Monthly Archives: May 2011

Five Rabbinic Groups Issue Statement Opposing Redefinition of Marriage

A joint statement of orthodox Jews:

"On the issue of legalizing same-sex marriage, the Orthodox Jewish world speaks with one voice, loud and clear:

We oppose the redefinition of the bedrock relationship of the human family.

The Torah, which forbids homosexual activity, sanctions only the union of a man and a woman in matrimony. While we do not seek to impose our religious principles on others, we believe the institution of marriage is central to the formation of a healthy society and the raising of children. It is our sincere conviction that discarding the historical definition of marriage would be detrimental to society.

Moreover, we are deeply concerned that, should any such redefinition occur, members of traditional communities like ours will incur moral opprobrium and may risk legal sanction if they refuse to transgress their beliefs. That prospect is chilling, and should be unacceptable to all people of good will on both sides of this debate.

The integrity of marriage in its traditional form must be preserved."

Agudath Israel of America
Central Rabbinical Congress of the U.S.A and Canada
National Council of Young Israel
Rabbinical Alliance of America
Rabbinical Council of America
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America

FRC Report: Marriage and Economic Well-Being

Via MercatorNet:

In 2008, only 45 percent of American seventeen-year-olds were in a family headed by their biological parents, leaving them weaker in their relational capacities than prior generations. The numbers are lowest among African-Americans, where only 17 percent of seventeen-year-olds have spent childhood in an intact family. Among Asian Americans the intact family is strongest, but even for them it is only 62 per cent.

[In] "Marriage and Economic Well-Being: The Economy of the Family Rises or Falls with Marriage" Authors Patrick F Fagan, Andrew J Kidd and Henry Potrykus have analysed federal data and academic studies and demonstrate their case convincingly: the family based on a lasting marriage (the “intact married family”) outperforms other sexual partnering structures -- by a mile.Consider a few examples:

* Married couple families generate the most income -- twice that of divorced households and four times that of separated households, according to one study.

* Intact, married families have the greatest net worth -- not just because they have two adults but because they have a longer-term outlook, are more thrifty and increase the earning ability of the head-of-household. Cohabiters have the lowest net worth growth of all family structures.

* Children in married, two-parent families enjoy more economic well-being than those in any other family structure, and are more likely to rise through the socio-economic ranks. A non-intact family background increases by over 50 per cent a boy’s odds of ending up in the lowest rank.

Canadian Parents Raising "Genderless" Child

This story was getting the family and feminist blogs all tied up in knots this week. From Jezebel:

A couple in Canada isn't telling anybody the gender of their baby. But paradoxically, their attempt at neutrality may make gender an even bigger deal.

According to Parent Central, Kathy Witterick and David Stocker have decided to keep the gender of four-month-old Storm a secret — only they, their two older children, and a few others know the truth. In an email announcement to friends and family, Witterick and Stocker said,

We've decided not to share Storm's sex for now — a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime (a more progressive place? ...).

Parental Central (in Canada) has the original story - and more details:

This past winter, the family took a vacation to Cuba with Witterick’s parents. Since they weren’t fluent in Spanish, they flipped a coin at the airport to decide what to tell people. It landed on heads, so for the next week, everyone who asked was told Storm was a boy. The language changed immediately. “What a big, strong boy,” people said.

The moment a child’s sex is announced, so begins the parade of pink and barrage of blue. Tutus and toy trucks aren’t far behind. The couple says it only intensifies with age.

“In fact, in not telling the gender of my precious baby, I am saying to the world, ‘Please can you just let Storm discover for him/herself what s (he) wants to be?!.” Witterick writes in an email.

Maggie on Lessons from the Life Issue Applied to the "Inevitability" Argument

NOM Chairman Maggie Gallagher writes at Patheos:

When I was, well, a few years younger than Tim Muldoon is today, the message of despair now directed at marriage was directed at the pro-life movement. All the powerful elites favored abortion. Media coverage of anyone who was pro-life was dreadful. All the wives of Republican power-brokers favored abortion rights. If you said you opposed abortion, people would shout, "You are calling my sister a murderer!" They informed me that by the time I turned 50, the pro-life movement would be dead because young people were so pro-choice.

I'm 50 now, and yet the pro-life sentiment is surging as today's young people are more pro-life than their elders.

How did that happen?

There are many ways to answer that question, and what I offer here is more of a missing piece—the role of politics in cultural change—than a comprehensive theory.

