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Wherein Focus puts marriage on deathwatch

by Jeremy Hooper

ForecastIn our years covering marriage issues, we've seen all sorts of fear-mongering from the "pro-family" set. However, this latest from Focus on the Family might just be the most "sky is falling"-like piece of anti-marriage equality rhetoric we have ever come across:

Defending Marriage: Broadcast Guests Call Nation to Action

by Jennifer Mesko, associate editor

Dr. Dobson says, 'It's not just marriage that is at stake, it's absolutely everything.'

In just a few years, traditional marriage could lose support under the law. On Wednesday's Focus on the Family radio broadcast, Dr. James C. Dobson and his guests urge pro-family Americans to do something about it.

"This has been an ongoing struggle that burns in our hearts," Dr. Dobson says. "And now, marriage is really on the brink, and I don't know how to emphasize that more."

Joining him on the broadcast are Maggie Gallagher, writer, speaker and president of the National Organization for Marriage; Robbie George, author and professor of law at Princeton University; and Chuck Colson, author and founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries.

"In a couple of years, a third of the country could easily be living under same-sex marriage," Gallagher says. "We have 60, 65 percent of Americans on our side. Why are people so afraid to talk about it?"

Colson says it's time to stand up and fight.

"What alarms me the most is that there's a malaise in the country, where our supporters are giving up on politics," he says. "I think a lot of good people are saying, 'We're going to wash our hands of this. We don't want to get involved.'"

George says time is short.

"I think we have a window of between two and five years," he says. "The collapse of marriage, literally the abolition of marriage, is not 10 years down the road — it's two to five years down the road. It could happen, and it will happen, if we don't step forward."

Yes, friends, it appears that within the next decade, gays engaging in legally-recognized monogamy will somehow put an end to heterosexual marriage. We're not sure exactly WHY the allowance of gays to file a joint tax return will cause heteros worldwide to give an "F-U!" to "I do." However, we're sure it has something to do the fact that all of the wedding planners will be too bust planning their own soirees to help yet another "Bridezilla" turn her reception hall into a cliched Breakfast at TIffany's-themed bash!

But you know, when we read things like this, we really just imagine the speakers as if they are four-year-old kids baselessly predicting that when they grow up, they're going to be firefighters who live on a rocket ship and eat pizza for every meal. Instead of challenging them, we really just want to pat them on the head and say, "Oh that's nice, sweetie," as we ponder how much easier our adult lives would be if we could also view life in such a simplistic fashion. Because, come on -- threatening that marriage equality would lead to the institution's "abolition"?! What next, FOF -- are you going to tell us how Santa's gonna bring you a pony?!

Defending Marriage: Broadcast Guests Call Nation to Action [FOF CitizenLink]

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Your thoughts

Personally, I'm pretty happy to hear that I'll be able to get married in a couple years. I consider that good news. Sorry FOF, but I'm itchin to check that "married, filing jointly" box!

Posted by: Jessica | Oct 10, 2007 11:50:14 AM

Jessica: Yea, no doubt! Focus actually sounds more optimistic about our impending marriages than even our own advocacy groups.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 10, 2007 11:54:10 AM

I'm looking forward to the day that my fellow Homosexual brethren are allowed to get married (I personally want a civil union with my partner)

I have to ask G-A-Y I've notice you've use the term
"Legally-recognized monogamy" - why that term? That assumes a lot don’t you think?

Posted by: Alonzo | Oct 10, 2007 12:44:32 PM

Alonzo: We use the term because it highlights the lunacy of how the religious right frames the issue. They demonize gays as being promiscuous, yet when they seek the ultimate vow of commitment, they demonize that as well. And no, the term doesn't make unfair assumptions. The only thing the term assumes is that with marriage equality, gays will have the same right to legally-recognized commitments as their hetero peers. Even if one or both were to break from the monogamy, the bond that is recognized by the government is still that which exists between them and their ONE married partner.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 10, 2007 12:50:09 PM

I agree that these windbags need to shut up! One does not have to agree with or like the gay lifestyle (for whatever ignorant reason), but this country was founded on equal rights for all, and that includes us!

Posted by: Karl | Oct 10, 2007 1:06:32 PM

I've never liked the term marriage in regards to same-sex unions as it has to much religious baggage for my taste.

That being said - I will continue fighting at the ballot box for marriage equality & legally-recognized commitments for all same-sex couples.

But "legally-recognized monogamy" - that just makes me laugh - but then again that's why I visit this website.

