Monday, June 24, 2013
(CNSNews.com) - On Tuesday, June 25, the U.S. Defense Department will give special recognition to "gay, lesbian and bisexual servicemembers" -- as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civilian workers -- for their "dedicated service to our country."
And this year, "Pride Month" at the Defense Department comes with a poster:
The red, white and blue poster -- designed for the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute located at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida -- includes the followiong quotation from President Barack Obama:
"For more than two centuries, we have worked to extend America's promise to all our citizens. Armed Forces have been both a mirror and a catalyst of that progress, and our troops, including gays and lesbians, have given their lives to defend the freedoms and liberties that we cherish as Americans."
OutServe-SLDN, an advocacy group for LGBT military personnel, called it "appropriate and gratifying" that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is following the precedent set in 2012 when then-Secretary Leon Panetta hosted the Pentagon's first LGBT Pride Month.
But the group isn't happy that the DOD memorandum announcing Tuesday's Pride event for gays, lesbians and bisexuals did not mention transgenders in uniform:
"While acknowledging transgender civilian DOD employees, the memorandum notably omits any mention of the contributions of transgender people in uniform -– presumably because transgender people remain barred from service by outdated and obsolete medical regulations.
“Transgender people have served this nation with pride, honor, and distinction –- and continue to do so in the hundreds, if not thousands. It’s past time to honor them for their service and sacrifice, and past time to end the discredited and obsolete practice of forcing them to serve in silence and fear,” said Army veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson in a news release issued earlier this month.
LGBT Pride Month is celebrated each June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City that erupted after a police raid on a gay bar.
Tomorrow, the Defense Department will celebrate the December 22, 2010 repeal of the Pentagon's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Homosexuals have been allowed to openly serve in the U.S. military since September 20, 2011.
White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett will give the keynote address. - See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/pentagons-lgbt-pride-month-comes-pos...
Friday, June 21, 2013
BY PETER SPRIGG
Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:07 EST
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 21, 2013 (Family Research Council) - With the Supreme Court due to rule on two cases seeking the redefinition of marriage next week, the media have been reporting widely on polls that claim a majority of Americans now support such a redefinition to include homosexual couples. The implication left by some of these stories is that a majority would therefore be happy to have the Supreme Court rule that the U.S. Constitution requires changing the definition of marriage and forbids any state from defining it as the union of a man and a woman.
One national poll released two weeks ago proves, through an analysis of its findings, that this is not true. Here are the two questions on marriage asked in a poll taken by Selzer & Company for Bloomberg News between May 31 and June 3:
The Supreme Court may also decide on the constitutionality of a prohibition on gay marriage in California. Do you support or oppose allowing same-sex couples to get married?
Support - 52%
Oppose - 41%
Not Sure - 7%
Do you think there should be a national law allowing same-sex marriage, or should it be state-by-state? (Asked of those who support allowing same-sex couples to get married; n=506.)
National law - 61%
Determined state-by-state - 37%
Not Sure - 2%
The question about “a national law allowing same-sex marriage” is an awkward and oddly-worded one. The redefinition of marriage in all 50 states is hardly “inevitable,” as its advocates like to claim. But if it ever does become a reality, it will be because a) the Supreme Court orders it; b) the states individually adopt it; or c) the Constitution is amended to require it. But none of these involves Congress passing “a national law” (that is, a statute) to require it, since the statutory regulation of marriage has always been the responsibility of the states. (The federal Defense of Marriage Act only regulates the definition of marriage under federal law—it has no control over state marriage laws.)
Nevertheless, if we treat a possible Supreme Court ruling that the U.S. Constitution requires recognition of same-sex “marriages” as “a national law allowing same-sex marriage,” then the percent favoring that outcome is only 61% of the 52% who support redefining marriage at all. That works out to only 32% of the total sample—in contrast to the 60% who either oppose redefining marriage at all (41%) or support doing it state by state (52% X 37% = 19%).
