Take a Stand Against the Agenda: Empty the Halls on “Day of Silence”

The so called “Day of Silence” has nothing to do with education.  It is a waste of educational resources and sends the wrong message to our children.  The best way to discourage the practice of allowing these radical homosexual groups from commandeering our school systems is to vote with our feet, and take our tax dollars with us.

—Beetle Blogger

See this from CRI:

Capitol Resource Institute is encouraging families to keep students home from school on Friday, April 16, unless their schools expressly expect students to speak on that day.

April 16th is the Day of Silence, a campaign of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which is often used to make homosexual behavior appear normal on school campuses.

“Students should focus on academics in school. They should not be allowed to end their verbal engagement in class for a social agenda,” said Karen England, Executive Director of Capitol Resource Institute.

“We pay California teachers to teach — by speaking in classrooms — and teachers should also be expected to fully discharge their duties on all schooldays,” she said. “If a school allows teachers to stop teaching, it should not get tax dollars for educating our students on that day.”

By urging a one day absence, CRI joins more than two dozen organizations in the Day of Silence Walkout Coalition. The coalition includes organizations such as Concerned Women for America, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, and more. It reaches out to parents across the nation who do not want their children focusing on sexuality at school.

Classrooms and campuses should focus on academics, and any student harassment should be handled with appropriate school discipline. Yet Day of Silence is one of five GLSEN events that are designed to focus campus attention on student sexuality. These events — including No Name-Calling Week and TransAction! — take a total of 16 days.

In addition to these 16 days, California public schools regularly promote the acceptance of homosexual behavior in their school safety programs. State law equally prohibits the mistreatment of all students, whether homosexual, religious, or other students are harmed.

“Every parent, teacher, and student should oppose bullying of all kinds, but Day of Silence moves beyond simple opposition to bullying,” England said. “Day of Silence equates being anti-harassment with being in favor of homosexual behavior. That is unfair to the millions of people who are respectful and friends with homosexuals, while maintaining traditional views of male and female sexuality,” she said.

Call your school to ask whether it is permitting participating in Day of Silence. Schools do not technically sponsor this social protest, but hundreds permit or encourage it. To make sure there is no disconnect between the school office and your classroom, also contact your child’s teacher and ask whether students will be allowed to participate in the Day of Silence.

Also check whether your school has a Gay-Straight Alliance Club. If your school is among the 700 California public, private, and religious schools with a GSA, chances are high that silence will be observed by at least some people on campus.

“In every generation, parents need to teach their children about treating all people with respect, while maintaining their own convictions,” England said. “This is a great chance to do so.”

GSA Clubs

GLSEN

Day of Silence

Reasons for the Day of Silence Walkout

Watch the video that exposes the intolerance of those that promote the Day of Silence.

Louder than Silence

CRI: Reinventing Education— California High School Pushes One-sided, Pro-Homosexual Bias on Kids… Again

See this from Capitol Resource Institute:

High School Welcomes Gay Speakers, but Rejects HIV-Positive Christian Speaker

A Bay Area high school that attracted controversy last year for its “Days of Diversity” program is again welcoming pro-gay speakers. But the school has rejected a request by a student Christian club to host an HIV-positive speaker whose experience with homosexuality proved to be life-threatening.

Castro Valley High School sparked controversy last year by hosting several questionable presenters, including Rev. Arlene K Nehring, a lesbian minister who talked to students in math and science classes about her gay wedding, encouraged them to “come out” to God, their families and themselves, and invited them to a gay prom at her church. Because of the religious overtones in past and pending presentations, students in the Revelation Club were surprised when the school rejected their request to host Christopher Yuan because of “separation of church and state.” Mr. Yuan is HIV-positive and had been invited by the students to speak on the topic “Christian, Gay, and Celibate.” In addition, it appears that the school has blocked links relating to Mr. Yuan, though continuing to allow access to gay websites.

Attorneys for Pacific Justice Institute sent a letter to the high school late last week, demanding that CVHS drop its illegal viewpoint discrimination.

CRI’s Karen England commented, “It is unfortunate that the school’s so-called diversity does not extend to Christians on campus. This type of favoritism in the classroom is unconstitutional and is sending the wrong message to our students.”

There has been no word whether Castro Valley High School has responded to Pacific Justice Institute’s letter and whether or not they will welcome Mr. Yuan to speak at the school after all.

The Pacific Justice Institute

So Maine—How Does Losing Your Freedom of Speech Affect Your Family?

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No on 1 Campaign’s Hypocrisy on Parade

Don Mendell, a public school counselor, is in the position of losing his job because he exercised his free speech in choosing to stand for traditional marriage in Maine.  That was the story that came out Friday.

Now information is coming out on just WHO sent the complaint forcing him to defend his stance, his family and his job.  It was another teacher!  Another teacher whose husband ALSO took a stand— only his stance was AGAINST marriage.  That teacher has suffered no repercussions whatsoever for his stance.  The hypocrisy of this situation is exactly what those who support traditional marriage have been concerned about.

“All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” –George Orwell 1945 Animal Farm

Why is there one set of rules for one side of the issue and another set of rules for the other?  Isn’t this the very thing that the No campaign has tried to deny all along?

Everyone is equal.  Everyone is free—-but not according to gay activists who hold one standard for those who agree with them and another for those who don’t.

They love to try to bring this down from a societal argument to a personal one.  “How will their marriage affect yours?”  Their point being that it won’t affect you so why should you care?  We’ve all heard it.  But that isn’t the real question.  The Mendell situation illustrates this more poignantly than any other because it’s happening RIGHT NOW in Maine.

So Mainers: How does losing your freedoms affect YOUR family??