MN Gov. Dayton Vetoed Budget Before "Vetoing" Marriage Vote

Was the symbolic "veto" intended to distract from his vetoing of a budget? In any case, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton sure loves vetoing things:

After laying waste to the GOP's fiscal agenda by vetoing the entire budget, DFL Gov. Mark Dayton followed up by punching a hole in their social agenda.

On Wednesday, Dayton vetoed restrictions on abortion and symbolically vetoed a move to put a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on the 2012 ballot.

Minnesotan to Pioneer Press: "Stop Labeling" Pro-Marriage People

R. J. Houck from Roseville writes about a personal experience:

Many of those who favor same-sex marriage are resorting to labeling and name calling of those who favor to retain marriage between one man and one woman. Those who favor traditional marriage are not anti anything, nor are they attacking gay and lesbian people.

It is widely accepted in all societies that traditional marriage of one man and one woman is by far the best environment for raising children to be well adjusted adults and to raise their own children. Traditional marriage, therefore, is not against something, but "for" the most vulnerable in our society, our children.

The gay community must stop labeling those who disagree with them as bigots and worse, and allow the citizens of Minnesota their right to decide this issue at the ballot box.

Some of those at the Capitol demonstration were rude and offensive in calling those who disagreed with them bigots. While standing quietly with a sign in support of traditional marriage, I was called a bigot, which I firmly am not.

They did not know me or what I thought, only what the sign indicated. Who is the bigot?

Costa Rica Court Rejects Same-Sex Marriage

From Inside Costa Rica:

The Juzgado Segundo de la Familia (Family Court) in San José, rejected the marriage request made last week by the gay couple, Antonio Rodríguez and Eliécer Bermúdez, arguing that the request conflicts with the rules of the Family Code that prevents same-sex couples from marrying.

Judge Arturo Marcheno Rosabal, who issued the decision, noted that paragraph 6 of Article 14 of the Código de Familia (Family Code) states that marriage is legally impossible for same-sex couples and that in this case he had no other alternative but to reject the application.

Sen. Ruben Diaz Calls on Gov. Cuomo, Media, to Pay Attention to Hateful Tactics of Some SSM Supporters

Speaking of civility and the need for it, also from Sen. Diaz's office:

"I continue to be the target of a vulgar campaign by a seething extremists who oppose my defense of New York's marriage laws.

The latest attempt to publicly attack my integrity is a call for written entries 1000 – 2000 words at a "F*** Ruben Diaz Festival” set to be held on June 11th. An online group called The New Gay is advertises the event: TNG Writing Contest Alert - "F*** Ruben Diaz: Gay Erotica Featuring NYC’s Number One Bigot".

I urge Governor Andrew Cuomo along with my colleagues in the legislature, the media, and all New Yorkers to take a close look at the hard core and vulgar tactics that are being used to change a law in New York State. I urge all to compare my non-violent, peaceful and prayerful rallies to protect marriage and the attempts to humiliate me because of my one vote in the State Senate. Add to that the intolerant onslaught of hate-filled phone calls to my office. Add to that to the death threats and threats against my family that have been duly reported to the FBI and the police departments of New York and Albany.

As a Christian, of course I love those who hate me and I will continue to pray for their souls.

Even though for the most part these attacks remain unreported in the news, the public deserves to know about them. As such, I will continue to document them so my constituent and my colleagues remain aware."

Education Author: Some Fish Change Sex, Humans Don't

In response to the story about Redwood Heights Elementary School in CA using examples from nature to teach kids about "multiple genders", Michael Lopez comments (emphasis his):

[Fish switching sexes] is absolutely not where you want to plant your flag if you’re trying to convince people — kids or not — that somehow transsexuality or the breaking of sex-based behavior (i.e., “gender roles”) is somehow natural.   In the first place, what fish do sexually is completely irrelevant to what we do; it’s the same as an argument that we should all have unisex bathrooms because bacteria don’t have sex.  It’s ludicrous.

Furthermore, trying to make these arguments in support of a tolerance agenda is a losing battle.  If natural evolutionary sexual behavior is where you want to have your battle, those who argue against such things have nature pretty squarely on their side: the fact that other species have three sexes, or whatnot, means very little.  Humans appear to have evolved to be sexually dimorphic, and with certain broad behaviors that signal masculinity and femininity.  The fact that fish change their sex naturally just emphasizes the fact that humans don’t.

Sen Diaz: Mayor Bloomberg's Civil Rights Comparison "Disturbing"

From the office of New York State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz:

"It was disturbing today to hear Mayor Michael Bloomberg trivialize the suffering and agony of African Americans during the slave era by comparing it to the push to legalize homosexual marriage.

