Trditional Marriage News

Date:
Monday, March 28, 2016
Date:
Monday, March 21, 2016
Date:
Monday, January 11, 2016
Date:
Monday, January 11, 2016
Date:
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
 

It's been a good month for champions of the traditional family, but don't expect the family wars to be ending any time soon.

In recent weeks, a barrage of new evidence has come to light demonstrating what was once common sense. "Family structure matters" (in the words of my American Enterprise Institute colleague Brad Wilcox, who is also the director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia).

And Princeton University and the left-of-center Brookings Institution released a study that reported "most scholars now agree that children raised by two biological parents in a stable marriage do better than children in other family forms across a wide range of outcomes." Why this is so is still hotly contested.


Another study, coauthored by Wilcox, found that states with more married parents do better on a broad range of economic indicators, including upward mobility for poor children and lower rates of child poverty. On most economic indicators, the Washington Post summarized, "the share of parents who are married in a state is a better predictor of that state's economic health than the racial composition and educational attainment of the state's residents."


Boys in particular do much better when raised in a more traditional family environment, according to a new report from MIT. This is further corroboration of Daniel Patrick Moynihan's famous 1965 warning: "From the wild Irish slums of the 19th century Eastern seaboard, to the riot-torn suburbs of Los Angeles, there is one unmistakable lesson in American history; a community that allows a large number of men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future — that community asks for and gets chaos."

Perhaps most intriguing — and dismaying — a new study by Nicholas Zill of the Institute of Family Studies found that adopted children have a harder time at school than kids raised by their biological parents. What makes this so dismaying is that adoptive parents tend to be better off financially and are just as willing as traditional parents, if not more so, to put in the time and effort of raising kids.

Zill's finding highlights the problem with traditional family triumphalism. Adoption is a wonderful thing, and just because there are challenges that come with adoption, no one would ever argue that the problems adopted kids face make the alternatives to adoption better. Kids left in orphanages or trapped in abusive homes do even worse.

In other words, every sweeping statement that the traditional family is best must come with a slew of caveats, chief among them: "Compared to what?" A little girl in a Chinese or Russian orphanage is undoubtedly better off with two loving gay or lesbian parents in America. A kid raised by two biological parents who are in a nasty and loveless marriage will likely benefit from her parents getting divorced.

"In general," writes St. Lawrence University professor Steven Horwitz, "comparisons of different types of family structures must avoid the 'Nirvana Fallacy' by not comparing an idealized vision of married parenthood with a more realistic perspective on single parenthood. The choices facing couples in the real world are always about comparing imperfect alternatives."


Of course, that point can be made about almost every human endeavor, because we live in a flawed world. And just because we don't — and can't — live in perfect consistency with our ideals, that is not an argument against the ideals themselves.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that family structure is so controversial. The family, far more than government or schools, is the institution we draw the most meaning from. From the day we are born, it gives us our identity, our language and our expectations about how the world should work. Before we become individuals or citizens or voters, we are first and foremost part of a family. That is why social engineers throughout the ages see it as a competitor to, or problem for, the state.

And the family wars will never end, because family matters — a lot.

jgoldberg@latimescolumnists.com

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook

 

 

 

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-1027-goldberg-family-structur...

Date:
Friday, August 28, 2015

The family of Kody Brown on Wednesday answered Utah’s appeal to reinstate a ban on polygamy, and the family’s brief is notable for what’s there now that wasn’t before.

The Browns’ attorney Jonathan Turley wages many of the same arguments that were successful in the lower court. But now Turley also cites recent rulings affirming same-sex marriage.

That includes the U.S. Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the court upheld the fundamental right of same-sex couples to marry, and Kitchen v. Herbert, the case that brought same-sex marriage to Utah. Turley also cites a Supreme Court case that decriminalized all gay sex as sodomy, Lawrence V. Texas.

“From the rejection of morality legislation in Lawrence to the expansion of the protections of liberty interests in Obergefell, it is clear that states can no longer use criminal codes to coerce or punish those who choose to live in consensual but unpopular unions,” Turley wrote in his answer to Utah’s appeal.

When U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups overturned Utah’s ban on polygamy in December 2013, same-sex marriage wasn’t mentioned in the ruling.

The Browns, known for the television show “Sister Wives,” want the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold Waddoups’ ruling. Utah appealed to have it overturned. The state has argued that polygamy is inherently harmful to women and children and that the Browns have not suffered from the law, because they haven’t been prosecuted.

The Browns lived in Lehi during the first season of their show then moved to Las Vegas after the Utah County attorney began a criminal investigation.

For those of you using a desktop browser, the ruling is embedded on the left. Or you can click here.