— Beetle Blogger

See this from the Maine Campaign:

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The latest example of how those in power in Maine schools will push homosexual marriage on students involves Don Mendell, a public school counselor who appeared in a Yes on Question 1 television ad. Mr. Mendell is a two-time recipient of the state Department of Education Commissioner’s Recognition Award and was nominated as Maine State Teacher of the Year. Despite a lifetime of service, a formal complaint was filed with the state seeking to have his license revoked. They say because Mr. Mendell spoke out in support of Question 1 he should not be allowed to counsel students anymore.
We learned just Friday that the person who filed the complaint against Mr. Mendell works for a school principal who happens to be the husband of the gay activist teacher who appeared in a No on Question 1 commercial!

If this sort of thing can happen before homosexual marriage is even legalized, can you imagine what will happen once they have the law on their side? The message is unmistakable: It’s fine to speak out if you support gay marriage, but if you speak out against it, they will punish you. It’s just the latest example that if Question 1 fails and homosexual marriage is legalized, those in power in Maine schools will push it on students just as they are trying to punish one of Maine’s best educators for supporting traditional marriage.

It is outrageous what is happening to Don Mendell. Voters need to hear about it, but we are out of money. We need to raise $25,000 right away so that we can buy more air time and inform voters about what is going on.

Will you please help us one more time?

Our polling shows the race to be very tight and there is evidence that undecided voters are starting to move our way. However, Question 1 could go either way depending on who actually votes. We’ve emptied our bank account to fund our get-out-the-vote campaign and pay for our advertising. If we can raise just $25,000 more in the next 48 hours, we can help make sure those remaining undecided voters hear about what is happening to this courageous school counselor who supports Question 1.

I know you have already sacrificed to help us, but please make a last-minute contribution right now so that we can make sure that every undecided voter knows about the latest consequence if Question 1 were to fail.

Thank you for everything you have done. Please don’t forget to vote Yes on Question 1 on Tuesday and call all your friends to do so as well. And if you have not signed up to be an Election Day volunteer, there is still time to do so! Please email doug@standformarriagemaine.com to sign up!

Marc Mutty
Campaign Chairman

Freedom Conflicts with the Gay Agenda–Persecution in Maine Begins

freedom_conflicts

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Conscience

Freedom to Believe

Homosexuals have always had the same exact rights as heterosexuals–the right to marry someone of the opposite sex.  They don’t want equality–they want special treatment–the right to discriminate against one gender or the other, in order to create a gender-specific union.

The story of Don Mendell illustrates exactly what happens when the gay agenda conflicts with freedom.  There is no tolerance for dissent.

–Beetle Blogger

See this from Maine:

STATEMENT FROM STAND FOR MARRIAGE MAINE
REGARDING THREAT TO YES ON 1 TV AD SPOKESMAN DON MENDELL

“I want to alert you to a disturbing development that confirms what we have been saying about the larger threat that redefining marriage poses to every Mainer.

“Don Mendell, one of our spokesmen who appeared in a television ad for Stand for Marriage Maine, has come under attack by our opponents.

“Don is a high school guidance counselor and licensed social worker. His appearance in the television ad prompted a complaint to the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation – requesting that his license to practice social work in the state of Maine be stripped away – simply because of his personal opinion on marriage.

“It is ironic that those who claim tolerance as their highest value prove themselves to be so intolerant that they would go so far as to threaten a father’s career and put his family’s future at risk. This latest attack highlights the true agenda of those who demand that marriage be redefined.

“No one who opposes Question 1 is in similar danger from those who support marriage between one man and one woman.

“Our opponents want to shut us down. We have no interest in limiting free speech and threatening the right of conscience for those who disagree. So who’s really intolerant?

“This attack proves that a “YES” vote next Tuesday is about much more than protecting marriage. It is also about preserving free speech, religious liberty and right of conscience and about what is taught to children.

“This threat to Don and his family’s livelihood is proof that those who demand marriage be redefined seek to punish and silence those who disagree.

“It is our hope that the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation dismisses this complaint for what it is – nonsense. The Alliance Defense Fund – a legal alliance of attorneys committed to defending the right of people to freely live out their faith – is considering potential action on behalf of Don’s fundamental liberties.

“If the people of Maine vote Yes on Question 1 to protect marriage, we have hope that free speech and religious liberty will be respected. If marriage is not protected, Don will only be the first victim.

I can’t teach about homosexuality in schools? “Give Me A Break!”

Teacher:  I can’t teach about homosexuality in schools? “Give Me A Break!”

In a teacher’s own words!  Can there be any question what will happen in our schools?  Don’t let it happen!  Get involved!  and then Vote Yes on 1!

Firefly Dove

See this from Stand for Marriage Maine:

National Public Radio interviewed Deb Allen, a Massachusetts sex education teacher, on the topic of how some teachers have responded to the teaching of sex education following the legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts. The content is chilling and should be a wake up call to all those who believe our opponents lies that gay marriage won’t be taught in Maine simply because it is not expressly required in LD 1020.

The NPR reporter tells listeners that when Massachusetts legalized gay marriage, homosexual activists went right to work developing a, “gay friendly curriculum for kindergarten and up.” The reporter notes that Allen “says the debate around gay marriage is prompting kids to ask a lot more questions like what is gay sex which Allen answers thoroughly and explicitly with a chart.”  But the most alarming quote in our ad is from Ms. Allen herself:

“I know that, OK, this is legal now. If somebody wants to challenge me I say give me a break.” — Deb Allen, Teacher

The ad actually does not tell the full extent that this teacher instructs 8th graders on gay sex. The news story shockingly reveals that students learn in detail about various ways lesbians engage in sex.

WARNING: Graphic Contents

The full NPR story is available  here.

