• Shelby Warmbrodt
  • 10 Gay Rights Controversies in 3 Months: I Can Get Mad Now, Right?
10 Gay Rights Controversies in 3 Months: I Can Get Mad Now, Right?
Contributor
Written by
Shelby Warmbrodt
November 2011
Contributor
Written by
Shelby Warmbrodt
November 2011

I know nobody likes it when a minority brings up minority rights issues. But this thing happened. People who think that gays shouldn't get married because respectable relationships are between a lady and a dude, I'll call them the pro-traditional marriage side, met up with me one day (metaphorically, I mean). And they said, "Man, look, this is such a thorny issue, and pretty much every debate becomes a slap fight. So how about you not complain about it, I not complain about it, and when we do, we stick to the facts and let the best man win in politics?" And I said "Yeah, cool, I only wanted to write about the high-brow stuff like the meaning of life and poop jokes anyway. Don't got time for that." So we shook hands and went our separate ways. And whatever gay rights squabble usually flared up among the crazies, and were few and far between. So I kept my end of the bargain, only moaning and whining to my girlfriend, and just keeping the peace.

And then a couple days ago, after the recent sentencing of Brandon McInerney for the shooting of his gay classmate, Larry King, traditional marriage advocate Bryan Fischer blameed the murder not on the mental stability of both the students, lax security, or faulty bullying prevention policy, but the school for not forbidding Larry King from displaying his sexuality. Right when Australian Christian Democratic Party candidate released a video claiming that LGBT people want to get married just so they can destroy monogamy the day before. Which was on the same day Jennifer Roback Morse launched a radio interview blaming gay people for getting upset when people criticize their families at the Thanksgiving dinner table. And then two days before that, pro-traditional marriage advocate Frank Turek dedicated an entire portion of his radio program comparing and paralleling transgender and gay people to pedophiles and child rapists. And the week before, when various high-profile pro-traditional marriage organizations, proponents, and websites ran the gamut from implying gay rights advocates will push for legal sex in public parks, to claiming that gay people and same-sex marriage proponents "want to rip Genesis out of our bibles", to criticizing gay couples who want to adopt, calling the children to be fostered or adopted to them "human guinea pigs" that have been taken away from their real parents

I'm not exactly sure when or where it started, but for the past three months or so, there has been gay rights controversy after gay rights controversy, most of which end with LGBT people and gay rights activists taking the blame for the entire issue by virtue of existing and/or wanting to be treated like people and not dots on the Kinsey Scale. So the argument is getting farther and farther off topic from tradition and religious rights and biology and sexual ethics to smearing gay people as underhanded, bullying, disgusting, and worthy of public scorn and persecution. With everything that's been happening, I'm realizing that the longer I sit here and wait for either the dust to settle or for the traditional marriage side to realize they look like their idiots, dust off their clothes, and say they're sorry, the longer I'm going to have to deal with being equated to a child molester, a social terrorist, and someone who wants to get married just so I can open a gateway to incestuous group farm animal marriage. I've already been accused of such at least twice per point within the last two weeks.

So to the big names of these pro-traditional marriage organizations, if you're going back on your end of the deal, I'm back out too. I've created a small sampler of the most petty, irrelevant, and insulting barbs and slings I've had to stomach the last quarter of the year, which is a fraction of all the crap I've had to sit through. I'm certainly not expecting an apology, even though I'd appreciate one, but do try to look this over; with elections, the New Year, and many significant federal cases all knocking at our door, I'd suggest taking your arguments from an angle that makes you appear a little more adult.

1) The Connecticut Gay Kiss Controversy

Speaking of pettyness, a production of Hartford High School in Connecticut put on a play to encourage in-school diversity back in October. But instead of sleeping through it like any decent American youth, several students, mostly football players, walked out of the auditorium in outrage and disgust. Take a wild guess why.

