Marriage Equality

FRC to Pastors: Now THIS is an Anti-Gay Sermon!

If the Family Research Council gets its way, evangelical Christians all across America will hear their pastor deliver a sermon written by an FRC official condemning homosexuality and the advance of marriage equality this weekend or next.  On March 26 and 27 the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in cases involving California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and this week FRC emailed pastors urging them to hold a “Stand for Marriage Sunday” before then, providing links to a sermon and full-color bulletin insert recapping its main points.

The 4300-word suggested sermon and accompanying power point presentation start with the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and march through every Religious Right talking point on homosexuality, marriage equality, and the Satanic, anti-Christian, Nazi-like gay rights movement that is inviting the downfall of civilization. Here are the section heads and some highlights:

Section 1: The Divine Pattern

The sermon says God created men and women to complete each other, and actually includes, “Aren’t you glad God created Adam and Eve, and not just Adam and Steve?” It quotes James Dobson saying “More than ten thousand studies have concluded that kids do best when they are raised by mothers and fathers.” And it asserts that in both the Old and New Testaments, “one man and one woman in a marriage covenant relationship for life is the divine pattern.” (The sermon does not address the abundant inconvenient exceptions to one-man, one-woman marriage in the Bible.)

After reviewing all the ways marriage makes people, couples, and children happier, the section concludes:

God’s way works! Think about it. Every civilization in history is built upon the institution of marriage. It is the foundation. The happiness of couples, the welfare of children, the propagation of the faith, the wellbeing of society, and the orderliness of civilization are all dependent upon the stability of marriage according to the divine pattern. When this God-given pattern is undermined, the whole superstructure of society becomes unstable. Any deviation from the divine pattern invites disaster.

Section 2: The Deceptive Perversion

According to the sermon, homosexuality is a deceptive perversion, a sin that is “open rebellion against the divine pattern.” It cites the familiar “abomination” verses and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Section 3: The Definitive Problem

This section compares gay-rights advocates’ claims that people are born Gay or that “God made us gay” to Nazi propaganda. “They essentially practice Joseph Goebel’s Nazi philosophy of propaganda, which is basically this: Tell a lie long enough and loud enough and eventually most mindless Americans will believe it.” The sermon also compares homosexuality to other “sexual sins” such as promiscuity, adultery and pedophilia. “I do not believe,” it says, “that God would not place in your genetic code something that would damn your immortal soul.” [sic on the double negative]

Section 4: The Destructive Program

This section recounts the dangers of the “radical homosexual agenda,” its goal of “silencing critics in the clergy and Christian media,” and its conquest of the entertainment, educational, and legal arenas, citing a litany of familiar Religious Right horror stories about the alleged persecution of Christians who stand against the merciless gay rights steamroller.  And it pushes one of the primary talking points of Religious Right leaders and their conservative Catholic allies: that equality and religious liberty are fundamentally incompatible:

Where homosexual activists win legal approval, whether by court action or legislation, they often deny our full rights as Christians because a homosexual’s so-called “civil rights” and a Christian’s freedom of conscience and speech opposing homosexuality are mutually exclusive.

“Listen,” the sermon warns, “homosexual activists won’t stop at recognition, their aim is domination. They will not stop until they win over our children and our convicting voice is silenced.”

Section 5: The Determined Plan

These are the action steps FRC wants people hearing the sermon to take:

Action Step 1: Pray

The sermon calls on people to pray for spiritual revival and for “God’s mercy on a nation that is speeding toward Sodom, and hurtling toward Gomorrah.”

Action Step 2: Practice

This section says Christians give up their credibility to challenge the culture when their divorce rate is the same as everyone else’s, and urges people to follow biblical instructions on marriage and home life.

Action Step 3: Participate

This section is a direct rebuke to people who think politics are of the world, something Christians should stay out of. “Since God created the institution of government, would He want His people to stay out of it? No. If Christians don’t ‘render to Caesar’ (Matt. 22:21) and don’t function as ‘salt’ and ‘light’ (Matt. 5:13-16) in the arena of government, then we disobey the commands of Christ and allow Satan to prevail by default.”  The sermon urges people to write blog posts, use Facebook and Twitter, comment on news stories, knock on doors, contact elected officials, and join the March for Marriage being organized by the National Organization for Marriage and its allies in Washington DC on March 26.

Action Step 4: Proclaim

This section urges people to tell those in the “homosexual lifestyle” that they do not have to remain “slaves to sin” but can pray away the gay.

Let’s stand along these poor misguided and lost people trapped in Satan’s snare. Let’s love them out of that sinful and destructive lifestyle! ... But let’s also exercise our rights as Christian citizens! Listen, we can make the difference. Together, Christians all across America can protect and preserve marriage for our children and our children’s children. Let’s stand for God’s plan for marriage because our future depends on it. And all of God’s people said: Amen!

PFAW is United for Marriage

Marriage equality will be before the Supreme Court on March 26 and 27. PFAW will be there with the United for Marriage coalition. You can join us in DC or attend an event near you.
PFAW

Southern Baptist Convention Poll More Bad News for Anti-Gay Activists

The Southern Baptist Convention’s polling arm LifeWay is out with a new poll revealing widespread support for gay rights, particularly among young people. According to the survey, a clear majority of Americans believe that “homosexuality is a civil rights issue like gender, race and age,” agree that same-sex marriage is “inevitable” and oppose employment discrimination against gays and lesbians.

The denomination is a fierce critic of marriage equality and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and last year passed a resolution “opposing the idea that gay rights are the same as civil rights.”

