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09/23/2013

FRC: Marriage equality harms individuals, 'degrade[s] society'

by Jeremy Hooper

According to the ever measured Family Research Council, denying civil marriage equality to gays is not an injustice. After all, we need to stop gay people's committed happiness in order to save society itself:

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 At 8.59.26 AmOrganizations like Freedom to Marry, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the Human Rights Campaign argue that same-sex marriage is a matter of justice: If two same-sex partners (1) love one another romantically and (2) volitionally choose to wed, there should be no legal impediments to their doing so. They assert that such impediments imply some combination of ignorance, religious bigotry, or sheer homophobia.

The claim of injustice is itself unjust. Because people want to do something that does not adversely affect those immediately around them (e.g., neighbors or co-workers) does not mean they should be allowed to do so. Society is organic and, thus, so is harm. Same-sex unions do not threaten any healthy natural marriage but, rather, they threaten the institution of marriage and, thereby, the well-being of countless families.

Similarly, we have laws against myriad "victimless" crimes (substance abuse, prostitution, etc.) not only because they harm individuals who engage in them but also because they degrade society. Consensual homosexual unions might cause no apparent distress to persons proximate to them, but they diminish an institution - marriage - without which, civilization will erode ever more quickly. And in case one hasn't noticed, natural marriage in the United States is in enough trouble as it is.

Family Research Council Senior Vice President Rob Schwarzwalder

That last line annoys me even more than the nasty claims about what my marriage supposedly does to me and my surroundings. As if we gay folk must lose our chance at creating good marriages because heterosexuals have become so darn crappy at it. Such a galling outlook! It's the kind of claim that manages to marry the anti-gay far right's most cherished mindsets: blame and superiority.

The obvious truth is that denying civil marriage equality to taxpayers who love and live within same-sex couplings is, in fact, an injustice. It would be even if Mr. Schwarzwalder and his employer were less histrionic about the Pandora's Box that gay people's golden rings supposedly opens. But since they do choose to be so right vicious and quite literally lay claims of societal destruction at our feet? The level injustice rises to match some of history's worst.

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