In high school drama terms, the significance of this is somewhere between the senior prank last year when someone set a raccoon loose in the teacher's lounge, and the bitchy head cheerleader caught drinking on Homecoming. But a lot of parents of the students, as well as PTM activists, made a big stink on how the diversity program went to far. This is what gay marriage will lead to, ladies and gentlemen--your seventeen year old watching a peck on the lips between two more-likely-than-not heterosexual young men during a campy high school musical. You can already hear the seven trumpets blowing.

Gina Barreca has already written an excellent article calling out both the gender-hypocrisy and the unnecessary panic surrounding the issue. But if I may weigh in for a moment--these kids are high schoolers. I'm willing to bet the varsity quarterback's innocence to human sexuality has been permanently marred by seeing a couple of drama kids smooch on stage. My bet's that what was going through the mind of our youth was a generous 5% tainting of childhood, maybe 1% moral outrage, and 94% EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW GAAAAAAAAAAAY.

And on a side note: nothing against these guys for walking out on a performance? I'd be a huge jerk if I just booed and walked out of the stadium in disgust if our team was losing, or even if I saw the head cheerleader back on the team after getting busted. Where's moral outrage on us Drama Kid's behalf, brudda?

2) Dakota Ary's Suspension Arguments

Depending on what media source you use, this story could go in two different directions. Back in late September, Dakota Ary, a student at Fort Worth, Texas was suspended for three days after being sent to the office for telling his bud in the middle of his German Class class that he thinks homosexuality is a sin. Not exactly a pleasant stance to take right in the middle of a class discussion, but when his punishment consisted of three days of out-of-school suspension, a lot of people thought it was a little too much, and after a lot of outrage, his suspension was reduced, and not put on his permanent record. However, later reports indicated that the Ary, was actually reported to have engaged in repeated bullying and harassment of his German teacher, Kristopher Franks, who is himself gay, and that this incident was merely the last attack the man could take.

The investigation has a lot of people's hands tied, and with all my Google-Fu, I can't find any recent news on either aspect of the case. So I can't offer any set-in-stone factual accusations against it, other than the uncomfortable feeling that there's something really big that we're missing. But if there's one thing I can complain about free of controversy, it's the argument that his Mom, Holy Pope, used to counter the claims against her son:

At first, I was kind of in disbelief, because my son is an honor's student. He's in football, and he gets great grades, and I don't ever have any problems out of him.

Lady, your kid's not in the NFL yet. He's gotta wait before he can use his sports prowess to dismiss any alleged human rights abuses. Hey, and wait just a minute! When did being an honors student ever give you so much of a chance of getting away with anything? I was an honor's student, and I couldn't say "damn" in the hallway without all eyes turning on me in disaproving shock.

I really hate this argument whenever it comes up. You get it all the time in rape cases and other incidents of student bullying, where parents and faculty will think that just because a kid gets good grades or is on a sports team, it somehow negates him or her from any consequences of their actions. Because Straight-A students and people in respectable positions never, ever, ever commit any punishable offenses. Ever.

3) The Prop 8 Red Tape

If I were a betting lady, I'd say that the reasons I have this huge list in the first place is because of backlash against a lot of high-profile gay rights cases making their way through the system: The Prop 8 Case, the Respect for Marriage Act, and gay service members suing the government over the Defense of Marriage Act (which the Respect for Marriage Act is working to repeal). But it's hard to contest a bill already being debated in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and most consider it bad form to kick around military personnel when they, you know, ask for their rights from the country they're risking their lives for. But the Prop 8 case, one that would overturn a populace-elected reversal of Gay Marriage in California? Ooooh, easy target.

As a little background, when the case was tried in State Supreme Court as Perry v. Schwarzenegger, it was an embarrassing failure for the defense. I know I sound biased off my ass, but the defense case presented only two witnesses, one who got his material from a gay conversion therapist caught with a rent boy, the other one, not kidding, knowing nothing about the issue he was supposed to testify in, and getting most of his material from the proponents counsel. The judge ruled in favor of the prosecutors, and all hell broke loose for the pro-traditionalists. They appealed to the 9th circuit, which has recently determined that they had standing. And as the defense finds witnesses who aren't gargling idiots, the only thing they can do is stall.