Richard Land, the denomination’s top political spokesman, has claimed that the Devil is behind homosexuality and warned that gay rights will lead to divine judgment and “paganization.” While the SBC believes it is wrong to consider gay rights a civil rights issues, Land compared his own anti-gay activism to Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership of the Civil Rights Movement.

Key findings from the poll include:

  • 64 percent of those polled agreed “it is inevitable that same-sex marriage will become legal throughout the United States.”
  • “80 percent of Americans disagree that employers should be allowed to refuse employment to someone based on their sexual preference.”
  • 58 percent of respondents agreed with the question: “like age, race, and gender, homosexuality is a civil rights issue.”
  • A majority of Americans believe rental halls and landlords should not be allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples.
  • “More Americans do not believe homosexual behavior is a sin than those who believe it is a sin.”

The poll also found that women, young people and people with college degrees were more likely to favor gay rights.

LifeWay’s survey appears to line up with a new bipartisan analysis of exit polls which found that opposition to marriage equality is concentrated among the elderly, white evangelical Christians and people without college degrees.

Wildmon: Overturning DOMA and Prop 8 May Lead to Hate Speech Laws

During the debate over the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Religious Right groups like the American Family Association warned that the law would “criminalize negative comments concerning homosexuality” and “take away our religious freedoms.”

Of course, none of that happened, but that hasn’t stopped anti-gay activists from making the exact same false claims again and hoping more people will fall for it.

Yesterday, AFA president Tim Wildmon appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show and alleged that if the Supreme Court overturned Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) then we will see “persecution against Christians” and restrictions on the freedom of speech.

Wildmon: You’re headed down the road of persecution against Christians who believe in the Bible as their standard for moral behavior. In Canada now they have different rules there where you can’t even criminalize the lifestyle itself or you’ll be charged with a hate crime. You know that’s the road we’re headed down if these laws, if DOMA is struck down, if Prop 8 is struck down, then you’re headed for control of speech, even if it’s religious speech.

Ironically, the AFA’s own legal counsel, Pat Vaughn, admitted that “the Defense of Marriage Act is probably unconstitutional.”

LaBarbera: 'How Do Two Guys Consummate Their Marriage? Yuck.'

Americans For Truth About Homosexuality president Peter LaBarbera appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show yesterday to discuss the prospects of the Illinois marriage equality bill, or as he called it, “homosexual so-called marriage.” LaBarbera argued that same-sex couples cannot truly be married because they can never consummate the marriage: “If you want to just think of how wrong homosexual so-called marriage is just ask yourself: how do two guys consummate their marriage? Yuck.”

Later, he lamented that soon gay and lesbian teachers may be able to talk about their marriages in school just as a “normal heterosexual married person could.”

LaBarbera: If you want to just think of how wrong homosexual so-called marriage is just ask yourself: how do two guys consummate their marriage? Yuck.

Mefferd: I’m sure they don’t like that question, Peter.

LaBarbera: Yes, they don’t like it and it’s because it’s absurd. The whole concept is absurd. It’s not marriage. You know one angle that I’m going to be writing about Janet is if you’ve got homosexual so-called marriage legalized you’re going to end up teaching gay sex-ed, there is no way around it.



LaBarbera: I believe it was on NPR in Boston after homosexual so-called marriage was legalized there, or forced by the courts, one I believe it was a teacher who said she was emboldened to talk more frankly about homosexuality in the schools in Massachusetts. Think about it, if a teacher is so-called married, say a guy, a male teacher is married to another man, so-called because of course it’s not really marriage, he gets to talk about that marriage in the classroom just as a normal heterosexual married person could talk about — you know a man could talk about his wife.

Why It’s Time to Dump DOMA: Valeria Carranza

This piece is the sixth in a series of guest blog posts on “Why It’s Time to Dump DOMA.” In the weeks leading up to the Supreme Court arguments on the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, we’re asking friends of PFAW to share why dumping DOMA matters to them. Be sure to check back soon for the latest post in the series.

Growing up as a gay woman in a conservative Salvadoran household was like being the protagonist in one of the telenovelas that I used to watch with my Maminena, my grandma. Thankfully, here in Maryland, being gay is no longer an obstacle to marrying the love of my life.

After a hard-fought battle, my girlfriend and I now have the right to say, “I do.”

Unlike most economic development initiatives, tax increases, and transportation projects, our ability to marry was taken to the polls and put to a vote. Marriage for same-sex couples is still treated like an earned privilege rather than a given right. While we won the right to marry in Maryland, thanks to DOMA our marriage would not be recognized under federal law.

My relationship, under this law, does not count. DOMA is a vehicle for discrimination and it hurts our families.
 
When thinking about equality, whether it’s equal protection under federal law, marriage equality or equal protection for our transgender community, two words come to mind: unconditional love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unconditional love. That is what equality means to me: unconditional love for our community, constituents, neighbors, co-workers, schoolmates, friends, family members. Because when you truly love, you don’t let discrimination and injustice take place in your community – or in your country.

The Defense of Marriage Act is just as outdated as the concept of “traditional marriage” being restricted to heterosexuals only. It’s time to dump DOMA – let unconditional love take its place.

Valeria Carranza
Alumna of affiliate People For the American Way Foundation’s Front Line Leaders Academy

 

PFAW

PFAWF’s African American Ministers Leadership Council Submits Amicus Briefs in Marriage Equality Cases

Last week the Equal Justice Task Force of the African American Ministers Leadership Council, a program of People For the American Way Foundation, joined with a broad coalition of organizations in filing amicus briefs for the marriage equality cases being considered by the Supreme Court.  These cases – Hollingsworth v. Perry, which challenges California’s Proposition 8, and Windsor v. U.S., which challenges Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – represent landmark opportunities for our nation to move toward making marriage equality a reality for all Americans. 

