details on #7:

7. Same-sex “marriage” would further isolate marriage from its procreative purpose.

Traditionally, marriage and procreation have been tightly connected to one another. Indeed, from a sociological perspective, the primary purpose that marriage serves is to secure a mother and father for each child who is born into a society. Now, however, many Westerners see marriage in primarily emotional terms.

Among other things, the danger with this mentality is that it fosters an anti-natalist mindset that fuels population decline, which in turn puts tremendous social, political, and economic strains on the larger society. Same-sex marriage would only further undercut the procreative norm long associated with marriage insofar as it establishes that there is no necessary link between procreation and marriage.

This was spelled out in the Goodridge decision in Massachusetts, where the majority opinion dismissed the procreative meaning of marriage. It is no accident that the countries that have legalized or are considering legalizing same-sex marriage have some of the lowest fertility rates in the world. For instance, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Canada have birthrates that hover around 1.6 children per woman–well below the replacement fertility rate of 2.1.

I chose this one because I wanted to comment.

I think it’s common today for men and women to not put the production and development of children at the center of their marriage plans. They are not working a financial plan to prepare for children. They are not developing the skills they need to mentor and nurture others. They are resentful of any demands placed on them that restrict their freedom. And they want marriage to be about fun and self-fulfillment. This is not compatible with children, however. And that’s the point. The more we redefine marriage to be about adult selfishness – first with no-fault divorce, then with same-sex marriage – the less emphasis there is on the pre-marital preparations for making and raising children.

If you want to know what you should be doing with your life before marriage, then think of the process of having children and raising children. Think of how much it costs, what skills you will need, and how your character has to be trained. Many of the things that you see young people doing these days – binge drinking, hooking up, running up debt, cohabitating, avoiding things that are hard to do – are not preparing their character for the responsibilities, expectations and obligations that people face when they have children.

Suppose you have a friend who is not good at driving a manual transmission car or not good at weight lifting or not good at doing apologetics – are you able to help them do it, or are you incapable of taking responsibility? If you can’t take responsibility for helping an adult, you certainly can’t take responsibility for a child – children are much less capable. Now are you able to say no to doing things for your own happiness? If you are not able to give up your own happiness – and this is a thing that gets easier as you practice more – then you’re liable to look on your duties to your children with resentment – that you are being “manipulated” into it. You don’t suddenly learn how to put up with children just by walking down the aisle at a wedding. It takes training to get good at being generous with your time, money and effort. It takes practice.

In fact, a smart man who is courting a woman would be trying to get her to practice the behaviors of a wife and mother before he marries her. And the same for a smart women who is being courted by a man. For example, a man has to comfortable giving things to the people around him – he can’t be resentful about it. Even when he doesn’t particularly like those people, he has to focus on their needs, think about where he is trying to lead them, and then work a plan to provide for their needs so they get where he wants them to go. If a man doesn’t like the feel of caring for others who may not be grateful – or who may even hate him – then he should take steps to prepare his character to learn to like it. When a little kid says “I hate you!” to his father, who is paying thousands of dollars for him to grow up, it’s not an easy thing. Always being selfish before you marry is not good preparation for what children will demand of you. This is something I struggle with personally – being content to invest in others who turn out to be ungrateful, and even destructive.

So I think this focus on parenting is a wonderful way for people to work backwards from the goal (healthy, happy, successful children) to the interim tasks and required skills. It helps us to get away from thinking that marriage is about us – our happiness, our needs. Unfortunately, not everyone who runs around telling people that they want to get married “some day” is really taking steps to prepare for marriage and parenting right now. Marriage is a commitment to self-sacrificially love another person – however much they change – for the rest of their lives, and to love any children who appear, too. People don’t like to read about marriage and think it through. But just saying “I want to marry someday” is not a proof of preparation for marriage, as the divorce rate attests. To get married, you have to train yourself to think of others, and to do hard things that don’t make you feel “free” or “happy”. There is no path to a successful marriage that does not involve responsibilities, expectations and obligations for husband and wife. It’s not “happily ever after”. It’s hard work!

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , ,

Famous gay fashion designers express opposition to gay marriage

This is reported by Breitbart News.

Excerpt:

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, founders of the eponymous fashion house, have come out strongly against gay marriage, the notion of gay families, and the use of surrogacy to procreate.
The billionaire pair, who used to be romantically linked, gave an interview with the Italian magazine Panorama, in which they said, “The only family is the traditional one. No chemical offspring and rented uterus. Life has a natural flow; there are things that cannot be changed.”

They also said, “Procreation must be an act of love.”

“I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Uteri for rent, semen chosen from a catalogue,” Dolce stated.

Gabanna said, “The family is not a fad. In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging.”

