Secular arguments against marriage equality are useless, says leading anti-gay activist

The striking thing about Iowa, aside from the unprecedented unanimity expressed simply as “Affirmed. All justices concur,” is the sense that finally, finally, a court has said what is so painfully self-evident. This ruling was inevitable. It’s as if the grownups have finally come home and put an end to nonsense like the “oops” argument. Sullivan:

From the abstracts and summaries, it’s clear that the actual arguments for limiting marriage to 97 percent of the population, while denying it to 3 percent, no longer hold in reasonable minds. Once you have accepted sexual orientation as a fixed and profound part of someone’s identity, and once civil marriage is not restricted to those with children, it is simply very, very hard to find a secular argument for denying critical civil rights under constitutions that guarantee formal equality.

It’s so hard to find viable secular arguments, in fact, that Peter LaBarbera of the anti-gay activist group “Americans for Truth About Homosexuality” agrees; he says in his press release that anti-gay activists should give up on that approach entirely.

I’m afraid that the pro-family movement – eager to provide secular, public-policy arguments against ‘gay marriage’ – has failed to convey the monstrous evil of expanding, state-sanctioned homosexualism [sic] in our midst. Our Creator is pure, perfect and holy, and homosexual behavior is diametrically opposed to His will for people’s lives and His purpose for sex within the healthy boundaries of marriage, for the procreation of children.

So there you have it: The way forward for those who are unhappy with civil marriage equality is to argue that it is diametrically opposed to their personal religious belief about the nature of human sexuality; that this religious belief is the only one deserving of special consideration; and that it should be imposed upon everyone else, regardless of whether they share it. Just because.

Sounds like a good plan to me.

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4 Responses to Secular arguments against marriage equality are useless, says leading anti-gay activist

  1. Jonathan says:

    Sounds like a good plan to me too 😉

  2. Jonathan says:

    From the Christian Science Monitor:

    Both sides of the same-sex marriage controversy can claim victories in various state courts. But this heartland ruling highlights the problems opponents have had making a secular case before courts of law, causing some to shift their focus more to defending religious protections.

    “The strongest argument for traditional marriage has always been anchored in faith,” says Douglas Kmiec, a law professor at California’s Pepperdine University and an opponent of same-sex marriage. “The issue is one that affects every part of the country and it is a topic that requires the balancing of claims of equality and religious freedom,” he adds.

    The anti-marriage arguments are about to bust. Religious liberty cuts two ways, don’t they? Or are we going to give special status to certain religious beliefs? That’s the only answer because the secular arguments were shot down in a pretty brutal manner.

    The justices also refuted the state’s attempts to show there was a rational basis for preserving the traditional definition of marriage. It shot down every arrow in the quiver of same-sex marriage opponents: maintaining tradition, protecting the interests of children, ensuring procreation, and promoting stability of opposite-sex marriage.

    The “best interests of children” is, undeniably, an important governmental objective, the court said. But “the germane analysis does not show how the best interests of children of gay and lesbian parents, who are denied an environment supported by the benefits of marriage under the statute, are served by the ban.”

  3. David says:

    The religious liberty argument, I think, will quickly backfire. I can’t help but be amused at the degree of blindness required to not understand this.

    It must be incredibly frustrating for those who want to deny what just is in favor of what they wish was reality. I really do think we need to have compassion for people who are struggling. I know that folks like James deny that fear has anything to do with it, but that’s just not credible. And yes, I know it’s challenging to have empathy for people who are fearful of losing their privilege, but in a lot of cases they don’t even recognize that they have privilege. They just don’t see it, and that’s part of the illness.

    Making an argument about the best interests of children is only intelligible if one uncritically accepts the notion that acceptance of GLBT people and slightly greater flexibility wrt gender roles are inherently “bad” outcomes, because those are the only things opponents can point to as notable in the children of same sex couples (that is, without just making shit up). At any rate, the Iowa court found the evidence for “harm” less than compelling.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Just read the Family Leader Network’s report in Meridian Magazine. Love the lockstep reporting. The AGI must meet in a dark room periodically to keep their stories straight. Emphasis mine.

    “The battle for the definition of marriage hit the heartland on Friday as seven unelected judges on the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously struck down the state’s 1998 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).”

    “…the first Midwestern state to see their marriage laws fall under the ax of judicial tyranny.”

    “What is also disturbing is the reasoning the justices used to justify their trumping of the people’s will and mandating a radical redefinition of marriage…This, of course, also impacts the way marriage is discussed and understood in the teaching of children at school in Iowa. “

    “…they are reflecting the attitudes of the liberal and judicial elite, and not the sentiments of the majority of the people, who have consistently and by healthy margins voted to protect marriage…”

    When judges make sweeping enactments like this that undercut society’s most foundational institution, democracy itself is eroded.

    “…immediate and urgent action on the part of Iowans.

    Lawmakers in Iowa have to know that having marriage and the people’s will trampled like this ignites citizens.”

    It sounds to me like the Family Leader Network is doing their best to ignite citizens…yawn.

    Democracy is “eroded” and we helped. Amen.