A popular new book by an anti-gay Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation is making headlines and causing controversy. Conservatives from Pastor Rick Warren to NOM co-founder Robert P. George are latching on to it, claiming it validly supports their views opposing same-sex marriage. But does it really? Let’s take a look.
Ryan T. Andersonâ€™s new book Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom uses only arguments â€œbased in philosophy, jurisprudence, political science and social scienceâ€ to investigate â€œwhat marriage is, why marriage matters for public policy, and what the consequences are of redefining marriage.â€
Attempting to keep the debate on marriage equality going with social and religious conservatives, Anderson highlights â€œtruthsâ€ he imagines SCOTUS trampled in extending marriage equality to roughly 10 million Americans.Â
Anderson, in constructing these â€œtruths,â€ ignores the social history of marriage, elevates procreative complementarity â€“ the notion that only a man and a woman can create a child â€“Â Â as a condition of marriage, and discounts all major professional medical and psychological associationsâ€™ statements on the natural variations of sexual orientation and gender identity.Â
â€œTruthâ€ #1: Marriage is intended as a context in which to raise children Â
Andersonâ€™s â€œtruthâ€ of marriage as a context in which to create children may be sentimental, but taking the long view of history, it is not accurate.
Equal access to marriage by same-sex couples did not â€œredefineâ€ marriage. Its definition has gradually shifted over the last five millennia, primarily in the past fifty years. Breaking with thousands of years of tradition, in the late 19th century, marriages started to be based on love and companionship. Before that, couples married for political and economic reasons.Â
The womenâ€™s rights movement, along with the commercial availability of birth control in the 1960s, caused the next major modification to marriage. Suddenly women had greater access to legal rights, education, better paying jobs, birth control, and divorce.
It was heterosexual couples who significantly altered the marriage landscape with cohabitation, single parent families, and divorce.Â
â€œTruthâ€ #2: Procreative complementarity is required in marriageÂ
Though procreative complementarity in the sex act is primarily a Roman Catholic doctrine, can it be adequately used to restrict marriage to one man and one woman?Â
According to the Center for Disease Control, 6 percent of women aged 15 to 44 are deemed infertile, additionally, 12 percent have problems getting or carrying pregnancies to term. Add to that, 7.5 percent of men suffer infertility problems. These levels of infertile heterosexuals exceed the percentage of LGBT people in the US population. If naturally occurring infertile heterosexual couples get a pass on procreative complementarity, can we then bar access to infertile same-sex couples?Â
â€œTruthâ€ #3: Non-heterosexual sex is simply a behavior
Anderson asserts that any sexual attraction other than heterosexual attraction, or non-cisgender identity, is both a behavior and changeable. He ignores all major professional medical and psychological associationsâ€™ statements on these issues.
Prosecution not persecution
Prosecution for breaking discrimination laws is not religious persecution. Anderson fails to inform his readers that religious freedom is the liberty to worship according to your beliefs, to attend a faith community of your choice, and having the right to share your beliefs.Â
The freedom to practice oneâ€™s faith does not include asserting ideologies that inherently deny the civil rights of other citizens.Â
Letâ€™s move on to public discourse based in truth, not ideology
Anderson and his fans may enjoy deliberating marriage equality, but while the cases challenging marriage bans travelled through local courts, district courts, and finally to the Supreme Court, each of Andersonâ€™s ideologies, his â€œtruths,â€ were carefully examined. Theyâ€™ve already been found lacking and certainly less compelling than the need to expand marriage rights to roughly 10 million Americans.
As Americans, we will find our way through this important discourse, hopefully with mutual respect. The public conversation requires wrestling with real truths. The easily deconstructed personal ideology presented in Truth OverruledÂ is devoid of knowledge of social history and science and serves to slow the progress towards balancing and honoring both civil rights and religious freedom.
Image via Ryan T. Anderson/Facebook
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‘Coup Memo’ Think Tank Encouraging ‘Secession-by-Sheriff’ With Latest Project: Report
A right-wing Claremont Institute is undermining law and order and encouraging secession one county at a time.
The think tank, where coup memo author John Eastman remains a member in good standing, is weaponizing “patriotic law enforcement officers” with its new “Sheriff’s Fellowship” that ties together conservative anger over Black Lives Matter protests, COVID-19 lockdowns and Donald Trump’s election loss to bring so-called “Constitutional Sheriffs” into the mainstream, reported The Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes.
“Our nation’s conservative movement needs a countervailing network of uncorrupted law enforcement officials,” the think tank announced. [We need sheriffs] “not beholden to bureaucratic masters, and whose geographic boundaries, jurisdictional latitude, and — most important — direct connection and responsibility to citizens, places them on the frontlines of the defense of civilization.”
The plan sounds a lot like the Constitutional Sheriffs movement, which has infiltrated law enforcement agencies around the country with specious claims borrowed from the sovereign citizen movement that places the county sheriff as the “highest legitimate law enforcement” in the U.S. and claims they have authority to determine which laws are constitutional.