We entrust our young children to teachers every day that we send them to school. But because marriage has always been understood as being between a man and a woman, we have not had to worry about a trusted teacher teaching our sons and daughters about a new version of marriage and all that it entails. Yet all of that could change, as it has in other states, if we do not prevail on November 3rd.

Please help us get the word to Mainers that there are real consequences if Question 1 fails.  We have been working hard to explain to Mainers that there are significant, negative consequences to legalizing same-sex marriage that reach far beyond the boundaries of the two people who simply want to “marry”. We have laid bare the fact that legal scholars from across the country including those who support gay marriage predict a new flood of lawsuits against individuals, small businesses and religious organizations who may conscientiously object to providing their services to gay couples. We have shown proof that in other states where gay marriage is legal, it is taught to young children in school. We have made it abundantly clear that such instruction is, in fact, a part of public school curriculum. We have further established and the state Department of Education is on record agreeing with us that there is absolutely nothing in LD 1020 that prevents such instruction from taking place.

Time is of the essence to make sure that all Mainers know the very real, very serious, and very negative consequences to society should Question 1 fail on November 3rd. We are counting on your continued support.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

How Many Elections?

how_many_elections_2

How Many Elections Can San Francisco Buy?

STAND FOR MARRIAGE MAINE ISSUES STATEMENT ON DISCONNECT BETWEEN OPPONENT’S FUNDRAISING AND RHETORIC

“Today’s financial reports reveal a disturbing, but unsurprising reality. Our opponents, while claiming to be the home-grown, locally supported campaign, have amassed from virtually every state in the nation a campaign fortune of more than $2 million to destroy traditional marriage in Maine.

“They don’t want to defend the teaching of homosexual marriage to young children in public schools, so they are spending millions to try to deny and deny. They don’t want to talk about individuals, small businesses and religious groups being sued for refusing to support homosexual marriage, so they are spending millions to calls us liars. And they don’t want to explain to voters why the law they sponsored and advocated strips from Maine’s marriage statutes the interests of nurturing children, so they are spending millions making the oxymoronic claim that we are trying to “harm children.”

“We have been outspent approximately $2.6 million to $1.1 million, yet the fate of Question 1 is too close to call. That goes to show that even with millions of dollars pouring in from well-heeled political elite, gay activists in Hollywood, New York, Massachusetts, or the democratic political machine, Act Blue, our messages of truthful consequences of erasing the definition of traditional marriage is resonating with Mainers.

“Mainers won’t be bought. The Maine contributors to our campaign see through our opponent’s name calling and smear tactics for what it is: an exceedingly well-funded effort from outside of Maine, yet one that simply cannot stand up against the facts we present.”

Marc Mutty, campaign chair of Stand for Marriage Maine, the official campaign of Yes on Question 1

Calling Out for Backup! A Crucial Moment in Maine

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Maine is in desperate need of financial assistance in the fight to protect marriage.  If they do not receive additional financial support soon they are at risk of losing the fight.  Your support can make all the difference.  What happens in Maine will affect the rest of the US.  Because of the support from people across the US and Canada California was able to overturn its same sex marriage ruling.  We must not stand aside now and let Stand for Marriage Maine’s efforts fail due to lack of funding.

They’re calling out for backup!  They’ve done so much with so little.  Let’s help push them over the top.  Protect Marriage!

—Beetle Blogger

Please read the message from Stand for Marriage Maine below and consider what you can do TODAY to make a difference!

standformarriagemaine

We knew we were being vastly outspent from the fact that the No on 1 campaign was able to air their advertising upwards of 50% more than our Yes on 1 campaign ads. We had a clue that the other side was awash in money because of the dozens of paid staff members they have on board their campaign. But we never dreamed the situation was as dire as it is: our opponents have raised approximately $1.6 more than we have and are conducting a financial assault on the institution of marriage. Overall, they have raised an astonishing $2.7 million from gay marriage supporters across the country!

We are in desperate need of additional financial support or we risk losing because our opponents are attempting to buy themselves an election – and destroy the institution of marriage in the process.

The latest financial reports detailing the amount of money that has come in for both sides of the Question 1 campaign shows that our committee, Stand for Marriage Maine has raised approximately $1.1 million while our opponents have raised about 2.5 times more than we have. This is an astonishing financial advantage our opponents have amassed. It explains why they were able to be on the air with ads nearly three weeks before our campaign was able to begin advertising. It explains why they can afford to operate multiple campaign headquarters. It explains how they can afford a statewide staff of field organizers and operate dozens of phone banks. And it explains why the institution of marriage is teetering on the ledge – at risk of being forever redefined in Maine. Our opponents are raising money from across the country from gay marriage supporters who see an opportunity to win their first victory at the ballot box in the history of the nation.

We cannot let them get away with this. We cannot let homosexual marriage activists from virtually every state in the nation decide that marriage will be redefined in Maine. Please don’t let our opponents succeed with this financial assault on marriage. Will you please, right now, make a generous donation to our campaign?

The good news is that even though we are being vastly outspent, we have run a financially prudent and efficient campaign. Our polling shows that we are dead-even right now and in a good position to win the campaign. Voters recall our advertising more so than the ads from the other side. We are defining Question 1 on our terms. And we know that we will win when voters come to understand the many consequences to families, children and society as a whole if same-sex marriage is legalized in Maine.