The pair have long been outspoken about gay marriage. In 2013, when the LondonTelegraph asked them if they had ever considered getting married, they answered, “What? Never!” Dolce said, “I’m a practicing Catholic.”

Gabbana told the Daily Mail in 2006, “I am opposed to the idea of a child growing up with two gay parents.”

LGBTNews in Italy is already calling for a boycott of Dolce and Gabbana.

It is not unusual for gay men in Europe to oppose gay marriage. In fact, a group of gay men in France, calling themselves Les Hommen, have been an ongoing feature of traditional marriage protests in France. Les Hommen invaded the French Open, stripped to the waist, with pro-marriage slogans written on their chests. Gay Star News suggested it was “the most homoerotic anti-gay protest ever.”

First Things has a quick review of their success story:

Domenico and Stefano were for years perhaps the globe’s most prominent gay power couple. In the tightly knit, family-based, quasi-aristocratic world of Italian fashion, these two men came from nowhere to make a name for themselves that the whole world would recognize. In a 2005 New Yorker article, John Seabrook marveled at their success:

Unlike the Guccis, Pradas, Puccis, Zegnas, Ferragamos, and Fendis, Dolce and Gabbana do not come from families with long pedigrees in the production and sale of luxury goods. . . . They began as outsiders, with their noses pressed to the windows of the fashion world. Their business and their distinctive style are based not so much on family history and artisanal traditions as on their relationship with each other. And the only reason that Dolce and Gabbana are creative and business partners at all is that they were romantic partners first.

The two men have long approached political orthodoxies with the same brashness and iconoclasm that guide their fashion sensibility. In 2006, Gabbana told the Daily Mail, “I am opposed to the idea of a child growing up with two gay parents.” Such statements have yet to affect Dolce & Gabbana’s business, but as gay rights make gains there is likely to be less freedom to speak for those who oppose them—even if those speaking are gay men.

Already the new interview has prompted opposition, with the website LGBT News Italia calling for a boycott like the one launched against Barilla pasta after its chairman made similar comments. I tend to loathe the sub-democratic habit of expressing political preferences through consumer choices, but it would be hard to object to the victory won for elegance if conservatives were to start wearing D&G in solidarity with these two brilliant, independent-minded Italians.

I just want to say that I have absolutely no problem with these two guys. I think they should be allowed to believe what they want, act how they want, speak how they want and even have private commitment ceremonies if they want. All I want from them is that I be allowed to say the same things that they say in public, and not face the wrath of the secular leftist state and their powerful LGBT allies. I would like to also have the freedom to not celebrate or endorse anything that gay people do in word or deed.

I hope that a lot of gay people like these two guys will speak out for freedom like this, and in favor of natural marriage and family. I don’t expect any gay people to endorse my sexual orientation, which is premarital chastity and postmarital exclusive fidelity. But I do expect them to tolerate me, just like these two guys seem to be able to do. I could probably be friends with these two guys, except that I don’t care about fashion. But on gay marriage, these two guys really get it, and they get it better than most Christians and conservatives. Is it that hard to make a simple defense of natural marriage? I think not.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , ,

Police will charge gay activist Adam Hoover with faking his own abduction

This was reported by NBC News.

They say:

A suburban Cincinnati gay rights activist was charged with a misdemeanor early Tuesday after police say he falsely claimed online that he was kidnapped and thrown in the trunk of his car, NBC affiliate WLWT reported. In a post on Facebook and Twitter just before 12:30 a.m. ET, Adam Hoover alerted his friends and followers that he was in danger. He said he was using social media instead of dialing 911 because he didn’t want to be heard.

“Please help me I’m in the trunk of my ford escort red 2000 gbh 2812,” the 20-year-old wrote. “They said they are going to kill my family please call 911 I don’t want them to hear me.” He included his mother’s phone number and his family’s address. “Please please call. I don’t want to die,” he added.

The plea for help spread quickly on social media and sparked an immediate search in the Cincinnati area. But after investigating, Green Township police and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office believe the kidnapping was a hoax. Authorities discovered Hoover’s car abandoned on a highway near the Ohio-Indiana border, WLWT reported. He was seen coming out of a nearby home with police and was unharmed, according to the station. Police didn’t immediately release a motive for why Hoover allegedly faked his own abduction.

What was interesting about this story is that the local paper considered spiking the story rather than make this gay activist look bad.

Newsbusters explains:

In its two reports on the story Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, the Cincinnati Enquirer posted the following introductory note:

We decided to publish this story because it dealt with a prominent local figure who posted claims in a very public setting. We understand and respect Mr. Hoover’s privacy, but we also believe it’s important to cover public figures and events that potentially have an impact on public safety resources.

By indicating that a “decision to publish” was made, the Enquirer has undeniably and outrageously admitted that it considered not reporting the results of a story which had already gone viral. Why?