The defense case has tried to exploit every loophole available to either slow the case or win by legal default. They tried to get Judge Vaughn Walker, who presided over the case, to vacate his position when word got out that he was gay and was living with his partner for ten years, thus having a vested interest in the case. Never mind that if he wanted to get married, he could have when doing so was still legal. And that vacating positions is usually done if the judge has financial incentives to the case. And the implications are that only white heterosexual males have the right to rule on minority cases, which is, you know, horrible.

And then there was the tapes. Despite the defense insisting that the majority of Californians were on their side, and indeed, siting it as one of their biggest reasons that the courts had a right to rule in their favor, they have viciously attacked any attempts to make the recordings of the trial public, siting fears of harassment for their witnesses. Not to say that harassment is anything to be sneezed at, but when the transcripts have been open to the public for months, with several successful re-enactments completed for almost a year, and the names and places of professions of both witnesses can easily be looked up on Wikipedia, the argument is weak at kindest, insulting the intelligence of humanity at worst. With the recent ruling of the tapes to made public, and their unsealing due after a review in the 9th district, complaints of harassment charges have recently respawned. What, did the defense council keep making rude faces into the camera during arguments? What are they scared of here?

4) Lying About The Respect for Marriage Act Being Forced Through The Senate

I seriously can't believe the PTM side got away with this one. One meme that thundered through pro-traditional marriage circles last week was that Senator Dianne Feinstein of California and other Democrats in the Senate were trying to push the Respect for Marriage Act through the senate by attaching it to the 2012 military budget. Senator Feinstein, the Human Rights Campaign, and other news sources have called this out as completely and utterly false, and many were left wondering which bodily organ the gang managed to pull this one out from. Amusingly, according to a report on the LGBT news, activism, and commentary site, Good As You, it's been suggested that the rumor started from hearsay from Focus on the Family, and was garbled all the way through pro-traditional blogs like a game of telephone, until it lead to the infamous press release on the National Organization for Marriage's blog. 

Lying and neglecting to fact check your information about a large-scale federal issue is inexcusable, but there are two other annoying ironies to this. First, earlier this month, Michelle Bachmann, a 2012 presidential hopeful (who has been supported by NOM in the past), and Republican Senator Steve King made a push for an amendment to be put on the National Defense Authorization that would forbid gay weddings in military facilities, i.e. more or less the exact opposite of what they claimed Feinstein tried to do. Second, instead of apologizing or admitting they were wrong, NOM released a press later stating the HRC and the House Speaker "have responded [to our efforts] by backing down", as if to imply that they stopped something that didn't exist in the first place.

This isn't just a violation of media ethics; it's what any journalist would have had beaten out of them in a 101 class. But what makes me really angry is that other than a couple of LGBT blogs, nobody is jumping on this. It's been out of the gate for a couple weeks now, and this is the news blog of one of the highest-profile traditional marriage organizations. This isn't a liberty that most organizations get to walk away from with no consequence.

5) Attempts to repeal SB 48

Okay, so what was your first introduction to dealing with race and diversity issues when you were going to Elementary School? Something along the lines of "Martin Luther King Jr. was a great man, and you shouldn't be mean to African Americans", and "'Nihao' is how you say 'hello' in Chinese", right? Well, Senate Bill 48, also called the "Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act" wants to add LGBT people and people with disabilities to the history curriculum of Californian School. So kids are going to learn about Harvey Milk, that FDR needed to hide his polio in photographs because people were mean to the disabled (which you shouldn't be), the fact that gay people exist, and that's pretty much it. But "they'll teach our kids about gay stuff in school" has been one of the biggest talking points that pro-traditional marriage advocates use to scare people away from letting gay people get married, teach in our school, raise kids, wearing their shirt unbuttoned, etc. So uproar was unavoidable. 

And that is pretty much their entire argument against the bills passing--that children will learn in public school that gay people exist and we shouldn't hate them. And proponents of the bill's dismissal use this argument over and over again, with slightly different flavors. They range from exaggerated and inaccurate:

SB 48 will use all social science curriculum, including history books and other instructional materials, to teach children as young as five not only to accept but also to endorse transgenderism, bisexuality, and homosexuality.