The only way our opponents can win is if they try to confuse the issue by running millions of dollars in advertising with false claims that we are lying about the consequences of legalizing homosexual marriage. They don’t want to defend the teaching of homosexual marriage to young children in public schools, so they are spending millions to try to deny and deny. They don’t want to talk about individuals, small businesses and religious groups being sued for refusing to support homosexual marriage, so they are spending millions to calls us liars. And they don’t want to explain to voters why the law they sponsored and advocated strips from Maine’s marriage statutes the interests of nurturing children, so they are spending millions making the oxymoronic claim that we are trying to “harm children.” We are trying to prevent 5, 6 and 7 year old children from being taught about homosexual marriage in school against the wishes of their parents and we are accused of “harming children?” If it weren’t so serious, this would be like describing an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ situation.

But it IS so serious. Our campaign strategists, who helped pass Proposition 8 in California and who have won dozens of initiative campaigns around the country, tell us that we cannot win if we continue to be outspent as we have to this point. It is amazing that we are still in a dead heat. We’ve had to cut our voter contact program dramatically. Every week we’ve cut our advertising budget. We’ve eliminated a statewide bus tour that we had planned for next week. We’ve had to cut back on staffing. And collateral materials. And direct mail. Our grassroots organizing has suffered.

Yet still we are in a position to pass Question 1. This is a testament to your strong support and to the common sense of average Mainers who know in their heart that marriage is worth preserving.

But let’s not fool ourselves. We have to raise more money, right now, if we are to pass Question 1. Please make a sacrificial contribution today, as if the survival of marriage depended on it. Because, quite literally, it does.

The campaign reports made available today lay bare the falsehood of our opponents’ claim that they have a homegrown, grassroots Maine-based campaign. The truth is their support has come mostly from the gay activist political elite from all corners of the nation, including Hollywood, Colorado, New York, Massachusetts, and the Democratic national political machine, Act Blue.com. They have raised money from virtually every state in the nation.

Why are homosexual marriage activists pouring money into Maine? Because never before have they been able to convince voters to approve homosexual marriage. Voters in thirty states have considered this issue, and in all thirty states they have voted to preserve traditional marriage and reject homosexual marriage. But our opponents think they can win in Maine. We are a small state. Raising millions of dollars to spend here will make a big difference. Recruiting hundreds of volunteers to come to Maine will make a big difference. And if they can win in Maine it would be historic. They will use a victory to attempt to convince the media that the mood of the nation has changed and that it is time for America to also abandon the God-created idea of marriage.

Will you let them get away with it?

So much is riding on the Question 1 election. We have three weeks left. We have three weeks to close the financial deficit we are in. We have three weeks to add to our advertising campaign. We have three weeks to buttress our grassroots operation. We have three weeks to talk to Maine voters about the importance of traditional marriage, and the consequences of abandoning it in favor of homosexual marriage.

But all this must start right now – today – and it must start with you and me. We’ve learned an important lesson. Our opponents are determined to do whatever they can to secure victory. We must respond, and respond now. It is up to you. There is no one but you. The only question is, will you be there for us when the fight for marriage needs you the most? We pray you will be.

Thank you for all your efforts to defend God’s precious institution of marriage. We look forward to your continued help. We are counting on you at this critical time.

Sincerely,

Marc Mutty
Chairman
Stand For Marriage Maine

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Jane Galt–A Libertarian View

libertarian

A Libertarian View

If this were an essay on economics, it would be the best essay on economics I’ve read in a year or more.
If this were an essay on social structures, it would be the best essay on social structures I’ve read on a year or more.
If this were an essay on conservative versus reformer mindsets, it would be the best essay on *that* that I’ve read in a year or more.
In fact, it was all three of those things, and I’m frankly stunned at how excellently you’ve made so many points in such a short space.
Bravo.

silhouette3.JPG From the desk of Jane Galt:

A really, really, really long post about gay marriage that does not, in the end, support one side or the other

Unlike most libertarians, I don’t have an opinion on gay marriage, and I’m not going to have an opinion no matter how much you bait me. However, I had an interesting discussion last night with another libertarian about it, which devolved into an argument about a certain kind of liberal/libertarian argument about gay marriage that I find really unconvincing.

Social conservatives of a more moderate stripe are essentially saying that marriage is an ancient institution, which has been carefully selected for throughout human history. It is a bedrock of our society; if it is destroyed, we will all be much worse off. (See what happened to the inner cities between 1960 and 1990 if you do not believe this.) For some reason, marriage always and everywhere, in every culture we know about, is between a man and a woman; this seems to be an important feature of the institution. We should not go mucking around and changing this extremely important institution, because if we make a bad change, the institution will fall apart.

A very common response to this is essentially to mock this as ridiculous. “Why on earth would it make any difference to me whether gay people are getting married? Why would that change my behavior as a heterosexual”

To which social conservatives reply that institutions have a number of complex ways in which they fulfill their roles, and one of the very important ways in which the institution of marriage perpetuates itself is by creating a romantic vision of oneself in marriage that is intrinsically tied into expressing one’s masculinity or femininity in relation to a person of the opposite sex; stepping into an explicitly gendered role. This may not be true of every single marriage, and indeed undoubtedly it is untrue in some cases. But it is true of the culture-wide institution. By changing the explicitly gendered nature of marriage we might be accidentally cutting away something that turns out to be a crucial underpinning.

To which, again, the other side replies “That’s ridiculous! I would never change my willingness to get married based on whether or not gay people were getting married!”

Now, economists hear this sort of argument all the time. “That’s ridiculous! I would never start working fewer hours because my taxes went up!” This ignores the fact that you may not be the marginal case. The marginal case may be some consultant who just can’t justify sacrificing valuable leisure for a new project when he’s only making 60 cents on the dollar. The result will nonetheless be the same: less economic activity. Similarly, you–highly educated, firmly socialized, upper middle class you–may not be the marginal marriage candidate; it may be some high school dropout in Tuscaloosa. That doesn’t mean that the institution of marriage won’t be weakened in America just the same.

