Ryan T.  Anderson

Brian Brown, head of National Organization for Marriage is extremely impressed with a piece that Ryan Anderson wrote for the National Review. So much so that he sent out an email blast to the base with instructions to  “Share This Far & Wide.” That is problematic because Anderson offers the same BS that he has been exuding for years — with some elevated self-delusion. It’s not even repackaged.

According to Mr. Anderson people want to embrace his vision of marriage which excludes gays. They are easily persuaded if only they are better informed by someone like Anderson:

In doing this, we must understand that, for many of our neighbors, the argument for marriage hasn’t been heard and rejected; it simply hasn’t been heard. We must make that argument in new and creative ways. … when people do hear a compelling case for marriage, they respond accordingly.

Anderson never does explain what those new and creative ways are. Let’s face it; Anderson’s views precisely mirror the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Anderson is defined by the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Anderson does have a novel idea of how our courts work:

We must, therefore, rally in support of our constitutional authority to pass laws defining marriage truthfully. We must make clear that Court-imposed same-sex marriage via a Roe v. Wade–style decision will not settle the marriage debate any better than it has settled the abortion debate.

Citizens have passed numerous laws banning same-sex marriage. These are the laws that federal courts have consistently found to be unconstitutional. Adding more turds to the pile isn’t going to make it smell any better. Moreover, we don’t care whether or not the debate is settled. Unless a future pope changes the teachings of the Catholic Church Mr. Anderson will continue to oppose marriage equality.

The majority of people are never going to perceive this as comparable to Roe v. Wade. The reason is simple. There are no consequences to same-sex marriage. Whether or not your gay neighbors can marry has no impact on your life or the lives of anyone else except those neighbors. Citizens are not going to be demonstrating at same-sex weddings. What? They are going to follow the couple into the synagogue or chapel screaming “don’t marry each other, you will both burn in hell?”

While he is at it, Anderson calls for license-to-discriminate laws:

Under such laws, family businesses — especially photographers, bakers, florists, and others involved in the wedding industry — have been hauled into court because they declined to provide services for a same-sex ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs.

As a society I think that we are better than that. Furthermore, these don’t relate to marriage. The Elane Photography case that the Supreme Court decided not to hear was over a commitment ceremony. The Court had a chance and chose not to consider whether or not state and local anti-discrimination laws were enforceable. They passed because it is settled law.

Anderson goes on to explain the conjugal view of marriage (actually, the Catholic view of marriage) which has been universally rejected by every court that has heard it. He then either misunderstands or misrepresents the state’s interest in marriage:

The state cares about marriage because of marriage’s connection with children and its ability to unite children with their mother and father. 

The state’s interest in marriage is the care of children should the marriage dissolve. That would apply equally to straight and gay couples. Furthermore, marriage is, and has been for centuries, about the disposition of property. That’s what Windsor was all about; The rights of a surviving spouse and children to live as comfortably as possible. The real rationale makes no distinction between same-sex and opposite-sex couples. It’s not surprising that Anderson completely misrepresents, as revisionist, our desires to marry:

The revisionist view, on the other hand, has informed certain marriage-policy changes of the past several decades and is embodied in much of Hollywood’s productions. On the revisionist understanding, marriage is essentially an emotional union, accompanied by any consensual sexual activity the partners may desire. Such romantic unions are seen as valuable while the emotion lasts. The revisionist view informs some male-female bonds, not just same-sex ones, as both involve intense emotional bonding, so both can (on this view) make a marriage.

Hollywood? Anderson adds sexual acts that are prohibited by the Catholic Church. Now he is the bedroom nanny. Anderson tries to have it both ways. He makes a libertarian argument for allowing businesses to discriminate but a religious argument that allows him to discriminate.

On almost every campus I visited, including such elite law schools as Stanford and NYU, students came up to me afterward to say that they had never heard a rational case for marriage.

What Anderson means is a rational case to ban gays from marrying. Exactly where is that rational case? In the catechism?  Anderson (finally — and I am ignoring much of the bullshit) concludes:

Too many of our neighbors haven’t heard our arguments, and they seem unwilling to respect our rights because they don’t understand what we believe. It’s up to us to change that perception. We will decide which side of history we are on.

How about respecting our rights. While Anderson quotes from the dissenting opinions in Windsor he ignores the majority opinion which is that states can regulate marriage providing that they do not interfere with the constitutional rights of citizens. That’s the American way but Anderson’s brain seems to be held captive in the Vatican.

A majority of citizens supports our right to marry. Right now, 43.73% of those citizens live in equality states. That is only going to increase. If Anderson is so concerned about marriage then he should focus on the opposite-sex marriages that are falling apart or not caring for children properly. We didn’t do that. It is straight people who fucked up the institution of marriage.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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.