Monthly Archives: January 2011

Top Pro-Marriage politicians opt out of CPAC

CPAC’s decision to allow GOProud this year continues to have negative repercussions, as USA Today reports:

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, who is thinking of running for president, hasn't yet responded to an invitation from the American Conservative Union to speak at CPAC, which has been held since the

Ex-Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, whose 2008 presidential bid was boosted by social conservatives, is reported to be skipping the event. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., a leading conservative and a co-founder of the Senate Tea Party Caucus, has declined to speak to CPAC.

… The American Principles Project, a conservative group, sent a letter in November to the American Conservative Union protesting GOProud's involvement and has been a leader in the boycott.

Since then, several other influential social conservative organizations -- such as the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and American Values -- have said they'll skip the conference, which annually draws thousands of people.

Judge Walker Gives Up the Gavel

"Wearing a paper lei as his formal portrait was unveiled, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker officially passed the gavel to new Chief Judge James Ware at a ceremony Thursday at San Francisco's federal building." - LegalPad

FROM THE DAILY CALLER: “Stay vertical a bit longer, ladies: Study claims men are winning the game of love”

Dr. J a.k.a. Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of NOM's Ruth Institute comments in The Daily Caller about a new study on devaluing effect of casual sex:

“Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, a marriage advocacy group, told The DC that some young women are already confronting the challenge with pledges of chastity.

“’[The study] is quite correct that the presence of some women willing to have casual sex puts pressure on all the women to compete by having casual sex themselves,’ Morse wrote in an e-mail, adding that on college campuses some are forming chastity clubs and others are working with groups such as hers to confront the marriage issue head on.”

Pro-SSM Attorney on CA IRS confusion: “Embrace the Chaos”

Deb Kinney of KLK Law Group in San Francisco on news that the IRS is requiring same-sex partners to file separately this year: “Embrace the chaos … It will bring us equality faster.” – San Francisco Business Times

WaPo: Supreme Court continues to dress down 9th Circuit

Robert Barnes:

Sometimes the Supreme Court simply decides cases and sometimes it seems to have something bigger in mind. In the past two weeks, it has been in scold mode, and its target has been the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

In five straight cases, the court has rejected the work of the San Francisco-based court without a single affirmative vote from a justice.

… As the most liberal circuit in the land, its work quite often is at odds with an increasingly conservative Supreme Court.

… Kennedy is the only veteran of the 9th Circuit on the Supreme Court and he serves as its designated justice. That Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. assigned the decision to Kennedy was another way to send a message, [University of Pittsburgh law professor Arthur D. Hellman, an authority on the federal circuits with a particular interest in the 9th] said.

… No judge more personifies the 9th Circuit's approach than 79-year-old Stephen Reinhardt, widely considered to be the nation's most liberal appeals court judge.

… Hellman said one prediction about the 9th is inevitable: "We'll see more reversals before the term is up, of that you can be sure."

WI Governor Issues National Marriage Week Proclamation

Governor Scott Walker today issued a proclamation for National Marriage Week which encourages citizens, churches, businesses, organizations and community leaders to strengthen marriage. The Wisconsin Family Council has a press release online (PDF) applauding the governor's act.

Pro-SSM bill dies in WY

Bills that would change the definition of marriage and would allow civil unions in Wyoming failed to advance out of a House committee (last) Friday.  -

Gronstal risks political future by blocking IA marriage vote

The Associated Press: “Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal says he's willing to accept the reality that his decision to block a debate over same-sex marriage could cost him his leadership post or even his seat in the Legislature.”

Pro-marriage votes in 2012

The Daily Times:

A legislator has filed a bill to overturn the New Mexico policy that recognizes same-sex marriages.

[Rep. David] Chavez also has proposed a state constitutional amendment that would put the question of same-sex marriage before New Mexico voters in the 2012 general election.