This should not be taken as an endorsement of the idea that gay marriage will weaken the current institution. I can tell a plausible story where it does; I can tell a plausible story where it doesn’t. I have no idea which one is true. That is why I have no opinion on gay marriage, and am not planning to develop one. Marriage is a big institution; too big for me to feel I have a successful handle on it.

However, I am bothered by this specific argument, which I have heard over and over from the people I know who favor gay marriage laws. I mean, literally over and over; when they get into arguments, they just repeat it, again and again. “I will get married even if marriage is expanded to include gay people; I cannot imagine anyone up and deciding not to get married because gay people are getting married; therefore, the whole idea is ridiculous and bigoted.”

They may well be right. Nonetheless, libertarians should know better. The limits of your imagination are not the limits of reality. Every government programme that libertarians have argued against has been defended at its inception with exactly this argument.

Let me take three major legal innovations, one of them general, two specific to marriage.

The first, the general one, is well known to most hard-core libertarians, but let me reprise it anyway. When the income tax was initially being debated, there was a suggestion to put in a mandatory cap; I believe the level was 10 percent.

Don’t be ridiculous, the Senator’s colleagues told him. Americans would never allow an income tax rate as high as ten percent. They would revolt! It is an outrage to even suggest it!

Many actually fought the cap on the grounds that it would encourage taxes to grow too high, towards the cap. The American people, they asserted, could be well counted on to keep income taxes in the range of a few percentage points.

Oops.

Now, I’m not a tax-crazy libertarian; I don’t expect you to be horrified that we have income taxes higher than ten percent, as I’m not. But the point is that the Senators were completely right–at that time. However, the existence of the income tax allowed for a slow creep that eroded the American resistance to income taxation. External changes–from the Great Depression, to the technical ability to manage withholding rather than lump payments, also facilitated the rise, but they could not have without a cultural sea change in feelings about taxation. That “ridiculous” cap would have done a much, much better job holding down tax rates than the culture these Senators erroneously relied upon. Changing the law can, and does, change the culture of the thing regulated.

Another example is welfare. To sketch a brief history of welfare, it emerged in the nineteenth century as “Widows and orphans pensions”, which were paid by the state to destitute families whose breadwinner had passed away. They were often not available to blacks; they were never available to unwed mothers. Though public services expanded in the first half of the twentieth century, that mentality was very much the same: public services were about supporting unfortunate families, not unwed mothers. Unwed mothers could not, in most cases, obtain welfare; they were not allowed in public housing (which was supposed to be–and was–a way station for young, struggling families on the way to home ownership, not a permanent abode); they were otherwise discriminated against by social services. The help you could expect from society was a home for wayward girls, in which you would give birth and then put the baby up for adoption.

The description of public housing in the fifties is shocking to anyone who’s spent any time in modern public housing. Big item on the agenda at the tenant’s meeting: housewives, don’t shake your dustcloths out of the windows–other wives don’t want your dirt in their apartment! Men, if you wear heavy work boots, please don’t walk on the lawns until you can change into lighter shoes, as it damages the grass! (Descriptions taken from the invaluable book, The Inheritance, about the transition of the white working class from Democrat to Republican.) Needless to say, if those same housing projects could today find a majority of tenants who reliably dusted, or worked, they would be thrilled.

Public housing was, in short, a place full of functioning families.

Now, in the late fifties, a debate began over whether to extend benefits to the unmarried. It was unfair to stigmatise unwed mothers. Why shouldn’t they be able to avail themselves of the benefits available to other citizens? The brutal societal prejudice against illegitimacy was old fashioned, bigoted, irrational.

But if you give unmarried mothers money, said the critics, you will get more unmarried mothers.

Ridiculous, said the proponents of the change. Being an unmarried mother is a brutal, thankless task. What kind of idiot would have a baby out of wedlock just because the state was willing to give her paltry welfare benefits?

People do all sorts of idiotic things, said the critics. If you pay for something, you usually get more of it.

C’mon said the activists. That’s just silly. I just can’t imagine anyone deciding to get pregnant out of wedlock simply because there are welfare benefits available.

Oooops.

Of course, change didn’t happen overnight. But the marginal cases did have children out of wedlock, which made it more acceptable for the next marginal case to do so. Meanwhile, women who wanted to get married essentially found themselves in competition for young men with women who were willing to have sex, and bear children, without forcing the men to take any responsibility. This is a pretty attractive proposition for most young men. So despite the fact that the sixties brought us the biggest advance in birth control ever, illegitimacy exploded. In the early 1960s, a black illegitimacy rate of roughly 25 percent caused Daniel Patrick Moynihan to write a tract warning of a crisis in “the negro family” (a tract for which he was eviscerated by many of those selfsame activists.)

By 1990, that rate was over 70 percent. This, despite the fact that the inner city, where the illegitimacy problem was biggest, only accounts for a fraction of the black population.

But in that inner city, marriage had been destroyed. It had literally ceased to exist in any meaningful way. Possibly one of the most moving moments in Jason de Parle’s absolutely wonderful book, American Dream, which follows three welfare mothers through welfare reform, is when he reveals that none of these three women, all in their late thirties, had ever been to a wedding.

Marriage matters. It is better for the kids; it is better for the adults raising those kids; and it is better for the childless people in the communities where those kids and adults live. Marriage reduces poverty, improves kids outcomes in all measurable ways, makes men live longer and both spouses happier. Marriage, it turns out, is an incredibly important institution. It also turns out to be a lot more fragile than we thought back then. It looked, to those extremely smart and well-meaning welfare reformers, practically unshakable; the idea that it could be undone by something as simple as enabling women to have children without husbands, seemed ludicrous. Its cultural underpinnings were far too firm. Why would a woman choose such a hard road? It seemed self-evident that the only unwed mothers claiming benefits would be the ones pushed there by terrible circumstance.

