Heritage Foundation; right for the wrong reason

The other day I commented on just the first half of this article:

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/05/Winning-DOMA-on-the-Merits-of-Marriage

Which I shall turn to the rest of it now deconstruct and show to be utter mush.

Winning DOMA on the Merits of Marriage

Published on May 6, 2011 by Chuck Donovan WEBMEMO #3244”

I cut it in half the other day because it was a long post already, and Mr. Donovan wrote so much that needs to be “refudiated.” (Man, I love new words, will they destroy the language?) So let me delve into the second half of his comments. But well, it takes some time to do this because of the way Donovan presents his case. Though it is amazing how we can agree on so much, and yet be miles apart on the other part of the equation. Here, let’s take a look:

The Benefits of Marriage for Children and Society

Americans stand by marriage with good reason. Marriage is a pre-political institution based on the cooperation of the two sexes. Marriage is the very definition of a “popular” institution—it is the one that makes a populace. It is not surprising, therefore, that nearly all of the efforts by activist organizations to remake the definition of marriage have failed in the most populist institutions: the state and federal legislatures. It is likewise unsurprising that 63.6 percent of voters in 31 states have cast their ballots to preserve marriage’s timeless character. In an environment of intimidation, support for traditional marriage in the privacy of the voting booth is very likely to be higher than is reflected in more public forums like opinion polls.”

Again, with the “activist organizations.” Are there just “gay people” or “gay groups” or “gay organizations”? No, it’s “activist.” What sort of activists I wonder. Heterosexuals? Or Jewish activists? What kind? But be “gay” activists – why, we don’t even need the “gay” anymore, maybe we’re the only activists left. Not to mention, gay relationships are a “pre-political” institution too. And they were based on the cooperation of two guys who had not a whit of interest in any girl standing around. “Marriage” as a word wasn’t “pre-political” – straight folks making whoopie was. And that’s the way it’s going to remain “post-politically” too. I doubt you’ll ever squelch the hetero out of anyone, that’s for sure. You all are quite activist in your pursuit of nookie. But you know, Mr. Donovan, we’re not in a popularity contest. Where in a Free Republic of laws for all, and not just special laws telling one small group were a bunch of nothing.

But since he refers to polls, apparently now, 58% of New Yorkers support gay marriage. And some 53% of America as a whole, or a 50% to 56% range for the margin of error; by nearly any poll of actual Americans, and not the Mr. Donovan’s of the nation. And here in my Baptist-Catholic city, with one of the highest unwed mother rates in the nation, and highest AIDS rates, all among heterosexuals too, mind you, even some 44% say “yes,” and 9% don’t seem to care, and only 50% say “no.” That’s hardly this 63% taken from the past, from 15 and 10 years ago. Those were elections done during a time when in 24 states the sex itself was illegal. And in states where the sex was illegal, if all you could get was 63% against gay, well, gay sex, that’s not all that solid is it? You found this “unsurprising” that only 63% were against gay marriage? Doesn’t that mean that oh, 36% were for it or didn’t care? And we’re hardly 36% of any place. Indeed, the very passage of these laws seems to have shown the people that they are pointless and do nothing more than denigrate natural born gay folks so that some natural born heterosexuals can feel happy about themselves. And if the balance shifts, as it is, will then Mr. Donovan shush and join us in realizing that what gay people do has absolutely no effect on what heterosexuals do? Doubtful. He’ll accuse us of being way to activist indeed.

However, marriage does not make a populace, sex does. And from the looks of it, there seems to be plenty of populace making without marriage, not only now, but pre-politically too. But furthermore, that there would be some small number of people – as there are in reality – not making more “populace” it can hardly mean that “marriage” isn’t for them. Nor that populace would not be built. It merely means that “populace” building, when it is done, is indeed done best in a mom & dad situation. However, reality interceding with our best laid plans, not every family is blessed with children, nor is every child blessed with two parents. Not even of different genders. In the first instance, many man-woman marriages have no children, so obviously, having children is not required for marriage, ergo, gay marriage, by any name to solve life’s problems certainly can’t be no good because we have no kids. And not every child is born to a married couple, which is most evident by so many sources I don’t think I need to point them out. Do I have to? Nah. But there is one thing 100% for sure, no gay man got any girl pregnant out of wedlock. You can’t pin that one on us. Talk to some swaggering heterosexual, not us. I believe the term is “shotgun wedding,” no?

Suffice it to say, gay unions, again, by any name, simply would have no effect on the man-woman unions which either produce or don’t produce children within or outside of marriage. Nor on those man-woman unions which even could not produce children. Weirdly, I know of a case of a gay man who paid for the vasectomy of a straight man whom is either autistic or retarded or both, because neither the state nor the family would do so, and the boy already had one kid acknowledge and now taking up court time for child support that can never come, but maybe had two more kids by another women and we don’t even want to open that can of worms.