“As African American faith leaders, we feel it is our responsibility to question hatred and discrimination wherever it happens – and especially in our laws,” said Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, Director of the African American Ministers Leadership Council. “Laws singling out and preventing same-sex couples from getting married are blatantly discriminatory and they hurt our communities. These amicus briefs voice our support for equal rights and equal justice for all of God’s children.”

The amicus brief for the Hollingsworth case, a continuation of the 2010 brief PFAW Foundation submitted when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed the case, exposes the discriminatory nature of the supposedly “moral” rationales for Proposition 8:

This Court has refused for three-quarters of a century to uphold laws disfavoring minority groups based on religious or moral disapproval alone—with the one, now-discredited exception of Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986). And for good reason: Time and again throughout our nation’s history, laws that disadvantaged or degraded particular groups have been justified by resort to morality and religion. And time and again, our society has come to see those laws as repugnant, and the religious and moral disapproval justifying them as little more than a means to enshrine the status quo.


Likewise, the amicus brief for the Windsor case points out:

This Court has long implicitly acknowledged the connection between religious justifications and the Equal Protection guarantee. The Court’s decision overturning Virginia’s law forbidding marriage between persons of different races is illustrative. In Loving v. Virginia, the Court dismissed the Virginia trial judge’s proffered religious-based rationale, which cited God’s hand in creating different races, recognizing instead that “[t]here is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification.” 388 U.S. 1, 11 (1967). Ultimately, the Court recognized that the anti-miscegenation law served no secular purpose, and was based on nothing more than racial discrimination—even if disguised as a moral or religious belief.


As these briefs highlight, discrimination – even if cloaked in the language of religious or moral beliefs – is still discrimination.

PFAW Foundation

Harry Jackson: 'Absurd' to Think 'Homosexuals Are Being Denied Equal Protection'

Harry Jackson is out with a column today accusing gay rights supporters of seeking “to hijack not only the moral authority of the Civil Rights Movement, but also the legal arguments which liberated minorities from centuries of legalized oppression and discrimination.” He specifically takes issue with the fact that marriage equality supporters cite the Fourteenth Amendment and Loving v. Virginia, which found anti-miscegenation laws to be unconstitutional.

Jackson explains that same-sex couples don’t have a right to marry because “‘marriage’ means what it has always meant in America: the union of one man and one woman,” and cites a Nevada ruling which argued that marriage laws aren’t discriminatory because a gay person has the right to marry someone of the opposite sex.

Ironically, those two arguments were exactly those used by supporters of laws banning interracial marriage.

Peggy Pascoe in “What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America” writes that up until the 1960s white society and the white-dominated legal system “believe[d] that the interracial marriage was unnatural” and “assumed that the marriage of one White man to one White woman was the only kind of marriage worthy of the name.”

Not only did they not consider interracial marriage to be a “marriage,” but they also argued that anti-miscegenation laws were not discriminatory because they applied to people of every race and did not target one race in particular.

Despite this history about marriage laws, Jackson concludes his column by insisting that “the notion that homosexuals are being denied equal protection under the law becomes absurd.”

From the very beginning, homosexual “marriage” activists have sought to hijack not only the moral authority of the Civil Rights Movement, but also the legal arguments which liberated minorities from centuries of legalized oppression and discrimination.

After decades of aggressive activism, the common sense understanding of marriage has become almost hopelessly mired in incomprehensible legal terminology. It becomes difficult for everyday observers to navigate the convoluted logic homosexual activists employ as they attempt to remake one of civilization’s oldest institutions. The argument that redefining marriage to include homosexual couples is only “fair” rests on a specious interpretation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The clause reads as follows:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

As most of us know, the Fourteenth Amendment was enacted just before the end of the Civil War in response to the Black Codes of the South. The Black Codes were various state laws which, among other things, prevented blacks from owning property and imposed harsher penalties for crimes on blacks than on whites. The Fourteenth Amendment clarified that these laws were unconstitutional, and that the government was obligated to protect the rights of all citizens equally.

So what about the “right” to marry? Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) activists argue that the state is abridging their privileges, often citing Chief Justice Earl Warren’s words in Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 decision that overturned state bans on interracial marriage: “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”

I agree with Justice Warren that marriage is a central ingredient in the pursuit of happiness. I disagree with LGBT activists about what “marriage” is. And it is very hard to have a reasonable or productive discussion when the two sides cannot agree on the definition of a central term. You and I may agree that it should be legal to walk a dog in a particular public park. But you may think that the term “dog” includes only domesticated members of the Canis lupus familiaris species, and I may think that the term “dog” can include large gray wolves. You may argue that “dog” should be defined by the laws and traditions that have governed dog ownership for generations, and I may feel that such an approach in unfair to people who want to walk wolves in the park. The point is that we cannot get anywhere until we agree on what a “dog” is.

Homosexuals are not being denied “marriage” rights any more than wolf enthusiasts are being denied dog-ownership rights. Last November, a federal appeals court in Nevada pointed out homosexuals are not, in fact, being denied the right to marry, as the term “marriage” has been long understood. A lesbian couple had sued the state, seeking to overturn Nevada’s ban on gay marriage under the Fourteenth Amendment. Wrote Judge Robert Jones:

Like heterosexual persons, they [homosexuals] may not marry members of the same sex. A homosexual man may marry anyone a heterosexual man may marry, and a homosexual woman may marry anyone a heterosexual woman may marry.

