The Historical Malpractice of Equating Gay Marriage and Interracial Marriage

All liberal rhetoric has two basic goals: pander to some class-, sex-, or race-based voting bloc, and defame whoever disagrees with liberals. Nowhere is this more evident than in the same-sex marriage debate.

Perhaps in response to African-American pastors’ backlash against President Barack Obama’s endorsement of redefining marriage, the Left has resurrected the argument that opposing same-sex marriage is no different than forbidding interracial marriage, making today’s conservatives no better than yesterday’s racists. Today we remember with shame our ancestors who senselessly kept white and black lovers apart, the argument goes; how are those trying to prevent gay marriage any better?

It’s a powerful question—to those who don’t know anything about either the marriage debate or the history of anti-miscegenation (interracial marriage) laws. Fortunately, a little knowledge is more than enough to expose this attack for the cheap demagoguery it is.

For starters, race is a superficial characteristic having nothing to do with marriage’s meaning, while gender has everything to do with it. Men and women uniquely complement one another both as lovers and as parents, because theirs is the only pairing that naturally creates children and gives children what they need for a well-rounded upbringing. Children need role models of both genders in order to understand themselves and relate to the opposite sex. They need one parent to reinforce their sex’s strengths and another to temper its weaknesses. They need a mother’s disposition to nurture and a father’s emphasis on discipline. Numerous studies confirm this. Moms and dads come in all skin colors, but only women can be mothers, and only men fathers, which gives traditional marriage a clear rationale: binding together naturally procreative couples for the sake of their potential children.

Conversely, anti-miscegenation wasn’t motivated at all by substantive concerns about marriage’s function; it was merely one front in a much broader campaign to keep the black population oppressed and the white gene pool pure.

Marriage defenders’ motives couldn’t possibly be further from those of segregationists, and neither could the impact of their policies on the group in question. Defining marriage as a man-woman union simply means the state won’t issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. That’s it. No prohibition whatsoever on cohabitation, sex, benefits (which can be addressed without redefining marriage), contracts, or even wedding ceremonies. The central motivation of marriage redefiners isn’t to correct a tangible injustice, but to win government endorsement for gay relationships—in other words, they’re driven by the subjective value they place in marriage’s symbolism.

The effects of the anti-miscegenation laws that once plagued interracial couples, on the other hand, were all too tangible. While some states simply denied their relationships formal recognition but otherwise left them alone, many criminalized—and punished—cohabitation, sex, and the performing of wedding ceremonies between whites and non-whites. Indeed, consider the incident that sparked Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 Supreme Court decision that struck down anti-miscegenation. Richard and Mildred Loving married in the District of Columbia, moved to Virginia, and were indicted. The judge gave them a choice: spend a year in prison, or get out of Virginia.

Jail time? Forced eviction from a state? Where in any of the thirty-eight states that reject same-sex marriage do gay couples face anything of the kind?
The comparison between same-sex and interracial marriage is historical malpractice of the worst order, a malicious lie that not only derails an important cultural conversation but also insults those who faced true bigotry in this country. This superficially clever smear might be a hit among clueless college kids receptive to whatever boosts their own sense of superiority, but liberals may see it backfire among voters with longer memories.

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GOP Negligence Largely to Blame for Gay Marriage’s Rising Public Support

