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To Bigotry No Sanction

Comment

Now that President Obama has "evolved" on the matter of same-sex marriage to the position favored by "enlightened" Americans, this would seem to be a good time for some rhetorical hygiene.

There are modest and civil proponents of same-sex marriage. But the tone of many advocates has been shrill to the point of frothing. The Southern Poverty Law Center, for example, put the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council on its 2010 list of "hate groups" because of their opposition to gay marriage.

A religion professor at a Midwest state university explained Catholic opposition to same-sex marriage and found himself denounced for "hate speech" and fired from his teaching position (he was later reinstated). The Hastings Law School denied funding and recognition to a chapter of the Christian Legal Society because it required its members to conform their sexual behavior to traditional Christian teachings.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., called the Defense of Marriage Act "a stain on our democracy."

To be sure, there is overheated language among some opponents of gay marriage as well, though not among the leadership. The vitriol on the left arises from one simple source — the misappropriation of the race analogy. Once you convince yourself that same-sex marriage is the great civil rights cause of our time, it then follows logically that opponents are the moral equivalents of racists. That's what gay activist Dan Savage said explicitly:

"We need a cultural reckoning around gay and lesbian issues. There was once two sides to the race debate ... you could ... argue for segregation. You could argue against interracial marriage, against the Civil Rights Act, against extending voting rights to African Americans, and that used to be treated as one side . . . of a pressing national debate, and it isn't anymore. And we really need to reach that point with gay and lesbian issues. There are no 'two sides' to the issues about gay and lesbian rights."

Here's a question for Rep. Lewis and Dan Savage and the SPLC and the rest: Does your intolerance for disagreement extend to pre-May 9 Barack Obama? Before Obama evolved back (he had been pro same-sex marriage before he was against it), was he spewing "hate"? When he said, at the Saddleback Church in 2008, "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman.

Now, for me as a Christian ... it is also a sacred union. God's in the mix." Was that a "stain on our democracy"?

No? Then how about a modicum of respect for those who continue to hold the views that Obama abandoned only yesterday?

Six states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage. Thirty-two states prohibit it — some by statute and others by state constitutions. The nation is doing what both Obama and Romney say they prefer, dealing with the question state by state.

Romney's description of the issue as "tender and sensitive" was apt. But it should be possible for mature adults to discuss even sensitive subjects without descending into name-calling.

My personal resistance to same-sex marriage arises not from any dislike of gays and lesbians but from the belief that traditional marriage is too important to be toyed with. When gays say, "marriage isn't doing well among heterosexuals," they have a point. Heterosexuals are making a mess of marriage. But that's all the more reason to be cautious about adding another blow.

Traditional marriage is recognized and to some degree privileged by society because it performs the most essential task of any civilization — providing the optimal environment for raising children. Men and women bring different and complementary qualities to parenthood. The genetic tie, which both heterosexual parents have to their children, while not essential (I speak as an adoptive mother), is helpful in maintaining loyalty and support for the long haul. Having parents of opposite sexes gives children male and female role models. And the sexes differ in a thousand little ways that, when blended, tend to redound to kids' welfare. Just to name a few: mothers are more protective, fathers more challenging; mothers are more comforting, fathers more stimulating; mothers are more related, fathers more disciplinary.

Permitting people of the same sex to marry changes the nature of the institution. Rather than the optimal vehicle for raising children, it becomes just the social ratification of the relationship between two adults — a seal of approval. Having your love validated by the larger society may seem important if you are gay. But marriage, rightly understood, is not really about love. It includes love. But it's really about stability and raising children.

That's what Obama said he believed, until yesterday. It wasn't bigotry then, and it isn't now.