Posted by: Alonzo | Oct 10, 2007 1:35:51 PM

Alonzo: But marriage does not have to have ANY religious baggage. What we are seeking is civil marriage, with the religious component an alternate element in which couples may or may not engage (just as it is with hetero duos).
Calling it anything less than marriage is simply unfair. it is the language that is understood the world over. Any alternate route to the same equality is unacceptable.

I do, however, understand that "legally-recognized monogamy" can sound silly. It is used primarily to make a point, but I also use it b/c I just get SO F***ING BORED with saying marriage, gay marriage, same-sex marriage, etc., all the time :-)

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 10, 2007 2:23:07 PM

True marriage doesn't have to have religious baggage but it does and after 2000+ years that's not going to change anytime soon.

Civil marriage isn't the term most folks on our side are using as a matter of fact you're one of few people who have ever used the term.

I do know what civil marriage is and I believe it's the only form of "marriage" our government should recognize -if we really truly live in a country that separates church and state.

Posted by: Alonzo | Oct 10, 2007 2:45:19 PM

Alonzo: You're absolutely right -- our community could do a much better job of separating the civil from the religious in terms of marriage. This is something I have harped on many times in terms of Barack Obama's marriage stance.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 10, 2007 2:49:01 PM

Alonzo, in fact Civil Marriage ALREADY IS the only form of marriage our government recognizes.

If you don't believe it go down to your local priest and have him marry you without getting a civil marriage license from the State. Then file joint married income taxes with your "spouse". When the IRS shows up on your door, explain to them that a priest "married" you and therefore the state must recognize it. Continue to tell them that over and over again as they haul you to jail for tax fraud.

This conflation of religious and civil marriage is a rhetorical tactic that is intended to confuse the two, very separate, very different things.

There is NO federal or state law that requires a pastor, priest, rabbi or imam to marry ANYONE against the teachings, beliefs or traditions of their faith. NOT A SINGLE ONE. Therefore this often repeated meme about not wanting to force churches to marry people against their will is a bogus and shameful talking point meant to confuse and incite. Unfortunately, and more shameful still, is the fact that people (including Democrats like Obama) who know this to be a fact, use this bogus conflation to cover for their opposition to civil marriage equality.

Aside from that, I love how these fundamentalist asshats act as if gay marriage is made available, masses of straight people are going to opt for it over straight marriage. It would be hilarious if it weren't so damned sad and infuriating.

Posted by: Zeke | Oct 10, 2007 2:59:55 PM

Zake: My point is our side really needs to stress the "civil marriage" term as a means to getting equality.

As I said when we use the term "marriage" the image most people in this country and others still see it as a religious union - therefore giving the fundamentalist ammunition as a mean of keeping us from equality based on personal faith.

One of the reasons why same-sex unions were recognized in Canada is because they used the term Civil Marriage as a means of reflecting values of tolerance, respect and equality, therefore allowing officials of religious groups free to refuse to perform marriages that are not in accordance with their religious beliefs.

Posted by: Alonzo | Oct 10, 2007 3:29:05 PM

Great piece on the FOF forecast!
I suppose I know the answer to this question but is that graphic your original work? I'd like to use it on my blog and credit it properly.

Lavi Soloway

Posted by: Lavi Soloway | Oct 10, 2007 4:09:25 PM

Lavi: It is and you may.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 10, 2007 4:19:18 PM


Posted by: Lavi Soloway | Oct 10, 2007 5:10:51 PM


Honey, "Cookies" is a word that stirs up fond memories of baking chocolate-filled treats with my mother.

Perhaps to someone else "Cookies" will remind THEM of the plate of molten-chocolate-filled goodies hurled at their face by an abusive parent.

"Cookies" is a word. What it means is universal in American English. The baggage I assign it is MY choice.

Marriage, Civil Union, really, who cares? I just want the night I propose to my boyfriend to be as special as it is for the straight folks next door.

Just as alcoholics drink . . . Hateful people hate. It's not surprising. Do you honestly believe that by calling an expression of my love a different name, that the religious Reich will run out of ammo? They'll just find something else to hate us for.

I'm not focusing on the hateful- because they'll do whatever they can to make our lives miserable. There are, however, PLENTY of people out there who are indifferent, misinformed, etc. These are genuinely nice straight folks-- just "out of the loop" . . Like twinks in a bear bar. These are the people I choose to focus on.

I'd rather spend my time preventing people from turning into mindless FOF Zombies . . as opposed to wasting a TON of energy trying to convert those zombies back into humans.

Also, thanks, G-A-Y, for a great post.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 12, 2007 4:13:13 PM

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