October 5th, 2012
Our opponents’ most prominent line of attack these days is that same-sex marriage is a threat to religious liberty. Here’s a primer suggesting ways to debate them. You can download it here and store it on your tablet or phone for quick reference.
Here are single-sentence points that you can get out in one breath (maybe two). The idea is create a flow: Shift their objection from same-sex marriage to discrimination; point out their inconsistency on the issue, and question the integrity of their sources (e.g, National Organization for Marriage and its allies).
Getting back on track
You’re unlikely to be able control the flow of the conversation, so here are some questions you can ask when things go awry, especially when they start citing examples of religious liberty violations:
Now here are a few of our opponents’ favorite examples of the threat to religious liberty, the ones you’re most likely to hear, each of them debunked according to the points above. The most potent bullets are in bold.
Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association
A favorite examples is Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a New Jersey ministry that lost a property tax exemption on an outdoor pavilion after they didn’t let a lesbian couple use it for a commitment ceremony. HIT THEM HARD IF THEY BRING THIS UP! It usually takes the form, “a Methodist organization lost its tax-exempt status for refusing to allow lesbian couples to have civil-union ceremonies at a public seaside pavilion owned by the group,” (from the Wall Street Journal).
Town Clerks in New York state
Some Town Clerks in New York resigned rather than sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples, and the demand that they sign such documents is a violation of religious freedom. This example really chaps my hide, far more than the others.
That New Mexico photographer
A New Mexico photographer was fined by the state’s human rights commission after he refused to photograph a lesbian couple’s commitment ceremony.
(By the way, I bolded that point above because you can adapt it to disarm almost any claimed threat to liberty stemming from discrimination law.)
Catholic Charities of Boston (and elsewhere)
Catholic Charities of Boston shut down its adoption services in Massachusetts when same-marriage became law because the state did not allow them to discriminate against legally-married couples just because they’re same-sex couples. This is trickier, because it does involve same-sex marriage.
Here’s an example of fraud and deceit. NOM send out a fundraising appeal: “Last April, the Navy issued new ‘sensitivity training’ guidelines that required Navy chaplains to perform same-sex marriages. Thanks to leadership from Congressmen Tim Huelskamp and Todd Akin, the Navy backed down and rescinded the guidelines.”
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.