Playing the Race Card On Marriage

In May of 2006 Maggie Gallagher wrote Banned in Boston: The coming conflict between same-sex marriage and religious liberty.1

…last December [2005], the Becket Fund brought together ten religious liberty scholars of right and left to look at the question of the impact of gay marriage on the freedom of religion. Picarello summarizes: “All the scholars we got together see a problem; they all see a conflict coming. They differ on how it should be resolved and who should win, but they all see a conflict coming.”

7 of Diamonds - VanityFair…Reading through these and the other scholars’ papers, I noticed an odd feature. Generally speaking the scholars most opposed to gay marriage were somewhat less likely than others to foresee large conflicts ahead–perhaps because they tended to find it “inconceivable,” as Doug Kmiec of Pepperdine law school put it, that “a successful analogy will be drawn in the public mind between irrational, and morally repugnant, racial discrimination and the rational, and at least morally debatable, differentiation of traditional and same-sex marriage.”

…By contrast, the scholars who favor gay marriage found it relatively easy to foresee looming legal pressures on faith-based organizations opposed to gay marriage, perhaps because many of these scholars live in social and intellectual circles where the shift Kmiec regards as inconceivable has already happened. They have less trouble imagining that people and groups who oppose gay marriage will soon be treated by society and the law the way we treat racists because that’s pretty close to the world in which they live now.

Gallagher quoted Chai Feldblum saying (yes, that Chai Feldblum2 who was first an Obama recess appointment to the EEOC and has now been confirmed by the Senate. She is also pro-abortion. Even before her tenure the EEOC was limiting religious freedom of a Catholic college.3):

“And yet when push comes to shove, when religious liberty and sexual liberty conflict, she admits, “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.”

I’ve been linking to this column by Gallagher ever since I first read it in 2006, because I agreed this conflict was coming. I wasn’t surprised to find this by George Neumayr at the American Spectator from this past Wednesday, February 27th: Equating Christians With Racists.

Last Sunday, the Washington Post’s ombudsman casually revealed that the official policy of reporters at the paper is to treat opponents of gay marriage as the moral equivalent of racists.

Addressing the complaint that the paper is a propaganda sheet for gay activists, ombudsman Patrick Pexton disclosed an e-mail exchange between a reader and a Post reporter. The reader had asked the reporter why the paper covers the gay marriage debate so one-sidedly….

…the reporter dug the hole deeper by telling the reader that opponents of gay marriage are no more legitimate than segregationists: “As for accuracy, should the media make room for racists, i.e. those people who believe that black people shouldn’t marry white people? Any story on African-Americans wouldn’t be wholly accurate without the opinion of a racist, right?”…

Pexton seemed only mildly concerned by this reporter’s bald advocacy. He tried to explain it sympathetically (while hoping for more “detachment and objectivity”), but ended up just reiterating that reporters see traditional Christians as modern- day racists: “They see people opposed to gay rights today as cousins, perhaps distant cousins, of people in the 1950s and 1960s who, citing God and the Bible, opposed black people sitting in the bus seat, or dining at the lunch counter, of their choosing.”

If you follow Neumayr’s link to the Washington Post, you’ll also find Pexton casually dismisses those who disagree with him, “Yet many Americans feel that allowing gay men and lesbians to marry diminishes the value of their heterosexual marriages. I don’t understand this.” He doesn’t bother to even acknowledge, much less respond to the arguments and reasoning of those who defend marriage. This is a lazy bias of arrogance.

Supreme CourtLa Shawn Barber has written several posts on Loving v. Virginia, a 1967 SCOTUS decision on Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law, in which she answers and summarily dispenses the arguments of those who cite the illegality of racial discrimination as a rationale to justify redefining marriage.

Homosexuals have cited Loving v. Virginia and the entire Civil Rights movement in their quest to legalize marriage between two men. Aside from the moral outrage this should generate in the black community, marriage between a man and woman of different races and marriage between people of the same sex aren’t comparable at all. Marriage is a legal union recognize by the states as serving fundamental purposes: provides structure for family formation and rearing children, and provides a stabilizing influence that benefits the whole society.

Dennis Prager makes an irrefutable point.

…if opposition to same-sex marriage is as immoral as racism, why did no great moral thinker, in all of history, ever advocate male-male or female-female marriage? …no one – … nor even a single anti-religious secular thinker of the Enlightenment — ever advocated redefining marriage to include members of the same sex.

To argue that opposition to same-sex marriage is immoral is to argue that every moral thinker, and every religion and social movement in the history of mankind prior to the last 20 years in America and Europe was immoral. About no other issue could this be said. Every moral advance has been rooted in prior moral thinking.

The Institute for Propaganda Analysis labeled their first identified propaganda technique as Name Calling. Being labeled as a racist is no childhood taunt, but a dangerous device used to stigmatize, intimidate, and delegitimize those who defend marriage. At its worse it is a device to restrict religious freedom in our country and make it illegal for Christians to voice their opinion in the public square.

Don’t be intimidated. Stand your ground. Explain your thinking without rancor. Pray for God’s mercy and help.

Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.
1 Peter 3:13–16

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UPDATE: See also at Public Discourse of the Witherspoon Institute:

Francis J. Beckwith, Interracial Marriage and Same-Sex Marriage, May 21, 2012
David Schaengold, Same-Sex Marriage and Formal Discrimination, June 25, 2010
Matthew J. Franck, Is Sex Just Like Race?, July 8, 2011
1Maggie Gallagher, “Banned in Boston,” The Weekly Standard, Vol. 11, No. 33, May 15, 2006.
2American Principles Project, “Chai Feldblum.”
3LifeNews, “Pro-Abortion Obama EEOC Nominee Chai Feldblum Approved,” December 29, 2010.
Laura Curtin in her GreenRoom post, Chai Feldblum On Sexual Liberty vs. Religious Liberty, from October 2009, linked to Chai Feldblum’s paper written for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Curtin quotes from the paper, but her link is dead. I was able to find the paper via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine:
Chai R. Feldblum, Moral Conflict and Liberty: Gay Rights and Religion, (55 page pdf).


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