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Marriage will destroy D.C.'s economy, and other theories conducive to FRC's preconcocted script

by Jeremy Hooper

Obtuseness, thy name is the Family Research Council:

"When same-sex weddings kicked off in D.C. yesterday, the city wasn't seeing anything but dollar signs. In an absurd article in today's Washington Post, reporters tried to argue that counterfeit marriage could be the economic salvation of the city's economy. In a region with 12% unemployment, local officials claim that redefining marriage "will create 700 jobs and contribute $52.2 million over three years to the local economy."

Not so fast, says FRC. The last census counted 3,678 same-sex partner homes in D.C. Assuming that number has stayed roughly the same, then the 150 who applied for marriage licenses yesterday would amount to a whopping four percent of the local homosexual population--hardly the stuff of economic recovery. For the Post's $52.2 million projection to come true, all 3,678 of those D.C. couples would have to get married and spend over $14,000 per wedding. (I don't know about you, but my wife and I spent a LOT less!) These "marriages" (which have yet to meet financial expectations in other states) may make a fast buck in the short term, but they will do nothing but drain the economy down the road.
For Richer or (More Likely) Poorer [FRC]

Okay, first off: This is the nation's capital we're talking about. There are going to be LOTS of gays and lesbians who come from one of the states that recognizes out-of-state same-sex marriages (MA, IA, NH, VT, CT, NY, and neighboring MD) for the purposes of marrying in the vibrant District. So it's just plain silly to look only to the local same-sex-headed homes!

And beyond that: $14,000 is not a high wedding bar. This writer married last June. My wedding price tag went WELL beyond 14k. And while I and my husband are Manhattanites, every last bit of our commerce (save our clothes and a few ancillary items) went to Connecticut vendors. Venue, planners, rehearsal dinner, florists, photographers, videographers, caterers, bakers, hotels, shuttle bus rental, etc. -- all of this $$$ was exported to a state other than our own! Had D.C. been an option to us at the time, we very well might have chosen to "I do" under the Washington monument. Now that it is an option for countless other same-sex couples, there's no doubt that many will choose it as their destination.

But then, because FRC is not only obtuse but also just plain extremist, the writer of this piece (who is credited as being Tony Perkins but is most surely not) goes on to cite this little nugget as the reason why our unions will actually drain D.C.:

"Consider the massive health care expenses incurred by taxpayers every year to cope with the diseases spread by homosexual behavior. According to the Kaiser Foundation, federal funding grew to more than $18 billion in 2004 to deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Over half of all U.S. infections are in men having sex with men! That means taxpayers spend roughly $10 billion a year treating the diseases caused by a behavior celebrated in same-sex "marriage."

When a group blames HIV/AIDS on any population, they've already lost the argument. Most always. Because yes, in this country this cruel disease affected the gay male population most significantly in the early days, which has obviously kept gay men vulnerable every vaccine/cure-less year since. But that's not the case everywhere. It's just that groups like FRC only need to mine political opportunity off of the backs of American gays, so we are the only ones who they need to cruelly fight at the expense of fighting the disease itself!

But in this case, if we want to play their disgusting game, we can still refute FRC. Because marriage means commitment. Marriage means pledging to one person. Marriage equality means a less-stigmatized world, where gay people are told that their lives and loves are as much a part of "normalcy" as anyone else's. So even if you want to be a radical evangelical who uses political motivations to cast gays as sexually rampant beings who increase STDs, you cannot deny that a culture of marriage equality would work against what you think you know about gays' sex lives!

But of course none of this matters to FRC. If we seek a custom built around monogamy, we're still painted as disease-spreading perverts. If we demonstrably bolster economies, we're still painted as a burden. And when we meet the burdens and prove our right to civil freedom, they still spin us as unprincipled liars who are out to get them. There is no winning with them. Which would be frustrating if we weren't, you know -- winning.

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Your thoughts

Hey Jeremy, I'm curious about something - you've referred several times to Tony's pieces being ghostwritten and I was wondering what makes you say that? Is it a mismatch between the written vs. verbal themes and turns of phrase? Or maybe the "voice" of the pieces changes periodically, likely corresponding to their intern schedule?

Posted by: DN | Mar 11, 2010 9:04:30 AM

Yea, it's mostly the voice changes, DN. I've always assumed they are ghostwritten. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so.

That being said: He's the one who must take responsibility for them, regardless. You outsource work that goes out under your moniker, you still have to answer for it.

Personally I don't see how anyone would ever be comfortable with the concept. Maybe I'm just too much of a control freak, but I could never have a staff churn out words under my name.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 11, 2010 9:07:12 AM

My first thought was, "A lot of people will be coming down from Maryland." Washington, DC is a beautiful place, especially in spring. I can quite easily imagine same-sex couples wanting to get married when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.

My wife and I spent about $15,000. Much of it did go to help our friends and relatives with travel expenses--and I helped with the cooking, my wife sewed our dresses, and my brother was the DJ--but it was virtually all spent in Massachusetts. We'd have loved to keep our (and my wife's generous uncle's) money in Brooklyn or take it to my home state of Florida, given the opportunity.

The idea that marriage of any kind spreads STDs is risible at best, a disgusting lie at worse.

I almost wish these people would just say, "We really, really, really, really hate queer people and don't want them to experience a moment's happiness," and be done with it!

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | Mar 11, 2010 9:11:52 AM

Desperate people use all sorts of lies and misquotes to further their cause which they have already lost but are just too stupid to realize it

Posted by: william | Mar 11, 2010 9:43:50 AM

Wow! Where were the sarcastic and demeaning quotes surrounding the word "weddings", when he wrote: "When same-sex weddings kicked off..."?