-StopSB48.com

to the offensive

Do you think impressionable children as young as five ought to be indoctrinated with these lifestyles?

-Tony Perkins, Family Research Council Video

to the sickeningly offensive

[SB 48] Violates the innocence of 9 million Californian children...Borders on psychological abuse by promoting gender confusion, experimentation and undermining rightful parental authority...Sexualizes all school material unnecessarily...

-Concerned Parents United, "How SB-48 Effects Children"  

What the hell do these people think these kids are going to be taught? A huge part of our equal opportunity educational system is to provide material that will challenge students, but stay away from anything children aren't equipped to handle. It's not like when we teach Elementary Schoolers about Black History Month, we teach them about the Chicago Race Riot or Malcolm X, or hell, black people having sex, so what motivation could any school have for applying LGBT history any differently?

And disabled history, by pure coincidence I'm sure, is always left out of the debate. Guess they're out of luck. 

Thankfully, there's good news with this one. The petition proposed to null this bill needed 750,000 signatures, and as it was lacking at least 500,000 before it got a deadline extention, it failed miserably. Still, the people at Stop SB 48 vow to try again this winter, this time under a ballot initiative, which will cost a lot more money and need more signatures. So we get another semester of these charming arguments. Lucky us.

6) The Marriage Anti-Defamation League

When it comes to the grand history of human rights abuses, turning the abusers into the victims is one of the oldest tricks in the book. McCarthyism came into being when everyone thought the communists were literally everywhere, adamantly trying to destroy the country from within. The Ku Klux Klan's formation was a few southerners's feeling like their entire way of life would be undermined if they joined the union and black people were allowed to live on their own. Even Hitler's bullcrap is a lot easier to swallow when you're starving to death and he's blaming the loss of your job on anyone who isn't blond, blue-eyed, and German. 

So while nowhere near as extreme, violent, and all-around morally reprehensible as the previous examples, there is a blooming organization under the same philosophy of "boo-hoo, these people exist, and if we attack and call them sub-par human beings, people get mad and tell us to stop". The Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance is the latest pet-project of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), and it's purpose is to raise awareness against all the victims of the gay rights movement--mostly people being fired for breaking the law or calling gay people disgusting, morally-bankrupt freakshows under a company banner.

One of the first stories that they covered on their daring exposition is the story of Dr. Frank Turek, an author and motivational speaker. About last year, it was discovered that he wrote and published a book called Correct, Not Politically Correct: How Same Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone. In this book, it is argued that homosexual behavior is inherently destructive, that letting gay people get married would destroy the lives of children, adults, and homosexual people themselves, that every gay person ever actually doesn't want to get married and is just doing all this to get your goat, that the sinister motivation behind the gay rights movement is gay people wanting to be treated like equal and dignified human beings (you saw right through us), and in the very first chapter claimed that the reason a couple he was acquainted with lost their son to AIDS was because, wait for it, they accepted him "acting on his homosexual feelings" 

And this is what the cover looks like.

TOO SUBTLE?

So after getting wind of this, two companies who hired him for team building and presentations, CISCO and Bank of America, decided to let Turek go. The HR directors, bleeding heart that they were, felt Turek my not be the best man to get to be a motivational speaker, what with him publishing a book slyly implying a number of their employeess are destroying the world. 

Of course, the video itself makes sure that Turek is shown to be the tragic victim that he is. Even the person who turned him in was crying tears of regret, and a whole crowd of adoring fans were watching him walk bravely out of the conference room and into the sunset. And the camera pans dramatically over his "BEST EMPLOYEE IN THE UNIVERSE BY FAR AND FOREVER AND EVER" 2010 award (because once again, people who get awards are immune from any ramifications of human rights violations), as Turek tearfully closes, "if we don't speak up, we'll lose our ability to make a living in this country" And there's a button on the page leading to a story featuring "The Bank of Gay America".