“Think of it as militias with badges, guns, and formal law enforcement powers,” Sykes wrote. “Or, if you like, secession-by-sheriff.”
Trump and his administration encouraged the sheriffs’ movement and openly backed leading figures such as Arizona’s Joe Arpaio and Wisconsin’s David Clarke, and former attorney general Jeff Sessions praised the “Anglo-Saxon heritage” of the office — which the Claremont Institute also did in a recent fundraising letter.
“The current revolution against the American regime, involving as it does both crime and political malfeasance, requires a coordinated response from patriotic law enforcement officers,” the letter reads. “Sheriffs are appropriate for this response. Since their beginnings as ‘shire-reeves’ (‘county watchmen’) centuries ago in England, sheriffs have been intimately connected with, and answerable to, the people of their “shires” and therefore the first layer of protection, and last line of defense, for the people’s rights.”
Another Arizona sheriff, Pinal County’s Mark Lamb, has emerged as a leading figure among militia-minded right-wing sheriffs who are loyal to Trump and supportive of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“If Claremont gets its way, there will be sheriffs like Joe Arpaio, David Clarke, and Mark Lamb all across the country,” Sykes wrote. “You are not worried nearly enough about what that might mean.”
Josh Duggar Dealt Another Blow as Judge Refuses to Suppress Video Evidence in His Child Porn Case
Josh Duggar was dealt yet another blow on Monday, after a judge refused his attorneys’ request to suppress video evidence in his bombshell child pornography case.
Duggar, once a darling of the religious right, an executive for an anti-LGBTQ hate group, and a “19 Kids and Counting” reality TV star, was arrested by U.S. Marshals and charged with two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was involved in the investigation.
“In Mr. Duggar’s case, he has not shown that federal agents acted with reckless disregard for proper procedure,” U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks said Monday in denying attorneys’ requests, as the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports. “And he certainly has not shown that the agents acted in bad faith. Moreover, Mr. Duggar cannot show he was prejudiced by any delay; the devices remained in law enforcement’s safe keeping throughout this time period, and the probable cause warranting the initial seizure of the devices remained viable through the date of indictment.”
In 2015 news broke that Duggar had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter when he was a teenager, according to his parents.
Just three weeks ago the judge refused nearly all of Duggar’s attorneys’ requests, including dismissal of all charges.
His attorneys have tried to get photographs that include the 33-year old Arkansas native’s hands and feet suppressed, and even tried to have the case dismissed because the head of the Department of Homeland Security at the time of the investigation under then-President Donald Trump was, according to a federal judge, “unlawfully” appointed.
Trial is scheduled to begin November 30.
Glenn Youngkin Brags About Support From Opponents of LGBTQ Equality Just Weeks Ahead of Virginia Election
Republican Glenn Youngkin is continuing to rally anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ extremists in his bid to become Virginia’s next governor. Most Virginians support legal equality, including marriage equality, and most Virginians believe abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances, but Youngkin continues to seek and tout endorsements from groups that oppose LGBTQ equality and want to make abortion illegal. Youngkin has told activists that he will go “on offense” against reproductive choice once elected, and he has refused to say whether he supports marriage equality.
In a press release dated Oct. 8, Youngkin boasted about endorsements from the Family Research Council’s political arm, the Virginia Society for Human Life PAC, and longtime anti-abortion and anti-equality activist Penny Nance, head of Concerned Women for America.
FRC supports “total abortion bans” that criminalize abortion at all stages. The organization has been designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and has long promoted anti-Muslim bigotry. None of that kept Youngkin from agreeing to speak at FRC’s annual conference for religious-right activists earlier this month, where speakers delivered Christian nationalist and bigoted messages. Delivering his own speech, Youngkin urged the activists, “Lock arms with me!”
A Youngkin campaign press release touting the latest endorsements included a long quote from FRC’s Tony Perkins smearing the Democratic nominee as a threat to religious freedom and claiming that Youngkin “understands the values that are important to Virginians.”
Nance has devoted much of her professional life to making abortion illegal and worked tirelessly to help former President Donald Trump pack the Supreme Court and other federal courts with like-minded judges. She spearheaded a $500,000 campaign backing the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Nance is also a strident opponent of LGBTQ equality, even opposingreauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act because CWA claimed it would create “new protections for homosexuals.” When the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiated at a gay couple’s wedding, Nance sent an email with the subject line, “Ruth Traitor Ginsburg.”
Even though Virginians soundly rejected Trump, Nance claimed that the Trump-endorsed Youngkin will “uphold the values of Virginians.”
The Virginia Society for Human Life is an affiliate of National Right to Life, which supports abortion bans, including the recent extreme Texas law that bans abortion as early as six weeks and is now being challenged in federal courts. In September, Youngkin’s campaign touted National Right to Life’s endorsement, along with that of the anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List.
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
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