Capitulating on 'Same-sex Marriage'

On Nov. 13, 2022, the occupant of the Oval Office signed into law the so-called “Respect for Marriage Act,” It codifies same-sex “marriage” into Federal law in a nasty way, leaving anyone who disagrees open to lawsuits and other severe legal consequences. 

Its passage by Congress (with the help of numerous “moderate” Republicans) has been bewailed by conservative groups.  But let’s not fool ourselves.  This didn’t happen because of some weak-kneed RINOs.  It’s the result of a near-total capitulation of the conservative movement on the marriage issue over recent decades, which has trickled up to Congress.

In the critical weeks before its final passage by both the House and Senate, major pro-family groups spent lots of money and energy lobbying tirelessly against it.  These groups were at the same time polishing their image as stalwart defenders of the family (in their ongoing appeals for funding from conservative citizens). 

But with all that effort, here’s what Congress and the public did not hear from the mainstream conservatives as reasons to defeat the bill:

  • The Supreme Court’s 5-4 Obergefell ruling that supposedly “legalized” same-sex marriage was a complete political sham having no basis in actual constitutional law.  (In addition, two of the liberal justices should have recused themselves.) As Justice Clarence Thomas hinted, it needs to be scrapped.  To claim that the Constitution includes or implies such a “right” is simply nonsense.  Previously, dozens of states rightly banned same-sex marriage to underscore that truth.
  • You can’t repeal the laws of nature.  There is no such thing as same-sex “marriage.” The concept is an invention of the LGBT movement.  The federal government cannot force people to believe a lie.
  • Same-sex marriage enshrines into law a behavior that is fraught with horrible medical and psychological problems.  America’s medical associations have shamelessly -- and completely unscientifically -- sold out on this point.
  • Not the least, there is the religious aspect that is well known to nearly everyone.  To put it succinctly, men using one another as women will always constitute a perversion.  Don’t blame me; blame God.

The political wimps on our side constantly insist that saying these things won’t help and will anger the leftists, and we need to sound moderate and reasonable.  They’re wrong.  Boldly repeating these truths actually moves the whole political discourse to the right.  Ignoring them has the opposite effect.

But conservative leaders don’t want to be called “bigots.” And they don’t want to alienate the false Republicans who go along with same-sex marriage.  They might want their votes on other bills -- or their donations.

So instead, there was really just one message from our side.  It centered on “religious freedom.” It basically said: “If you insist on passing this, there must be some religious freedom protections added.  People with ‘sincerely held religious beliefs’ against same-sex marriage need safeguards.”

What about people who don’t have “sincerely held religious beliefs” but just think that gay marriage is disgusting, unhealthy, or destabilizing for society? And who gets to determine whether one’s beliefs are sufficiently “sincere”? Our side’s argument was weak as dishwater, and the leftists basically laughed at us. 

Yes, it is true that religious liberty is in serious danger with this new law.  But our willingness to concede everything else while fighting that battle sent a clear m

essage that we weren’t really serious. 

We can’t seriously expect conservative members of Congress to take up these necessary arguments if the big money groups on our side are afraid to back them up.  Make no mistake: If the tables had been turned, the Left would have thrown everything they could think of at us, and in as vicious a manner as they could muster.

The grassroots may have strong feelings about this, but the mainstream conservative movement went south on the whole LGBT issue a long time ago.  CPAC now has the Log Cabin Republicans as a sponsor, and transgender contingents are welcomed, but groups deemed “anti-gay” or “transphobic” are banned from having a table.  President Trump and GOP Chairman Ronna McDaniel hosted a gala event promoting the LGBT inclusion in the Republican Party.  Tucker Carlson regularly has openly LGBT guests on his show, but except for the transgender assault on children, never those countering that overall movement.  And virtually every one of the “moms” groups fighting porn in schools makes it clear that they are not against the LGBT movement in their schools.  It goes on and on.

With that kind of capitulation on our side, it would have been a shock if we had won the vote on the “marriage” bill!

This misguided approach goes back many years.  After same-sex marriage was first “legalized” by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 2004 and there was a battle to get the Legislature to pass a state constitutional amendment to reverse that, the mantra by the big conservative groups was “every child needs a mother and a father” and “marriage is between one man and one woman.” They shied away from suggesting that same-sex marriage was a lie.

The effort sunk like a rock.  The LGBT movement countered that with slick emotional arguments, howling that they were “about love” -- and we were simply “haters.” They said that they could make very “loving” parents and that everyone should have “marriage” rights.

When the gay-marriage lawsuits began to move through the federal courts, our side added the refrain, “Children are best when raised by a mother and father.” This mushy collection of arguments was used right up through the Obergefell case -- and our side lost consistently.  At one point during the Proposition 8 marriage lawsuit in California, the openly homosexual judge actually reprimanded our side for presenting such an inept case.  It was embarrassing, but our people didn’t seem to care.

In order to achieve their deranged agenda the Left is must lie about virtually everything.  Our side has the truth, which is much more powerful -- if we’re not afraid to use it.  In our own activism, I have experienced that first-hand many times.

Unfortunately, as someone once observed, on cutting-edge culture war issues the mainstream conservative movement is continuously willing to settle for “defeat with dignity.”

Brian Camenker is President of MassResistance, a national pro-family activist group.

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