Marriage and Civil Unions
Question: “How does a same-sex ‘marriage’ threaten your marriage?”
Questions surrounding the redefinition of marriage must be addressed in a broader context than what it does to help or harm “you” or “me.” Framing a question in this manner denies that marriage has any grand, unifying, or sustained role in society.
Also, this type of question could be used in an attempt to justify almost anything. How does vandalism or graffiti affect you? Maybe not at all. We’re not talking about one marriage…we must contemplate the combined effects of redefining marriage on a nation of more than 300 million people. We must be willing to debate the drastic and irretrievable consequences for the future of marriage, family, and child-raising.
Declaring that gender doesn’t matter in redefining marriage will have, and already DOES have, great effect upon adoptions, family law, divorce law, child custody, public schools, and religious freedom. Also, such a declaration will logically require this viewpoint to be taught in public schools…whether a parent wants their child to receive such teaching or not. The cumulative effect of these factors will contribute to the overall erosion of marriage and family.
If same sex “marriage” became law, it would be doubtful and difficult for a judge or agency to give preference to placing a child with a mother and a father. Courts and agencies would be compelled to comply with politically correct notions of family and gender, impairing them from making a decision that would be in the best interest of children.
Claim: “Civil unions” are a good compromise between “gay marriage” and “traditional marriage”!
“Civil unions” or “domestic partner” legislation, which grants all the legal benefits of marriage, weakens the institution of marriage. In France, Denmark, and Germany—and other countries that have developed versions of “civil unions” or “civil solidarity pacts” for same-sex couples—heterosexual couples have taken advantage of these arrangements to forgo the legal responsibilities of traditional marriage and enter into temporary arrangements. (See David Frum, “The Fall of France,” National Review, November 8, 1999, and Chris Crain, “Gays May Ruin Traditional Marriage,” New York Blade, August 3, 2001.)
In Scandinavia, the traditional family has been radically redefined and the number of children born out of wedlock has skyrocketed. This is important because those who seek to enjoy the legal benefits of marriage, without the commitment of marriage, can come and go as they please—resulting in family instability and increasing illegitimacy rates and other problems. Children are the big losers when the traditional family is radically redefined.
Finally, in a study done by the University of Vermont—and funded by a homosexual activist foundation—79 percent of married heterosexuals felt that monogamy was right, compared to 50 percent of homosexuals in “civil unions” (which provide almost all of the legal privileges of marriage). Both of these statistics are troubling but highlight the illusion that same-sex unions will provide stable homes.
If the door is opened to same-sex “marriage,” other groups—such as polygamists—will demand that their unions be legally recognized as well. Such challenges are already in court.
Therefore, while the “civil union” compromise would seem to protect the institution of marriage, in practice it would only weaken the it.
Question: “Why do you oppose civil unions or domestic partnerships as well? All that does is give some rights and benefits to same-sex couples like hospital visitation and health coverage.”
First, the “hospital visitation” issue referenced in this question is a sham. In most states, hospital visitation can be solved with simple forms that don’t even require a lawyer. Regarding health coverage, rather than attempting to elevate same-sex “marriage” or domestic partnership, employers could be encouraged to allow an employee to extend benefits to an additional person of their choice. This could enable many people to take better care of family members in need.
Claim: All homosexual couples want are the legal benefits of marriage. They are not looking for anything else.
On the contrary, consider what homosexual activists say: “We can win the freedom to marry. We can seize the terms of the debate, tell our diverse stories, engage the non-gay persuadable public, enlist allies, work the courts and the legislatures in several states, and achieve a legal breakthrough within five years. This won’t just be a change in the law either; it will be a change in society. For if we do it right, the struggle to win the freedom to marry will bring much more along the way.” — Homosexual Activist Evan Wolfson, quoted in “All Together Now,” The Advocate, September 11, 2001
“[You should] fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits, and then, once granted, redefine the institution of marriage entirely. The most subversive action lesbians and gay men can undertake is to transform the notion of ‘family’ entirely.”— Homosexual Activist Michelangelo Signorile, “Bridal Wave,” OUT, December 1993 – January 1994
“[We] will dethrone the traditional family based on blood relationships in favor of the families we choose.”— Homosexual Activist William Eskridge, “The Case for Same-Sex Marriage,” 1996
Openly homosexual author Andrew Sullivan has admitted that most homosexual men’s “understanding of the sexual commitment in a marriage is considerably broader than what nearly all heterosexual couples would tolerate.” He adds that homosexual men have a need for “extramarital outlets” and same-sex “marriage” will make adultery more acceptable for all married couples. (See Andrew Sullivan, “Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality,” 1995.)
Question: My state passed a Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), so aren’t we protected from being forced to recognize same-sex “marriages” in our state?
Homosexual activists have pointed out that they will continue to wed in Massachusetts (where same-sex “marriage” has been legalized)—or any other place where same-sex “marriage” is allowed—and come home and file a constitutional challenge to state and federal DOMA laws, stating these laws violate the Equal Protection clause of the United States Constitution.
The matter could most likely reach the United States Supreme Court which might strike down all of the state defense of marriage laws.