The 10th Circuit has not scheduled oral arguments for the case.

ncarlisle@sltrib.com

Twitter: @natecarlisle


 

http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/printfriendly.csp?id=2880612

Date:
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Date:
Monday, June 29, 2015

By Dave Boyer and Cheryl Wetzstein - The Washington Times - Sunday, June 28, 2015

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision declaring same-sex marriage a constitutional right, the battleground is shifting to religious freedom and whether religious people and/or churches can be compelled to sanction behavior contrary to their religious beliefs.

The court’s 5-4 ruling on Friday directs states to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but doesn’t address the actions of churches or other private groups. Conservatives and religious leaders say the decision is certain to embolden liberal activists and accelerate legal clashes between supporters of gay marriage and religious groups who don’t accept same-sex marriage.

“We’re going to see pretty quickly what Pandora’s box is, because Christians are going to be told — are already being told — that they have no legal right to not participate,” said Gary Bauer, president of the nonprofit group American Values. “The early signs are not good.”

As a result of the ruling, some of the dissenting Supreme Court justices said they foresee new legal challenges related to religious liberty in three particular areas: the tax-exempt status of religious organizations, the unwillingness of some churches and individuals to perform same-sex marriages and gay adoption.

Justice Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. said he’s concerned that the ruling “will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.”

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote of the looming legal battles: “In our society, marriage is not simply a governmental institution; it is a religious institution as well. It appears all but inevitable that the two will come into conflict, particularly as individuals and churches are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples.”

Others predict legal challenges over issues such as whether a Christian university that provides housing for traditional married couples could be required to provide it for same-sex couples as well.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called the ruling a “tragic error” and vowed to continue preaching the church’s doctrine on marriage as the permanent union of a man and a woman to their parishes.

“Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. As Catholic bishops, we follow our Lord and will continue to teach and to act according to this truth,” Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a statement.

Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, said the court has changed the legal definition of marriage, not the biblical truth about marriage.

“As we respect a legal ruling with which we do not agree, we ask others to respect our faith and practices even when they disagree with us,” he said.

Within hours of the court’s decision, some religious leaders were vowing they’ll never perform same-sex weddings.

“Those of us who believe that marriage was ordained by God and reserved for one man and one woman, will not abide by this ruling,” said Pastor Rick Scarborough, president of Vision America Action in Nacogdoches, Texas. “We will denounce this practice in our services, we will not teach it in our schools, we will refuse to officiate at this type of wedding, and we will not accept any encroachments on our First Amendment rights. The Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage from its biblical origins is offensive to millions.”

Rep. Joseph R. Pitts, Pennsylvania Republican, said the ruling “will lead to grave infringements of religious freedom across the United States.”

“Every American should be free to affirm the truth about marriage without being punished by the government,” Mr. Pitts said. “In the wake of this decision, we must ensure that no governmental entity is ever permitted to discriminate against Americans because they affirm the truth about marriage. No one should be forced to choose between their faith and their livelihood.”

Liberal Catholics praised the decision. Christopher J. Hale, executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, called the ruling “a moment of great joy for many Catholics” and said the church should seek forgiveness for discriminating against gays.

Secularists agreed, calling the traditional religious definition of marriage irrelevant.

“Our country is finally moving beyond outdated, religious definitions of marriage,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “This is a victory for all LGBTQ Americans and allies who fought vigorously against discrimination.”

Such anti-religious sentiments worry David Lane of the American Renewal Project, who is training pastors nationwide in how to run for office. He predicted legal attacks on churches and other groups who oppose same-sex marriage.

“They are going to say to churches, ‘If you are going to have a tax-exempt status, you are going to perform homosexual marriage wedding[s], and if you don’t, we are going to remove your tax-deductible status,’” Mr. Lane said. “They are going to say to Christian radio, ‘Homosexual marriage is the law of the land determined by the Supreme Court. If you don’t agree with that, then you are going to lose your FCC licenses.’ This is where it is headed — easily it is. I am convinced of it.”

Members of Congress, led by Sen. Mike Lee, Utah Republican, and Rep. Raul R. Labrador, Idaho Republican, have introduced a First Amendment Defense Act, which would prevent the federal government from discriminating against anyone who believes marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

Congress and state governments should “move immediately” to enact First Amendment Defense Acts, said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage.

Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, said states must also pass laws to require “the genetic parents” be named on “every birth certificate, for every child,” so vital information will not be hidden or falsified from any person.

The nation needs “the strongest possible religious freedom bills” and strong state-based family policy partners, said Tom Minnery, president of chief executive of CitizenLink.com.

Churches should “adopt a clear statement of faith regarding human sexuality and marriage,” clarify that church weddings “are Christian worship services” and adopt a policy restricting use of ministry facilities to the ministry’s religious purposes, said Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association.

“Although the ongoing debate about marriage now enters a new phase, it is far from over,” said Jim Campbell, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom.

