Monthly Archives: March 2011

George, Lee & Bradley on Marriage and Procreation: Avoiding Bad Arguments

This is the second installment of a two-part article in The Public Discourse by NOM founding Chairman of the Board Robert George, Patrick Lee and Gerard Bradley (read Part 1 here):

The argument we advanced for man-woman marriage in Part One of this article is sometimes obscured even by proponents of conjugal marriage. It is sometimes argued that the state’s interest in marriage is simply to ensure that as many children as possible are raised in “an optimal setting,” and that this interest justifies “restricting” marriage to opposite-sex couples. But the fact that intact homes are the optimal setting for child-rearing does not by itself justify a policy of recognizing only opposite-sex partnerships as marriages. For a good end (ensuring optimal care for children) would not justify the means (excluding same-sex “marriage”) if it could be shown that the means were unjust—and denying marriage to such couples, if they were able to form a true marital partnership, would be unjust.

If this argument is advanced as the central one—rather than as a secondary confirmation—then it is misleading. For, in that case, the impression is given that the state itself has created marriage—for the extrinsic purpose of child-rearing. In fact, however, marriage is indeed naturally oriented to and fulfilled by conceiving, bearing, and raising children, but not as to an extrinsic end—and this orientation belongs to marriage independently of any action on the part of the state. In a profound sense, marriage is a “pre-political” institution, albeit one that the law and the state rightly recognize, regulate, promote, and protect. [Continue reading]

Maggie Datiles, JD, on what we need to know about DOMA

Maggie Datiles is an associate fellow in law at the Culture of Life Foundation. She writes about the basic facts we need to know about DOMA. Here is part of her 5th point:

5.  Federalism and Judicial Tyranny

... By branding DOMA as “irrational,” the Obama Administration has attacked the integrity of the legislative process taken by Congress when it enacted DOMA.  In doing so, the Obama Administration also challenged the sanity and intellectual ability of all of the Members of Congress who voted for the passage of DOMA.  In spite of these harsh accusations, the Administration has yet to offer pointed arguments specifically disproving the credibility of the arguments and supporting evidence considered and recorded by Congress when it enacted DOMA.

You can fill in the spaces the Obama Administration has left blank - in just three easy steps, you can join the effort to defend DOMA:

  1. Donate to help us take the message of marriage to millions of Americans from coast to coast.
  2. Sign the petition, sending an email urging your congressman to stand for marriage as a co-sponsor of House Concurrent Resolution 25.
  3. Share with your friends. Help spread the word via FacebookTwitterthrough your own blog or website.

New York Post Editor Says Gov. Cuomo Can't Pass SSM

Governor Andrew Coumo has repeatedly made his intention clear of forcing SSM through the Empire State's legislature, but he hasn't convinced everyone:

Just before signing off his show today, New York Post State Editor Fred Dicker threw cold water on one of Andrew Cuomo's stated goals for this legislative year.

After rattling of a list of Cuomo's goals, Dicker said, "The governor is also committed to same-sex marriage, but there is little I think he can do about that, as long as the Senate just doesn't have the votes to pass the measure."

Cuomo is reportedly looking for a vote on legalizing same-sex marriage by June. It's passed the Assembly by wide margins, twice. It was defeated in the State Senate two years ago, but since then, a number of people who opposed it have left, or signaled a possible shift.

Controversial UK Equality Commission May Soon Be Forced to Undergo Reform

The UK Equality and Human Rights Commission has surfaced numerous times recently on our NOM marriage newsbeat.

This government entity - funded to the tune of 53 million taxpayer pounds (=$84 million American dollars) a year - has been hard at work imposing the "new morality" of liberal elites upon English society; a new morality which treats gays and lesbians as a protected class while marginalizing Christians and those with traditional moral values. Here's a brief recap of the Commission's recent gaffs:

Last year the Commission deployed its legal and financial resources to back the case of a homosexual couple pursuing the Christian owners of a B&B through the courts...

Alarmingly, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a further legal action [after the owners were forced to pay £3,600 in damages to the homosexual couple] demanding an increase in the level of damages. But the demand was withdrawn after negative publicity. The Commission said it was an “error of judgment”.

In a court case involving a Christian couple who were struggling to become foster carers because of their beliefs about homosexual conduct, the Commission intervened and warned that children may be at risk of being ‘infected’ by the moral values of Christian foster parents.

It later apologised for the extraordinary remark, claiming it was a lawyer’s drafting error. (The Christian Institute)

Just this week we reported that the news had surfaced that the same Equality Commission was suggesting that children as young as 11 should be asked about their sexuality without their parents’ consent, and that records of their responses should be kept on file.

Luckily, all of these activities by the EC have not gone unnoticed: "A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland said the taxpayer-funded Commission had abandoned impartiality and become 'a partisan player in human rights campaigning'."