... There is no just comparison between America’s struggle to overcome the evils of slavery and the promotion of the lifestyle of homosexuality. It is preposterous for Mayor Bloomberg to degrade and minimize the plight of African-Americans in this civil rights struggle by equating it with the effort to push to legalize homosexual marriage.

... Black Americans should not sit back and let Mayor Bloomberg compare the long struggle of their ancestors against American slavery to the current fight for a lifestyle choice. The effort to redefine marriage to include a man and a man or a woman and a woman can never be compared to the struggle against slavery.

Before Mayor Bloomberg attempts to borrow from history for comparisons, he should take a look at the uncivil discourse that is taking place by those whose goals he has embraced.

Black leaders should not allow Mayor Bloomberg or anyone else trivialize their suffering and their history!"

Gender Confusion over at Slate

An author attempts male breastfeeding until he has this epiphany:

And then I realized I was missing something essential: a child. For all our assumptions about breast-feeding, the one abiding truth is that it exists to nourish and comfort new life. The walls of gender could be broken down, but without a child to benefit, what was the point?

Ed Whelan on Prop 8 Opponents’ Anti-Black Bigotry Against Judge Deciding Motion to Vacate Walker’s Ruling


Vaughn Walker’s successor as chief judge of the Northern District of California, Judge James Ware, will decide Prop 8 proponents’ motion to vacate Walker’s anti-Prop 8 ruling on the ground of Walker’s improper failure to recuse himself from the case.

According to a provocative post published by RENWL—a coalition of supporters of same-sex marriage from a Los Angeles neighborhood—lots of white gays are very concerned that Chief Judge Ware is African-American.

... This is rich: On the one hand, many opponents of Prop 8 maintain (at least publicly) that no reasonable person could question Walker’s impartiality, notwithstanding the fact that we now know that he was ruling on whether he would have a legal right to marry his previously undisclosed long-term same-sex partner. On the other hand, according to the RENWL post, many of these same folks indulge their own irrational suspicions that Ware, because he is African-American, will be biased against them—or perhaps just that he won’t be biased in their favor, as Walker manifestly was.

NYT Gives Brian Brown Last Word on Marriage

Following the trend set by NPR, the New York Times gives our President Brian Brown the last word -- in fact, it's the only time they quote him in this article discussing Mayor Bloomberg's support for SSM:

“It isn’t connected with reality, what the mayor is trying to sell,” said Brian S. Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex unions.

Of course, at the polling booth, defenders of marriage always have the last word.

Another Gay Writer Comes Out for Teaching Gay Marriage in the Schools

Harold Fayard at Truthout:

Students should be taught that these two variations in human attraction [homosexual and heterosexual] are no different than variations in hair color, skin color or any other natural variation. If presenting such knowledge means that gay marriage is being taught, then the reply should be that yes, in this manner, gay marriage and gay relationships should be one aspect - one legitimate, proper and happy aspect - of the many aspects of life about which children should know.

... To tell parents that, "[SSM] won't be taught, don't worry," will not persuade them, still less convince them, nor do anything to undo the prejudices and misconceptions that motivate them, not just as voters, but in all the ways that they think, act, and influence their children about the nature of human attraction, love and existence. Their profoundly rooted ways of being and thinking in relation to homosexuality can only be countered by a direct educational approach about what constitutes human attraction - both heterosexual and homosexual. Full equality of life for the LGBT community will be brought about only by a sustained attempt to put forth directly, in public and in all educational venues - whether for children or adults - a discourse about what human life, human sexuality and human attraction are.

Gallup: In U.S., Young Adults, Women (Overestimate) Gay Population at 30%

Perception vs. Reality:

U.S. adults, on average, estimate that 25% of Americans are gay or lesbian. More specifically, over half of Americans (52%) estimate that at least one in five Americans are gay or lesbian, including 35% who estimate that more than one in four are. Thirty percent put the figure at less than 15%.

There is little reliable evidence about what percentage of the U.S. population is in reality gay or lesbian, due to few representative surveys asking about sexual orientation, complexities surrounding the groups and definitions involved, and the probability that some gay and lesbian individuals may not choose to identify themselves as such. Demographer Gary Gates last month released a review of population-based surveys on the topic, estimating that 3.5% of adults in the United States identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, with bisexuals making up a slight majority of that figure. Gates also disputes the well-circulated statistic that "10% of the males are more or less exclusively homosexual."

Americans' current collective estimate -- which is substantially higher than Gates suggests -- is likely driven more by perceptions and exposure than by scientific measurement or reality.

... Americans perceive that there is a large U.S. gay population -- one far larger than is likely reality.

Here is a video report provided by Gallup: