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02/09/2011

FRC's new marriage brochure: Has skewed cake, research that eats it too

by Jeremy Hooper

The latest Family Research Council "Gay marriage will eat your children" fear brochure comes packed with many, many annoyances.

  • A claim that same-sex marriages would eat up "taxpayer money that homosexuals are eager to get their hands on," as if LGBT citizens somehow exist outside the realm of common taxpayer.
  • Multiple citations of Brian Camenker/ MassResistance's uber-incendiary work (though MR's cited by its old name, The Article 8 Alliance).
  • The general idea that gay acceptance in schools hinges on legal marriage equality , when in fact acceptance has been (and should be) taught in states without equal marriage, and long before civil marriage equality was even on the table. Unless FRC wants to admit that their war is on gay humans rather than civil marriage equality, than condemnations of basic acceptance and non-discrimination being a part of public schooling are complete and utter non-starters
  • The continued victimization of Catholic Charities, when it was actually that body's own choice to end foster care and adoption services in Mass. and D.C. rather than make changes that would peacefully accommodate gay and lesbian couples (changes largely supported by parishioners)
  • A skewed mention of the Ocean Grove, NJ, pavilion supposedly losing some faith-based right (The truth, in summary: The church pavilion in question was receiving a special tax break under NJ's Green Acres tax-exemption, which requires compliance with state non-discrimination laws in order to qualify. So what the pavilion "lost" was a special break on a public accommodation that they wanted to restrict to only the heterosexual public. This could've happened if they had denied gays and lesbians (or any minority) from holding any sort of ceremony, not just a civil union commitment! They didn't lose regular tax-exempt status on an actual church: They lost it on a piece of property that required this kind of accommodating access, under NJ state law, in order to get what was undeniably a special right.)
  • The false idea that gays don't really want marriage, based on a comparison between heterosexuals and homosexuals who seek the right when it's available. It should be obvious to anyone in this long-denied country why it's going to take some time before those percentages become comparable. (And I say that as a legally married gay man, who couldn't wait to tie the knot).
  • Continued shaming of blaming of gays for heterosexuals' own marriage, cohabitation, divorce, and extra-marital choices/failings/flailings.
  • This ridiculous and offensive nugget: "Rather than marriage changing the behavior of homosexuals to match the relative sexual fidelity of heterosexuals, it seems likely that the opposite would occur. If homosexual relationships, promiscuity and all, are held up to society as being a fully equal part of the social ideal that is called“marriage,” then the value of sexual fidelity as an expected standard of behavior for married people will further erode even among heterosexuals."
  • The cherry-picked usage of Lawrence Kurdek's research as directly applicable to marriage, even though (a) the research was actually conducted before marriage was legal in any of our states, and (b) Kurdek plainly noted right before FRC's cited portion that "the rates of relationship dissolution for the heterosexual couples and gay and lesbian couples were not directly comparable."
  • This baseless and offensive prediction: "If homosexual 'marriage' is legalized, the percentage of homosexual couples that remain together for a lifetime will always be lower than the percentage of heterosexual couples that do so; but the percentage of heterosexual couples demonstrating lifelong commitment will also decline, to the harm of society as a whole"
  • Loads of toothless data about how same-sex marriage will supposedly hurt kids of gays. Data that was all conducted before marriage was legal in any America jurisdiction. Plus it's data about families that will exist regardless of marriage, and therefore could only benefit from that available option. Unless FRC's war is on ending gay families rather than stopping gay marriage, then the gay-headed families canards are complete and utter non-starters.
  • Blames gays for potentially harming birth rates, here in an overpopulated world where reproduction is certainly not a weak spot.
  • The annoying "slippery slope to polygamy" claim, as if gays have *anything* to do with that. We've long said that as long as a system called marriage exists and as long as human brains similarly function, then there are limitless possibilities for new marriage ideas. But all of those ideas will be judged on merit. Gays have more than made an able case, which is why same-sex marriage is almost a full legal reality. Anyone else wishing to achieve the legal goal must make an individual case. Most will not succeed. Some might. But the success will ultimately be due to whether or not such a right passes the constitutional smell test, and not whether or not the gays' did the same.
  • Oh, and plus there's the little fact that this brochure was written and compiled by a man who has put this on the public record:


*SOURCE: Gays seek immigration reform [Medill Reports]

*SOURCE: [MSNBC]

So yeah: There are many reasons to find fault with the brochure. But you know, the cover graphic might just be what annoys us the most:

Screen Shot 2011-02-09 At 9.37.09 Am

Because say what you want about us gay folk: But we definitely respect a good cake. No way would we move forward with our "I dos" if our precious confection looked on the verge of collapsing into our red roses. It just wouldn't happen!

But those are just some of our problems with Peter Sprigg's "The Top Ten Harms of Same-Sex Marriage." Go read it and form some of your own:


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