Still, that was three populace built by a man-boy that should never have been allowed to happen, but couldn’t be stopped due to the nature of the boy-girl thing. Now the nation is burdened, and the gay guy solved any future babies to unwed mothers by a father who couldn’t support his own self never mind three kids and two wives – and yet, the clipped boy can still get married – even to a woman with whom he could have no kids. The populace was built, the society pays the price, and the neutered man-boy can get married and marriage hasn’t entered the picture yet. Nor did gay guys have anything to do with any of it, except of course, stopping any more kids which simply cannot be taken care of by anyone but the government.

Yes, again, it’s best if it’s natural born children with their natural parents – but it’s honored almost more in the breach than the observance, and gay folks have absolutely nothing to do with this situation, nor do our unions or the denial thereof. No one ever went into divorce court with the argument – “The gay guys got married, so our vows mean nothing, so we want a divorce.” I don’t think gayness was ever grounds for divorce, no. We simply are not a part of whatever goes on in the hetero world, but we still have our own issues of property, inheritance, insurance, healthcare, etc, for we still in reality have unions, whether you think so or not.

As for a majority voting against gay folks, oh com’n, just years ago the majority was having us arrested and incarcerated and subject to forced cures. I’m sure if some good politician would submit such legislation you all would be right back at it; until a court injunction came. At unbelievable expense and genocidal destruction, but still, we wouldn’t be able to vote to stop it if we tried. Indeed, it is well accepted that we are such a tiny and dispersed minority that any law might conceivably be passed against us by a mere 25% of heterosexuals wanting to come out and vote – why, even just 10% of the straights coming out to the polls would simply swamp us, even if the 90% of the rest of you didn’t care enough to vote. We could no more overcome any number of you than a butterfly could take down an F-22. So what? The same would be true for Jews. Or the Amish. Does that mean that you can simply outlaw unfavored groups, or deny them basic fairness, because a slim minority of the majority says so? How absurd. Mr. Donovan, you wouldn’t argue that for any other group, would you?

And there’s no “support” FOR “traditional marriage” – or there would be no support for divorce, and second husbands, and third wives, and shacking up, and wife swapping, and Lord knows what else you heterosexuals do to trounce the institution of marriage. Hell, the numbers of unwed mothers shows the utter lack of respect or support for traditional marriage you all have. Rather the votes were not “for” marriage – but against gay people in every shape and form. The battles were shaped as “stopping” gay people, not “supporting” marriage; the name DOMA is from Orwell and Goering. It was “stopping” gay people’s civil unions by any name, not preserving the sanctity of what you all de-sanctified long long ago.

An unelected judiciary has remained the alternative of choice for activist groups, because it is there that novel legal theories can be tested, driven by activist judges who believe—often mistakenly, as in Iowa last November—that they are beyond matters so trivial as the wisdom of the electorate. Even in the nation’s courtrooms, however, advocates for changing the definition of marriage have more often lost than won.[3]

The judiciary of this nation has been tossing laws overboard since the Marbury case and the early years of the Republic. John Jay and John Marshal both abrogated for themselves the idea the Supreme Court and all courts could declare laws unconstitutional. There’s no such provision in any Constitution in the land. Not the federal or the states. And yet no one has the remotest problem with the courts declaring laws unconstitutional. Indeed, sir, I’d bet good money that the Heritage Foundation and you yourself, Mr. Donovan, are salivating over the prospect of the courts overturning ObamaCare. Give me a break on your platitudes about “judicial activism.” Indeed, it took the courts to overturn the majorities which kept blacks subjugated. Are we to return to those glorious days of majority rule? Not to mention, sir, the very foundation of the country was by a bunch of unelected activists who put in place a novel legal theory called the Constitution quite against the wishes of the majority of English hanging around. Geez.

The goods that marriage uniquely delivers merit it unique protection:

Marriage captivates and orients the most elemental of human passions and orders them to something beyond the self. It attaches men and women to one another and to their children and helps all of them to learn the tasks of nurturing and provision—the work of self-government that makes community possible and limits the need for the costly and never-complete repair work of government when families fracture.[4]

Yes, well, “marriage” does the same for gay folks – captivating and orients – only we just never have kids, like some straight married couples never have kids. Oh well. We’re sterile, which is hardly an impediment to marriage whatsoever. Nor is any gay person breaking down marriage – no gay person is attacking it – we’re trying to embrace the thing right now. Indeed, the “attack” argument is so false, since we’re arguing for our inclusion in the institution by any name, even one special just for us. Nor are we preventing heterosexuals from engaging in the practice they’re abandoning by the droves. We’re not down at any church house door preaching against marriage. And from such pulpits as we have, we’re screaming for it. Nor are gay people saying to heterosexuals: Don’t get married, so we can.

