Thinking about the push for LGBT rights and what the movement’s end game may be; I wanted to highlight three different stories that have a common thread. You may be aware that the United Kingdom has been debating allowing same-sex marriage in Parliament. They recently held a “free unwhipped” vote. If you know anything about British politics you’ll know that members of Parliament are expected to toe their party’s line. There are no detractors, at least not without consequences, and having votes like this is not the norm. During one such vote on same-sex marriage Sarah Teather, a Catholic MP who is part of the Liberal-Democrat Party, voted against it. She is very much in favor of LGBT rights and in favor of civil unions, but could not vote yes on gay marriage.
She gave a statement which Catholic Voices published and there were a few things she said that jumped out at me. She first pointed to the importance of the institution of marriage and it’s impact on a family:
I believe that the link between family life and marriage is important. We know that permanent stable loving relationships between parents are very important for children. Such relationships make it much easier to offer the kind of consistent loving parenting that enables children to grow into healthy happy adults able to play their part in society. I recognise that this kind of stability can exist outside of marriage, but the act of giving and receiving vows in front of others and making a commitment for life is an aid to stability. It is precisely the reason that marriage has formed the basis of family life for thousands of years, and is the reason that the state has historically tried to encourage it.
I also recognise that not all couples who get married have children for a variety of reasons, and similarly that many children are now born outside of marriage. My concern, however, is that by moving to a definition of marriage that no longer requires sexual difference, we will, over time, ultimately decouple the definition of marriage from family life altogether. I doubt that this change will be immediate. It will be gradual, as perceptions of what marriage is and is for shift. But we can already see the foundations for this shift in the debate about same-sex marriage. Those who argue for a change in the law do so by saying that surely marriage is just about love between two people and so is of nobody else’s business. Once the concept of marriage has become established in social consciousness as an entirely private matter about love and commitment alone, without any link to family, I fear that it will accelerate changes already occurring that makes family life more unstable. (I should add, that I also suspect it will make marriage ultimately seem irrelevant. After all, how long before gay people begin to say, as many straight couples of my own generation have begun to say, “if marriage is just about love, why would I need a piece of paper to prove it?”)
She then points out that no new rights are given with the current legislation. They have all the rights afforded heterosexual couples already.
If I felt that the current legal framework left gay couples unprotected, I would be much more inclined to support the proposed legislation. However, the civil partnerships legislation, which I voted for in my first parliament, equalised relationships between same-sex couples before the law, providing the same protections as offered to heterosexual married couples. I felt strongly that it was right to support civil partnerships to ensure that gay people in committed long term relationships are not discriminated against financially and legally and can take part in decisions about their partner’s health care. Virtually no new protections are offered to same-sex couples on the basis of this legislation on marriage, and any that are could easily be dealt with by amending civil partnership legislation.
So what is it that they are trying to accomplish here with this bill? I understand that many states in the U.S. do not have civil unions so a direct comparison can’t be made, but this seems to underscore that this has less to do about “rights” than it is to convince society that it is perfectly normal. I’ve mentioned before that there are numerous legal actions that can be taken to provide homosexuals with some of the same rights as heterosexual married couples without changing the definition of marriage, but ultimately that isn’t the goal.
Then when you can’t convince groups or individuals that this is normal and acceptable you coerce. Two examples…
Todd Starnes reported on how homosexual activists groups are trying to convince DC Comics with the threat of a boycott to fire one of their writers because he has publically stated he is against gay marriage. There is no evidence it has colored his writing for their Superman comic series. But because he is against gay marriage he no longer has a right to a job. First Amendment anybody?
Is this what we’ve come to? If you disagree with homosexuals publically you don’t deserve to make a living? I know that conservatives have pushed against the confirmation of political appointees because of an openly gay lifestyle. I also know that companies have been boycotted because of their public stand in favor of gay marriage. Pro-gay marriage groups have done the same. I’m trying to think, however, of a time where private citizens have been targeted because of their agreement with gay marriage and a company was pressured to fire that person. I know I would not favor such a tactic, and I would hope most homosexuals would disagree with this as well.
Then we can look to Canada… I’ve said numerous times if you’re not sure where we are headed with all of this look to our neighbors to the north. The Catholic Register reports that Trinity Western University’s Law School is receiving opposition to accreditation because of their view on homosexuality. Trinity Western University was founded by the Evangelical Free Church of Canada and the Evangelical Free Church of America. They believe that homosexuality is a sin and that gay marriage is wrong.
Joanne McGarry of The Catholic Register writes:
The university, a Christian institution in Langley, B.C., that consistently ranks high in surveys of academic quality, requires all students and faculty to accept a community covenant that mandates, among other things, rejection of all non-marital sexual intimacy and recognition of the Bible as “the divinely inspired, authoritative guide for personal and community life.” The pledge also requires the school community to abstain from several other non- Christian activities, including gossip, slander, lying, cheating, stealing, pornography and drunkenness.
The Council of Canadian Law Deans (CCLD) has been TWU’s most vocal critic. It contends that the accrediting body, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, should investigate whether the university’s covenant respects federal and provincial law, and also consider the school’s “intentionally discriminatory impact on gay, lesbian and bisexual students.”
The covenant, according to CCLD president Bill Flanagan, as quoted in many newspapers, “clearly contemplates discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.” He made this claim even though there is no mention of homosexuality, or sexual orientation in general, in the covenant, nor any suggestion that any identifiable group of students cannot attend the school.
A professor at the University of British Columbia went further. He claimed that, given the school’s religious grounding, it should not only be denied an accredited law school but should even be prevented from identifying itself as a university.
This is simply anti-religious bigotry on display in the name of “tolerance.” This is where we are headed. Equality is not enough. You have to agree with and accept the behavior as normal and fine as well. Any opposing viewpoint will not be tolerated.