Christians Need Not Apply

Now, I know government has to regulate stuff. If you are serving chicken, a health inspector probably should sign-off on a reasonably clean environment before you hand it over to the eager public. I don’t mind that. In fact, seeing the 100.5% rating at Taco Bell earlier made me feel more secure. I didn’t even realize that percentage existed but I knew it meant clean food.

What I didn’t like to see this week, was two mayors from two of our most important cities (Boston and Chicago) saying that they wanted to ban chicken from being sold for a non-health related reason. Apparently, the President of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, supports the traditional definition of marriage. Apparently, he even donated lunch to a Pennsylvania organization that fights for that cause.

Even worse, when asked by the Baptist Press, Mr Cathy said that he was, “guilty as charged” on supporting the “biblical definition of the family unit.” Whoa. In a country where 80% of the population is Christian and every state that has put this issue on the ballot, even California, has agreed with him, he is obviously way out-of-line.

In the follow-up to this, Boston Mayor Tom Menino wrote to Dan Cathy, “I was angry to learn on the heels of your prejudiced statements about your search for a site to locate in Boston. There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it.”

Not to be out-done by the Bostonians, a Chicago alderman said that he would “now be denying Chick-fil-A’s permit to open a restaurant in the 1st Ward.” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel decided to stand behind this outrageous violation of the First Amendment, saying, “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values. They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents.” The controversy is evidently big enough to even get on ABC World News.

Alright, so now I’m guessing there will be liberal politicians in Oregon, California, and many other places that will seek to do the same. A number of college campuses are also following suit. My only question is, really? Is this where we’re headed? I’ve been following the news pretty closely over the past few years and I don’t really remember this being a trend too much until very recently. By “this” I mean forcing business owners to hold your values or face intimidation by the government.

This whole debacle reminded me of a story I thought was just a strange anomaly from about a month ago. A wedding photographer in New Mexico was approached by a lesbian couple who wanted her to shoot their “commitment ceremony.” The woman said she declined because she believes marriage to be a sacred union between one man and one woman. After she declined, the couple took her to court and sued her for discrimination. And won. The state of New Mexico does not recognize same-sex marriage or even civil unions, only traditional marriage, so I was very confused by this. Let me get this straight, the government does not recognize these relationships but business owners have to or else they will be sued and their businesses closed-down?

But that’s not all, yesterday I read of another story of a Christian business feeling unable to do business due to ideological impurity. Hercules Industries is a construction supply company in Colorado that is owned by the Newlands, a devoutly Catholic family. They have built the business into a large job-provider for the area, with 265 employees. They say that the new “Contraception Mandate” from Obama’s health-care bill will force them to shut-down. They will not pay for sterilizations, abortifacients, or contraception, but will be faced with large fines if they do not. Now some might think, “Well they need to get with the times!” but in America, we’ve always respected freedom of conscience. Maybe you think the Amish need to get with the times, but the beauty of our country was we allowed them to sport beards and buggies if that’s what they wanted to do.

In World War II, if you were a pacifist who thought killing, even in a war, was immoral, they let you be a conscientious objector. It didn’t matter if those around you thought you were a wuss, or a religious nut, or just wrong. You were allowed to take this position.

Can we not let the Newland family sell vents and other equipment to people in Colorado without forcing them to give their employees products that they see as immoral? If we can’t, I don’t think we live in a particularly free nation. I mean, the birth control will be free I suppose, but not the people. We need a right to conscientiously object to things. We need a right to disagree without being shut-down.

Just imagine if this became a trend  in both red and blue states. Take the same issue of gay marriage. Let’s say people in Nebraska, a more conservative state, thought a certain company’s president didn’t represent “Nebraska values.”  Would it be alright with everyone if the public leaders of this state threatened to deny them business permits? I think not. This trend would be very dangerous and would lead to a fragmented business climate in America. Businesses who support certain politics would be allowed to operate in liberal states, whereas business with more conservative leadership would be banned, and vice versa.