This argument is compelling and logical. I would never become an unwed welfare mother, even if benefits were a great deal higher than they are now. It seems crazy to even suggest that one would bear a child out of wedlock for $567 a month. Indeed, to this day, I find the reformist side much more persuasive than the conservative side, except for one thing, which is that the conservatives turned out to be right. In fact, they turned out to be even more right than they suspected; they were predicting upticks in illegitimacy that were much more modest than what actually occurred–they expected marriage rates to suffer, not collapse.

How did people go so badly wrong? Well, to start with, they fell into the basic fallacy that economists are so well acquainted with: they thought about themselves instead of the marginal case. For another, they completely failed to realize that each additional illegitimate birth would, in effect, slightly destigmatise the next one. They assigned men very little agency, failing to predict that women willing to forgo marriage would essentially become unwelcome competition for women who weren’t, and that as the numbers changed, that competition might push the marriage market towards unwelcome outcomes. They failed to foresee the confounding effect that the birth control pill would have on sexual mores.

But I think the core problems are two. The first is that they looked only at individuals, and took institutions as a given. That is, they looked at all the cultural pressure to marry, and assumed that that would be a countervailing force powerful enough to overcome the new financial incentives for out-of-wedlock births. They failed to see the institution as dynamic. It wasn’t a simple matter of two forces: cultural pressure to marry, financial freedom not to, arrayed against each other; those forces had a complex interplay, and when you changed one, you changed the other.

The second is that they didn’t assign any cultural reason for, or value to, the stigma on illegitimacy. They saw it as an outmoded vestige of a repressive Victorial values system, based on an unnatural fear of sexuality. But the stigma attached to unwed motherhood has quite logical, and important, foundations: having a child without a husband is bad for children, and bad for mothers, and thus bad for the rest of us. So our culture made it very costly for the mother to do. Lower the cost, and you raise the incidence. As an economist would say, incentives matter.

(Now, I am not arguing in favor of stigmatizing unwed mothers the way the Victorians did. I’m just pointing out that the stigma did not exist merely, as many mid-century reformers seem to have believed, because of some dark Freudian excesses on the part of our ancestors.)

But all the reformers saw was the terrible pain–and it was terrible–inflicted on unwed mothers. They saw the terrible unfairness–and it was terribly unfair–of punishing the mother, and not the father. They saw the inherent injustice–and need I add, it was indeed unjust–of treating American citizens differently because of their marital status.

But as G.K. Chesterton points out, people who don’t see the use of a social institution are the last people who should be allowed to reform it:

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious. There are reformers who get over this difficulty by assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease. But the truth is that nobody has any business to destroy a social institution until he has really seen it as an historical institution. If he knows how it arose, and what purposes it was supposed to serve, he may really be able to say that they were bad purposes, that they have since become bad purposes, or that they are purposes which are no longer served. But if he simply stares at the thing as a senseless monstrosity that has somehow sprung up in his path, it is he and not the traditionalist who is suffering from an illusion.

Now, of course, this can turn into a sort of precautionary principle that prevents reform from ever happening. That would be bad; all sorts of things need changing all the time, because society and our environment change. But as a matter of principle, it is probably a bad idea to let someone go mucking around with social arrangements, such as the way we treat unwed parenthood, if their idea about that institution is that “it just growed”. You don’t have to be a rock-ribbed conservative to recognize that there is something of an evolutionary process in society: institutional features are not necessarily the best possible arrangement, but they have been selected for a certain amount of fitness.

It might also be, of course, that the feature is what evolutionary biologists call a spandrel. It’s a term taken from architecture; spandrels are the pretty little spaces between vaulted arches. They are not designed for; they are a useless, but pretty, side effect of the physical properties of arches. In evolutionary biology, spandrel is some feature which is not selected for, but appears as a byproduct of other traits that are selected for. Belly buttons are a neat place to put piercings, but they’re not there because of that; they’re a byproduct of mammalian reproduction.

However, and architect will be happy to tell you that if you try to rip out the spandrel, you might easily bring down the building.

The third example I’ll give is of changes to the marriage laws, specifically the radical relaxation of divorce statutes during the twentieth century.

Divorce, in the nineteenth century, was unbelievably hard to get. It took years, was expensive, and required proving that your spouse had abandoned you for an extended period with no financial support; was (if male) not merely discreetly dallying but flagrantly carrying on; or was not just belting you one now and again when you got mouthy, but routinely pummeling you within an inch of your life. After you got divorced, you were a pariah in all but the largest cities. If you were a desperately wronged woman you might change your name, taking your maiden name as your first name and continuing to use your husband’s last name to indicate that you expected to continue living as if you were married (i.e. chastely) and expect to have some limited intercourse with your neighbors, though of course you would not be invited to events held in a church, or evening affairs. Financially secure women generally (I am not making this up) moved to Europe; Edith Wharton, who moved to Paris when she got divorced, wrote moving stories about the way divorced women were shunned at home. Men, meanwhile (who were usually the respondents) could expect to see more than half their assets and income settled on their spouse and children.

There were, critics observed, a number of unhappy marriages in which people stuck together. Young people, who shouldn’t have gotten married; older people, whose spouses were not physically abusive nor absent, nor flagrantly adulterous, but whose spouse was, for reasons of financial irresponsibility, mental viciousness, or some other major flaw, destroying their life. Why not make divorce easier to get? Rather than requiring people to show that there was an unforgivable, physically visible, cause that the marriage should be dissolved, why not let people who wanted to get divorced agree to do so?

Because if you make divorce easier, said the critics, you will get much more of it, and divorce is bad for society.