The site is horrible, and it actually features a lot of stories I have on my grievance list. But like the poor abused voice of Frank Turek, each one needs deserves special, individualized attention.

7) Town Clerks Refusing to Sign Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

As I've said, most strides in the gay rights movement inevitably spark a backlash, and states legalizing same-sex marriage is no exception. When Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage in 2003, 15 states put an amendment in their state constitutions declaring same-sex marriage illegal, despite DOMA insuring that it was already illegal anyway. When California legalized same-sex marriage, it was put on the ballot six months later and quickly ruled off. But by the time my beloved home state of New York legalized gay marriage in June, every state that could put a constitutional ban already did, and there was little chance of repealing the bill before the election, as polling has shown that the people of New York State have supported gay marriage, both before and after it was legalized.Thus, the latest example of backlash is simultaneously the cleverest and stupidest solution I've ever seen: just refuse to sign those dirty homosexualist papers.

Three marriage license clerks, Ruth Sheldon, Laura Fotusky, and Rose Marie Belforti, have all refused to sign same-sex marriage licenses, citing it against their religious beliefs. The former two have quit their job because it, the later has instructed a deputy clerk do the job for her. Traditional marriage activists have painted these women as modern martyrs, and blamed the evils of the equality movement, as the big bad gays grabbed each women by the arms and hauled her out of the courthouse, deaf to their pleas and tears of righteousness.

I'm not knocking religious exemptions; forcing someone to do something against their religious creed is a cruel and unforgivable. But these people took jobs as envoys of the state, so they serve, first and foremost, the will of the law itself. People who are in jobs like county clerks or other government service positions serve as the limbs of a higher government so that the population has a human connection to that agent. To pass legal judgement over the citizens of the district they represent, therefore, is the polar opposite of their job description. And really jerkish. There's a reason they're called civil servant positions, not civil judge-jury-and-executioner positions. It's never pleasant to consider quitting your job because the nature of it has changed, but that's the sad facts of the biz, as they say. 

And now that's out of the way: what sense does this make at all? Where is it even implied that by signing a dirt-dry legal document in a position you can get into if you get a high enough score on a spelling test that you're giving you're own personal approval for this? It's not like people who have to sign death certificates are giving their personal thumbs up every time a guy snuffs it. It's not like a guy can refuse to license your car if he really hates the Mustang.

8) Repealing the New Hampshire Marriage Bill

This one is so insulting, it's existence provides far better commentary than I could create. In New Hampshire, there's a bill making its way through legislation that would repeal the same-sex marriage law that's been in effect for what's close to two years, replacing it instead with civil unions that can be acquired by any two adults, even if they're related to each other. If this wasn't backhandedly insulting enough, unlike the previous civil unions gay couples could obtain before the marriage law, this one has a clause saying any third party may refuse to recognize these unions for any reason on any grounds, whether religiously, publicly, or occupationally. So yeah, instead of applying for a marriage license, gay couples in New Hampshire would be applying for a contract to let everyone else legally discriminate against their partnerships.

I could go on about a legal movement to take rights away from a minority, or question the justification of this law to begin with, or point out the hypocrisy of working legislation turning legal marriage into a cheap joke was what traditional marriage advocates have said that gay marriage will do to them, but again, all self-explanatory. What I will say is that if that if this law goes through, and it somehow leads to incestuous marriage down the line, another thing the pro-traditional side says gay marriage will do, don't come crying to me, bro.

9) The Viki Knox Incident

I commend the Union Township High School in New Jersey for not firing Viki Knox on the spot, even with the tremendous media and local pressure to do so. I further commend them for giving her due process, as she should be given, and engaging in a full investigation before passing any judgement. And even though her infamous string of Facebook comments, of which she complained about an LGBT History poster in school, and eventually just LGBT people themselves, was long, angry, and confrontational to anyone who spoke against her, I think being long, angry, and confrontational alone is something she should not be fired for. 

What I do think she should be fired for is treating her students and fellow faculty members like complete crap. Like this quote:

Did she really have to say in my presence, "She's such a good wife!" about her partner?!? Seriously!!!