Judge Jones went on to point out that homosexuals have little cause to identify with historically oppressed minorities in the United States, observing that, “Homosexuals have not historically been denied the right to vote, the right to serve on juries, or the right to own property.” Judge Jones starts with the assumption, as we all should, that “marriage” means what it has always meant in America: the union of one man and one woman. If we begin with that reality, the notion that homosexuals are being denied equal protection under the law becomes absurd.

CWA: Marriage Equality 'Will Mean the Destruction of Freedom and Liberty'

Mario Diaz of Concerned Women for America promoted the upcoming Marriage March by warning that gay rights advocates seek to “silence” opponents and that marriage equality “will mean the destruction of freedom and liberty.”

We want people who love God and His principles and who are aware of what the attack on traditional marriage will do to come out and stand up for marriage and for God’s principles and to send a message to the Supreme Court and to other people that we will not be silenced because that is the intent and the strategy of the other side to silence those of us who stand up for the traditional view of marriage.



With truth on our side we most definitely can make sure that our children’s future is protected, God can do it. I know that conventional wisdom says out there that we are losing this fight and there is no use in fighting anymore but we don’t have that luxury. We believe that the destruction of this institution established by God will mean the destruction of freedom and liberty. We must stand and we will on March 26, we hope you can be here with us.

Turek: Ban Gay Marriage Because We Can't All Be Police Officers

The fervently anti-gay writer Frank Turek takes to Townhall today to present an interesting analogy. Turke argues that when gays and lesbians advocate for marriage equality, they are being just as unreasonable as someone who “can’t qualify to become a police officer” protesting “when the government pays other people to be police officers.” He goes on to say that gays and lesbians can “simply marry someone of the opposite sex” and that the legalization of same-sex marriage will harm children and cause Americans to “lose the freedom of speech.”

Of course, the argument that gays and lesbians already have marriage equality because they could just marry a person of a different gender was the same claim made by supporters of anti-miscegenation laws who asserted that interracial marriage was unnatural and that people already have the same right to marry someone of their race.

Here’s why promoting natural marriage exclusively does not deny anyone equal rights.

First, everyone has the same equal right to marry a qualified person of the opposite sex. That law treats every man and woman equally, but not every behavior they may desire equally. Same sex marriage and natural marriage are different behaviors with different outcomes, so the law rightfully treats them differently. One behavior perpetuates and stabilizes society, and the other doesn’t. Promoting one behavior does not deny rights to people who don’t engage in that behavior.

An analogy may help clarify this point. Like marriage, the government promotes police work by paying people to become police officers because police do much good for society. But if you can’t qualify to become a police officer, or if you choose another vocation, your rights are not being violated when the government pays other people to be police officers. All people, regardless of their vocation, experience the benefits of police, just like all people, regardless of their marriage status, experience the benefits of natural marriage.



Some will ignore those biological realities and object, “But men and women are the same so there’s no difference between homosexual and heterosexual relationships!” If that were true, no one would be arguing for same-sex marriage. The very fact people demand same-sex marriage is precisely because they know men and women are drastically different. If men and women were the same, no one would be spending time and energy trying to get same-sex marriage approved. They would simply marry someone of the opposite sex—which according to them is the same as someone of the same sex—and be done with it.



Now, I am not suggesting that a law would fully achieve either, but only to point out that natural and same-sex marriage should not be legally or culturally equated. The truth is homosexual and heterosexual relationships are not the same, can never be the same, and will never yield the same benefits to individuals or society. We hurt everyone, especially children, by pretending otherwise.

Finally, as jurisdictions with same-sex marriage show us, people lose their freedoms of speech, association, religion and even parenting due to the imposition of same-sex marriage. In Massachusetts, for example, parents now have no right to even know when their kids as young as kindergarten are being taught about homosexuality, much less opt out of it; business owners must now provide benefits to same-sex couples, and they can be fined for declining to provide services at homosexual weddings; Catholic charities were forced to close and leave Massachusetts and Washington D.C. because both governments mandated that all adoption agencies had to provide children to homosexuals. So much for freedom of religion! And in Canada, same-sex marriage has led to such a chilling restriction on speech, that my speech here today could get me fined or jailed if given there.

To sum up, the government already permits homosexual relationships, but promoting them by equating them with married heterosexual relationships ignores the facts of nature, the needs of children and the health of society. While people with different sexual attractions are equal, not all behaviors are equally beneficial. True equality treats equal behaviors equally. It doesn’t demand that different behaviors be treated the same.

Why It’s Time to Dump DOMA: Reverend Charles Williams II

This piece is the fifth in a series of guest blog posts on “Why It’s Time to Dump DOMA.” In the weeks leading up to the Supreme Court arguments on the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, we’re asking friends of PFAW to share why dumping DOMA matters to them. Be sure to check back soon for the latest post in the series.

Is it wrong for committed couples to share retirement and medical benefits? Is it wrong for Americans to expect to receive equal justice under the law?

No, but it is wrong for our government to dictate who we can love and who we cannot. It is wrong for our government to recognize some married couples and not others. But that is exactly what the Defense Of Marriage Act does.

Marriage equality doesn’t hurt anybody or take away anybody’s freedoms. But DOMA does both of those things. Supporters of DOMA sound dangerously like those who said we should outlaw interracial marriages in the previous century. It’s time for this country to say we are done with DOMA and dump it.

Reverend Charles Williams II
Member of People For the American Way’s African American Ministers In Action

PFAW

LaBarbera: Gay Rights Legal Brief Is a 'Tool of Repression'

In an interview with the American Family Association’s news affiliate Instant Analysis (formerly OneNewsNow), Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality condemned the large group of corporations that joined legal briefs asking the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8.

