April 16th, 2012
The anti-gays scatter arguments like lawn seed: Toss them out by the handful and see which take root, with little concern for what’s actually true. That’s why the movement is such an intellectual tangle. In the next few days, I want to point out some of the contradictions you trip over when you step back and pay attention to their whole big field of weeds.
Contradiction 1: The Essential and Also Irrelevant Marriage Culture
Let’s start with these two ideas our opponents like to sow:
“Marriage culture” is the anti-gay answer to “How does same-sex marriage hurt your marriage?” Well, ya see, it doesn’t hurt my marriage, but it hurts the culture of marriage, doncha know — it dampens the pressure on parents to stay together, and that hurts their children.
Or, as Maggie Gallagher puts it:
Marriage is civilization’s great attempt to integrate opposites: male and female, mothers and fathers, parents and children, love and sex, heart and pocketbook, masculinity and dependency, eros and the vow. When a marriage culture fails, sexual desire no longer unites; instead it fragments.**
This still begs the question of how same-sex marriage will hurt the marriage culture, and that’s where the second point comes in: Same-sex couples are just not the same as married couples. Calling those violent, promiscuous, unstable “gay” relationships marriage will change our conception of what marriage is.
I don’t want to argue right now whether either of those points is true (I can buy the first, though I’ve previously taken a hatchet to the second). I just want to point out their mutual incoherence: Solid partnerships requires a strong marriage culture, you say? Then denying marriage to gay couples is explanation enough for any instability you care allege. In fact, this supposed instability now becomes a reason to legalize same-sex marriage, and even to promote it for gays and lesbians as good public policy.
Unless, of course, you’re not just anti-marriage-equality, not just anti-gay, but actually anti-gay-people (and their children), and you want to make sure gay people (and their children) have lives that are lonely, isolated, and — to use Maggie’s word — fragmented. In that case, we’ve got not so much contradiction as a Catch-22, and not so much as a Catch-22 as a crafty anti-gay scam:
We’ll deny marriage to gay couples, and that will make them more unstable, and we’ll use that instability to deny them marriage.
Naturally, this kind of circularity makes you wonder why they opposed same-sex marriage in the first place. I can’t say I know — except that it’s definitely not a careful and reasoned concern for children.
**Isn’t it fascinating that when Maggie compiled her list of opposites, she said not “masculinity and femininity” but “masculinity and dependency.” There’s an entire culture packed into just three words, with a psychological case study, to boot.
Contradiction 2: All the Science is Terrible and Also Proves Us Right!
This is one of my favorite contradictions:
The first statement is an unproven cliché masquerading as proven science. The second is a standard retort to studies showing children do fine with same-sex parents. The points are in obvious contradiction. No rational person could believe both simultaneously, right?
I give you tenured Princeton Professor Robert George, the Founding Chairman of NOM and the country’s most influential conservative Christian thinker. He wrote:
…according to the best available sociological evidence, children fare best on virtually every indicator of wellbeing when reared by their wedded biological parents
and later in the same article:
…the union of husband and wife is (as a rule and ideal) the most appropriate environment for the bearing and rearing of children — an ideal whose value is strongly corroborated by the best available social science.
Naturally, he offers a citation to support his claim — a citation that says:
First, no one can definitively say at this point how children are affected by being reared by same-sex couples. The current research on children reared by them is inconclusive and underdeveloped—we do not yet have any large, long-term, longitudinal studies that can tell us much about how children are affected by being raised in a same-sex household.
And just to ice this cake, Professor George not only cited this report that refutes what he’s trying to prove; he was a signatory to it as well. He ought to know what it says. But perhaps I’m unfair when I say he holds these ideas simultaneously. I find there’s usually a ten- or twenty-second lapse between the two. It goes like this:
Anti-gay: Studies prove married biological parents are the better than same-sex parents!
Animus-free: Those studies didn’t compare married biological parents with same-sex parents.
Anti-gay: It’s logical extension of — of — of — of other research!
Animus-free: Studies on same-sex parenting show the opposite.
Anti-gay: There are no good studies on same-sex parenting!
It’s amazing how quickly a person can abandon one firmly-held belief in favor of another, without even realizing it. But that’s typical of lawn-seed approach to anti-gay arguments.
Contradiction 3: We Must Pass Laws Against Mythical Creatures!
This one’s a head-scratcher:
Once upon a time our opponents were certain The Homosexual existed, a sick and perverted individual, a danger to society in general and kids in particular. But that was in the day when our laws mandated discrimination against gays and lesbians. Now that many locales are outlawing such discrimination (against gays or straights), they’re hoeing a different row. The Family Research Council explains it all for you:
Protection against private “discrimination” has historically been offered only for characteristics that are inborn, involuntary, immutable, innocuous, and/or in the Constitution-yet none of these describe homosexual behavior.
See, you can’t discriminate against homosexuals, and you can’t outlaw such discrimination — it’s literally impossible because there’s no such thing.
Linda Harvey gives us a fantastic glimpse into the mindset of these people who want to pass laws against creatures they claim don’t exist. Harvey is a radio host and founder of a certified hate group, Mission America. Here she is on gay and lesbian teachers:
The fact is that no homosexuality should be in our schools, period. When people leave that behavior behind, then they might be qualified for a job involving children. Out and proud homosexuals should not have jobs that involve children. I know that’s not the current policy in many schools but it should be.
But what does she say when it comes to teaching that gay kids deserve respect and safety?
There is no proof that there’s ever anything like a gay, lesbian or bisexual or transgendered child, or teen or human. One of the other things you’re gonna see as I mentioned is a big campaign GLSEN’s gonna roll out this year calling for ‘respect,’ respect! Not just for people, but for homosexual lifestyle. The PR campaign to hold up gay as a good thing: the lifestyle, not the person, because there are no such humans.
In a nutshell (where it belongs): Out and proud homosexuals — and there are no such humans, not now, not ever! — have no place in our schools.
I have to wonder if she’ll next start begging money to ban unicorns and hippogriffs from riding on school buses.
Ms. Harvey would probably just claim there’s no contradiction here, just a mix-up in terminology. Personally, I think her quotes are very revealing: Homosexuals abound when people talk about stripping us of our rights, but when it comes to offering and safety, we simply don’t exist.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.