Peter Sprigg, at “Family” Research Council, has authored a brochure ominously titled The Top Ten Harms of Same-Sex ‘Marriage’. Apparently, Mr. Sprigg is wed to the notion that he has assembled a set of talking points. As you will see, Mr. Sprigg’s struggle to reach ten arguments has produced some that are so astonishingly nonsensical that they are ludicrous.

First, a note about Mr. Sprigg. In another brochure, he claims that there is no evidence, whatsoever, to support the claim that sexual orientation is biological and that “there is an abundance of evidence that sexual orientation can change.” Sprigg’s intellectual dishonesty is readily apparent. There is a mountain of published and peer reviewed evidence that sexual orientation is both innate and immutable. But I digress

Sprigg’s First Dishonest Claim:

Taxpayers, consumers and businesses would be forced to subsidize homosexual relationships.

Sprigg claims that married gays would create a huge expense to business in the form of dependent coverage. He further claims that married gays create a drain on taxpayers in the form of survivor benefits.

I’m pretty confident that similar arguments were made when the same folks were fiercely fighting interracial marriage. It was baloney then and it is baloney now.

First of all, universal marriage equality would probably affect 2% of the population. If we assume that gays and lesbians represent 7% of the population, about 75% of those are adults and about 40% of those adults are likely to marry (which yields 2.1%). Sprigg would probably claim that 2% of the population “practices homosexuality.” If we used his numbers, less than 1% of the population is at issue.

Virtually every larger business in this country already provides domestic partner benefits. Many small businesses provide dependent coverage at the employee’s expense. Those are unaffected. Most married gays are both employed. If one partner is covered by dependent coverage, the other partner’s employer has no insurance expense whatsoever. It’s a wash.

Yes, Mr. Sprigg, gays would have Social Security survivor benefits. They deserve it and the expense to taxpayers is zero. Social Security is a form of insurance that people pay into.  Moreover, our children deserve the same protections as all other children. Sprigg disagrees. So much for “family values.”

Sprigg’s Second Dishonest Claim:

Schools would teach that homosexual relationships are identical to heterosexual ones.

This, of course, is the all too familiar Robert George dog whistle that gays are a threat to children. First of all, in point of fact, marriage is marriage. Other than the participants, there really is no difference. If gays adopt children, all of the published and peer reviewed research indicates that they do as well (and sometimes better) than children raised by “traditional” parents. Secondly, just how much marriage instruction is provided in our schools? What part of the curriculum is that? Finally, so what? Really. The same children have to “suffer” through evolution and secular science. It is parents not children who have the problem. Those parents have other options.

Sprigg’s Third Dishonest Claim:

Freedom of conscience and religious liberty would be threatened.

If this sounds familiar, this is the same claim that they made against the repeal of DADT. This is the same claim that they make against hate crimes legislation. This is the same claim that they make about everything that they don’t like and it is spectacularly nonsensical!

Essentially, this boils down to the freedom to be bigoted. Sprigg trots out the tired examples that we saw in that preposterous Gathering Storm advertisement from NOM. Yes, Peter, if you provide a public accommodation you cannot discriminate. Most of Sprigg’s peers (about 60%) are still opposed to interracial marriage. The same non-discrimination provisions apply.

Until Sprigg is forced, by law, to have sex with another man his religious liberties are intact.

Sprigg’s Fourth Dishonest Claim:

Fewer people would marry. 

Sure, Peter. Sprigg tortures logic and confuses causation with correlation to come up with this laughable gem. The same heterosexuals would marry, crank out the same kids and sue for the same divorces     regardless of marriage equality. We add to the married population and might have lower divorce rates; so far we do.

Sprigg’s remaining claims     five through ten     are too preposterous to be taken seriously:

I will list them here just to be complete. However, I am not going to argue that the earth is round as counterpoint to someone who asserts that the earth is flat. These represent a consolidation of selective observation; junk science; assumptions based on stereotype; confusion of causation and correlation; slippery slopes high enough to require supplemental oxygen; and, frankly, flat-out lies. Most of these rely on the nonsensical argument that marriage equality has some magical effect on so-called “traditional” marriage. Here they are for your amusement or consternation:

5. Fewer people would remain monogamous and sexually faithful.

6. Fewer people would remain married for a lifetime.

7. Fewer children would be raised by a mother and father.

8. More children would grow up fatherless.

9. Birth rates would fall.

10. Demands for legalization of polygamy would grow.

Ultimately, what all of this crackpottery proves, is that there is no secular argument that coherently supports any theory that same-sex marriage has any effect on anyone’s traditional marriage.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.