And by the way, Jeremy...since you brought up your own out-of-state wedding, has your local gov't attempted to "rationalize" the fact that your state will RECOGNIZE marriages between two men or two women performed in any other state that allows it, but...they refuse to allow Gay couples to actually get hitched at home? I mean, seriously, bro. WTF?! Has anyone in the media even noted the absurdity of this position?

Albeit I am an Iowan, I can't help but appreciate the thought of getting married in the presence of the blossoming cherry trees in D.C.!

Strange, though, how this "Tony" keeps harping ion about HIV being a "Gay" disease! It's impact upon us was merely a fluke of nature, thanks to some pan-sexual flight attendant in the 1970s whom, I hear, was remorseless till the end. Very sad... However, would he still be blaming the victims of an STD if it was regarded as a "heterosexual" disease, instead, had it's primary victims not have been Gay? I doubt it. After all, the vast majority of HIV victims in Africa *are*, in fact, heterosexuals! Hell, *I* am convinced that had HIV been primarily spread by heterosexuals, we'd probably have a cure by now (okay, wishful thinking!), but Regan most DEFINITELY would have spoken out about it to warn the public and to make available money to stop it from getting as bad as it did. Just imagine all of our talented brothers who were taken from us in those early days, each of whom could have been such a wise voice--an Elder to respect and listen to, to tell us their history and "what it was like". Ya' know what I mean?

Posted by: Wade MacMorrighan | Mar 11, 2010 9:43:50 AM

"has your local gov't attempted to "rationalize" the fact that your state will RECOGNIZE marriages between two men or two women performed in any other state that allows it, but...they refuse to allow Gay couples to actually get hitched at home?"

It's like it is everywhere. Our allies find it as ridiculous as you do. I know firsthand that my state senator, Liz Krueger, finds it as ridiculous/disturbing as we do. But those who back baseless bias don't want to hear it. They'd rather recite the same talking points about how we're "destroying" something.

Meanwhile, NYC's vast gay population can be in CT in less than an hour, and get ourselves legally married in less than two. It's unbelievably absurd.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 11, 2010 9:55:40 AM

I have friends who have traveled as far away as Italy, Ireland, the Bahamas, and even Paris to attend / be involved in wedding parties. In the case of destination weddings, the expenses borne by the betrothed (or usually, their parents) is generally only a fraction of the total expenses. And, the vast majority of those expenses benefit the local economy at the destination. It's ludicrous for Perkins to equate his bargain basement local church extravaganza (replete with the drunken brother-in-law who crashed on the sofa, and the broken down RVs in the driveway) with a real wedding.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Mar 11, 2010 10:53:43 AM

While it's also obvious that HIV/AIDS is not just a gay disease and that logic is so far flawed and outdated it's sickening, the biggest flaw with their "insurance to take care of gay homosexual behavior that spread disease" shtick is this: a gay man with AIDS could go into a courthouse and marry his best friend, who happens to be a girl, and get on her company's health insurance. You are not suddenly increasing the amount of health care necessary. If "everyone were straight", everyone would be entitled to such benefits. So it's not lke we need to create MORE benefits and spend more on benefits - the person already exists, and the potential to marry is there, if they really wanted to marry just for health insurance. What's the difference if the marriage is gay or straight? If a person had a straight marriage, it'd still account for benefit costs.

You have to remember who these people are pandering to and trying to influence. Homeschooled Bible thumping biggots who take junk science as honest to god truth. The reason they can be so obtuse is because their constituancy is obtuse. It's the same as racists who tried to use the "blacks hav a smaller brain than whites" as justification. They don't know where they heard it, they are obviously not doctors, and probably have never seen a brain, but they "heard it" somewhere, or "read it" somewhere. That's all the proof they need. Simple (false) logic for simple minds. Quite sad.

Jeremy, I agree, my sister's wedding was in the mid 30's. I'm shocked that anyone would marry this guy, let alone pay to do so lol.

I'm proud of DC. I went to school at Maryland, and I spent a lot of time in DC. I hope the couples who choose to get married there take advantage of the cherry blossoms and there's a great bar called Mad Hatters, perfect for bachelor/bachelorette parties! :)

Posted by: Stef | Mar 11, 2010 11:09:38 AM

Over half of all U.S. infections are in men having sex with men! That means taxpayers spend roughly $10 billion a year treating the diseases caused by a behavior celebrated in same-sex "marriage."


Race % of AIDS diagnoses in 2007 % of population in 2007
White 30% 66%
Black/African American 49% 12%
Hispanic/Latino 19% 15%
Asian 1% 4%
American Indian/Alaska Native <1% <1%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
<1% <1%

This is why they're careful to never give any sources for these claims. They must know who else their arguments apply to.

Posted by: penguinsaur | Mar 11, 2010 1:47:46 PM

Where does the 18 billion dollar price tag include? I would say mostly research money given to private industry to find a cure, not to actually help anyone with their health care costs. What an obvious lie.

Posted by: Mykelb | Mar 13, 2010 11:19:40 AM

Wade, please know that the "pansexual flight attendant" story has been debunked. Please do some research through POZ magazine. to know that the HIV virus has been in the U.S. much longer than the "patient zero" story-- as far back as the 1960s.

Posted by: Mykelb | Mar 13, 2010 11:30:38 AM

Wade, check out the CDC site to know more facts: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/qa/qa3.htm

Posted by: Mykelb | Mar 13, 2010 11:49:49 AM

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