“Nobody Gets Married Any More, Mister”

Gerry Garibaldi talks about how a failing marriage culture is partly to blame for our failing schools:

Here’s my prediction: the money, the reforms, the gleaming porcelain, the hopeful rhetoric about saving our children—all of it will have a limited impact, at best, on most city schoolchildren. Urban teachers face an intractable problem, one that we cannot spend or even teach our way out of: teen pregnancy. This year, all of my favorite girls are pregnant, four in all, future unwed mothers every one. There will be no innovation in this quarter, no race to the top. Personal moral accountability is the electrified rail that no politician wants to touch. [Continue reading]

Cheating on Monogamy

This week I witnessed something fascinating occur. Scores of websites and blogs seized upon a report published in the Journal of Sex Research, which claimed almost a third of partners who said they were monogamous, had in fact slept with someone outside of the relationship. This was not a claim about marriage, and it only referred to heterosexual couples where marriage was largely not in the mix, this was about attitudes about monogamy among college students.

On the Feminist website Jezebel the headline was “Everyone is Cheating on Everyone.” On the Daily Dish blog, the headline read “The Illusion of Heterosexual Monogamy.” On the website Nerve, I saw them post it as “Study: Your Partner is Likely Sleeping with Someone Else.”

The problem, as it turned out, was the actual study made no such universal claims.

Dr. Pisaster writes at Pajiba:

“I’ve gotten used to seeing summaries of sex research on popular news sites and blogs that grossly misrepresent the results of the studies in question, but this one is probably the most appalling I’ve seen yet.

“… You see, this was not some survey of typical college students, as most of the studies I report on here are. The researchers were actually trying to study HIV prevention strategies among heterosexual couples, and so they specifically chose couples for who they deemed to be ‘at risk,’ for HIV transmission…In other words, the researchers selected people whose relationships were likely to be on shaky ground with respect to monogamy to begin with.

“… The problem is that websites are picking up on and spreading the results while completely ignoring the context.”

The doctor doesn't stop there:

“Sex news is always good for page views and it takes way less effort to chew up and spit out someone else’s summary than it does to dig up the original work, but it’s irresponsible to spread information without checking the source. Of all the articles about this research that I’ve seen, not one has presented the data fully and honestly. Instead they’ve all parroted the sensational notion that most young people are cheaters. The researchers themselves note that the participants of this study are not a representative population, not even a representative population of young people. And yet every news organization and blog that’s picked it up has treated the study as if it must apply universally.”

I think Dr. Pisaster, as thorough as he is in noting the sensationalist reasons that some bloggers picked up on this (false) claim, misses a second reason why many people were eager to spread it around: they don’t actually believe in monogamy.

I can understand that in our culture people can be prone to be pessimistic about monogamy (I fear that many people are against monogamy precisely because they have been hurt by partners who did not practice monogamy with them).

But even if people sometimes fail to be monogamous, and fail to be wholly committed to their relationship, that does not mean monogamy is not a very good thing - an ideal we should all challenge ourselves to live up to. Jenny Hope, citing multiple studies, writes in the UK Daily Mail that “the longer a marriage lasts the more the rewards [i.e., mental and physical wellbeing] accumulate – the only catch being that the relationship has to be loving and supportive.”

Jenny continues:

“Marriage cheers you up, improves your diet and helps you live longer, researchers say.
It brings better mental and physical health, reducing the chance of premature death by 15 per cent, according to major studies in seven European countries.

“Marriage and other forms of partnership can be placed along a sliding scale of commitment, with greater commitment conferring greater benefit,’ he added.

“‘That marriage generally indicates a deeper commitment might explain why marriage is associated with better mental health outcomes than cohabiting. Cohabiting relationships tend to be less enduring.’”

Monogamy is essential to the high-level type of commitment these studies show results in the best human flourishing, so it is not surprising that monogamy is essential to marriage. After all, what is more loving than to commit oneself to being totally faithful and open to one person, for life? That’s marriage.

So let’s not be so fast to proclaim the “end of monogamy”, because the end of monogamy represents the end of people’s best chance to enjoy the relationships that most fulfill them.

Dr. J to all Millennials: “Be part of the marriage solution!”

An open letter to emerging adults, worldwide, from the redoubtable Dr. J:

My dear young friends,

I know from many conversations with you that you want to get married and stay married. I know that many of you have fears about love and marriage, because of your own experiences of loss and pain resulting from their parents’ divorces, infidelities and other problems. I know that for many of you, these fears are overwhelming, even paralyzing.

I founded the Ruth Institute to help young adults get past the fears, anxieties and misinformation, and embrace the challenge of lifelong married love. We hope to begin a conversation with young adults, a conversation across the generations and within the Millennial generation.