After the mayor of Boston was told that, in fact, he didn’t have the legal right to ban Chick-Fil-A from his town, he backed down a bit, saying, “I can’t do that. That would be interference to his rights to go there.” Menino continued, “I make mistakes all the time. That’s a Menino-ism.” The Chicago alderman did not quite back-away though. When asked if the Chick-Fil-A organization would change their stance on marriage if he would reconsider, he said, “If they’re serious about that, and they’re willing to put that in writing and they’re willing to adopt that. I think those are the grounds where we can move forward.”  So, if they change their beliefs, they can open.


Mayor Menino of Boston, who started the ban Chick-Fil-A movement

Gay groups have decided to instead go another route. If it’s not legal to ban them, yet, then they will instead invade Chick-Fil-A restaurants across the nation with gay make-out sessions. The organizers at Equality Illinois say, “LGBT supporters will show their disdain for Chick-Fil-A’s policies with public displays of affection in front of their restaurants.” Classy.

This whole campaign of intimidation makes you wonder how long it will be until it simply becomes impossible for one to be a traditional Christian and a business owner. If you are forced to believe in gay marriage or be denied restaurant permits, or forced to photograph gay marriages or be sued, or forced to provide products you think are immoral or face government fines, will Christians even bother  to open-up shop? We aren’t to that point yet, but if these stories become less like anomalies, and more just the way the business world works, it is very possible.


Posted on July 27, 2012, in Religion. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Your obvious desire to comport legal discrimination under the banner of religious ‘values’ has muddled your thinking here.

    To begin with, democracy not legally respectful of individual rights is nothing but mob rule, also known as tyranny of the majority. This is what you are trying to defend. To do so, you equate legal discrimination against a particular group of people as merely an expression of some innocuous personal value. But it’s not innocuous: it reduces without cause or merit the rights of your neighbour. If you truly supported family values, then you would want the law to help support their exercise. Marriage – and all its legal ramifications – would be made available to any legally prescribed individual who has reached the age of majority who wished to marry. To this end, marriage as an institution would be promoted and protected by the state. But this is not what you want. You want a religious definition of what constitutes a marriage to be imposed by the state to stop people who do not meet your religious definition. This notion assigns legal rights on the basis of a religious test, and you are plenty smart enough to know why this is illegal. By supporting a religious discrimination in secular law, you are advocating to undermine the Constitution of the US. Are you sure this is what you want?

    If you changed the same notion of equal rights to some other classification than sexual orientation, then you would see immediately just how bigoted the argument is on merit. But by blurring the issue as one of religious value – that is to say, the desire to qualify the rights of others based on religious belief alone – you twist the issue away from equal rights to one of anti-religious victimization. This is ludicrous. You are not made a victim when someone with whom you are trying to reduce in legal rights and privilege to your own successfully uses the courts to thwart your religious bullying. This is why Proposition 8 was overturned: you have no good reasons in reality for reducing the rights of others in the name of religious values. It is this notion of privileging religious values that is clearly left wanting, and the religious have not been able to show why denying rights to others that they themselves enjoy is, in fact, a social value worth tolerating. Assuming such religious values as defining marriage only between opposite gender individuals are good is not true in reality. Religious values that are contrary to what is true in reality are not good; they are harmful as well as delusional and cause real victims of real people in real life.

    Those who support making victims from of an unjust legal system that imposes unnecessary and harmful legal discrimination in the name of religious values deserve to be publicly criticized, scrutinized, and censured in some way for their willingness to actively undermine the very basis on which they enjoy the right to believe what they want: upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States from enemies foreign and domestic. Calling this sedition a religious value doesn’t mitigate the harm it causes to all of us; refusing public permission for private enterprise that endorses this legal abuse is the very least any respectable and responsible politician should try to bring into public policy.

    It’s time to stop trying to legally discriminate on the basis of harming those who do not agree to go along with some Iron age religious belief that is not so much a value as it is a violation of what you know to be right.