So, if the Supreme Court does force a redefinition of marriage on every state next week, they will be doing so not as a reflection of public opinion, but in defiance of it.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
June 20, 2013 - 4:52 AM
By Fred Lucas
(CNSNews.com) – The Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual advocacy group, will not say who provided it with a confidential list of donors to the National Organization for Marriage, although NOM’s chairman believes someone at the Internal Revenue Service leaked the information. The IRS also is silent on the question.
Providing such donor information is a felony, John C. Eastman, chairman of the board for the National Organization for Marriage, told CNSNews.com. The Justice Department deferred the matter to the Treasury Department, but Eastman said the probe by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration seems to have stalled.
Nevertheless, Eastman told CNSNews.com, “We’re going to keep pressing until we get criminal indictments brought against the people responsible.”
NOM, which advocates traditional marriage, and HRC are on opposite sides in the national political battle over same-sex marriage.
The willful disclosure of donor information carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Human Rights Campaign spokesman Charlie Joughin did not respond to numerous phone and e-mail inquiries from CNSNews.com on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday asking who provided the list that was posted on the HRC website in March 2012. The HRC advocates for same-sex marriage and other homosexual issues.
For its part, an IRS spokesman told CNSNews.com that “federal law prohibits discussion of any taxpayers’ information,” whether it’s an organization or an individual.
Eastman said there is no doubt that the document came from the IRS.
“I suppose it’s theoretically possible that that someone fraudulently claiming to be an officer from the National Organization for Marriage got a copy of the tax return from the IRS, [in which case], the person that committed the felony would not have been the IRS agent who succumbed to that fraud, but the person who obtained it,” Eastman said. “But, there is no doubt that the document came from within the IRS itself.”
Shortly after the HRC posted the list on its website, the Huffington Post did the same. The Human Rights Campaign has not yet stated publicly where it obtained the list, Eastman said.
“They took it down from their website after our demand letter was sent over to them pointing out that it was a felony,” Eastman said of the HRC. “Huffington Post has not taken it down from their website.”
Eastman, a constitutional attorney, is also the chairman of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence and serves on the board of directors for the Act Right Legal Foundation.
The IRS 990 form that non-profit organizations must fill out each year is available to the public. However, the Schedule B portion of the form that lists the donors is confidential for all non-profit groups.
While the names of donors were seen on the PDF document linked on the HRC site, one portion of the document was redacted. NOM says computer forensic analysts were able to remove the redaction, discovering a stamp that proves the document originated from within the IRS. The number 100560209 was stamped across the middle of the leaked tax return. This is the marking that is placed on documents that are e-filed with the IRS by the IRS’s Central Information System. Further, the stamp said, “THIS IS A COPY OF A LIVE RETURN FROM SMIPS. OFFICIAL USE ONLY.”
“Our computer forensic people were able to unlayer the redactions from that PDF file and discovered that the original document that was posted there had originated from within the IRS,” Eastman told the House Ways and Means Committee during his June 4 testimony. “It had internal IRS stamps that are placed on every document the IRS receives that are electronically filed with the IRS and placed on those documents by that computer system.
“We don't have a copy of the document with those -- with those IRS stamps on them. Those only exist within the IRS, and yet this was posted on the website of the Human Rights Campaign. You can imagine our shock and disgust over this,” Eastland told the committee. “We jealously guard our donors as almost every other nonprofit does, particularly on the issues that we deal with, which are so contentious that our donors, once they are identified, are harassed and intimidated and tried to be chilled away from supporting the cause that we advance.”
In addition to seeking criminal indictments, NOM could also take civil action against the government that is available to organizations or individuals whose tax information was improperly disclosed that provides for either actual damages or $1,000.
NOM contacted both the Justice Department and the Treasury Department’s IG on April 11, 2012. The Justice Department deferred, telling NOM in a letter “they weren’t going to do it (investigate), because it was a tax issue, so it should be done by the inspector general,” Eastman told CNSNews.com.
“We pointed out that it was a felony. It was supposed to be done by the Department of Justice, but they haven’t done anything.”
The Treasury IG did launch an investigation, but more than a year later, NOM does not know where that stands.