That’s ridiculous! said the reformers. (Can we sing it all together now?) People stay married because marriage is a bedrock institution of our society, not because of some law! The only people who get divorced will be people who have terrible problems! A few percentage points at most!

Oops. When the law changed, the institution changed. The marginal divorce made the next one easier. Again, the magnitude of the change swamped the dire predictions of the anti-reformist wing; no one could have imagined, in their wildest dreams, a day when half of all marriages ended in divorce.

There were actually two big changes; the first, when divorce laws were amended in most states to make it easier to get a divorce; and the second, when “no fault” divorce allowed one spouse to unilaterally end the marriage. The second change produced another huge surge in the divorce rate, and a nice decline in the incomes of divorced women; it seems advocates had failed to anticipate that removing the leverage of the financially weaker party to hold out for a good settlement would result in men keeping more of their earnings to themselves.

What’s more, easy divorce didn’t only change the divorce rate; it made drastic changes to the institution of marriage itself. David Brooks makes an argument I find convincing: that the proliferation of the kind of extravagant weddings that used to only be the province of high society (rented venue, extravagant flowers and food, hundreds of guests, a band with dancing, dresses that cost the same as a good used car) is because the event itself doesn’t mean nearly as much as it used to, so we have to turn it into a three-ring circus to feel like we’re really doing something.

A couple in 1940 (and even more so in 1910) could go to a minister’s parlor, or a justice of the peace, and in five minutes totally change their lives. Unless you are a member of certain highly religious subcultures, this is simply no longer true. That is, of course, partly because of the sexual revolution and the emancipation of women; but it is also because you aren’t really making a lifetime commitment; you’re making a lifetime commitment unless you find something better to do. There is no way, psychologically, to make the latter as big an event as the former, and when you lost that commitment, you lose, on the margin, some willingness to make the marriage work. Again, this doesn’t mean I think divorce law should be toughened up; only that changes in law that affect marriage affect the cultural institution, not just the legal practice.

Three laws. Three well-meaning reformers who were genuinely, sincerely incapable of imagining that their changes would wreak such institutional havoc. Three sets of utterly logical and convincing, and wrong arguments about how people would behave after a major change.

So what does this mean? That we shouldn’t enact gay marriage because of some sort of social Precautionary Principle

No. I have no such grand advice.

My only request is that people try to be a leeetle more humble about their ability to imagine the subtle results of big policy changes. The argument that gay marriage will not change the institution of marriage because you can’t imagine it changing your personal reaction is pretty arrogant. It imagines, first of all, that your behavior is a guide for the behavior of everyone else in society, when in fact, as you may have noticed, all sorts of different people react to all sorts of different things in all sorts of different ways, which is why we have to have elections and stuff. And second, the unwavering belief that the only reason that marriage, always and everywhere, is a male-female institution (I exclude rare ritual behaviors), is just some sort of bizarre historical coincidence, and that you know better, needs examining. If you think you know why marriage is male-female, and why that’s either outdated because of all the ways in which reproduction has lately changed, or was a bad reason to start with, then you are in a good place to advocate reform. If you think that marriage is just that way because our ancestors were all a bunch of repressed bastards with dark Freudian complexes that made them homophobic bigots, I’m a little leery of letting you muck around with it.

Is this post going to convince anyone? I doubt it; everyone but me seems to already know all the answers, so why listen to such a hedging, doubting bore? I myself am trying to draw a very fine line between being humble about making big changes to big social institutions, and telling people (which I am not trying to do) that they can’t make those changes because other people have been wrong in the past. In the end, our judgment is all we have; everyone will have to rely on their judgment of whether gay marriage is, on net, a good or a bad idea. All I’m asking for is for people to think more deeply than a quick consultation of their imaginations to make that decision. I realize that this probably falls on the side of supporting the anti-gay-marriage forces, and I’m sorry, but I can’t help that. This humility is what I want from liberals when approaching market changes; now I’m asking it from my side too, in approaching social ones. I think the approach is consistent, if not exactly popular.

A quick extra note on gay marriage

There are a lot of libertarians who dismiss arguments about gay marriage with the declaration that the state shouldn’t be in the business of sanctifying marriage anyway. I don’t find that a particularly satisfying argument. It’s quite possibly true that in some ideal libertarian state, the government would not be in the business of defining marriages, or would merely enforce whatever creative contracts people chose to draw up. That’s a lovely discussion for a libertarian forum. However, we are confronting a major legal change that is actually happening in the country we live in, where marriage is, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, an institution in which the government is intimately involved. While I’m happy to debate about whether or not the state should define the form of marriage in my libertarian utopia, I don’t think that this is necessarily a good guide to the kinds of laws I want to see enacted in America, which in so many, many ways does not look like my utopia.

For example, in my libertarian utopia, there would be no social security. People would save for their own retirements; social insurance would be for people who had something actually unpredictable and unexpected happen to them.If there is anything more predictable than aging, I don’t want to run into it.

Does that mean that I would advocate, say, getting rid of Social Security today? Shut down the administration, turn off the check-writing machines, and tell our senior citizens to get a goddamn job?

Don’t be ridiculous. People planned their lives around this government assurance; you can’t just rip it away and let millions of people starve. You can’t just import one aspect of my libertarian utopia–no social security–without the crucial things that underpin it, like a population that knows it’s expected to save for its own retirement. Similarly, you can’t just import one feature of anarcho-capitalist life–anyone can marry anyone they want–as if all the vast social changes that an anarcho-capitalist or minarchist system would represent, are already there.

Update: A number of libertarians are, as I predicted, making the “Why don’t we just privatize marriage?” argument. I don’t find that useful in the context of the debate about gay marriage in America, where marriage is simply not going to be privatized in any foreseeable near-term future.