Note: the following article was originally written in early June for another venue, but I’ve reprinted it here because I think its point is still relevant.
What a difference a couple of election cycles make. In 2004, with solid majorities opposing gay marriage, Republicans aggressively campaigned on the issue, contributing significantly to the reelection of President George W. Bush and the passage of marriage protection laws in over 40 states. Congressional Republicans introduced the Federal Marriage Amendment repeatedly between 2002 and 2006.
Fast-forward to 2011. Support for gay marriage has been steadily rising since 2006, finally reaching a 53% majority in a March 18 ABC News/Washington Post poll. On May 6, Gallup found that just 15% of Republicans consider social issues their top priority.
Granted, most of the current GOP presidential field rejects Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ call for an ill-defined “truce” on social issues, and there are no serious Giuliani-style liberals in the race this time around, but overall the Republican Party and conservative punditry have put the issue on the backburner, allegedly to focus on wasteful spending. And in this observer’s opinion, this trend of Republicans taking their eye off the ball is the biggest factor to blame for public opinion’s leftward shift on marriage.
You see, liberals long ago figured out how to multitask with their economic and social agendas. As they fight for ObamaCare and cap & trade on Capitol Hill, they know they can leave their cultural causes to the courts, where judicial activists strike down traditional marriage definitions as discriminatory, to the schools, where radical sexual morals are increasingly embraced, and—most importantly—to the natural consequences of the Right’s comparative silence on the issue.
The arguments for gay marriage are intuitively appealing, since they tug just the right emotional heartstrings. It’s easy to recognize the deceptively simple appeal of the common rebuttal, “How does my marriage threaten yours?” Simple: it doesn’t. By contrast, the conservative argument that marriage’s man-woman definition serves a vital social purpose, and that dismantling it will have devastating indirect consequences, is less intuitively obvious to apolitical Americans. It needs sustained public explanation and debate.
The American people aren’t interested in telling gay people how to live, or keeping them from sharing property or visiting one another in the hospital, and as long as liberals frame the narrative as a choice between redefining marriage and treating gays like second-class citizens—and as long as conservatives aren’t loudly, visibly exposing it as a false choice and explaining the true point of marriage—it’s only natural that a significant portion of the populace will accept the Left’s scare-mongering and oversimplifications at face value. Lies don’t correct themselves.
And wouldn’t you know it, even with its schedule free of those distracting social issues, our Tea Party-charged Republican House has been somewhat less than effective at unshackling the economy or solving the debt crisis. We shouldn’t be surprised by the correlation between indifference on social issues and ineptness on economic ones—the link between conservatism’s social and fiscal aspects runs far deeper than many want to admit.
Our Founding Fathers understood that self-governing societies cannot endure if the virtues necessary for an independent citizenry—responsibility, independence, morality, work ethic—aren’t instilled in each generation, which marriage does by binding husband and wife to each other for the sake of their children’s upbringing, so future citizens can take care of themselves without Uncle Sam’s aid. And with scores of social ills, from poverty and academic failure to teen pregnancy and crime, linked to the breakdown of the traditional nuclear family, the verdict is in: children need both a mother and a father.
For years, society’s conception of marriage has been drifting away from the needs of children and toward the wishes of adults. By erasing procreation from marriage’s definition entirely, same-sex marriage would hammer the final nail in the traditional family’s coffin. Conservatives who are serious about reforming our paternalistic government can’t afford to sit this fight out. As marriage goes, so goes the nation.

Conservatives vs. GOProud, Round…I Lost Count

Those throwing hissy fits over the American Conservative Union’s decision not to have gay Republican group GOProud cosponsor the next CPAC should calm down and Neil Stevens’ simple and perfectly reasonable defense of the decision at RedState:

Reagan supported a GOP Big Tent because he knew full well what it was to be in the minority in the Republican party. He suffered every attack imaginable, and just kept on working. He didn’t lash out and call left-wing Republicans any names like nasty bigot. He’s the one who got called a fascist and a cultist, in fact. But there was one place he could go to be among friends, and that was CPAC. It’s no wonder he spoke there so much.

That’s why I support the ACU in its decision. Not because I want to run anyone out of the party, or because I don’t want to be able to work with GOProud and other groups to achieve good things for the country under the GOP Big Tent. But because CPAC is supposed to be one place where conservatives get a break from what we get called every other week of the year.

Politics ain’t beanbag, but our side has many venues for fighting out our differences. We’ve got party offices and platform committees, we’ve got numerous primary elections, and we even have Twitter these days. With all of these avenues for hashing it out, I don’t need to be hectored at CPAC. I just don’t.

‘Nuff said.