“There was an investigation launched by the IG,” Eastman said. “We got an investigation number. And then they conducted a lot of interviews of our people. It was only after we were able to demonstrate that it didn’t come from within our ranks that the investigation went radio silent on us.”
The willful disclosure of NOM’s confidential tax information would violate 26 U.S.C. Section 6103, which states, “Returns and return information shall be confidential.” It also says: “no officer or employee of the United States,” “no officer or employee of any State, any local law enforcement agency,” “any local child support enforcement agency, or any local agency administering a program,” “no other person (or officer or employee thereof) who has or had access to returns or return information,” “shall disclose any return or return information obtained by him in any manner in connection with his service as such an officer or an employee or otherwise or under the provisions of this section.”
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
A professor at a community college in Tennessee allegedly ordered students in her general psychology class to wear “Rainbow Coalition” ribbons for an entire day to advertise support for the advancement of gay and lesbian political causes.
The professor, Linda Brunton, informed her students at Columbia State Community College that opponents of gay marriage are “uneducated bigots” who “attack homosexuals with hate,” reports Fox News Radio.
Travis Barham, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal organization, has sent a letter to Columbia State’s president on behalf of several students in Brunton’s class.
The letter seeks an apology to those students because, Barham claims, Brunton violated their First Amendment rights by forcing them to promote a specific political agenda. The letter also calls for the two-year community college to punish Brunton.
Alliance Defending Freedom claims that Brunton instructed students to write a paper describing how they suffered discrimination because they support gay rights. The professor allegedly told students who objected because of their religious convictions that their personal opinions didn’t matter.
“When students objected to how she was pushing her personal views on the class, she explained that it is her job ‘to educate the ignorant and uneducated elements of society,’” Barham told Fox News.
The professor reportedly prohibited any discussion of the morality of homosexuality, rejecting such lines of reasoning as “throwing Bible verses.”
“Dr. Brunton essentially turned her general psychology class into a semester-long clinic on the demands of the homosexual movement,” Barham added.
A representative from Columbia State heard about the kerfuffle from Fox News and promised to find out more. Brunton has not yet commented.
Brunton holds two degrees from Eastern Kentucky University and a doctor of education from Tennessee State University. She is a member of the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Educators Network.
The directional university alumna lists AIDS awareness and education as well as diversity issues among her professional interests.
Brunton’s other interests include “vacationing in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico!” and “swimming with wild dolphins!” (The exclamation points are Brunton’s, not The Daily Caller’s!)
The alleged incident is reasonably similar to an incident involving a math professor at Brevard Community College in Florida who forced her students to sign pledges that they would vote for President Barack Obama last November. The school’s president eventually recommended that the professor, Sharon Sweet, be sacked.
Follow Eric on Twitter and send education-related story tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/06/19/community-college-professor-allegedly-tells-students-support-gay-rights-or-else/#ixzz2WfJgb1Lq
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
WESTMINSTER, June 17, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The needs of children of a father and mother are being ignored in favor of the putative “rights” of homosexuals in the rush to pass the same-sex “marriage” bill, a family campaign group has said.
The coalition government’s same-sex “marriage” bill is being considered in a committee of the House of Lords started today after being passed “in principle” in an overwhelming vote of 390 – 148 in favor.
The group called Gay Marriage, No Thanks, an “informal group of professionals and parents,” said today that the bill is entirely “adult focused” and ignores the human right of children to be reared by both natural parents. The group says it aims “to put the wellbeing of children at the centre of the same-sex marriage debate.”
The group has taken out an ad in the Times addressed to the members of the House of Lords that laid out ten reasons to reject the proposal. Among these are quotes from the UN Convention on Children’s Rights that said children have a human right to be nurtured by both their biological parents.
The group notes that when same-sex “marriage” laws were passed in Spain, the effect on natural marriage was negative, with marriage rates falling precipitously. The bill’s driving force, they said, has not been “human rights” or the struggle for “equality” but “a militant move to deny gender difference” based on “Queer Theory,” an academic offshoot of radical militant feminism which developed in 1990s.