  2. Well, dang! That’s a lot of comment there brother. You say they are undermining the US Constitution but I wonder then why the founders didn’t enshrine some sort of marriage ambiguity clause into said constitution. In fact, nobody thought to do so until the last couple decades. Having a definition of marriage does draw lines that leave some out but I don’t think you need religion to make these lines (atheists in Russia and China weren’t a fan of the gays much either), and I don’t think drawing lines is beyond a government’s rights.

    If consent is the only qualification now, then how do you feel about traditional Islamic marriage? In Saudi, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia etc etc. they have endogamous, polygamy, where a 30 + year old man will commonly marry 4 of his 10-15 year old cousins. In modern Britain, a majority of Pakistani immigrants STILL marry their first cousins. If this is all consensual, then are we discriminating based on number, age, and family relation? How is that any better or worse based on those human qualities than the quality of gender? I have good reason to think that the best definition of marriage is for two adult people of opposite gender and no relation to one another to be the norm. I don’t think a man and his two brides should be thrown in jail, or two gay people for that matter, but I don’t think it should be the encouraged cultural norm. Sex is a dangerous thing that can create life or cause death through disease, so making this alternative lifestyle trend a social norm can only lead to bad things for society. That’s my view. I don’t hate polygamists, gays, or incestuous folks but I just don’t want that as the social norm.

    I wouldn’t really mind some civil contract deal for any of these groups but if we are going to have a definition of marriage, I like the one we have. My main argument was based on cities trying to play thought-police on business owners. If the Newlands believe abortifacients end human lives (which technically they do since the sperm and egg are already united and cells are multiplying, human cells that are alive that is) then how can you want to force someone to end human life when it violates their conscience?

    Also, since I lean Libertarian, I’m not really sure I want the government telling us which business transactions we have to sign-up for anyway. I know that could lead to a Klansmen denying a black man access to his store, but I really wonder how much longer that would have even happened once the unconstitutional Jim Crow laws and forced segregation were overturned anyway. Boycotts are the way to go, not government enforcing the ideology of the majority on business owners.

    • If consent is the only qualification….

      Who said that? Not I. I insist on equal legal rights. That’s the only way government of the people, by the people, for the people, has legitimacy: through the consent of the governed who hold in their possession all the rights of autonomy which they grant – by democratic vote – a portion of their power to a government to act on their interests for life, liberty, and (in enlightenment terms) the pursuit of happiness. Without legal equality for the individuals governed, we don’t have legitimate government.

      Look, gay marriage isn’t about values (yours, mine, anybody’s); it’s about equality rights in law. These rights in law must cross all other boundaries, (like culture and language and ethnicity and religion and so on) and all the value considerations they import, and be held superior (and primary in law) to them. That’s what secularism is all about. Deny marriage rights to a particular segment of the population – based not on character or merit or compelling reasons but religious intolerance – and what we have is a value not worth inserting into public law. In fact, it is morally reprehensible to do so because there are no good reasons, no evidence of social ill, no mitigating facts that allow legitimacy for some legal constraint that targets this group. The only reason why marriage between two consenting adults has been privileged only to opposite gender is because of religious sensibilities based on centuries of traditional bigotry. That’s the sum total of why the law discriminates against gays and lesbians today. That’s the true value of religion’s contribution to this issue: to extend discrimination in the name of piety.

      It’s time to leave the puritan centuries of religious discrimination behind and move into the modern world of legal equality. It is morally superior in every measurable way of human well-being to that advocated by all the so-called holy books. We’ve survived making legal equality through women’s rights and the civil rights movement (without end-of-world consequences from some wrathful and offended god). Surely we can open our moral eyes and clearly see from other (more civilized and less religious) countries that the only thing that changes when gay marriage becomes legal is… less state-sponsored legal intolerance and more legal equality. The sky has not fallen. Spouses now have the same legal right to visit their partner in hospitals and deal with shared estates and collect spousal benefits and other social horrors. Children are raised in households where some people – regardless of gender – have the maturity and commitment to marry in order to live family values rather pay it lip service while denying it to neighbours who use their gonads in ways we may find icky. That we find such love and commitment more icky for some same sex spouses than the welfare of children raised outside its structure is not a very good example of stable moral reasoning but another shining example of how religious belief can so easily reveal the truth of Weinberg’s astute observation: “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”

