Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage, Equal Rights and the Redefinition of America

Same-sex marriage (SSM) is now before the United States Supreme Court. The State of California had, by popular vote, passed Proposition 8, limiting marriage to heterosexual couples. However, it was subsequently overturned by a California court as “unconstitutional.”

The plaintiff, Paul Katami, had been prevented from marrying his gay partner in California. His appeal is based upon the contention that laws that limit marriage to heterosexual couples represent discrimination – the denial of his rights:

  • "Stigma is stigma. And discrimination is discrimination," Katami told CNN. "I think that any time there's discrimination in the country, it needs to be addressed and it needs to be taken care of. And that's why we feel that anytime in our history when there's been racial discrimination or sexual discrimination of orientation, or in particular marriage at this point, that we always bend toward the arch of equality."
Katami compares apples and oranges - marriage discrimination to “racial discrimination or sexual discrimination.” However, this equation fails to compute. While SSM is about behavior and a new institution, the other forms of discrimination pertain to the very nature of the person – their race and sex.

It is not enough to allege “discrimination.” All laws discriminate against one form of behavior or another – paying taxes, operating motor vehicles… Instead, this question must be adjudicated, not in terms of whether or not they discriminate – they do discriminate – but rather whether the laws discriminate in a just manner.

Katami claims that laws that restrict marriage to heterosexual couples are unjust:

  • "This is about our equality," said Paul Katami, one of the plaintiffs in the California case. "This is about our freedom and our liberty. So we are not trying to topple marriage. We are not trying to redefine marriage. What we are trying to say is that equality is the backbone of our country."
Is SSM really a matter of equality? Homosexuals are free to marry anyone they want in their own churches. Instead, the issue is about legal and social acceptance and the promotion of a lifestyle that is highly self-destructive in terms of just about every indicator – lifespan, suicide, domestic violence, substance abuse, STDs, depression, and other mental health issues.

If Katami and other proponents of SSM are serious about “equality,” why aren’t they talking about “equality” for polygamists? Why should they be the subject of discrimination?

I raise this issue because in order to assess the coherence and viability of a principle – “discrimination,” “rights,” “fairness” – we need to examine how it plays out in related areas. Why should “equality” just pertain to SSM? And if this principle of “equality” is to govern our understanding of marriage, on what basis can “equality” be denied to minors? So far, I haven’t heard any proponents of SSM bring minors into the equation. If they did bring minors and pedophiles into the equation – and they should if we are to rationally weigh whether or not “equality” is a morally coherent concept – the public might awaken to its frightening implications.

Such “equality” would mean that there could no longer be a basis to deny anyone their “rights.” Fifteen people could thereby demand their “right” to marry one another. To deny such an appeal would then be no less discriminatory than denying SSM!

And how then could society deny the “right” of a father to marry his daughter or a mother her son? Wouldn’t this be a denial of their “equal rights?”

However, such “rights” would undermine traditional marriage and family. What then is to prevent a daughter from being groomed as a sexual or “marriage” object for her father? Why shouldn’t he groom her from an early age to satisfy his sexual appetite? Isn’t this his “right?”

And what is to protect the wife in this sexualized world? What is to prevent the husband from taking on additional younger wives? Isn’t this his “right!” And opposition to this would also constitute “discrimination!”

What is to prevent teachers from grooming their students as sexual objects? Can we “discriminate” against this behavior? Can we deny them their “equal rights?” And how could the parents protect their children against this when they are enticed by their attractive teachers? Wouldn’t the parents be violating the “rights” and “choice” of their children?

If our marriage laws and sexual codes are unjustly discriminatory, then we need to comprehensively examine the claims of the SSM proponents regarding such concepts as “discrimination,” “fairness,” and “equality.” However, this kind of dispassionate examination is precisely what is being obstructed. Instead, shouts of “homophobe” resound from our institutions of “higher learning.”

Meanwhile, Katami claims that, “We are not trying to redefine marriage.” However, the promotion of such “rights” and “equality” destroy marriage’s protective walls. They also prevent the parent from protecting their children against sexual predators, who now are claiming their own “rights.” When any limitation, taboo, or boundary becomes “discriminatory,” traditional marriage and family become indefensible.

