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01/04/2008

Personal definition of 'strong families': Not a suitable legal argument!!

by Jeremy Hooper

Ariz-4-1Read this short item from Focus on the Family's CitizenLink and then we'll get back to you:

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and The Center for Arizona Policy have sent letters to the Arizona Department of Administration recommending the state reject Gov. Janet Napolitano’s attempt to require domestic-partnership benefits for state employees. The issue will be decided by a six-member board appointed by Napolitano.

The letters argue that the changes usurp the Legislature, undermine state policy in favor of marriage, ignore the impact on the budget and exceed the department's authority.

"The government should promote and encourage strong families," ADF's Brian Raum said. "The evidence clearly demonstrates that creating ‘domestic partnership’ arrangements does not do that."

Okay, so look at those last two passages. Are these kids protesting these benefits because of the procedural/legislative grounds that they cite in the third paragraph, or the brazenly religious-based emotional grounds that Brian Raum cites in the fourth? Because honestly, the way the FOF writer has structured this piece, it's as if the message is: "There are scores of reasons we can cite to make it sound like we have legitimate legal standing to challenge these benefits on a constitutional level, but even if there weren't, we'd find some since we're so strongly against gay rights on an ideological level."

Look, there's emotion attached on both sides of this so-called "culture war." That goes without saying. However, Brian Raum is the Senior Legal Counsel for the ADF, which means he should be the one to sort through the emotions of the side he is defending and clearly demonstrate why, on legal grounds, that heartfelt sentiment is justified. Instead, he is using his platform to further infuse personal opinion about relational acceptability into what should be a purely civil debate. And that, dear friends, is the primary problem in this whole "your faith is YOUR faith" vs. "Our faith should be EVERYONE'S faith" debate.

Arizona Family Groups Fight Domestic-Partnership Benefits [FOF CitizenLink]

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