Not to mention:

As I 15 yr old girl, how many positive fulfilling sexual encounters has she had with a man to know or THINK she wants to only have sex with another female...I haven't run across any teenagers/young adults fortunate enough to be introduced to sexual relations by professionals: gigolo and escorts.

Oh yes, and who can forget:

Why parade your unnatural immoral behaviors before the rest of us? AND YOU ARE WRONG! I/WE DO NOT HAVE TO ACCEPT ANYTHING, ANYONE, ANY BEHAVIOR OR ANY CHOICES! I DO NOT HAVE TO TOLERATE ANYTHING OTHERS WISH TO DO. 

And between the usual charming comments, such as "homosexuality is a perverted spirit that has existed from the beginning of creation", and that it "spreads like cancer", and coming off the heals of New Jersey's recent anti-bullying laws...yeah.

The school's continuing to investigate whether or not Viki's opinions have made their way into her classroom setting, but when she comments that she doesn't have to tolerate anything others wish her to, when she's supposedly had diversity training, things aren't looking too promising. Either way, when a teacher openly condemns gay students in the middle of LGBT history month, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But it does provide the perfect segue into what pisses me off the most about the recent movement against gay rights.

10) Treating Kids Like Dirt

The oldest, most inaccurate, and most offensive argument against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, and against all of the rights they should be guaranteed, is that LGBT people hurt children either by sexual abuse or just generally being creepy, and are indeed actively trying to hurt children for their sport. Take, for example, the whole issue with the Catholic Charities of Illinois. After a state mandate that would cut funding unless they adopted to gay couples, Catholic Charities decided to shut down their operation rather than comply. If you don't follow state protocol, you don't get state funding: pretty cut and dry, right? But NOM, gifted as it is to claim victim hood at the drop of the hat, released this statement earlier in November:

The new gay "rights" agenda includes the right to deprive children of loving foster homes, if those homes are found by religious adoption agencies which refuse to do gay adoptions...The intentions of too many in the gay-marriage movement is becoming crystal clear. This kind of shutdown of Christian foster agencies is not a side effect of "equality", including "marriage equality"--it's part of the point.

Of course. The gays want to hunt down orphanages and burn them to the ground. And in other news, HEY MORONS. Gay rights groups didn't pressure Catholic Charities to close. They chose do do itThe legal problems here can be controversial, yes, and they can push the gray area between federal ordain and religious right, but gay people and rights advocates had jack nothing to do with the shutdown of the agencies. All these couples wanted was to adopt children, and Catholic Charities refused. And when they would lose funding unless they complied with state law to do their job and place children with loving and eager couples, it voluntarily shut down rather than do so. This is not a matter of opinion. It's a fact. And the National Organization for Marriage has the gall throw all the blame squarely on the gay rights movement's shoulders.   

But that's just one thing. Despite this insistence that gay rights are coming at the cost of the safety and security of children, some of the worst mistreatment I've seen has come from the exact same groups claiming that they're trying to protect them. In response to the GLSEN's Day of Silence to protest the harassment and bullying of LGBT students, Focus on the Family created a "Day of Truth" day, "to speak against the homosexual agenda", and encouraged students to pass out cards promoting conversion therapy. The Family Research council has sent out a pamphlet condemning anti-gay bullying prevention programs in school, claiming gay rights activists manipulated bullying statistics, "To raise an entire new generation of young people who will have an unquestioning acceptance pro-homosexual dogma..." Michele Bachmann has claimed that anti-gay bullying is "not a federal issue", even though TIME has reported that 9 out of 10 LGBT students have experienced bullying and harassment, and the National Youth Association reports that LGBT youth are bullied 2 to 3 times more often than straight teens, and are four times more likely to attempt suicide.