      • I really don’t see the point in debating you any more. You just repeated most of the same points, and I honestly would just refute them in the same way, and on and on ad infinitum. You use way too many loaded words like “equality” “tolerance” “bigotry” which have all lost their meaning in the way you use them. And you also didn’t address my point about why gender is a more compelling trait than age, family relation, and number. I also said I was fine with some contract so people can do taxes and make hospital visits, so your rant along those lines was unnecessary.

        On another note, we won! Twice! Here is a story just breaking about a federal judge saying that Hercules Industries, the Catholic business, cannot be charged any fees for not following the contraception mandate.

        And Rahm Emanuel says even though he still doesn’t think they reflect “Chicago values” he will not allow Chick-Fil-A’s business application to be barred by that crazy alderman. I knew reason would win in the end!

      • You haven’t debated me at all; you’ve reiterated that you see the issue of rights as merely an expression of your religious values about consent that you then vilipend. You are morally wrong to abrogate the rights of others on the alter of some religious belief and call this willingness a religious value. This is why you fail to appreciate that health care coverage allowed through the filter of religious belief is just as discriminatory. You think it’s a question of consent, which it isn’t; it’s a question of allowing religious belief to arbitrate the rights and freedoms and medical access of your neighbours. As long as you agree to the religious tenets thus exercised to be acceptable to you, you’re fine with it. But do a little thought experiment by substituting another set of religious beliefs and see if you still think this can be anything other than a capitulation of legal equality to religious bullying and religious discrimination and religious bigotry and see if your argument about consent holds up. Try sharia. Why is the religious value that women are legally worth half that of man something I or you should mildly accept? Why is the religious value that marriage for gays and lesbians are legally worth less than a heterosexual union something I or you should mildly accept? Why is the religious value that insurance coverage for reproductive issues imposed by a Catholic employer (on non Catholics employees) something I or you should mildly accept? In other words, drop the veneer of religious value to excuse legal discrimination and start showing evidence from realty that a policy of legal discrimination adds rather than subtracts to the public welfare. Only on this basis you may be able to present a case that is informed by good reasons rather than swept under the rug as a religious value and that’s that… as if no debate were necessary because the religious value being imposed on others was justified by the label, granting the religious bullying an unearned yet privileged sanction in law.

        And what’s good for the goose is good for the gander: if some business wishes to impose religious values that discriminate against the legal equality of real people, then it is only right and proper that public agents impose public policies that legally discriminate against those organizations. You can’t have it both ways and it’s high time religious motivation for special privilege to discriminate carried a public cost.

  3. Actually, I didn’t “reiterate” that or even say that once haha. Find me where in either of my responses to you where I say rights are an expression of religious values. I actually said you DIDN’T need to find a religious justification. I’m not saying I don’t believe basic Judeo-Christian principles are the foundational rock our rights are built off of, I do, but I just don’t usually go to those arguments when discussing it with somebody who obviously doesn’t respect that part of our history.

    You may not have explicitly said that consent is the new test, but then I don’t know what this “equality” is based on. We obviously aren’t sexually equal. A fertile man and woman are able to create human life together, which is the biological purpose of sex. That isn’t equal. They are equal as individuals, but I don’t think anywhere in our constitution it demands that all different types of relationships are treated equal. Relationships aren’t equal. Some are abusive, some are perverse, etc.. And I still would like to know what you think of a Muslim man who wants to marry 4 of his 16 year old cousins, assuming that bound by a sense of duty, all consent fully to the arrangement.

  4. We feel it necessary to make a comment on behalf of our corporate entity, Andy’s Cupboard Online Magazine, because of the subject matter of the topic currently up for discussion.

    The idea that marriage should be kept between one man and one woman has nothing to do with “imposing a religious standard on a secular society.” China is militantly atheist and the last time we checked they don’t permit gay marriage.