LaBarbera blasted the corporations for “pushing homosexuality on the American public,” calling the amicus brief “a tool of repression against Christians and people of faith who simply want their right to not support homosexuality.” He claimed that if the Supreme Court rules against Prop 8, “that will be a sad day for American freedom” and “a disaster,” as deciding who should have the freedom to marry “should be left up to citizens.”

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality acknowledges that corporations are at liberty to do what they want privately, such as adopting pro-homosexual policies.

“... But when you start pushing homosexuality on the American public using the government, that's another matter,” he offers. “Then it becomes a tool of repression against Christians and people of faith who simply want their right to not support homosexuality.”

According to the family advocate, the Prop. 8 case before the nation's high court is essentially the “Roe v. Wade” of the homosexual movement.

“If the court steps in and overrides the decision of the people of California not to support homosexual so-called marriage, that will be a sad day for American freedom,” he tells American Family News. “All across the nation citizens have spoken on this issue – [and] at the very least it should be left up to citizens.

“If the court imposes national homosexual marriage, that will be a disaster – and it will fuel the culture wars for decades to come.”

Of course, it is absurd to argue that a Supreme Court decision against DOMA or Prop 8 actively represses or takes away the rights of marriage equality opponents. But the Religious Right is often inconsistent in its arguments. Another AFA news item, however, explicitly rejects paying any attention to how the public feels, contradicting LaBarbera’s argument.

Sam Rohrer, a former Republican lawmaker in Pennsylvania and head of the Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network, tells the AFA that the public’s view on marriage equality doesn’t matter because judges should rule according to “moral law” established by God as “the base of the Constitution and the individual rights guaranteed by it are based on the Bible.”

The Christian Post reported on Monday that The Washington Post has published two polls that show "Americans are done with DOMA." But the Pennsylvania Pastors' Network (PPN) contends that the results are "likely skewed."

PPN president Sam Rohrer believes that polls are worth about the amount it cost to conduct them - particularly when they are financed by organizations that advocate for the destruction of marriage, including the Respect for Marriage Coalition.

"When they use polls to try to substantiate and/or to prove an acceptance of a position that has not been historically sound, I'm saying [that] is an inappropriate use of polls," Rohrer submits. "And any judge that looks to the poll as a determination of how they may or may not judge and rule on this case is to embrace moral relativism rather than moral law."

That is especially relevant now, as the U.S. Supreme Court is to hear arguments on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act next month; the resulting ruling is expected near the end of June.

The Coalition's poll results show that 83 percent of Americans, "regardless of their personal opinion on the issue," believes same-sex "marriage" will be legal nationally "in the next five to ten years." But that can only happen if the federal Defense of Marriage Act is repealed by the Supreme Court or Congress.

And a national survey conducted on behalf of the Center for American Progress (CAP) and Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) reportedly reveals that 59 percent of registered voters "oppose" Section 3 of DOMA, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman and a spouse as someone of the opposite gender.

The PPN president asserts that the purpose of the recent polls is to influence public opinion and the courts.

"What the Pastors' Network is saying is that when making a decision, a moral decision where you're talking about an institution created by God, God doesn't need public opinion polls; so neither should a judge consider what polls may or may not be," Rohrer contends. "It's a moral decision, and moral decisions ought to be made based on what God says -- not what some poll may or may not say."

Part of the oath of office high court justices take is to support and defend the Constitution. And as Rohrer points out, the base of the Constitution and the individual rights guaranteed by it are based on the Bible -- not the popular view of the culture.

Don Feder Warns Gay Rights Furthers the 'Sexual-Equality Death March'

Don Feder of the World Congress of Families today harshly criticized the increasing number of Republicans who favor legalizing same-sex marriage, which he said would turn the GOP into “the Party of Gross Stupidity.”

Feder warns that gay rights advocates like President Obama is leading Americans “from the bath houses and fern bars to the broad sunlit plains of spouse-#1 and spouse-#2 marriage licenses” as part of “the sexual-equality death march, which ends with the demise of Judeo-Christian morality.”

While some Republicans are laboring diligently to expand the Democratic base with amnesty, others are working with equal fervor to shrink the GOP base by betraying the religious right on marriage. Not for nothing are they called the Party of Gross Stupidity.

The ads also have President Obama cautioning us, "Our journey (to the promised land of gender-neutral bathrooms) is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like everyone else under the law." Fearless Leader has a remarkable talent for self-parody. (He will lead them from the bath houses and fern bars to the broad sunlit plains of spouse-#1 and spouse-#2 marriage licenses.)

"Gay marriage" itself is merely a milepost on the sexual-equality death march, which ends with the demise of Judeo-Christian morality.



The foregoing all flow logically from societal embrace of gay rights and marriage mutation. Once a sledgehammer is taken to the foundation, why should any norms stand?

Just as there’s always been same-sex attraction, there have always been blood relatives who’ve violated the injunctions of Leviticus, men who wanted harems, adults with an unhealthy attraction to children, fetishists, sadomasochists and Michael Jackson. Erotic attraction can get as messy as the human psyche.

Civilization depends on taming self-destructive sexual urges, which do great damage to the social fabric. The continuation of the species, and the proper upbringing of the next generation, is based on men marrying women, who will remain true to each other and raise their children with loving discipline.

To sanctify any other arrangement by calling it a marriage is stupid.

Why It’s Time to Dump DOMA: Erik Lampmann

This piece is the fourth in a series of guest blog posts on “Why It’s Time to Dump DOMA.” In the weeks leading up to the Supreme Court arguments on the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, we’re asking friends of PFAW to share why dumping DOMA matters to them. Be sure to check back soon for the latest post in the series.