What children are born to married couples is their business, and what children are not born to gay couples are our business. How the one affects the other is that they don’t. Not whatsoever, they are simply wholly apart from each other. The goal of marriage, such as you elucidate are not lessened, it’s just that the goal for our marriages are made clearer. Every heterosexual can marry as many times as they wish, or not get married. We’re simply denied because this affects you how? With gay marriage it would still be perfectly fine and dandy for you all to continue in one or more marriages such as you have exhibited throughout history. Gay unions by any name have Zero impact on heterosexual marriages. God bless, and we’ll cater.

Marriage recognizes that children fare best when they are raised by their biological mothers and fathers. This truth is upheld and reflected in public policies that encourage the contributions of both men and women to the raising of their own children. Free societies have devised numerous ways to support when families dissolve or fail to form—but none of these forms of assistance justifies the abandonment of the special character of marriage or the pretense that substitutes for it have been available for centuries, just waiting to be discovered. Few would genuinely dispute that the love of a mother and father for each other and any children they make is a cornerstone of human happiness.

Children from intact families carry with them as adults a yearning to understand their heritage and connect with their ancestors. The most poignant family stories of our time are those involving children who have been unilaterally deprived of access to their own past.[5]

This is very well true – children are best served by marriages of their parents. We don’t have children, therefore our marriages can’t help or harm the children we don’t have. Nor could they help or harm the children you all have. What you all do with your marriages and your kids is your business. If you want to protect the institution, outlaw divorce. Outlaw adultery right down to lusting in the heart for all I care. What does it have to do with us? It is true that poignant family stories involve children – but not every marriage has children, and not every child has two happy parents. What does that have to do with gay folks? We’re not beating or killing or starving to death anyone’s kids. We’re not abandoning anyone’s kids. We’re not going near anyone’s kids whatsoever; what do we have to do with what heterosexuals do with their kids? We’re not responsible for your children, you folks are responsible for your children. We’re not stopping you from shtupping and making kids by the dozens.

But still the reality remains that we have legal issues related to being couples – that you deny such couples exist and have such issues is the problem, sir – issues that must be dealt with – and they’re all issues which have nothing to do with heterosexuals or their children. It’s completely unrelated. Though, again, if you want to reserve the word “marriage” for you all, then what other word would you give us? Oh, that’s right, you’re opposed to any word. And it weirdly seems to be because you think the institution of marriage is so weak that our having unions by any name whatsoever would tear your marriages apart. I think that’s what you’re saying. Beats me where you get such a notion, but there you are proclaiming it. Get a grip, dude. Get a grip.

For Posterity’s Sake

Americans are a tolerant people desirous of living with their fellow citizens in concord and without unreasonable demands, public or private. But the public institution of marriage is one request that champions of the family make with the best reason of all: Millions of children are born each year in the United States without the benefits that married parents can uniquely confer on them. As the nation seeks to regain its economic and social footing, it is time not to blur the meaning of marriage further but to rebuild it for the good of future generations.

Sir, if Americans were as tolerant as you say we wouldn’t have had slavery and 100 years of Jim Crow — nor would it have outlawed my sex life and my very hand holding and smooching. There was nothing tolerant, sir, about bar raids because we wanted to have a cold beer and a hot dance. There was nothing tolerant in imprisoning us and trying to force a cure upon us. I suggest sir, you acquaint yourself with the Family Research Council and NOM, AFTAH, NARTH, Exodus, AFV, and all the rest of that bunch – you will see a group of my fellow citizens not at all tolerant, nor desirous of living with me in concord. And they certainly do have unreasonable demands, among them that I simply stop being whom I am immediately or else. You really have to listen to Tony Perkins, perhaps you’ve already met him. Now there’s a guy with some unreasonable demands.

Meanwhile, once again you bring up the very best reason for marriage indeed – “millions of children are born each year without the benefits of marriage.” Oh, so true. But you know what Mr. Donovan, exactly 100% of them were not born of a blessed thing any union of two gay men ever did or were prevented from doing. It’s nigh on impossible, I dare say, no matter how hard we try. And so exactly how, by your logic, is preventing us from shtupping with a piece of paper in our hand, which we clamor for, can possibly solve the problem which you so amply state? By what logical leap of fancy do you conclude that stopping gay sex in wedded bliss will possibly make the fathers of the babes marry their mothers? Sir, I think you’re trying to solve a problem that exists – by preventing something which could have no conceivable impact upon the issue. No unwed mother is unwed because the gay couple down the block wants marriage. And no father is abandoning his kids because the gay couple in a city far away had a wedding. The connection is so close as to be beyond apples and oranges – perhaps apples and rocks on another planet.

This is the popular cause that DOMA, among other urgent measures, is needed to serve.

Chuck Donovan is Senior Research Fellow in the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.

No, Mr. Donovan, DOMA is because you don’t like gay people. It does nothing to “defend” or “promote” marriage whatsoever. It stops gay unions by any name. You are being intellectually dishonest. And stubborn. Stop it.

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