    We think that gay marriage advocates may push way too far. Right now, they’ll get to marry in a few states and states like the one our magazine is based in (Alabama) will never permit it.

    But if gay marriage advocates keep pushing people and trying to force on people that which they don’t want the reaction might shock them.

    • Pushing way too far: for legal equality? That’s a very… strange way of defining the issue. Very disturbing, actually.

      The reaction here in Canada to gay marriage has been rather boring… absolutely no difference for anyone anywhere – including families (gasp!) – with the notable exception that more gay marriages take place publicly (marriage notices in newspapers, large weddings, horse-drawn carriages, park photographs, house hunting, mortgage negotiations, shopping, etc.). No doubt having too much young love in the air is also pushing way too far. Dastardly, I know.

      In fact, and perhaps of interest to those wondering what the real life effects of having gay marriage allowed in law might be, when the federal government found a loophole in divorce law that failed to recognize gay marriage, Canadians showed more than a 70% majority in favour of maintaining legal equality for all marriages – a surprising increase of nearly 20% in a mere dozen years from when it was introduced into law. No doubt this increase in support of non-discriminatory laws comes from experience; with openly gay and married mayors, military personnel, lawyers, teachers, senators and Members of Parliament federal and provincial, people can see for themselves that their religiously-inspired fears of some disruptive and morally suspect gay agenda were – as is so often the case – not just baseless but embarrassingly so. It seems once again that the quality of one’s character is not defined by some unrelated factor like gender, race, or sexual orientation. Who could of known (except those of us who see the real world unblemished by religiously motivated preconceptions)?

      • Honestly, what do you mean by “equality for all marriages”? I’ve asked now three times why gender is less of an important distinguishing characteristic than family relation, age, or number. No answer. If all marriages are the same, then the common form of marriage in the Islamic world, polygamous, endogamy to minors, should be acceptable to you. No form of marriage is equal to an unrelated, adult man and a woman. It is the obvious definition because sperm and eggs are not just things we have different preferences about. They actually have biological purposes! Those who take sex out of this basic paradigm cheapen it and open the door to a society like we have now, full of disease, unwanted children, and abortion. Sex is pretty much a form of entertainment, but with the possibilty of creating life or contracting a deadly disease. A very quickly growing percentage of American society is born out of wedlock, and you may not see this as a big deal, but it is breaking down the foundation of our society. Those born in this state have a much higher rate of incarceration, drop-out rate, drug abuse, suicide rate, and much more. The gay issue is really a side issue to this main problem. Redefining the basic purpose of sexuality to include, whatever makes you feel good, will lead us down a really bad path. I would much rather encourage a world where we don’t have as many children being created without a stable environment in the first place. We don’t have that right now in part because of people like you trying to redefine things for “equality”. What does that mean again in the context of sex? All potential sexual desires are equal? I don’t think so.

      • I’ve asked now three times why gender is less of an important distinguishing characteristic than family relation, age, or number. No answer.

        I’ve ignored the request because it’s a non sequitor: you continue to believe that particular marriages must be based on certain characteristics rather than appreciate that when we are talking about public law we are talking about individual rights. For everyone.

        You wish to discriminate in law that allow certain people to marry based on the characteristic of opposite gender without any evidence to show how this is a reasonable discrimination in attaining a greater public good. The law does discriminate, for example, on the basis of age because those who have no reached the age of majority do not possess equality rights like enfranchised adults do; these rights are distributed in law to parents and guardians for just this reason, to preserve the eventual rights of autonomy for these dependents by acting as their agent until this age of majority is reached. This is why upon legal dissolution of the union the obligation for carry these legal rights of dependents continue. But please note that this age discrimination – again, this is not a trivial difference – pertains to everyone equally in any society based on the legal autonomy of the individual.

        This same notion of carrying equal legal rights within a union runs into a problem immediately upon having more than two that forms it; a union of three or more means each partner carries a minority of rights within it. This becomes a demonstrable problem in achieving equality rights in law when, for example, the tyranny of the majority (two of three) can be exercised upon the remaining minority partner. Again, we see this all the time in polygamous marriages where the rights of equality become subject to the rights of the majority within these unions. Legal discrimination against polygamous marriages can be shown to be a greater public good.