As the tide of public sentiment begins to turn in their favor, the SSM proponents now claim that SSM is the will of the people. However, is it truly the will of the people or the result of systematic indoctrination and manipulations by the power-elites – the media, the court and the university?

Marsha Segelstein, a former senior producer for CBS News, paints a sinister portrait of the pro-gay program:

  • They thus are able to insinuate that opposition to gay marriage equals discrimination or hate speech. Tactics that…label opponents as bigots and homophobes and…characterize homosexuals seeking “marriage” as victims have been largely successful. In many cases, those who have publicly voiced opposition to gay marriage have suffered serious consequences. (Salvo, Spring 2013, 20)
The consequences can be brutal. For instance,

  • In October 2012, the Chief Diversity Officer for Gallaudet University, Angela McCaskill, was placed on administrative leave for signing a petition supporting the placement of a referendum on the ballot in Maryland. The referendum was to give voters the opportunity to approve or disapprove of Maryland’s “marriage equality” law, which had instituted gay marriage in the state. Through a sign-language interpreter, McCaskill told reporters that she had been asked by a faculty member whether or not she had signed the petition. “In this very moment, she [the faculty member] determined that this signature meant I was anti-gay.” (21) 
In this hostile and repressive atmosphere, it is no wonder that many who oppose SSM are running for cover, and their voice is not heard. Threats of violence and even death are not uncommon. A 14-year-old who testified before the Maryland State Senate was threatened”

  • “If I ever see this girl, I will kill her. That’s a promise”… Another attacked her family… “her parents should be exterminated”… “And now everyone knows her name, so hopefully she will feel what it’s like to be harassed and bullied.” (21-22)
The bullying has also taken on tangible forms. Gay activists had been able to obtain a list of Proposition 8 supporters. As a result, they vandalized churches and even stalked supporters at their places of work. Terrified supporters were coerced into making tearful apologies. Others were forced to resign:

  • Scott Eckern, director of the California Musical Theater…eventually resigned after news of his $1000 donation spread… The director of the Los Angeles Film Festival, Richard Raddon, was forced to resign when his donation of $1500 was revealed…A 67-year old restaurant employee who had donated $100 had to take a leave of absence from work after opponents launched protests against the restaurant. Businesses large and small – from hotels to insurance companies to private dental practices – were targeted with boycotts and protests. (22-23)
Even an elderly woman was targeted as she carried a large cross:

  • Several men surrounded her and yelled in her face, and one of them knocked the cross out of her hands and stomped on it. (23)
Intimidation is a powerful change-agent. Along with massive doses of propaganda, it can influence the vote and even deprive many of their livelihood:

  • A marriage commissioner in Saskatchewan…explained to a gay couple wanting to be married that he had religious objections to performing the ceremony. He offered to find someone else, and the couple was married. (23)
However, that wasn’t good enough. Now he and many others are facing suspension. Many college students are also facing suspension for the unpardonable sin of expressing their beliefs, and many college Christian groups are being disenfranchised from college campuses. Christian businesses are being threatened with closure because of their stance against SSM.

Not only does the gay agenda threaten to redefine marriage, it threatens to redefine the entire nature of our free society along with our freedoms of speech and religion. If we want to see what this redefinition looks like, Segelstein suggests that we look no further than Canada:

  • Their experience shows that much is at risk: tolerance for religious beliefs, loss of parental rights over their children and moral upbringing, the very concept of heterosexuality as normative…and the basic freedom to practice religion without government interference. (24)
With the backing of mental health professionals, the pedophile community is also claiming discrimination and their entitlement to equal rights. Now, in many school districts, parents cannot exempt their children from pro-gay “sensitivity training.” If this trajectory continues, parents will soon have to subject their children to pro-pedophile “sensitivity training.” And why not! Pedophiles are likewise “born this way and have no alternative.” How then can a freedom-loving society discriminate against them, while not discriminating against gays! It cannot! If the door is opened to SSM, then it must be opened to everyone else who claims such a “right.” Soon, parents warning their children against the advances of pedophiles will also be guilty of “hate speech” and “pedophobia.”

Besides, if gay sex can be construed as something beautiful, so too will pedophile sex! (According to some, pedophile sex offers a valuable service to children!) They both depend upon the same logic - freedom of choice, an immutable sexual orientation, non-discrimination and equal rights.

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