It would seem that a factor contributing to that reluctance is that Hoover, according to local TV station WLWT, “is a founder of Marriage Equality Ohio, which he helped create in 2010.” (The Enquirer’s Wednesday report says that”Hoover started working for Marriage Equality Ohio in 2011 and has done most of the promotion work for the organization since then.”)

Thus, there appear to have been discussions in the Enquirer newsroom about how reporting on Hoover might hurt his cause. It’s also reasonable to believe that the paper was pressured by outsiders and/or parent company Gannett to either not cover Hoover’s hoax or to downplay it as much as possible. The introductory note at its two stories comes off as a de facto “Sorry, we wish we could ignore this, but we can’t, so please-please-please don’t hate us for it” apology to those who would have wanted the story suppressed.

If there was pressure to downplay the story, those who exerted it appear to have gotten their way, as headlines relating to Hoover disappeared quite quickly from the Enquirer‘s home page.

It’s hard to imagine that the Enquirer would have been so deferential if the person faking his abduction had been an advocate on the other side of the same-sex “marriage” issue.

So the headlines eventually disappeared from their web site. Interesting.

You can read about more fake hate crimes against gays from Life Site News.

There was another story like this one in the news, recently. This one concerns Wikileaks leaker Bradley Manning.

Excerpt:

“After carefully considering the recommendation that (hormone treatment) is medically appropriate and necessary, and weighing all associated safety and security risks presented, I approve adding (hormone treatment) to Inmate Manning’s treatment plan,” Col. Erica Nelson, the commandant of the Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks in Kansas, wrote in a Feb. 5 memo.

Formerly named Bradley Manning, the soldier was convicted of sending classified documents to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Manning is serving a 35-year prison sentence and is eligible for parole in about seven years.

At Manning’s trial, her attorneys argued she had been disillusioned by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and believed the release of the documents, including diplomatic cables and military reports, should be seen by the public.

Manning sued the federal government for access to the treatment. The Army referred questions about Manning to the Department of Justice, which has been handling the case. Nicole Navas, a Justice Department spokeswoman, declined to comment, saying the government’s position is detailed in court filings.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents Manning in the case, did not have an immediate comment on the Army’s memo.

Manning had asked for hormone therapy and to be able to live as a woman. Transgender individuals are not allowed to serve in the U.S. military and the Defense Department does not provide such treatment. The Department of Veterans Affairs, however, does provide the treatment for veterans.

That’s the same Department of Veterans Affairs that provides such poor care for veterans who actually fought in wars, rather than for people like Manning, who just gave away our military secrets. If the government is in control of health care, then the government gets to decide who gets treated. Their idea of who deserves health care might not be the same as the taxpayers who pay for it, but oh well.

Related posts

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Barronelle Stutzman turns down deal from Washington attorney general

The attorney general offered her a lighter punishment in exchange for denying her Christian faith… and she surprised him by saying no.

Here is her full response:

Dear Mr. Ferguson,

Thank you for reaching out and making an offer to settle your case against me.

As you may imagine, it has been mentally and emotionally exhausting to be at the center of this controversy for nearly two years. I never imagined that using my God-given talents and abilities, and doing what I love to do for over three decades, would become illegal. Our state would be a better place if we respected each other’s differences, and our leaders protected the freedom to have those differences. Since 2012, same-sex couples all over the state have been free to act on their beliefs about marriage, but because I follow the Bible’s teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, I am no longer free to act on my beliefs.

Your offer reveals that you don’t really understand me or what this conflict is all about. It’s about freedom, not money. I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important. Washington’s constitution guarantees us “freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment.” I cannot sell that precious freedom. You are asking me to walk in the way of a well-known betrayer, one who sold something of infinite worth for 30 pieces of silver. That is something I will not do.

I pray that you reconsider your position. I kindly served Rob for nearly a decade and would gladly continue to do so. I truly want the best for my friend. I’ve also employed and served many members of the LGBT community, and I will continue to do so regardless of what happens with this case. You chose to attack my faith and pursue this not simply as a matter of law, but to threaten my very means of working, eating, and having a home. If you are serious about clarifying the law, then I urge you to drop your claims against my home, business, and other assets and pursue the legal claims through the appeal process. Thanks again for writing and I hope you will consider my offer.

Sincerely,

Barronelle Stutzman

The attorney general is a Democrat, of course, and Washington is a very blue state. The whole case is troubling, but it’s really troubling that Stutzman is paying Ferguson’s salary through her taxes. She is paying him to do this to her. It’s always a scary thing to me when Christians have to have their consciences trampled at the hands of a government that they pay taxes to employ. I am sorry for Barronelle. I don’t think that she should have to celebrate something she disagrees with.