        Other countries with a different basis in law than individual equality rights for political authority will produce different and more autocratic laws with greater and greater inequalities. I’m not trying to defend these legal differences whatsoever primarily because I think these governments and the laws they produce are far less legitimate and deserving of less respect than the American. I think, for example, that adults marrying children is a legal perversion (because children are not equal and autonomous citizens yet and cannot be an equal partner in any marriage) allowable in some places only because the law is not based on individual rights but on sanctioning certain special privileges for some over and above – often imposed on – certain others… privileges very often supported by religious interference and discrimination in the legal domain. (We almost always find exactly this where religious belief about marriage is used to legally benefit and privilege not all citizens equally but men in particular. This is not a coincidence but a reasonable result when the law is confused to be a tool for some rather than a blanket for all.)

        We know that offspring from close relatives increases the risk of genetic defects significantly. That is why almost all societies have laws and sanctions against this interbreeding. The legal discrimination in marriage with close relatives is merely an extension of this known harm. To keep the legal playing field equal for all adults, it has been extended to cover same sex unions as well as geriatric. No one regardless of gender can marry their sister (except, again, where legal privilege for some is upheld in law).

        Because there is no demonstrable public harm caused by gay marriage and much legal benefit accrued from having unions between legally autonomous individuals recognized in law for equal legal distribution of responsibilities and obligations extended to franchised citizens, there is no reason – other than privilege – to deny this legal right to a legal partnership for same sex couples. And this was also the finding of Judge Walker in the Prop 8 case; no evidence for public harm (in spite of fear mongering about harm to children unwarranted by facts from reality) and much evidence for public benefit (to real children in real life raised within a monogamous gay marriage) with a level legal playing field. To withhold legal equality for equal legal partnerships based solely on a misguided values judgement that is factually wrong in reality is clearly legal discrimination – a religiously sanctioned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation alone. That this discrimination is religiously inspired neither empowers nor excuse it. It is bigotry by definition.

        sary; I

  5. You really don’t need to write an entire book every time you respond. I read it all but I honestly don’t think you’ve been reading my comments too carefully. You keep saying that I am making an argument based solely on religion, when I have never done that in any of my comments, so if you’re going to write so much, do me the courtesy of reading mine as well.

    But to respond to your extremely long and repetitive diatribe, basically, you see gender as an unimportant distinguishing characteristic when compared to number, family relation, and age. Your reasons were not very sound in my opinion, because I see gender differences as the most important dynamic when considering sex and marriage. Having a good model of both genders is key to knowing who you are as a person. The point you made about more than two people in a marriage creating a minority seems pretty far fetched. So, in business partnerships or any other partnership, the fact that two can side against one, or many against a couple, makes these contracts invalid?

    And your point about “almost all” societies not allowing close relatives to marry is simply incorrect. Endogamous marriages are the most common type in most Muslim countries, which are hardly an insignificant part of the globe. I agree that this shouldn’t be allowed, as well as polygamy, but I was simply showing that your reasons for this were flawed. I was using them as an example that you do in fact agree that the state can define marriages, even if it discriminates against those who are willing to enter into mutual contracts. I’m conflicted about whether the state SHOULD do that for homosexual, polygamous or endogamous unions, but I definitely think the cultural norm should be that these are not the social ideal. Homosexuality falls outside of the traditional social norm in almost all societies, religious or not, because it works against the basic male/female dynamic that is really the whole point of marriage and family in the first place. Those who are infertile or do not have children out of choice are not doing any damage to this paradigm and what it means culturally to be a male or a female.

