Group looks to enlist same-sex couples in pro-marriage coalition

The New York Times reports on the upcoming tract from the Institute for American Values, titled “A Call for a New Conversation on Marriage” which looks to bring together a pro-marriage coalition that would include gays, lesbians, and heterosexuals.  In the article, Maggie Gallagher offers some observation on the potential challenges faced by this effort:

“David’s personal networks are liberal, but his donor networks are quite conservative,” said Maggie Gallagher, who used to work at the Institute for American Values and is a well-known opponent of same-sex marriage. It can be tough to find money for what could be called a centrist agenda, Ms. Gallagher cautioned, adding that there may be more conservatives willing to accept gay allies than liberals willing to publicly support marriage. Some financing, she said, “will be conservative, but the pro-marriage liberals have to step forward, and maybe make it more 50-50.”

Read the entire article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/us/in-shift-blankenhorn-forges-a-pro-marriage-coalition-for-all.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130130&_r=1&

The Right Not To Marry

Canada’s high court upholds the right of Quebec to treat married couples and cohabitors differently.  The court noted that imposing marriage on people who choose not to marry is wrong:

“There is great consensus from social scientists, no matter their political stripe, that marriage is different from living together,” said IMFC Manager of Research Andrea Mrozek.

“Unfortunately, the statistical reality is that people living together break up more readily – even if they do eventually wed. They are more likely to have multiple partners. Their children face more problems – higher rates of school dropout, more drug use and an earlier age of sexual initiation. And single parents – typically mothers – are more likely to be poor. These are some of the harsh statistical realities of living together versus getting married, and it is wise to acknowledge this difference,” said Mrozek.

The IMFC points out that providing the same benefits to those living common-law and those who are married contradicts the research, and sends the wrong signal about the importance of marriage for society.

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Kids Need Both Mom and Dad, Says Gay Man Opposed to Gay Marriage

This week, Maggie participated in the panel on “Building a Marriage Culture” as part of the National Review Institute’s summit, “The Future of Conservatism”–a topic that inevitably delved into the importance of intact biological families.  A few highlights below, or go here for the full article:

One of the panelists, Doug Mainwaring, spoke of his personal experience as a gay man who came to realize that his own children need both a mother and a father.

“For a long time I thought, if I could just find the right partner, we could raise my kids together, but it became increasingly apparent to me, even if I found somebody else exactly like me, who loved my kids as much as I do, there would still be a gaping hole in their lives because they need a mom,” Mainwaring, co-founder of National Capital Tea Party Patriots, said.

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Seattle Forbids Christians From Feeding Homeless

Christians trying to feed the homeless run up against the urban bureaucrats who want to funnel all volunteer feeding efforts through one central city-controlled site—of all the reasons the city might want to do so (and there are a lot of them) this one leaped out at me:

“By requiring that all food be served at the site, Takami said the city can control the nutritional value of what the homeless eat”

God forbid you offer the homeless some french fries. Or if God doesn’t, Seattle wants to.

A Tale of Two Rabbis

My friend David Blankenhorn has been exploring the role of doubt in civil society:

“I am not saying that persons who are rarely troubled by doubt aren’t civil, or can’t be civil. I know from personal experience that this isn’t true.  Nor I am saying that doubtful people are always civil; again, I know that this is not true,” Blankenhorn writes.

“But for the doubting person . . . civility is like oxygen.  It’s personally necessary.  Why?  Because without it, I can’t get what I need.”

What does the doubting person need? “The wisdom of the other. . . As a doubting person, civility is more than being nice.  Civility is part of what allows me to eat what I must eat and drink what I must drink.”

Blankenhorn seems to be preoccupied primarily by the lack of doubt shown by opponents of gay marriage, not the lack of doubt demonstrated by gay marriage supporters.  For years though, David has fought the tendency of his fellow liberals to dismiss and demean the insights of conservatives. For years, he successfully crafted a movement for marriage that set political ideology to one side and allowed good people to think new thoughts about marriage together.