Now the English Parliament is expected to debate taking some powers away from the Commission, led by Home Secretary Theresa May, by "amending the Equality Act 2006 which established the Commission and gave the quango (quasi-autonomous national government organisation) its powers" in the first place.

Furthermore, "In February the Times newspaper reported that the controversial quango will have its budget reduced to £22.5 million before the next General Election – a cut of 'almost 60 per cent'." At one time the Equality Commission was receiving 60 Million English Taxpayer pounds a year.

The first step to reforming out-of-control, government-sponsored organizations which are harassing a nation's citizens is for those citizens to urge their government to take active steps to fix the problem. It appears this process has finally begun in the UK. But this example of how liberal elites in England are willing to use taxpayer funding to marginalize citizens who disagree with their ideology should remain a potent lesson for Americans as well.

Indiana Senate Passes Marriage Amendment!

The Indiana State Senate just passed an amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman.

The final vote was 40-10.

3 Democrats joined 37 Republicans in voting for the amendment.

Local WIBC reports:

"The family is the basic unit of our society, and has been since Adam and Eve (were) created," Auburn Republican Dennis Kruse, who sponsored the amendment, says. "Marriage is, and should be, the union of one man and one woman."

Now it must pass the House and Senate again, after an intervening election (i.e. in either 2013 or 2014) to get to the people of Indiana in 2014.

Congratulations Indiana!

Mental Health Counselor Amazed at Lack of Concern for Donor-Conceived Children's Rights

From the Anonymous Us story collective:

I am a mental health professional specializing in working with infertility patients. I am also an adoptive mother. Part of what I do at work is prepare people for the implications of using a donor. The most challenging topic we discuss is the issue of whether the couple will tell their child how s/he were conceived.

I am amazed at the number of clinics, physicians, and agencies that really do not give even one second of thought to the needs of the children that are being conceived via "third party reproduction." As a nation, we need to get a conscience about what we are doing here. Yes, it's nice when an infertile couple is able to build a family, but what about the children? Shouldn't their needs be in the mix from the very beginning too? I think it is ridiculous that a donor-conceived child would need to "research" to find out their genetic origins. Give me a break. What if you had to do that? Is it fair?

... We need to change this situation. It's not fair to donors, intended parents, and especially to donor-conceived children.

IN Senate gallery closed yesterday after gay protest

The Indiana State Senate public gallery had to be closed yesterday after gay protesters tried to disrupt the proceedings:

The Senate president closed the Senate gallery [yesterday] afternoon after the audience interrupted debate on a constitutional gay marriage ban by yelling, “stop hating, stop dividing, stop pandering.”

Senators were starting to discuss amendments to a resolution that would add a ban on gay marriage to the state’s constitution when one man in the balcony began shouting and others joined him. Senate President Pro Tem David Long then ordered the balcony seating closed. As they filed out, the roughly 40 audience members yelled “jobs not hate” — a statement on what they think the Senate’s priorities should be.

As we reported, the bill went on to survive attempts to amend (defeat) it.

British Parents Object to Graphic Sex Ed for Grade Schoolers in Name of Tolerance

From the Christian Institute:

Sex education resources should be licensed to ensure they are age-appropriate, an MP has said, following concern among parents about “inappropriate” materials.

Andrea Leadsom’s comments come in the same month that a report ("Too Much, Too Young") by The Christian Institute highlighted shocking resources being pushed by public bodies for use in schools.

One such resource encourages primary school pupils to learn about anal intercourse, oral sex and prostitution.

These are the books:

  • Cole, B, Mummy Laid An Egg, Red Fox, 1995 edition
  • Manning, M and Granström, B, How Did I Begin?, Franklin Watts, 2004 edition
  • Mayle, P, Where Did I Come From?, Macmillan, 2006 edition
  • Cohen, J, The Primary School Sex and Relationships Education Pack, HIT UK, 2005
  • de Meza, L M and De Silva, S, Whiteboard Active Sex and Relationship Education, BBC Active, 2010 edition
  • Ramsay, I, Focus: Growing Up (Sex Education), BBC Active, 2009 edition
  • Harris, R H, Let’s Talk About Where Babies Come From, Walker Books, 2004 edition
  • Harris, R H, Let’s Talk About Sex, Walker Books, 1995 edition,
  • Bennett, J and Fenlon, K, All About Us: Living and Growing Unit 1 Resource Book, Channel 4 Learning, 2005
  • All About Us: Living and Growing, Channel 4 Learning, 2006 edition
  • Frith, A, What’s Happening To Me? (Boys), Usborne, 2006
  • Meredith, S, What’s Happening To Me? (Girls), Usborne, 2006

Bishops warn HUD changes could hamper efforts to provide housing to needy

From the Catholic News Service:

Proposed changes in federal housing regulations to forbid discrimination based on “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” could violate existing federal law and force faith-based organizations to end their “long and successful track record in meeting housing needs,” according to comments filed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Anthony R. Picarello Jr. and Michael F. Moses, USCCB general counsel and associate general counsel, respectively, said the proposal by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to add to the list of protected categories for which discrimination in HUD programs is prohibited “appears at odds” with the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which says marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

“HUD should not create a new protected classification where there is no statutory policy undergirding it and where the new classification flies in the face of a policy expressly adopted by Congress,” they said.