    One solution in my mind is just to get the government out of the marriage business altogether and instead allow social contracts between individuals (whether polygamous, cousins, homosexual, or traditional) and then if they want to attend a church that defines “marriage” as one way or another, that’s their choice. If we’re going to be in the marriage business though as a nation, I like the present definition, and am pretty sure any meddling will lead to cultural confusion. I’ve seen Emo kids and skinny jeans enough to know this is already happening. A culture commits suicide if it doesn’t encourage the basic family unit of a man and a woman to have children and creating enough people to pass on the culture. Otherwise you turn into Europe and have to import workers who don’t share any of your native values. I’m assuming Muslim Europeans who marry 4 of their 14 year old cousins is not something you want replicated here…

    • You continue to make the mistake of using LAW to assign your VALUE of characteristics. This is a comprehension mistake you make with each and every comment. I keep trying to get you to comprehend that LAW is not about forcing your values on others (which I attribute to your discriminatory religious beliefs); LAW is about RIGHTS.

      You do not have the legal right to discriminate against the rights of others. When the governments pass legislation to do so, it is institutionalizing legal discrimination without proving harm to the public good. This is why in case after legal case, discriminatory law has been struck down because – and this is the important part here – there is no demonstrable harm to the public good by same sex unions. The harm to the public good (usually couched in terms of harming children, which has no evidence for and much against) is entirely imagined, but the harm to the legal rights of autonomy is very real. Your beliefs about the VALUE of same sex unions is incorrect because it is based solely on your mistaken beliefs.

    • Having a good model of both genders is key to knowing who you are as a person.

      From the href=””>American Psychological Association:

      “In summary, social science has shown that the concerns often raised about children of lesbian and gay parents—concerns that are generally grounded in prejudice against and stereotypes about gay people—are unfounded. Overall, the research indicates that the children of lesbian and gay parents do not differ markedly from the children of heterosexual parents in their development, adjustment, or overall well-being.”

      From the AMA:

      “All the scientific evidence points to no differences among children raised in heterosexual or homosexual families.”

      From the American Psychiatric Association:

      “The great majority of studies published in the past 20 years conclude that there are no notable developmental differences between children raised by heterosexual parents and those raised by lesbian and gay parents. Along the same lines, several medical and mental health professional associations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the American Psychological Association have issued formal statements generally supporting equal access to parenting and adoption for gay men and lesbians.”

      How do your values stack up against the evidence? To me, it seems your values about the characteristics of gender in based on something other than reality. This is a clue…

  6. I don’t really have time to keep revisiting this with you but your studies are not very scientific in my opinion, and those who do large population based studies usually find the opposite. They don’t publish many of these because they usually get called all sorts of names. But here is a very large sample that found HUGE disparities.

    And in terms of “discriminating” with the law, there are many laws that do this. It really depends on what characteristics you are discriminating based on. Race makes no difference in people’s lives, so there is no reason to discriminate based on this. Age, gender, and other qualities do make a difference in MANY cases. Social security, alcohol sales, voting and many other things discriminate based on age. There are many laws based on gender. For example, women can’t join fighting divisions in the military for obvious reasons. Blind people aren’t allowed to drive cars. Is that discrimination based on somebody’s ability to see? Using that word “discrimination” has all kinds of baggage from legitimate concerns about racial discrimination that are being co-opted for this cause. I’m sympathetic to people who want to live out their lives the way they see fit, and wouldn’t be totally opposed to some civil contract legislation, but not marriage. It’s clear what the biological purpose of sexual attraction is, and confusing this culturally doesn’t seem wise to me.

  7. I agree that denying a company like Chick-Fil-A a permit because of their religious views is overstepping bounds. Good thing Mayor Menino recognized that. On the other hand, boycotts have a long and storied tradition in the United States. Businesses have the right to not serve who they don’t want to serve; they will need to face the consequences. (The pizza shop in Indiana comes to mind.)

    On the other hand (wait, is that three hands? Oh well…), the way a business treats its employees is a different matter. By operating a business, a person or entity takes on certain societal responsibilities; they cannot impose their beliefs if it affects their employees. Customers can always move on to another business. Employees don’t always have that option.

  1. Pingback: Great article from The Grand Larson about the desire of gay marriage advocates to persecute Christianity « andyscupboard

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