New on American Thinker – There’s No Reason Libertarians and Gay Conservatives Can’t Support Michele Bachmann

My latest American Thinker post:
Whenever conservative candidates demonstrate their electoral viability, sensationalistic denunciations of said conservatives as beyond the pale are sure to follow. Last weekend, Michael Smerconish declared that Rep. Michele Bachman (R-MN) has “lost a young conservative” named Ben Haney by signing the Iowa Family Leader’s Marriage Vow, which suggests homosexuality is a choice. And that’s not all:
In 2004, at the National Education Leadership Conference, you said of the gay lifestyle: “It’s a very sad life. It’s part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It’s anything but gay.”
Then there’s your husband, Marcus, who obtained his Ph.D. by virtue of a correspondence course. He runs a mental-health clinic but, according to Politico, is not registered with any of the three state boards that certify mental health practitioners. (Minnesota is one of the only states in which you can practice mental health without a license.) Last year, when asked during a radio interview about parenting homosexual children, he said:
“We have to understand: barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps. . .”
Marcus Bachmann has denied that his clinic engages in attempts to “pray away the gay,” but ABC’s Nightline recently aired an interview with a man who said that, at age 17, he sought help from Bachmann & Associates and: ” path for my therapy would be to read the Bible, pray to God that I would no longer be gay.”
First, some fact checking: According to the Minneapolis StarTribune, both Marcus Bachmann and interviewer Penna Dexter say the “barbarian” quote referred to children, not gays: “We believe that children are born with a nature that inclines them to challenge and break rules, and that it is thus the parents’ responsibility to guide their children along good and productive paths.” Further, Dr. Bachmann hasn’t denied that he advises gays to pray for sexual conversions; he simply clarifies that it’s “not a special interest of the business and would only be attempted at the client’s request.” However foolish or distasteful gays find such services, let’s keep in mind that they don’t affect anyone who doesn’t choose to utilize them.
As for the “is homosexuality a choice?” debate, I’ve mostly ignored it since it’s irrelevant to public policy—gay Americans would still deserve equal protection of their natural and political rights even if homosexuality was 100% optional, and there would still be powerful reasons to resist the redefinition of marriage even if everyone agreed that sexual orientation was set in stone from conception onward. That said, I suspect homosexuality is substantially predetermined because, as Haney says, “If you could simply choose who you were sexually attracted to, wouldn’t you choose the path of least resistance?”

On Gay Unions, Walker Restores Will of the People & Respect for the Constitution

In 2006, Wisconsin joined the many states who protect marriage in their constitutions after an ugly battle in which the misleadingly-named gay smear group Fair Wisconsin set a new standard for leftist deception. Voters decisively stood for marriage anyway, in doing so forbidding the creation of any new unions “identical or substantially similar to” marriage under another name.
In 2009, state Democrats said “screw you” to the law and the democratic process by adding to the budget a same-sex domestic partner registry. Now, Republican Governor Scott Walker has nixed the state’s legal defense of the unconstitutional registry. Pat McIlheran talks sense on why Walker made the right call:
The question now is whether a governor ought to defend a law that defies the constitution. “If the governor determines that defending a law would be contrary to the state’s constitution, he cannot order the defense of the law because of his oath to support the Wisconsin Constitution,” Walker’s attorney told the court.

It’s no different than if a past legislature installed a law to set up a state church, for instance, or segregate schools. A governor ought not and cannot defend such stuff. This is no different, since voters specifically, constitutionally banned what Doyle launched.

The only route left for defenders of redefining marriage is the sympathy play. One line, for instance, has it that Doyle’s law was all about letting gay couples visit each other in hospitals. Nonsense, of course: A medical power of attorney gives whomever you designate – offspring, friend or, yes, gay life-partner – not only the ability to visit you in the hospital but to make decisions on your behalf. It’s a normal part of making a will, which any couple of any sexual preference ought to have anyhow.

Doyle wasn’t aiming to let couples visit each other in hospitals. Who visits whom is a private matter, and there’s little evidence any Wisconsin hospital made it anything but. As with the drive for gay “marriage,” Doyle’s registry was all about public status – granting a special public recognition to a particular kind of unmarried couple so that everyone else in society would have to treat them in every important way as if they were married.

Voters already told the government not to make such demands on society. Doyle ignored them.

Walker, to his credit, is listening.