Alan Craig, a spokesman for the group, said, “Talk of the rights of adults has dominated debate about the issue, whether those are homosexual rights or religious rights. But what about the rights of children? And what does the evidence say about the impact of these plans?
“We want to take some of the emotion out of the debate and help people engage with the actual evidence that shows how disruptive and damaging these changes will be for children and young people.”
“After all,” he added, “it is the next generation who will be most affected by these proposals.”
Luca Volonte, Chair of the largest political grouping at the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly, welcomed today's launch saying, “I very much welcome the launch of this new resource and campaign in the UK.
“Across Europe ordinary citizens are opposing same-sex marriage for the sake of their children. I am glad that the English are now engaged in this battle to save marriage as the best place for procreation and the nurture of the next generation.”
Monday, June 17, 2013
by LARRY O'CONNOR 17 Jun 2013, 5:02 AM PDT
During coverage of the Supreme Court's hearings on the same-sex marriage issue earlier this year, media coverage leaned to the pro-gay marriage side by a factor of 5 to 1. This according to a new report from Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.
The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism looked at nearly 500 stories on the topic over a two-month period that began just before the court started hearings in March on legalizing same-sex marriage. By a 5-to-1 margin, the stories with statements in support of legalization outweighed those dominated by opponents' views.
The report showed consistent results across different media. 43 percent of newspaper stories showed at least a 2-to-1 margin of pro views to con; 8 percent were dominated by traditional marriage proponents. Meanwhile, according to the report, 48 percent were largely neutral. The proportions of supporter-opponent content in stories for all three cable news networks were similar.
Pew also points out that of the cable channels, Fox News presented the highest percentage of "neutral" stories on the controversial subject. Twenty-nine percent of the stories by Fox News Channel were dominated by supporters, 8 percent by opponents, and 63 percent had about the same pro and con views, Pew said.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
May. 26, 2013 12:15pm Liz Klimas
Although France officially legalized gay marriage last month, organizers of an anti-gay marriage — or “pro-family” — parade decided to go forward with a planned demonstration Sunday — and hundreds of thousands turned out.
Sandy Glass from Naperville, Illinois, was in Paris and witnessed the parade unexpectedly, telling TheBlaze she and her husband estimated more than 250,000 people were present.
“It brought tears to our eyes,” Glass, a conservative and Glenn Beck fan, said in a phone interview.
“We go to France a lot and thought it was another left wing protest,” she said later, recalling that last year they found themselves in the middle of a Socialist rally.
When they followed the noise and witnessed what she described as “pro-family” signs, Glass said she realized “oh, we’re not the only ‘crazy’ ones,” explaining that it is “sometimes very difficult to be on the right in America.”
The Associated Press reported there being about 5,000 police present for the demonstration, due to clashes that have occurred in other anti-gay marriage protests.
But Glass said the event was very well organized and even seemed to have its own security detail.
“Nobody bothered these people,” she said, noting that people on the street were giving thumbs up and people in balconies were cheering. ”
“It was such a show of force that was pro something, not against something,” she said. “I think it was awesome.”
The plan of French protesters, according to Glass, is to vote out lawmakers with whom they hold opposition in 2014.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
By REID J. EPSTEIN | 5/14/13 5:08 PM EDT
The IRS came after Billy Graham, too, his son charged Tuesday in a letter to President Barack Obama.
Franklin Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the family’s international humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse, said that the IRS notified the organizations in September that it was conducting a “review” of their activities for tax year 2010.
With the IRS admitting it gave extra scrutiny to conservative political organizations, Graham says he now believes that the review was part of an Obama administration effort of “targeting and attempting to intimidate us.”
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association urging of voters to back “candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel” during last year’s presidential race was the reason why IRS agents visited the North Carolina offices of both Graham groups, the letter accuses.
While these audits not only wasted taxpayer money, they wasted money contributed by donors for ministry purposes as we had to spend precious resources servicing the IRS agents in our offices,” Graham wrote in the letter, which was shared with POLITICO. “I believe that someone in the administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us. This is morally wrong and unethical – indeed some would call it ‘un-American."