Travis Weber, director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council, said although the court’s ruling doesn’t “implicate” churches directly, it “will lend support to efforts to sideline and marginalize traditional religious beliefs.”

One pastor, Steve Smothermon of Legacy Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, even said he’d rather go to jail than preside at a same-sex wedding.

“We want to help people, but we are not going to be forced by the government and society or the politically correct to say we are going to believe in it,” he told CNN.com. “If they said, ‘Listen, pastor, we are going to put you in jail if you don’t honor this,’ I am going to say, ‘Then put me in jail.’”

President Obama, who praised the ruling, said supporters of same-sex marriage should recognize that many others don’t accept it.

"I know that Americans of good will continue to hold a wide range of views on this issue,” Mr. Obama said. “Opposition in some cases has been based on sincere and deeply held beliefs. All of us who welcome [the ruling] should be mindful of that fact, recognize different viewpoints [and] revere our deep commitment to religious freedom.”

Mr. Bauer said the president’s words amounted to “a great laugh line.”

“His administration has aggressively attacked religious liberty,” Mr. Bauer said. “He’s playing rhetorical games again. There is nothing his administration has done that should give anybody any sense of ease by that statement.”

Some religious leaders took similar heart in Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s words that religious people “may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.”

But Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition, said those words meant people can “advocate” for traditional marriage but “cannot operate according to those beliefs.” Instead, she said, First Amendment religious freedoms will surely be pitted against the ruling’s newly established “right to dignity.”

The high court’s opinion “gives lip service to the rights of people of faith,” said Maureen Ferguson of The Catholic Association. Already Catholic Charities agencies have been forced out of adoption, and Christians who are bakers, florists or fire chiefs have suffered “merely for respectful expression of their views,” she said.

• Seth McLaughlin contributed to this report.

Date:
Friday, June 26, 2015

By Cheryl Wetzstein - The Washington Times - Thursday, June 25, 2015

The decades long guessing game of what the Supreme Court will do about gay marriage will end either Friday morning or early next week.

Proponents on both sides of the legalization issue are hoping for a victory, but several other theories abound about what the nine justices might do in this landmark case.

At stake are the marriage laws of 14 states — including Alabama — where lawmakers and voters acted to retain laws that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Arrayed against them are dozens of court rulings in favor of gay marriage, backed up by hundreds of gay rights plaintiffs, gay marriage campaigns and fresh public opinion polls showing approval of the nuptials.

“It’s never wise to be certain, but we are certainly hopeful,” Mary Bonauto of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders has told supporters.

Mario Diaz, legal counsel at Concerned Women for America, however, says he cannot imagine the high court imposing same-sex marriage on all 50 states.

If Justice Anthony M. Kennedy were to be the deciding vote, “he would be invalidating the vote of millions of Americans who went to the voting booth to affirm the traditional definition of marriage,” Mr. Diaz wrote recently in The Blaze. “Think about that: One judge versus millions of citizens. One judge against history, really.”

America’s gay marriage saga started in earnest in 1990, when three gay couples sought marriage licenses in Hawaii and were denied because they were the same sex. They sued the state for discrimination based on sex.

In the ensuing decades, gay plaintiffs have sought to marry in every state. Citizens in 31 states, seeking to maintain the complementarity of marriage, voted to amend their state constitutions to keep traditional marriage.

The 2013 Windsor v. United States ruling by the Supreme Court that struck down a federal law defining marriage — in part on the basis that states set marriage laws — prompted new gay marriage lawsuits in every state.

The current lawsuit started when gay plaintiffs in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee sued to marry or have their out-of-state marriages recognized. All the plaintiffs won in federal court.

However, in November, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overruled those cases and upheld the rights of state lawmakers to maintain their marriage laws, which define marriage as only the union of one man and one woman.

Gay plaintiffs in the four states asked the Supreme Court to overturn the 6th Circuit. Oral arguments in their combined case, Obergefell v. Hodges, were held April 28.

The high court’s two questions to address are whether the 14th Amendment — written after the Civil War to guarantee equal treatment and due process to blacks — requires states to license marriages of two people of the same sex and/or recognize same-sex marriages that are legal elsewhere.

The wide expectation among gay rights groups is that the high court will rule — must rule — that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right and must be adopted immediately coast to coast.

“Only those who are willfully blind to the common humanity of gay people today can deny what is clear under the Constitution,” Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom of Marry, told a recent debate on Intelligence Squared.

Already counties in states without gay marriage are preparing their documents to accept gay couples, as early as within an hour of a favorable Supreme Court ruling, Freedom to Marry said.

Mr. Wolfson also told USA Today recently that he will host a massive party in Manhattan on decision day. Hopefully, it will be a celebration, Mr. Wolfson told USA Today, “but if not — a mobilization.”