To find out more about Mona Charen and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM



Comments

9 Comments | Post Comment
I am against homosexual marriage and am not a bigot.
Comment: #1
Posted by: maggie15228
Fri May 11, 2012 6:29 AM
And Maggie there are many pro-gay rights people out there who would immediatly assume you're a westboro baptist nutjob rather than a person who just disagrees with them on one issue. Mona makes many great points. People are getting way to nutty over this debate and refuse to look at the other peoples views. What I like about this article is that Mona states her position, but dosen't add a bunch of hyper-partisain rhetoric. There is a way we can have a civil discussion about this topic, but many people just aren't willing to sit down at the table and talk.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Fri May 11, 2012 9:21 AM
I can believe you could be fools can be distracted from important issues so easily. It is an issue that should be left in the hands of Jr High school kids. While you fools are talking about the gay people while the federal government is stealing our childrens liberty and freedom while similtaniously bankrupting them. Where in the constituion does it mention anything about the FEDERAL government having anything to do with marriage. If anything the freadom of religion in the 1st amendment could be interpreted as no government, federal, state, or local has any business with marriage. But you all keeping talking about whos marring who and what gay people are doing and let me know when you notcied that we have become the Roman Empire.
Comment: #3
Posted by: SCOTT
Fri May 11, 2012 4:34 PM
I agree, Scott, this isa non-issue.Every 6 months or so we get the big gay story, and then it fades until liberals dredge it up like a tirel old pan and serve their "civil rights" stew in it and everybody digs in. The constitution does mention that the Senate must pass a budget, instead we get bullying bills.

The idgets get all the play.

Comment: #4
Posted by: Tom
Sat May 12, 2012 5:13 AM
Scott and Tom, as usual your comments are spot on. You would really enjoy listening to the No Agenda podcast. Find it in the itunes store or www.noagendashow.com.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Sat May 12, 2012 6:54 AM
Re: maggie15228

Yes, Maggie, you are a bigot and you are intolerant, just as all of the other right wing, intolerant, conservatives are, You would and do deny an entire group of people the rights that you enjoy, that makes you a bigot, a big one. Two people in a monogamous loving relationship have every right to marry. Interesting that right wing bigots are against gay marriage until their son or daughter comes out of the closet.The time has come and it will happen, whether the Christian flat earthers like it or not.


Scott, no one is distracted, gay rights are just as important as Romney and his 1% protecting their interests by screwing everyone else. The economy is imroving despite an obstructionist GOP, do nothing Congress, the Dow is up, jobs are growing, Obama is doing a great job despite your corrupt party. We need another 8 years of GOP government like we had under Bush, like we need another war. Bush got us into this economic mess, and Obama is digging us out.


Gays are marching strong, another whole class of people will have the same families that you enjoy. In the name of Jesus..


"Conservative Mantra" I hate gays in the name of Jesus. I am intolerant and condemning in the name of Jesus, I judge you because you are different in the name of Jesus. Jesus is weeping at what the religious right are doing to the poor, sick, jobless, and gays
Comment: #6
Posted by: Bloom Hilda
Sat May 12, 2012 12:04 PM
Re: Chris McCoy
Chris said:
People are getting way to nutty over this debate and refuse to look at the other peoples views.

This is not a debate Chris, this is a basic human right, the right to marry the one you love and have children with that person. Nothing is more important, Human rights are not debatable, they are God given, you are no better than anyone else. This is a fundamental human right, it's a hugely important right, and it must and will be given, otherwise we are no different than the slave owners. These are not issues we're "debating" here, they are human beings. Real people, that you would give yourself the right to marriage, but deny it to someone else.

"Conservative" Mantra: I hate in the name of Jesus
Comment: #7
Posted by: Bloom Hilda
Sat May 12, 2012 1:18 PM
Bloom, yes these rights are God given, but which God gave them to us? The Christain God? Allah? Buddah? Pagan Gods? Perhaps the US Constitution gave us these rights. This is a debate. Rather than call people names, why not learn their arguments and think the way they think. As a libertarian, I think people should have the freedom to do what they want with their lives and marry or play house with whoever makes them happy.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Mon May 14, 2012 6:51 AM
Re: Bloom Hilda

How is maggie a bigot. Perhaps a specific BEHAVIOR is offense to her moral values. When has homosexuals become an ethnic group? If performing a sexual act makes an ethnic group what say you about petefile? Are they also an ethnic group that cannot be discriminated against. If you read this you will think " But its not the same!" Then please start classifing which sexual behaviors should be protected ethnic groups and which should not. Let me know when you have your list together.
Comment: #9
Posted by: SCOTT
Thu May 17, 2012 8:00 PM
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