Attending weddings is always an interesting phenomenon for queer Americans. We might celebrate in the festivities, box out our cousins for the bouquet or present a toast. Yet, for most queer people, myself included, there remains the thought in the back of our minds that -- try as we might -- a federally-recognized marriage is largely beyond our grasp. While I’m not sure when or if I’ll ever try to marry, I am committed to ensuring that American society treats all partnerships as equally valid under the law. Under the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (DOMA), the federal government denies married same-sex couples every one of the 1,000+ federal legal protections that marriage affords and institutionalizes a negative stigma of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) people.  For these reasons alone,  DOMA is antithetical to a “free” America where all citizens are seen as equal under the law.

DOMA’s effects extend even further, however. For instance, the repeal of DOMA is also an issue of economic justice. Because DOMA prevents queer couples from filing their taxes together and sharing health benefits, these couples often pay more than heterosexual couples for the same services and opportunities. DOMA not only prevents same-sex couples from taking on the full benefits and responsibilities of marriage, it penalizes them financially.

The question of whether to “Dump DOMA” is clear for me. As more and more Americans favor marriage equality and as courts reject its reasoning, it’s only a matter of time before all Americans are afforded equal marriage rights under the law. I believe the “arc of history bends towards justice,” and I believe this is a time for all Americans to stand with their queer family, friends, and community members against injustice. DUMP DOMA TODAY!

Erik Lampmann, University of Richmond
Member of affiliate People For the American Way Foundation’s Young People For Program

PFAW

'Religious Liberty' Panelist: Compromise is of the Devil

The Family Research Council hosted a panel discussion Wednesday on religious liberty in America.  If you have paid any attention at all to the frantic warnings from FRC’s Tony Perkins that tyranny is on the march, you could have guessed what was coming.  The overall theme of the conversation was that the HHS mandate for insurance coverage of contraception is a dire threat to religious freedom in America.  So are the advance of marriage equality and laws against anti-gay discrimination – or the “sexual liberty agenda.”

The panel featured three lawyers: Adele Keim of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Kellie Fiedorek of the Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly known as the Alliance Defense Fund) and Ken Klukowski of the Family Research Council.

Keim talked about Becket’s client Hobby Lobby, which is suing the Obama administration over the contraception mandate.  Or as Keim insisted on calling it, the contraception/abortifacient mandate. Keim argued that business owners are no less deserving of religious accommodation than churches or religiously affiliated nonprofits, saying “Americans do not lose their First Amendment rights when they go to work.” Of course by the standard she was invoking, many Americans could find their own rights and access to health care dictated by the religious beliefs of their employer.

The ADF’s Fiedorek focused on the “great peril” to religious liberty posed by the “agenda to expand sexual liberty and redefine marriage.”   She said in the conflict between sexual liberty and religious liberty, "people of faith" are "the ones being marginalized." She recounted a litany of such “persecution,” including now-familiar stories of a New Mexico photographer and a Colorado baker who were penalized under state anti-discrimination laws when they declined to serve same-sex couples celebrating commitment ceremonies.  Fiedorek compared cases in which businesses are required not to discriminate against gay couples to requiring an African American photographer to take pictures at a KKK event or a Jewish baker to create a cake decorated with a swastika.  She called it “particularly atrocious” that Catholic social service agencies were being required to abide by anti-discrimination ordinances – and were being “forced” to close.  She began and closed her presentation with quotes from the movie Chariots of Fire, ending with one that includes, “Don’t compromise. Compromise is a language of the devil.”

Klukowski talked about the role of religious freedom in the settling of America and the founding of the U.S.  And he recycled ridiculous religious right charges that the Obama administration believes not in freedom of religion but in the narrower “freedom of worship,” a notion that he said would be “profoundly disturbing” to the founding fathers.

The most interesting question from the audience focused on implications of the Bob Jones University case, and on whether the racialist Christian Identity movement could make the same religious liberty claims the lawyers were defending.  Why, the questioner asked, couldn’t the “conscience” rights the lawyers wanted for business owners not be claimed by a Christian Identity-affiliated business owner to deny doing business with African American people or interracial couples?

After a moment of awkward silence, Klukowski said that in the Bob Jones case, the Supreme Court had said the university could continue its racially discriminatory policies, but that its tax exemption was a benefit conferred by the government and could therefore be removed, especially in light of the post-civil war constitutional amendments addressing racial discrimination.  Klukowski did not directly address whether and how that principle could, would, or should apply to the current conversation about anti-gay discrimination.  He gave a confusing statement about what he said was the right of a business owner to throw someone out of their store for wearing a certain T-shirt or carrying a Bible.  The First Amendment, he says, allows people to be jerks in their private lives, but it was not clear whether he meant that the relationship between a business and its customers was “purely private” or falls into the category of public accommodation.

FRC Urges Congress to 'Pressure the Supreme Court' on Marriage Cases

The Family Research Council has launched what it is describing as “an ambitious, no-holds-barred campaign to keep marriage as between one man and one woman and preserve the American family.”  FRC is worried about two cases before the Supreme Court that will have “a lasting impact on the very soul of our nation” -- one on California’s Prop 8 and one on the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 

In a direct-mail piece dated on Valentine’s Day, FRC President Tony Perkins says it is important to get members of Congress “to pressure the Supreme Court to come down on the right side of marriage.” Recipients of the letter are encouraged to sign petitions to their representative and senators to urge them to “PRESSURE THE SUPREME COURT TO RULE IN FAVOR OF TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE!”

