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Monday, January 07, 2013

Answers to the National Organization for Marriage’s Questions, Number 4

On the National Organization for Marriage website, NOM answers questions supposedly posed to them by the opposition.

The question to NOM, Number 4. What’s the harm from SSM? “How can Adam and Steve hurt your marriage?”
NOM's Answer: “Who gets harmed? The people of this state who lose our right to define marriage as the union of husband and wife, that’s who. That is just not right.”

“If courts rule that same-sex marriage is a civil right, then, people like you and me who believe children need moms and dads will be treated like bigots and racists.” 

“Religious groups like Catholic Charities or the Salvation Army may lose their tax exemptions, or be denied the use of parks and other public facilities, unless they endorse gay marriage." 

“Public schools will teach young children that two men being intimate are just the same as a husband and wife, even when it comes to raising kids.” 

“When the idea that children need moms and dads get legally stigmatized as bigotry, the job of parents and faith communities trying to transmit a marriage culture to their kids is going to get a lot harder.” 

“One thing is for sure: The people of this state will lose our right to keep marriage as the union of a husband and wife. That’s not right.”
Let's take them one at a time.
Who gets harmed?  Well, who bestowed the "right" to define marriage on you?  As long as you believe that it's your right to impose your will on, now, the majority of Americans who believe same-sex marriage should be legalized, I guess you will feel harmed.  But it's not your right.  So get over it.
The supposed loss of tax exemptions, etc.  This is generally held by constitutional scholars to be a red herring.  When New York legalized same-sex marriage, for example, they included broad protections for religious and charitable organizations that were actually found unnecessary, as the protections are inherent in the US Constitution.  
On the other hand, when minorities are granted rights long withheld from them, this means that the majority looses some of theirs.  Hotels, restaurants and other businesses that serve the public are no longer able to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or religion, regardless of how the owners feel.  Gone are the "Whites Only" counters, "restricted (no Jews allowed) clubs", and red-lined neighborhoods.  Most of us feel that whatever losses ensued is America's gain.  Should the Supreme Court uphold same-sex marriage, life in America will go on pretty much as usual, with the exception that LGBTs will no longer be denied equal rights with the rest of us.
Just as schools had to begin to recognize the equality of the races, yes, equality of same-sex relationships with heterosexual relationships, including in the raising of children will be taught.  Because it's true.  The American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, The American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, and the Academy of Pediatrics all are on record as approving homosexuality as perfectly normal and as capable of entering any human relationship as any heterosexual.  
This includes child rearing. 
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry approved the following statement in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender parenting in 2009:
All decisions relating to custody and parental rights should rest on the interest of the child. There is no evidence to suggest or support that parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender are per se superior or inferior from or deficient in parenting skills, child-centered concerns, and parent-child attachments when compared with heterosexual parents. There is no credible evidence that shows that a parent's sexual orientation or gender identity will adversely affect the development of the child.
We also concede that “the job of parents and faith communities trying to transmit a marriage culture to their kids is going to get a lot harder.”  We don't, however, view this belief in the importance of a mom and dad as bigotry, unless it is advocated at the expense of nontraditional families.  It certainly should be considered on an equal plane with same-sex married partners' parenting.  It is truly bigotry to label non traditional families as dysfunctional, disordered or even pathological.  

Finally, "The people of this state will lose our right to keep marriage as the union of a husband and wife....”  True, again.  However, I would insist on the phrasing as "presumed right."  There is no loss of the ability for heterosexuals to marry the opposite sex.  That will never change.  That right will be forever intact.  So nothing is really lost, but we will have gained another very valuable right in America, the right of any person to marry the person of their choice.

Tomorrow: The question to DOM 5. Why do you want to interfere with love?
Dom's Answer: “Love is a great thing. But marriage isn’t just any kind of love; it’s the special love of husband and wife for each other and their children.”

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