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Interview with Maggie in Salvo

The recent issue of Salvo Magazine (available here on their website) features an interview with Maggie Gallagher, in which she touches on her personal experience, what brought her into the marriage debate, and why it is so important.  A few excepts:

On her experience as a single mother:

What I learned is perfectly obvious: it’s extremely challenging for the mothers.  There’s no way that, as a single mother, you can compete on an equal footing with married men or childless women in the workplace.  The demands on you as a mother are extremely challenging because you don’t have the same support network.  And you have enormous financial as well as emotional obligations.

You can certainly be a good enough mother to raise a decent, loving, and good human being.  Lots of single mothers do that.  But you can’t possibly do as good a job as two parents–a mom and a dad working together.  And even if you’re a great single mom, your children are going to suffer losses because their father’s not there for them.

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Teens Living in Unmarried Households 4X More Likely To Be Crime Victims

It’s well known that teens living outside of intact married households are more likely to commit crimes; this new study shows they are four times more likely to be victims of serious crime as well:

The study, “Violent Crime Against Youth, 1994-2010,” focused on serious violent crimes committed against “youth,” meaning children between the ages of twelve and seventeen.  The study defined “serious violent crimes” as rape, other sexual assaults, robbery and aggravated assault.

According to DOJ findings, in 2010, 27.8 out of every 1,000 youth living with an unmarried householder became the victims of a serious violent crime. At the same time, only 7.4 out of every 1,000 youth living with married parents were similarly victimized.

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Lopez: Lessons from France on Marriage

In Public Discourse today, Robert Lopez discusses the unprecedented pro-marriage rallies in France and what Americans can learn from the French approach:

The international press was shocked on November 17, 2012, when hundreds of thousands of French citizens took to the streets to fight against a parliamentary bill redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships and legalizing same-sex adoption. Less than a decade ago, France symbolized all that American conservatives despised and all that American liberals praised. Now we should learn from them.

Consider that in March 2003, the White House, irritated with France’s opposition to the American invasion of Iraq, changed the name of French fries to “freedom fries” in three Washington cafeterias. Four years later, not only did Michael Moore idealize France in Sicko for its seemingly endless capacity for romance, but Bill Maher also broadcast a three-minute ode to the French for their seemingly sterile politics:Read More…

Gay Marriages For All?

As the Washington National Cathedral, host to the funerals of many presidents and leaders, begins to host gay wedding, using a new liturgy approved for blessing same-sex unions, the Episcopalian Dean of the Cathedral hopes this is a “teachable moment” for replacing the traditional liturgy with the new genderless version:
The “heterosexual marriage [ritual] still has some vestiges of patriarchy, with woman being property. There’s hope in same-sex marriage that it is a teachable moment for heterosexual couples. The new rite is grounded in baptism and radical equality of all people before God,” said David  Hall, . “I’d like to use it for heterosexual weddings because I think it’s so much better than our marriage services.”

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Farewell Optimism; Hello Hope

In Illinois, a dramatic story is unfolding: the supposedly slam dunk case for gay marriage in the lame duck suddenly stalled-out and failed. The state senate was supposed to be in session on Friday, passing gay marriage. Instead, the senate suddenly adjourned.

The sponsor of the gay marriage bill was still saying late on Thursday she hoped the Senate would reconvene and vote to pass gay marriage on Tuesday.  Perhaps.

But according to Fox News’s political editor Mike Flannery, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton’s spokesman said that even though Democrats control the Senate currently, and will increase their margin when the new Senate opens up on January 9 to 40 to 19, “without Republican votes, they’re unable to get gay marriage” passed.

Illinois Review asks “Is it possible that Downstate Democrats end up defeating the Chicago Liberals’ plans?”

I do not know what will happen in Illinois; deep in blue states dominated by one party, the Democrats, its going to be extraordinary if we can succeed in blocking gay marriage. Well, extraordinary things happen every day.

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