The text of the petition:

[Representative/Senator], as one of your constituents, I ask that you please use your influence to urge the Supreme Court to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act and state statutes banning same-sex “marriage.” The covenant marriage relationship between one man and one woman is a universally accepted social tradition that transcends all cultures and predates any religion. It is essential for procreation and the stability of society. I respectfully request that you do all in your power to urge the Court to uphold traditional marriage. Thank you for your service to our country.

The letter also recycles some of the same false claims that FRC and its allies made about federal hate crimes legislation, suggesting the advance of marriage equality will lead to the federal government dictating what pastors can preach about homosexuality or prosecuting those who preach against same-sex marriage.  Perkins also claims – falsely  – that the “vast majority of Americans do not want to see marriage redefined” and “the vast majority of voters are against the legitimization of same-sex ‘marriage.’” Actually, a majority of Americans supports marriage equality, according to recent polls by Gallup, Wall Street Journal/NBC, Washington Post/ABC, and CBS News.

But what difference do facts make to Tony Perkins? He says that if the Supreme Court were to support marriage equality, it would be “siding with an extreme minority and defying the will of the majority.” That’s why, he says, “the justices need to know up front that this majority will be anything but ‘silent.’”

FRC’s new “Marriage Preservation Initiative” is, of course, not the first effort to recognize, in Perkins’ words, that, “[d]espite the fact that Supreme Court justices have a reputation for being independent, they, too, are political and can be influenced by public pressure.” Back in 2010, after a district court ruling that Prop 8 was unconstitutional, the late Chuck Colson launched his own campaign to convince the justices that a pro-marriage-equality ruling would lead to “cultural Armageddon.”

Huelskamp: 70% of Americans Oppose Marriage Equality; Obama Wants to 'Destroy the Family'

While he certainly has a lot of competition serving among the likes of Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Louie Gohmert and Steve Stockman, Rep. Tim Huelskamp is doing his best to position himself as the leading congressman of the anti-gay radical right.

Huelskamp told Family Research Council president Tony Perkins in an interview before last night’s State of the Union address that President Obama seeks “to destroy the family and replace it with his view of a radical new social agenda.”

This President has a radical social agenda and the media will probably give him a pass when instead of talking about the fact that mom and dad don’t have a job we’re going to talk about how to destroy the family and replace it with his view of a radical new social agenda. So we’re going to hear a lot about that, we’re going to hear a lot of blaming and also a lot of talk about how he would solve this and that problem but gosh darn it he’s had four years to do that and he hasn’t solved one and I would argue it’s gotten progressively worse since he took office.

The congressman went on to criticize the Republican leadership for trying to avoid a discussion of social issues. Huelskamp, who last year falsely claimed that 85 percent of people in the U.S. don’t support legalizing same-sex marriage, insisted that Republicans “defend the seventy percent position that most Americans support traditional marriage,” which in Religious Right-speak means oppose marriage equality.

Of course, most polls find that just over half of Americans support same-sex marriage.

Huelskamp went on to call the Department of Defense’s extension of partnership benefits to same-sex couples and the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) as “radical ideas” that “most Americans do not accept” because they “specifically and selectively reward homosexual behavior.”

Once again, the majority of Americans favor job protections and partnership benefits for gays and lesbians.

The response from the general leadership is: gosh, we can’t talk about social issues. But the President can? Someone has to stand up and defend the seventy percent position that most Americans support traditional marriage, most Americans understand the value of family, they understand it’s under attack and they understand that, they see it, they believe it. So we got to stand up. I’ve always been confused by Republicans that refuse to support a seventy percent position and say, ‘gosh we can’t take our stand there.’ But whether it’s Obamacare, whether it’s these radical DoD [Department of Defense] proposals coming out of the White House or changing all the employment rules to specifically and selectively reward homosexual behavior, those are really radical ideas and most Americans do not accept them.

So we’ll have an opportunity to hear from the President but again don’t forget he is a lame duck President, he’s not running for election again and I think this could be the most radical we’ll hear from him in a long time because it is Obama unleashed. We’re going to hear tonight probably exactly what he would like to do and he promised he’s going to change America and he’s still after that agenda and that goal.

Youssef: Marriage Equality Will Destroy Western Civilization, Leads to Hell

Televangelist Michael Youssef writes in the Christian Post that the British parliament’s move towards approving marriage equality “could signal the beginning of the end for Western civilization as we know it” and that could eventually legalize polygamy. He concludes his column by warning that “Western populations” may all find themselves in Hell: “If Western populations don’t wake up, before long they will find themselves all the way in the Lake of Fire with the devil laughing his head off.”

On February 5, Britain’s House of Commons voted in favor of legalizing gay marriage. The vote is extremely alarming. It could signal the beginning of the end for Western civilization as we know it.

The idea of same-sex marriage is troubling even to some homosexuals, let alone those who hold a biblical conviction that marriage is intended by the Creator to be between a man and a woman.

The vote, which was 400-175, represented a major crack in the Conservative Party. More than half of its 303 members voted against or abstained from the measure. Prime Minister David Cameron may go down in history as the man who hammered the last nail in the Conservative Party coffin.



The hope now lies within the House of Lords. But that’s a fragile hope. Even if they kill off this troubling legislation, it will only die for a season. The homosexual lobby will bring it up again and again and again. They are tenacious and even vicious. Voters against the legislation have received abuse and even death threats. David Burrowes, a ministerial aide, has been called a “Nazi.”

And this I can predict with certainty: the next group in England to seek similar legislation for their cause will be the polygamists. Muslims in England have been waiting for this legislation to pass before trying to get their legal right to marry four wives.