If there is one thing that troubles me about her statement, it’s that she cashes out her opposition to gay marriage in purely religious terms, and I think that’s not he right approach. The right approach is to talk about how children suffer when they are denied their mother or their father or both, how same-sex marriage undermines marital norms of exclusivity and permanence, how same-sex marriage undermines religious liberty, etc. But still, it’s important that she fight this and that everyone understands how same-sex marriage changes society.

Filed under: News, , , , , , ,

What does social science tell us about children raised by gay couples?

The Public Discourse has a post about a new book that summarizes what we know so far.

Here is the introduction:

An important new collection of peer-reviewed scholarly papers entitled No Differences? How Children in Same-Sex Households Fare has just been released by the Witherspoon Institute. The papers included and summarized in the book all study the nexus between children’s well-being and the structure of the families in which they are raised. In particular, the authors focus on the efficacy of families in which the adults are involved in a physically intimate same-sex relationship.

Here are the chapters:

  1. Loren Marks: survey existing studies on parenting by same-sex couples
  2. Mark Regnerus: large-scale study comparing standard parenting vs same-sex couple parenting
  3. Douglas Allen, Catherine Pakaluk, and Joseph Price: analysis of studies based on census data
  4. Douglas Allen: study of educational outcomes of children raised by same-sex couples
  5. Walter Schumm: evaluation of the methodology of the Regnerus study
  6. Walter Schumm: analysis of the stability of standard relationships vs same-sex relationships

Here’s the blurb on one of the chapters:

The first paper included in the volume, by Loren Marks, examines the foundations of the position taken by the American Psychological Association (APA) on what it calls “lesbian and gay parenting.” The 2005 APA monograph setting forth that organization’s position asserts that the question of whether the childrearing efficacy of parents in same-sex relationships is at least the equal of that of heterosexual couples is settled, and that the serious academic literature speaks with a single voice on the matter.

Marks reviews an extensive literature on the topic and finds that most of the studies on the subject rely on “convenience samples”: groups of respondents that cannot be considered cross-sections of the population at large. Convenience samples are a staple of the literature because same-sex parenting is rare, and so recruiting same-sex parents for a study generally involves placing ads at day-care centers and in publications aimed at the LGBT population, or contacting people by way of their network of friends. While they can provide a useful window on the experience of parents in same-sex relationships, Marks notes that convenience samples suffer from two generic problems. First, the sample sizes are very small; one of the better studies might include a dozen or two lesbian families and a comparable number of heterosexual families. In such a small sample, only enormous differences in children’s outcomes will rise to the level of statistical significance. Technically speaking, estimates of the difference between outcomes for same-sex parents and those for heterosexual couples suffer from low “power.” Moreover, because convenience samples do not constitute a random cross-section of the population, they are not representative, and so estimates based on them suffer from a problem known to statisticians as “bias.”

Marks also notes that many of the small studies either fail to identify a comparison group of heterosexual parents, or they compare educated and affluent lesbian couples to single heterosexual parents. He suggests that better comparison groups might consist of married heterosexual parents or of all heterosexual parents. Certainly that would be the case if one wanted to maintain that there was no difference between the status quo outcomes for children of parents in same-sex relationships and those of heterosexual married parents, as some have seemed to want to do.

Marks highlights three studies that avoid small convenience samples and work with much larger random samples, two of which can be found in the new volume, in the chapter by Mark Regnerus and the chapter by Douglas Allen, Catherine Pakaluk, and Joseph Price.

I took a quick look at Loren Marks’ bio:

Loren Marks holds the Kathryn Norwood and Claude Fussell Alumni Professorship in the LSU College of Human Sciences and Education where he teaches family studies classes and conducts research on family relationships. He currently serves as Program Director for Child and Family Studies in Louisiana State University’s School of Social Work. Marks received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from BYU, and his Ph.D. from the University of Delaware.  Since beginning his work at LSU in 2002, Dr. Marks has centered his research efforts on religion and families, and has published more than 70 articles or chapters, as well as the book Sacred Matters (with Wes Burr and Randy Day). He has also studied children’s outcomes in various family forms—and strong African American families.  His research has received national media attention from outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Times, The Boston Globe, and The Wall Street Journal. Loren was honored with college-level teaching awards in 2005, 2009, and 2013.  In 2011-2012, LSU nominated him for the national Carnegie (CASE) Professor of the Year Award—and nominated him again in 2014. He is Co-Director (with Dr. David Dollahite) of the American Families of Faith Project that includes about 200 Christian, Jewish, and Muslim families from all eight regions of the United States. Findings from this ongoing project have resulted in over 50 scholarly articles/chapters and two in progress books.

The Kindle edition of the book is currently $7.99. The volume is basically one stop shopping for this issue, so if you ever debate on this, get the book.

The best philosophical book on the definition of marriage is “What is Marriage?” by Girgis, Anderson and George.

I think if you are interested in same-sex marriage as a policy issue, you should get both of these books first.

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