Privacy and Rights
Question: “Why shouldn’t same-sex couples have the same rights as everyone else? They just want to marry the person they love.”
Since the birth of humankind, people have shown love for one • another, been attracted to one another, found companions and offered mutual care without demanding a fundamental redefinition of marriage.
People who are engaged in homosexual behavior already have the • “right” to be married. What they are demanding is that marriage be redefined to validate their sexual choices, no matter what effect those choices may have on society.
It’s important to remember that the ability to marry “the person I love” is already legally restricted in many ways beyond same-sex attraction. Here are a few examples:
- A person cannot marry someone who is already married, just because they love him or her.
- Someone who is already married cannot find a third person to marry.
- A person cannot marry an immediate blood relative.
- A person cannot marry multiple spouses.
- If same-sex marriage is legalized, these sensible and important restrictions can no longer be reasonably prohibited by law.
Question: “Why are you against equal rights for “gay people”? Why do you want to make ‘gay people’ second-class citizens?”
We are not “against” people, nor are we “making” people become second-class citizens. By pushing to redefine marriage, what same-sex “marriage” advocates are asking for is not “equal rights”… rather, they are demanding that society as a whole accept their viewpoint that gender doesn’t matter.
Question: “Denying same-sex couples their fundamental rights is bigoted. How is this any different than when African-Americans were denied their rights in the `60’s?”
It’s unreasonable, if not contemptible, to compare same-sex “marriage” to the civil rights struggle of African-Americans. Race is clearly immutable, whereas homosexual behavior is not. This is supported by the numerous examples of individuals who have abandoned their homosexual behavior and reinforced by the fact there has been no comprehensive medical study affirming that there is a genetic predisposition for it.
Question: “How can you possibly claim same-sex ‘marriage’ would impact religious freedom?”
It is not a claim – it has already happened. Here are just two examples that ADF is litigating:
The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association ministry is being prosecuted by the New Jersey Civil Rights Commission for discrimination because it refused to allow two same-sex couples to use one of its places of worship for a lesbian civil union ceremony. ADF attorneys are defending the ministry’s First Amendment right to use its property in a manner consistent with its Christian beliefs.
Elaine Huguenin, a photographer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, received a request from a woman asking her to photograph her “commitment ceremony” with her same-sex partner. Because of her deeply held Christian beliefs, Elaine respectfully declined. The women filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission, which—in a stunning rejection of Elaine’s most basic constitutional liberties—found her guilty of “sexual orientation discrimination” and ordered her business, Elane Photography, to pay nearly $7,000 in attorneys’ fees. ADF has filed an appeal in state court on Elaine’s behalf.
Thus, the demands regarding same-sex “marriage” have already impacted religious freedom. It takes little imagination to see the far-reaching effect this will have on freedom of religion if marriage were to be redefined.
Question: “As long as they are not forcing churches to perform and/or recognize the union, then what difference does it make?”
As indicated in prior answers, marriage has more than a religious component. Additionally, religious freedom could be harmed in numerous ways that stop short of forcing churches to perform ceremonies. Could a church be forced to rent an adjacent hall or room for a same-sex “marriage”? Would public school children be subject to lessons regarding same-sex “marriage” and same-sex sexual acts as a form of “sex education”? Could a pastor be criminally charged with “hate speech” for preaching on homosexual behavior? Based on cases that ADF is already familiar with or engaged in, the answer to each question is “yes.”
Question: “Why do heterosexuals think they can love and raise children and families
better than I can? How dare they judge me and my fitness as a parent or loving partner!”
The defense of marriage doesn’t “judge” the fitness of individuals that practice homosexual behavior – instead, marriage recognizes the distinct differences between men and women and reinforces the truth that both genders/sexes bring different gifts and talents to family life. Fabricating same-sex “marriage” ensures that children will have either a motherless or fatherless home.
We consider it a tragedy when a child loses a mother or a father due to accident or disease. Same sex “marriage” advocates are asking society to permanently deprive a child of a mother or a father. Why would a loving same-sex couple knowingly and permanently deprive a child of a mother or a father? Which one is not necessary?
Those who demand same-sex “marriage” have judged that the genders have no real meaning – in short, that they are interchangeable and replaceable.
Claim: Same-sex “marriage” will not hurt you or your family, why should you care?
Once same-sex “marriages” are legally recognized, activist organizations will no longer have to “encourage” schools to teach that homosexual behavior is acceptable, it could be law to do so. Organizations such as GLSEN (The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educational Network) have specifically targeted the public schools to push the homosexual agenda. Their elementary school lesson plans include titles such as “What is Boy/Girl?” and “Freedom to Marry.”
GLSEN also circulates promotional materials that advise students to regard those who have “shown intolerance” of homosexual behavior as “your opponents.” Among potential opponents are relatives.”
GLSEN also encourages schools and teachers to read books such as Heather Has Two Mommies and One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dads, Blue Dads to children. Same-sex “marriage,” “civil unions,” or “domestic partner arrangements” all accomplish one thing: the weakening of traditional marriage and the family. If allowed to continue, the societal costs for children and grandchildren would be profound.