… If the marriage culture is going to be restored, you, the next generation of emerging young adults will be the ones to do it. We baby boomers have had our chance. Now it is your turn.

Continue reading here.

Mike Gronstal, Are You Kidding Us?

Mike Gronstal, the Democratic Majority Leader in the Iowa Senate is practically throwing his body in front of the door to the voting booth, promising to block a state marriage amendment no matter how many Iowans want it. And yet today he had the chutzpah to accuse Republicans of "[stopping] at nothing to take away the constitutional rights of Iowans"?

Mike, the constitution of Iowa gives the people the right to change their constitution--by a vote of both houses in the Iowa legislature two years running. Right now you are the one man taking away the right of Iowans to vote for marriage.

Photo: OneNewsNow

Tony Perkins on the State of our Unions

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council with an important reflection tied to this week’s State of the Union address:

As we use this time to consider our country’s future, we must also recognize that the state of our Union is directly connected to the state of our unions. Where do the pre-governmental institutions of marriage and family, church and synagogue, the building-blocks of any healthy society, stand today.

… Churches and religious institutions have to step up and provide not only the guidance but the active, compassionate intervention families and children need. And, of course, state governments and educational institutions that serve, rather than fragment, family values are essential. Our places of worship were once seen as the center of any community. To churches, which are already doing so much, I say we need to do more to remind people of what is important in life. Most people understand something very basic: Families — families with both a mother and a father — are at the core of a flourishing culture. It is part of what the Bible calls “the law written on the heart.”

For the Union to be strong, so must our unions.

The Ruth Institute's Weekly Newsletter

The 'Reel' Love Challenge Deadline is February 1st!

Forward this newsletter to everyone you know ages 18-30 for their chance to win $2,000 and other prizes. Can't enter yourself? You can still vote on the submitted entries! There are quite a few good ones up there you won't want to miss!

Be part of the solution to the marriage problem

Editor’s note: This is an adaption of Dr. J’s An open letter to emerging adults, worldwide, from Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse and the Ruth Institute, originally published on Mercator Net, an Australian- based webzine that serves the entire English-speaking world. You can read that full article here.

My dear young friends,

We at the Ruth Institute created the Reel Love Challenge to inspire a conversation about lifelong married love among you, the next generation of young adults. I know from many conversations that you want to get married and stay married. Many of you have doubts about love and marriage because of your own experiences of loss and pain resulting from your parents’ divorces, infidelities and other problems.

I founded the Ruth Institute to help young adults get past the fears, anxieties and misinformation, and embrace the challenge of lifelong married love.

My generation, the Baby Boomer generation, has made marriage what it is today. We are the generation that institutionalized the sexual revolution. We created a world where 25% of conceptions end in abortion, 40% of children born are to unmarried parents and 50% of first marriages end in divorce.

If the marriage culture is going to be restored, you, the next generation of emerging young adults will be the ones to do it. We Baby Boomers have had our chance. Now it is your turn.

That is why the Ruth Institute conceived of the Reel Love Video Challenge. We wanted to challenge you to begin thinking seriously about your hopes and dreams for marriage.

This is your chance to express your thoughts about these questions: “What makes lifelong love possible? Why is it worth doing?” You can interview someone, or talk to the camera yourself, or illustrate with a photo montage. The videos can be professional looking, or just done with a cell phone camera. We are more interested in content, thought, and ideas, than Hollywood production quality.

The Reel Love Challenge is open to young adults ages 18-30. You can get all the details here. The deadline for submissions is next week, February 1, 2011.

No more messing around. No more excuses. No more waiting for the government and the politicians to “do something.” It is time to get serious. It’s time to stop complaining about the sad state of marriage and start doing something about it. Are you willing to take the Reel Love Challenge?

According to a recent report, “By the time they have reached ages 15 to 17, 55% of teens have parents who have rejected each other, either through non-marriage or separation/divorce." Young adults: this report is talking about you! The question for you is: are you going to do something to break this cycle for your own children?

The Reel Love Video Challenge is just the beginning of the Ruth Institute’s effort to stimulate dialogue among the next generation about lifelong married love. Stay tuned for more opportunities to make a difference for marriage!