State officials from the four states have been largely quiet on the lawsuit, although Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has recently enacted a law to permit religiously based adoption agencies, which work with the state to place foster children, to retain their policies based on clear statements of faith.

In April, Michigan’s former solicitor general, John J. Bursch, argued tenaciously that the traditional definition of marriage is a rational state policy; people have the right, through the democratic process, to determine their marriage laws; and the high court should affirm the people’s rights.

Traditional values advocates are pointing to religious liberty battles that will loom should the high court nationalize gay marriage as a constitutional right. Some lawmakers have enacted or proposed laws to preserve people’s rights to opt out of participating in same-sex marriages or say things like only man-woman marriage is God’s divine plan.

Moreover, if the court does declare gay marriage a right, it will open the door for polygamy and polyandry for starters, veteran attorney Gene Schaerr told the Family Research Council earlier this year.

That’s because the 14th Amendment was enacted in the middle of a political battle over polygamy in U.S. territories, Mr. Schaerr said.

The Supreme Court didn’t use it in 1878 to legalize marriages of multiple people, he said. But now, if there is a right to same-sex marriage by virtue of the 14th Amendment’s due process and equal protection clauses, “that would also have to mean” there is “a right to polygamy,” Mr. Schaerr said.

Other theories being bandied about include:

• The Supreme Court could vote to send the case back to the 6th Circuit to re-examine it under a standard of “heightened” scrutiny instead of the rational basis standard it used. If the justices did that, the 6th Circuit would “almost certainly rule in favor of same-sex marriage eventually” and, given unity with other federal appellate courts, the issue might “never come back to the justices,” New York lawyer Chanakya Sethi wrote for Slate.com.

• The Supreme Court could decide that it “improvidently” granted review of the gay marriage cases and dismiss them without issuing an opinion.

The “whole idea of a Federalist Republic is that the states get to pass and interpret their own laws,” Ambassador Douglas Kmiec, a legal scholar, wrote on Huffington Post in April.

The numerous “religious-freedom wars” already erupting are a warning sign for the court that it is risking “over-extension” of its function in society, Mr. Kmiec wrote. When judges write a view that is either pro-gay or anti-gay, he added, it “provokes resentment from the disfavored side in ways that democratic choice for one side or other does not.”

Date:
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
June 16, 2015|3:33 pm| The Christian Post| 

 

Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd told messengers gathered at the opening day of the denomination's annual gathering Tuesday that "now is the time to lead," on issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and racism.

"We are in spiritual warfare, and this is not a time for Southern Baptists to shrink back in timidity or shrink back with uncertainty," said Floyd during his opening address at the SBC annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio. "Crises abound; the need is great hour is late, and now is the time to lead."

 

The SBC president also highlighted global calamities including the advance of ISIS, human trafficking, Boko Haram, the persecution of Christians as well as crippling problems in the U.S., such as poverty, debt, and race relations.

"We are adrift in denial," said Floyd, quoting Peggy Noonan.

The senior pastor at Cross Church in Springdale, Arkansas, prayed for the next great spiritual awakening, stating "we need a Jesus revolution" in the U.S. before addressing hot-button moral issues under fire in the legal system today like abortion.

 

"America, we stand believing that abortion is a glaring desecration of the unborn child's purpose and value," said Floyd. "We must be vigilant in this fight for the unborn child. All human life and human dignity — from the womb to the tomb. God has created all of us for His glory, and when we devalue human life, we are robbing God of his intended glory for every person in the world."

Referring to the U.S. Supreme Court's upcoming decision on whether gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry or whether state bans against same-sex marriage can remain in place, Floyd took a firm stance in his religious conviction that marriage is strictly between one man and one woman.

 

"We do not need to redefine what God himself has defined already," he said.

Floyd explained to the audience that they will be asked to approve a resolution that affirms Southern Baptist beliefs on marriage. The resolution also reminds Christians to love our neighbors and extend respect to all people, even those who disagree with them.

"While we affirm our love for all people, including those struggling with same-sex attractions, we cannot and will not affirm any behavior that deviates from God's design for marriage," said Floyd. "Our first commitment is to God and nothing else and no one else. I humbly remind everyone today the Supreme Court of the United States is not the final authority, nor is the culture itself, but the Bible is God's final authority about marriage and on this book we stand."

 

In his final comment on same-sex marriage, Floyd took an oath to never sanctify gay marriage.

"I declare to everyone today as a minister of the Gospel, I will not officiate over any same-sex unions or same-sex marriage ceremonies, I completely refuse," said the pastor.

On the issue of race relations, Floyd asserted: "America, we stand believing that all humanity bearing of God's image is not contingent upon one's skin color, and we also believe all racism and injustice must end. We need to let grace begin uniting our hearts in the bonds of peace. We need to learn to love one another as Christ loved us.

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