And it's not just gay adolescents that are taking the brunt of this. Despite waving the banner that their efforts are to create safe and stable homes for children, many members of pro-traditional-marriage organizations have made an effort to undermine them if they don't fall into their political camp. The incident at Catholic Charities is just on example. In the DOMA hearings that have been ongoing since June, Thomas Minnery of Focus on the Family argued against the repeal of the law, claiming that only a household headed by a man and a woman provided peak economic stability, health benefits, and school performance. But the evidence he used to back this claim came from a 2010 survey from the Department of Health and Human Services that he very badly manipulated: the study claimed that nuclear families provided these benefits, regardless of whether they were headed by a opposite-sex or same-sex couple. And he tried to pull this in a federal legal hearing in defense of a law that would deny these nuclear families the rights they need.

But easily the most abhorrent example of this comes from another NOM blog entry, posted on October 28th in response to a study on children who face a negative economic impact in the face of DOMA. The entirety of blog post is sickening and spiteful, but in it, Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, propose this argument against legalizing same-sex marriage:

Let's assume that half of the 112,000 couples raising children would be interested in marriage (a random but generous guess). That's 56,000 same-sex couples. Let's assume that each of these couples is raising two kids (again, probably a very generous assumption), or 112,000 children. Eighty percent of these children are the product of a previous heterosexual relationship, meaning if the child's gay parent married their lover, that would be a stepfamily with no known benefits to the child. 

That leaves 20% of 112,000 children who might be in some sense the child of both members of the same-sex couple: about 22,000 children. 

In 2010, the Census reported that there are about 75 million under the age of 18 in this country.

So how many kids might potentially benefit, if it turned out to be true that gay marriage has any benefit at all for children (a proposition for which there is no scientific evidence)?

0.03 percent!

That amounts to three one-hundreds of one percent of all American children.

Gay marriage is about the desires of adults, not a serious proposal to address the needs of children.

Alright, let's ignore all of the gaping holes in this argument. No, actually, let's not. Let's look at all the things absolutely wrong about this argument.

First, it works under the assumption that only half of these couples who are raising children would want to get married, which I assume is backed by no evidence other than a nudge-nudge, wink-wink assumption that gay couples are flightier and less committed than opposite-sex couples, a fact contested in a study done by the American Psychological Association. Between tax benefits, access to health insurance, and various other legal benefits, the motivation for gay couples marrying is quite high, especially when these couples have a family they need take care of.

Secondly, of the 80% of children from a previous heterosexual relationship, Brian Brown is working under the assumption that all of these were previous married heterosexual relationships. That means that the child's new family is not necessarily a step family (and by the way, very nice implying that step families provide "no known benefits" to the child, not even emotionally). And even if it was, step family rights are infamously complicated, and can vary from the step parent having no rights at all to adopting a child with the consent of both biological parents

Further, there's the fact that of these 75 million children, only about 70 of them are raised by two parents both married and unmarried (the rest being raised by single families, without parents, etc.), and thus be the most relevant category for theoretical marriage benefits (in this particular scenario, anyway). This makes the number off by an estimated 22.5 million children. At this point, the numbers are so inaccurate, there isn't much weight left to be taken from it.

But what is truly deplorable is the crux of this entire statement. Brian Brown is making a case against gay marriage because the number of children who can benefit from it is too small to matter. NOM has taken a group of children, which even by their inaccurate little statistics crunch numbers in the tens of thousands, and presented them as a reason in and of themselves not to be granted rights because of the parents trying to raise them. I have never seen a more sickening argument in my entire life.

If there's one tiny glimmer of light we can take from all of this, it's that NOM, Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, Citizens Link,and most other traditional marriage advocates can't really know what they're doing. If you are completely aware that you are working actively to deny kids safety, benefits, or fair representation, and then look yourself in the mirror and sincerely claim to be a champion of all children, then you are nothing short of a completely evil human being. That, or you're a goddamn imbecile

I admit that, since the reasons are undoubtedly complex and deep rooted, I don't know the entirety of what the pro-traditional marriage side is fighting for. But whatever the answer may be, I have no right to be accused and punished for crimes I never have and never will commit. Nor do I have to stand for being insulted for aspects of my character that are stainless, and spoken for when I have more than enough power to speak with a clear mind and a clear conscious. The things said are not fair arguments anymore, and they have no business but to stop.

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