So, About That "Conservative" Who Just Flip-Flopped for Gay Marriage

You ever heard of Louis Marinelli? Yeah, me neither, but the former National Organization for Marriage volunteer is getting lots of coverage just the same for changing his mind and declaring that he now supports “full marriage equality” (hat tip: Daily Beast).
In his announcement, he sobs about the “shame” and “embarrassment” he feels for having “targeted, hurt and oppressed” so many people. He says he “came to understand that gays and lesbians were just real people,” and claims to have realized he was “surrounded by hateful people.” He says valid reasons to oppose same-sex marriage evaporate “once you understand the great difference between civil marriage and holy marriage,” and concludes by declaring that “the Constitution calls for nothing less” than his new position.
Marinelli has ably peppered his announcement with all the requisite left-wing talking points about gay marriage, but as serious argumentation, he falls flat. He doesn’t even begin to address the fact that preserving marriage as a man-woman union doesn’t actually harm gay people, nor does he respond to the case for marriage as an essential component of a free society.
Are we seriously supposed to believe that he was passionate about the issue and worked with one of the nation’s big marriage defense groups, yet isn’t even familiar with why people oppose gay marriage? What was his own former rationale for opposing gay marriage—that he didn’t think gays were “real people”?
Marinelli’s characterization of the anti-gay-marriage movement as all about hatred and religious fundamentalism is such a pitifully generic regurgitation of the liberal playbook on marriage that it’s hard to believe his conversion is on the level. At best, Marinelli is an unremarkable guy who never really thought through his original position, and was therefore susceptible to the superficial emotionalism of the other side. At worst, he’s an opportunist selling his soul in exchange for the accolades of the in crowd. Either way, he hasn’t made a substantive, meaningful contribution to the debate, and his defection is hardly the game changer the opportunists are treating it as.
To go along with his deeply, deeply personal change of heart, ol’ Louis is also claiming that NOM is working on a “secret online propaganda team,” and that NOM’s popular support is an illusion. The former story sounds ludicrous to me, and all he offers is (ahem) his word that this is going on, and as for the latter, it’s kind of hard to suggest NOM only represents the fringe when the overwhelming majority of the states explicitly reject same-sex marriage.
Unfortunately, as near as I can tell this story is spreading like wildfire on lefty websites while conservatives are all but ignoring it. I get the temptation to dismiss Marinelli as a Frumian resercon, but I think the story’s propaganda value is more potent than that. The Left can’t be allowed to engage in these heartstring attacks without forceful responses that expose their emptiness.    

What a Surprise

On December 31, I wrote:

At this point, GOProud’s trustworthiness is in doubt. Their true intention seems to be to drive the Right socially leftward. Here’s another simple test that would reveal a great deal about their real values and priorities. GOProud is in favor of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. So they should answer this question: do you believe Congress gave sufficient consideration to the judgment of American servicemen and military leaders prior to repeal?

On January 12, I decided to pose that question to GOProud. I both emailed and left in the comments of their (then) most recent relevant post the following:

Hello,

I am interested in GOProud’s position on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney has written that “nearly 1200 retired flag and general officers” have “written their own open letter opposing repeal of the ban on homosexuals in the military.” (BigPeace.com, Dec. 17) Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, made the following observations from the survey website:

“[T]he Working Group conceded, ‘Our sense is that the majority of views expressed were against repeal.’’ (p. 49) Not only were these opinions disrespected, Adm. Mike Mullen has already stated more than once that anyone who disagrees with the LGBT law no longer will be welcome to serve.

“In addition to involuntary personnel losses due to Adm. Mullen’s ‘zero tolerance’ of dissent, cross-tabbed data displayed on the 2010 DADT Survey website indicate that among Army combat arms personnel, 21.4% would leave sooner than planned, and 14.6% would think about leaving–a total potential loss of more than a third (36%) of those valuable troops. (DADT Survey Appendix J, p. 53)

“Marine combat arms would be weakened even more, with 32% of Marines saying they would leave sooner than planned, and 16.2% considering an early end to their careers, totaling almost half. (DADT Survey Appendix L, p. 47) The gradual loss of so many combat troops and what the report described as ‘only 12%’ of families likely to decline re-enlistment could put remaining troops in greater danger, and break the All-Volunteer Force. (CRWG Report, p. 4)”

(BigPeace.com, Dec. 19)

That said, my question is: Does GOProud believe Congress gave sufficient consideration to the judgment of American servicemen, military leaders, and defense experts prior to enacting repeal?

Answer? Crickets. Just be careful whether or not you dare mention it – Andrew Breitbart might get “offended.”