Also, a lot of readers are saying that I’m wrong about marriage always being between a man and a woman, citing polygamy. I have been told this is a “basic factual error.”

No, it’s not. Polygamous societies do not (at least in any society I have ever heard about) have group marriages. Men with more than one wife have multiple marriages with multiple women, not a single marriage with several wives. In fact, they generally take pains to separate the women, preferably in different houses. Whether or not you allow men to contract for more than one marriage (and for all sorts of reasons, this seems to me to be a bad idea unless you’re in an era of permanent war), each marriage remains the union of a man and a woman.

Original article found here: http://www.janegalt.net/blog/archives/005244.html

California: Benedict Arnold Signs-On to Gay Agenda “Harvey Milk Day” and Same Sex Marriage Bills BOTH SIGNED

got_milk_harvey

California: Say HELLO to State Pedophile Day and Same Sex Marriage!

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs controversial gay agenda bills mandating recognition of  “Harvey Milk Day” and same sex marriage.

After a long midnight session with legislators, Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed SB 572 legislation that appoints May 22 as “Harvey Milk Day” in California public schools AND and SB 54 that recognizes same-sex marriages performed out of state.

The signing of these two bills is a slap in the face to voters who have consistently rejected same sex marriage and pushing homosexuality in schools.

Opponents “Harvey Milk Day” were concerned that the legislation would not simply “allow schools to conduct activities that would foster respect for all” but rather pressure schools into presenting homosexuality in a positive light, gay marriage as a civil right, and those who say homosexual relations are wrong as discriminatory bigots.

Concerned parents, teachers and pro-family leaders joined the voices of thousands who had already called on the governor to veto “Harvey Milk Day”  because of it’s aim in promoting homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexuality in public schools:

“Under SB 572, schoolchildren could perform mock gay weddings, have cross-dressing contests, and have gay-pride parades right on campus. Why? Because ‘Harvey Milk Gay Day’ pressures schools to make children honor and support anything and everything that Milk believed in. The sky is the limit. And there’s no parental consent in the bill” — Randy Thomasson of SaveCalifornia.com

“Hispanic children are dropping out of school in record numbers, and now the politicians want children to learn more about the homosexual agenda, instead doing more to academically prepare them for graduation and college? That’s not just immoral, that’s crazy. Hispanic families will not put up with this.” — Luis Galdamez, Executive Director of La Familia Hispana

The Orange County Board of Education actually voted 5-0 to condemn officially condemn Harvey Milk day:

“We who are responsible for the academic achievement of thousands of children must guard and protect their best interests.  Replacing valuable classroom time with social engineering may be popular with some, but it’s certainly not the legitimate purpose of schools.”  —Dr. Ken Williams, member of the Orange County Board of Education

A second bill put forward by homosexual advocacy groups was also signed by the Governor.   SB 54 is the most flagrant violation of the people’s will to date:

“SB 54 requires the state of California to validate and recognize same-sex marriages performed outside the state of California prior to November 5, 2008.  The bill specifically violates Article I, Section 7.5 of the California Constitution which states “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”—California Family Council

The People spoke by the millions during the Proposition 8 election last year and by millions before during Proposition 22.  Twice by vote and now by Constitutional amendment, the Constitution of California recognizes marriage as between one man and one woman.

SB 54 started off as a healthcare bill but was summarily gutted and amended into a new bill that recognizes same sex marriages from out of state. It was completely stripped inside and out and re-written to be a gay rights bill.

The gutting and amending of SB 54 allowed this controversial bill to pass to a full floor vote after going through only one committee hearing.  It’s wrong for such a controversial bill to  go through only a partial vetting without the opportunity for maximum public input.

After months of protesting, faxing, calling, and petitioning in opposition to these two bills, the governor has turned his back on voters, families and the state’s most vulnerable— our children.

–Beetle Blogger

Obama’s Chai Feldblum: Gay Sex is Morally Good, Government has a Duty to Promote

President Barack Obama’s nominee Chai R. Feldblum for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission proclaims that, “Gay sex is morally good.” Further in the video she suggests the government has a duty to promote homosexuality, and it is as good as heterosexuality.

Equality is a weapon??  Homosexuality morally good?   And the government has a duty to promote it??

Chai Feldblum believes that these LGBT rights should come even at the expense of religious liberties!  This woman has no place being in government.

Now, I don’t mind wacky people having wacky ideas, or even spouting their wacky ideas in public, but when people like this are being put into positions of power like this, that is when my alarm bells start going off.

As columnist Joseph Farah said:

“Every once in a while Americans need to be reminded just how dark the dark side really is. And we are getting that reminder today. It’s been a wake-up call for millions – and we needed it.  No sane person could watch this spectacle in Washington unfold and believe it represents anything less than the total unraveling of the fabric of American decency and morality.

This is the dark side coming to power.  Could anyone have expected that this was the “change” Obama would bring?

Tea party! Rally! Write letters! Blog! Call reps, talk shows, any avenue possible to stand for decency and morality.  It’s time to bring the change back.

—Beetle Blogger

More on Chai Feldblum’s radical positions:

EEOC nominee equates ‘two sisters living together’ with married couple
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE….

‘Gay’ sex morally good, says Obama pick
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE….

Chai R. Feldblum Endorsed Polygamy
http://www.catholic.org/politics/stor…

Chai R. Feldblum “Gay Sex Is Equal To Heterosexual Sex”
http://www.catholic.org/politics/stor…

White House Announces Chai R. Feldblum
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_o…

Obama nominee praised polygamy
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE….

Blogs
http://www.weaselzippers.net/blog/200…

http://www.lonelyconservative.com/200…

Commentary
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE….

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