Dear Marriage Supporter,
You and I have been through thick and thin in this fight for marriage. We know how important truth is to this fight, and how so many of our opponents recoil from the very idea of truth.
There is no better example than the news this week that Washington's Attorney General Bob Ferguson is using taxpayer funding to bring a lawsuit against a small Washington state florist named Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers and Gifts. Stutzman's crime? Refusing to sell flowers for a gay wedding.
For this 'thought crime' against gay marriage, her whole livelihood is now put at the stake.
It was only a few months ago, before the November elections, when gay marriage advocates were sanctimoniously getting on television and reassuring voters that our claims of the religious persecution that comes hand in hand with redefining marriage were unfounded. Made up. Untrue.
They knew at the time they were not telling the truth. Because now, just a few months later, the ACLU and a State Attorney General are the ones at the forefront of making sure that Christians who disagree with gay marriage pay a price for acting on their convictions.
Failure to tell the truth—call it a lie—arises from the fundamental lie: same-sex unions are not marriages because they cannot ever, under any circumstances, do the fundamental, key, and irreplaceable work that marriages do: bringing together under one home, in one family, the two great halves of humanity, male and female—to create homes in which children are known and loved by their own mother and father.
Not every marriage succeeds in creating the full range of goods that marriage aims at. But when marriages succeed in doing so, it's because they combine elements and circumstances that no same-sex couple can.
Suppressing the truth is what same-sex marriage advocates have to do to "win" the debate (temporarily, anyway).
How Truth is Suppressed
That's why, when a distinguished social scientist does an ordinary act like publishing his research in a major peer-reviewed journal—all pandemonium must break loose to discredit him. Not just disagree with him. Not just contextualize or re-contextualize his data—that would be normal scientific debate. But to smear him as a non-scientist and to ignore his work.
That's the crucible University of Texas Prof. Mark Regnerus has been going through and still is going through.
C-FAM's Austin Ruse recently pointed this out in his piece on Regnerus: "Science Study Still Spooking Gay Advocates."
Ruse points to Dr. Susan Yoshihara, research director of C-FAM, who used the Regnerus study before the legislature in Rhode Island. So-called "fact-checkers" claimed her testimony was false:
Politifact, a self-styled watchdog of political truth, branded Yoshihara's claim as false. Yoshihara, however, says the Politifact piece itself backed up her claim when they quoted a "prudent scholar" who said the issue is not settled in the scientific literature, which was Yoshihara's claim in the first place.
Ruse also cites the recent claim by former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller, who said that "The study was pretty well demolished by peers."
But for me the worst was a claim in the LA Times that the Supreme Court was just silly to entertain the idea children do best with a mom and dad. Justice Scalia had made the assertion that "there's considerable disagreement" about whether "raising a child in a single-sex family is harmful or not," an assertion no doubt based in part on Regnerus's research.
"Those comments startled child development experts as well as advocates of gay marriage, because there is considerable research showing children of gay parents do not have more problems than others," the LA Times went on to report with a straight face…. '"There is a fundamental, scholarly consensus that children raised by same-sex couples do just fine,' said Stanford sociologist Michael J. Rosenfeld."
Yet I know of—and I'm no sociologist—at least 5 studies published in peer-reviewed journals whose results contest the "no difference claim": Mark Regnerus (2012), Loren Marks (2102), Douglas Allen (2012), Daniel Potter (2012), and Theresa Sirota (2009).
Listen, social science is not a "hard science," and I don't need to know from merely scientific evidence what I know in my heart from my own experience and the experience of so many children raised in fragmented families: children long for and need their mother and their father. But simply as a statement about the scientific literature, the claim there is now a "consensus" is untrue. The claim can be made only by ignoring the reputable scientists whose works disagree with that claim.
Truth matters to us, but it's not clear it matters to gay marriage advocates.
If you doubt me, listen to the voice of the extraordinary British writer Brendan O'Neill—a one-time Marxist, a man of the Left, who has spoken out repeatedly against the use of elite power to shut down the debate over same-sex marriage across the pond:
I have been doing or writing about political stuff for 20 years, since I was 18 years old, during which time I have got behind some pretty unpopular campaigns and kicked against some stifling consensuses. But I have never encountered an issue like gay marriage, an issue in which the space for dissent has shrunk so rapidly, and in which the consensus is not only stifling but choking. This is the only issue for which he has been not only booed but threatened with death.
"Is it a good thing, evidence that we had a heated debate on a new civil right and the civil rights side won?" O'Neill asks. And then he answers his own question:
I don't think so. I don't think we can even call this a 'consensus', since that would imply the voluntaristic coming together of different elements in concord. It's better described as conformism, the slow but sure sacrifice of critical thinking and dissenting opinion under pressure to accept that which has been defined as a good by the upper echelons of society: gay marriage. Indeed, the gay-marriage campaign provides a case study in conformism, a searing insight into how soft authoritarianism and peer pressure are applied in the modern age to sideline and eventually do away with any view considered overly judgmental, outdated, discriminatory, 'phobic', or otherwise beyond the pale.
"Gay marriage," he writes, "brilliantly shows how political narratives are forged these days, and how people are made to accept them."
Narrative is the relevant word here. Not hard truths uncovered, but stories created to whose allegiance people are held by threats, by bribes, and by conformist pressures.
The editor of First Things, Rusty Reno, has a similar set of concerns for what all this means for our democratic society. "If government can reshape marriage, it can reshape everything," his article explains:
Tyranny isn't just a situation in which the government is telling you what to do at every moment. It's also a society in which government says that, if necessary, it can. In this respect gay marriage reflects a dramatic enlargement of government. If legislatures and courts can redefine marriage, what can't it intervene to reshape and re-purpose?
The tyranny of the conformists, backed by government's coercive power, were on display in Washington State when the ACLU decided independently to sue the same florist the Attorney General is pursuing.
But first they sent this poor woman a letter:
Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed's lawyers, working with the legal powerhouse at the ACLU of Washington, sent a letter today to Arlene's Flowers owner Baronelle Stutzman saying she has two options: (1) She can vow to never again discriminate in her services for gay people, write an apology letter to be published in the Tri-City Herald, and contribute $5,000 to a local LGBT youth center, or (2) she can get sued for violating the Washington State Civil Rights Act.
Conform to our falsehood. Pretend you believe things you do not. Or face the consequences.
George Orwell, call your office.
But here's the good news in all this: It's going to get bad, we already know this. But in the end truth has a power that no narrative, no story can compete with.
Our job is to remain firmly fixed on the truth about marriage, to speak up for it with love in in our heart, and with the courage to never bow before the false gods, the untruths, the made-up stories offered to us in place of reality.
I am so honored to be fighting shoulder to shoulder with you for God's truth about marriage.
Thank you for making this enormous megaphone possible.
I treasure your friendship, your prayers, your words of encouragements, your sacrifices of time and treasure on behalf of this great cause.
This message has been authorized and paid for by the National Organization for Marriage, 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006, Brian Brown, President. This message has not been authorized or approved by any candidate.