It is hardly a secret in England that many Muslims claim welfare benefits for multiple wives while the British government turns a blind eye to the hemorrhaging of taxpayer money.

Every time Western civilization seems to reach the bottom, one discovers a new low even farther down the pit. If Western populations don’t wake up, before long they will find themselves all the way in the Lake of Fire with the devil laughing his head off.

Why It’s Time to Dump DOMA: Bishop Allyson Abrams

She Deserves to Be My Wife


This piece is the second in a series of guest blog posts on “Why It’s Time to Dump DOMA.” In the weeks leading up to the Supreme Court arguments on the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, we’re asking friends of PFAW to share why dumping DOMA matters to them. Be sure to check back soon for the latest post in the series.

Love. The love of the one who makes us smile, the one who makes us laugh, the one who makes us feel like we are the only person in the world.  The one who makes us wonder, why did God wait to bring this person in our lives?  The one who makes our toes curl and shiver every time we think about them, hear their voice, see their face, or have intimate moments. Yes, love is what every human being should be afforded while on this earth and on this journey called life. And once we find that true love, we want to make it official and spend the rest of our days enjoying them and experiencing life with them. However, it seems that some people only believe that this bliss or joy should be extended to those of different genders.

The first time I heard the word “partner” for same-sex couples, my friend referred to her mate in that way. I must admit, I questioned how could this term be appropriate for same-gender loving couples. Was it a business relationship? To me, partner is so formal, while wife or husband is so personal. And who refers to the one they love in a formal way? The ones we love we call “baby,” “sweetie,” “honey,” “sugar,” “darling,” and “my dear.” It seems to me that this “partner” term was given to those same-gender loving couples to diminish the true love and awesome power that they experience when being with one another. Yes, there is a partnership involved.  But I think it’s time to recognize that same-sex couples are as “qualified” for marriage as heterosexual couples. Love in my faith tradition is represented in heart, soul and spirit.  It is that love – that love that binds and unifies heart to heart and spirit to spirit that obligates me to say to my friend, “Yes, you have a partner and you also have a wife.”

We are in the 21st century, and the way I see it, it’s time to dump DOMA simply because it discriminates against those who deserve to have their relationships recognized in whatever way they choose – which should include as marriages. It’s time to dump DOMA because it hurts and humiliates those who know love and who practice showing it each and every day. It’s time to dump DOMA because it alienates and afflicts those who love with their heart and are simply in need of their rights being extended to them. It’s time to dump DOMA and celebrate the manifestation of love in every relationship.   It’s time to afford every human the opportunity to marry and be respected as loving families who contribute to the wonderful world that God created and are a part of making it go around.

Dump it, and create a better world for all human-kind!

Bishop Allyson Abrams
Member of People For the American Way’s African American Ministers In Action

PFAW

Stanton: Same-Sex Marriage Is a 'Pernicious Lie of Satan' that Imperils Society and Humanity

Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family appeared with John Rabe and Carmen Pate on Truth that Transforms, the flagship radio program of Truth in Action Ministries, to argue that same-sex marriage is an oppressive and satanic ploy. After Rabe asked him why opponents of same-sex marriage sometimes have problems explaining “why redefining [marriage] is deadly,” Stanton claimed that the marriage debate “goes deep into not just our own faith but humanity itself.”

He argued that resistance to same-sex marriage is necessary because “throughout the world if you look at how cultures do marriage, every single culture throughout time has done marriage as a union between men and women, God has given it to us this way.” “Every human culture needs marriage and we redefine it at our own peril,” Stanton said.

Later, Stanton repeated his assertion that homosexuality “is a really pernicious lie of Satan” because it denies “the distinct God imaging in each of us as males and females.” He went on to warn that gay equality leads to the “persecution” of Christians and will “redefine not only marriage but the family itself if not humanity completely.”

Stanton: This is a really pernicious lie of Satan to say that the gender part of humanity doesn’t really matter because the gender part of humanity is really denying the distinct God imaging in each of us as males and females. We need to understand that as Christians. That’s the biggest thing. The other is that, ‘you know kids don’t really need a mom and a dad they just need any configuration of loving adults who care for them,’ in fact, and this has already been in the case, we all know about what hate speech is, the fact of saying a child needs a mother and a father will be deemed hate speech because that is a statement against same-sex marriage and parenting. That’s a radical thing. The other thing is religious freedom, I mean we’re already seeing that on a vast, vast scale; the other side really in a pitiful way goes, ‘oh we’re not going to violate religious freedom, you’re not going to have to marry same-sex couples in your church,’ but it goes far beyond that. But it goes far beyond that. Doctors refusing to inseminate a lesbian couple because it violates his conscience, people like that have and will be hauled into court and prosecuted and persecuted because of their long held and deeply felt convictions about what is right and what children need.

Rabe: That’s a major point. The way that this has been portrayed societally and how it’s gotten so much traction is via the idea, ‘well if two people love each other, who are we to say that they shouldn’t be together and that they shouldn’t be able to get married?’ That very simple idea has a lot of persuasive power with people as it turns out and yet when you really break it down you start to get the sense that that’s really not what this is about. It’s not so much that people want to be able to have that long-term commitment to each other as it is being able to redefine what society is about and being able to silence people who disagree.

Stanton: That is exactly it. As a good friend of mine says, ‘you know a lot of these people advocating for same-sex marriage, I’ve been in the marriage work for decades, I’ve never seen these people come to the stump to advocate for marriage, the only time they are for marriage is when it has same-sex in front of it.’ Think about that. These are not advocates of marriage; they’re advocates for redefining marriage. They know that making gender any irrelevant part of the equation really does redefine not only marriage but the family itself if not humanity completely.
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