MA School Admin on Elementary Sex Ed: "The goal is to reach kids before they absorb their parents’s values."

Jennifer Braceras wrote this op-ed in the Boston Herald:

Pay attention parents! It’s spring. And before you know it, Massachusetts public schools will begin their yearly sex-ed lessons for kids as young as 5.

Of course, they won’t call it “sex ed.” They’ll call it “health.” But a rose by any other name is still a rose.

She tells several stories relating to her experience of having two young girls in public school:

... rather than expose my child [No. 1] to some half-truth in the name of political correctness, or a sex-ed lesson she was not yet ready to learn, I pulled her out.

But, as you might have guessed, child No. 2 was not so easily distracted.

“Mom, everyone says we are learning about HIV tomorrow. What’s HIV, and how come you don’t want me to hear about it?” Thanks, public schools, for opening up that can of worms!

I can only hope that by the time my last two kids reach the third grade our town will have dispensed with this nonsense. But that is unlikely.

Indeed, when specifically asked why the school presents lessons on HIV in the third grade, rather than in middle school, one school administrator made this shocking admission:

“The goal is to reach kids before they absorb their parents’s values. By middle school it’s too late.”

Video: Gingrich pledges to respect rights of Christians in adoption, marriage

Newt Gingrich talked about threats to religious liberty in this interview with Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, after speaking before the Rediscover God in America conference in Iowa:

In just three easy steps, you can join the effort to protect marriage and defend DOMA:

  1. Donate to help us take the message of marriage to millions of Americans from coast to coast.
  2. Sign the petition, sending an email urging your congressman to stand for marriage as a co-sponsor of House Concurrent Resolution 25.
  3. Share with your friends. Help spread the word via FacebookTwitterthrough your own blog or website.

Video - Brian Brown to Iowans: "You Changed History!"

When NOM Pres. Brian Brown thanked Iowans for changing history by un-electing three Iowa judges and thereby "defending the constitution," the crowd went wild:

Speaking of defending the Constitution, in just three easy steps, you can join the effort to defend DOMA:

  1. Donate to help us take the message of marriage to millions of Americans from coast to coast.
  2. Sign the petition, sending an email urging your congressman to stand for marriage as a co-sponsor of House Concurrent Resolution 25.
  3. Share with your friends. Help spread the word via FacebookTwitterthrough your own blog or website.


Michael Casey on "The puzzle of intolerant tolerance"

In an interview with Mercator, Australian sociologist Michael Casey is asked about the "puzzle of intolerant tolerance":

Tolerance is essential to any sort of life in common, especially in complex democratic societies. Originally it was simply a practice, a way of living together and respecting the freedom of others. It has now become a value in its own right, perhaps the supreme value. Certainly it features high up on the list whenever people are asked to identify what the West stands for.

To create a tolerant society, however, democracies increasingly resort to intolerance. There is no question that a decent society must protect itself and vulnerable minorities from groups which refuse to respect the rights of other people. But intolerant tolerance is directed against groups which actually respect and defend the rights and freedoms of others.

Christians, for example, are treated as intolerant for maintaining legitimate distinctions between couples who can and cannot be married; for reasonably exercising a preference in employing staff for people who share their faith; and for defending the rights of the unborn and disabled. Intolerance means refusing to respect the rights of others, but in these cases it has been extended to something which is not a form of intolerance at all: the right we all have to refuse to validate choices with which we disagree and to say they are wrong. Intolerant tolerance means enforced validation of certain values and practices in the name of tolerance.

NOM NEWS ROUND-UP: March 28, 2011

Here are the latest marriage headlines and videos for Monday, March 28, 2011 from around the country:

Indiana Marriage Amendment Fends Off Challenges, Headed for Final Vote in Senate on Wednesday

Indiana's State Marriage Amendment (HJR 6 - read the text here) just fended off two attempts to amend it--which would have effectively killed it for this year because the House and Senate must pass identical language. The vote was 36 to 11 on straight party lines on each amendment, with one member "excused."

The floor vote in the Senate is expected on Wednesday and it looks good for passage.

Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee passed HJR 6 by a vote of 7-3.

Update - Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana spoke with Charlie Butts of OneNewsNow about why it is important for Indiana to pass this Marriage amendment:

"I don't know if they realize yet that the Obama administration's decision not to defend DOMA really places Indiana at risk, because we don't have an amendment -- even though two-thirds of the states do," says the pro-family spokesman. "We are very vulnerable until this does go on the ballot and hopefully be passed by Hoosiers for a legal challenge to this."

The earliest the issue could go on the ballot is November 2014.