I received an impossibly nonsensical email  from Joseph Backholm, head of the Family Policy Institute of Washington. These folks are trying to thwart legislatively approved marriage equality with an anti-gay referendum.

The problem that these people have is hardly unique. The reason that they oppose marriage equality is that they fear it will piss off the angry, vengeful, jealous and humorless god that they worship. Every time they attempt arguments on behalf of sound public policy they produce gibberish. There simply does not exist a sound secular reason to oppose marriage equality.

The email reads in part:

I don’t think it’s a good idea to redefine marriage. One of the reasons I don’t
think it’s a good idea is because relationships involving people of the same gender
cannot provide a child both a mother and a father. To me, this represents a material
difference between the relationships that should be acknowledged both practically
and in our language.

So you are going to trot out the irrelevant procreative marriage argument.

While I’m surprised at the number of people who take offense at this argument, I
don’t feel at all guilty stating my belief that it is preferable for kids to have
both a mother and father.

However, when I do, there is a typical response that goes something like, “If you
really cared about kids having moms and dads, then you would be spending your time
trying to stop divorce rather than trying to stop gay people from being happy.
So stop using children as pawns in your conspiracy of hate.”

That’s called “begging the question.” That most certainly is not my response! My response is:

What does that have to do with gays marrying? Whether gays can or cannot marry, the same heterosexual couples are going to unite in the same marriages, crank out the same kids and sue for the same divorces.  Whether or not gays can marry does not affect the custodianship of a single child. Not one!

. . . So, when proponents of redefining marriage tell us we should be focused on stopping
divorce, it would appear to be recognition of the fact that we want to increase
the probability that kids will be with their mom and dad throughout their lives.

Our observation of divorces is only to highlight your hypocrisy through selective observation of the book that you supposedly take as literal, But do continue.

But they can’t mean that. The argument that heterosexual and homosexual relationships
are in every way identical requires one to believe that it is not desirable for
kids to have a mom and dad present in their lives.

The proven fact that gay couples are at least as good at raising children as heterosexual couples is irrelevant to marriage equality. 

You cannot have it both ways. As you have said over and over again     gay couples cannot procreate. 

In truth, the effort to redefine marriage is fruit from the same tree as the divorce
problem. In both cases, the happiness/fulfillment of the adults is valued more
highly than the well-being of the children that may be involved. 

Again, this misstates the issue. It is precisely because gays are raising some two million children in this country that marriage equality is important. Those kids should have the opportunity to have married parents. What is it about that concept that is so difficult for religious fundamentalists to understand? If gays are not raising children but wish to marry , common sense suggests that people of good faith should appreciate the legal commitment that two people are making to each other. If they choose to have children, they will have to adopt kids who have no mother and no father.

. . . 

This would be similar to criticism from those fighting heart disease, directed at
those fighting diabetes because heart disease is the leading cause of death, where
diabetes is only the 7th leading cause of death.


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.