Graham said that “in light” of the IRS admission that it targeted tea party groups for added scrutiny, “I do not believe that the IRS audit of our two organizations last year is a coincidence – or justifiable.”
Graham was not available to comment Tuesday because he was traveling, a spokesman said. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. An IRS spokesman said that he had not seen the letter and could not comment.
The Graham organizations kept their federal income tax exemptions after the audit — but were not told they’d be able to until after the November election, he wrote.
Graham, who last week attended a White House meeting for religious leaders to discuss gun control, said the IRS story threatens to engulf all manner of non-profit organizations.
“Mr. President, the IRS has already publicly acknowledged it operated in a less than neutral and non-partisan way,” Graham wrote. “We also now know that the target of their improper actions was much wider than political or Tea Party organizations. Will you take some immediate action to reassure Americans we are not in a new chapter of American history – repressive government rule?”
The IRS review, which Graham wrote involved an IRS agent visiting the two agencies last October, followed the Billy Graham ministry publishing newspaper ads in North Carolina backing a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The amendment passed in May.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Sports and the military used to be America's foremost bastions of physical toughness, traditional masculinity and outspoken faith. They were institutions where, no matter what was happening elsewhere in the culture, smothering left-wing political correctness was unwelcome.
Those days are long gone. In fact, as recent events make clear, sports and the military have been consumed by political correctness. So much so that these institutions' traditional values, especially their emphasis on faith, are no longer welcome.
Recent news in the sports world has been dominated by NBA player Jason Collins' announcement that he is gay. For years, the gay rights movement has claimed that what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms is nobody's business. Yet Collins has been hailed as a hero for coming out as the first openly gay active player in one of the top American men's sports leagues.
Collins a true hero?
"Jason Collins walks in Robinson's path," read the headline of a USA TODAY column. "Is Jason Collins the Jackie Robinson of 2013?" askedThe Washington Post. President Obama said he "couldn't be prouder" of Collins, whom he called to offer his support. The clear consensus is that Collins is "brave" and "courageous" for his trailblazing announcement.
But here's a prediction. Other than very occasional taunts from fans and opposing players, Collins will face little negative response. And the negativity will be drowned out by the adulation he will continue to receive from cultural and political elites.
Any criticism of Collins' sexuality is already taboo. Consider the response to ESPN commentator Chris Broussard, who cited his Christian faith in expressing his view that homosexuality is a sin, as is adultery, for example. Broussard's view is well within the tenets of most major religions and is at the heart of Christianity's moral theology. But that didn't matter. ESPN issued an apology, saying, "We regret that a respectful discussion of personal viewpoints became a distraction from today's news. ESPN is fully committed to diversity and welcomes Jason Collins' announcement."
ESPN critic chastised
ESPN pays Broussard to give his opinion, but when he gave an opinion that conflicted with the views of one of the sports world's most powerful entities, political correctness won out.
A similar conclusion can be drawn from the Pentagon's recent statement that soldiers could be prosecuted for sharing their faith. "Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense," the statement read.
The Pentagon later issued a clarification explaining that soldiers may talk about their faith but that witnessing to fellow soldiers will not be tolerated and may be grounds for prosecution under military law.
Just a couple of years after the military began encouraging gay soldiers to "ask" and to "tell," it is now insisting that Christian soldiers not proclaim their faith too loudly.
The stated intent of political correctness is to make us a fairer and more tolerant society. But in reality, it has promoted institutional intolerance of traditional ideas and views. As a result, many people of faith are being pushed into the same proverbial closet that everyone else has been invited to leave.
Gary Bauer is president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families.
In addition to its own editorials, USA TODAY publishes diverse opinions from outside writers, including our Board of Contributors.
Monday, April 15, 2013
By Jillian Keenan|Posted Monday, April 15, 2013, at 5:35 AM
Recently, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council reintroduced a tired refrain: Legalized gay marriage could lead to other legal forms of marriage disaster, such as polygamy. Rick Santorum, Bill O’Reilly, and other social conservatives have made similar claims. It’s hardly a new prediction—we’ve been hearing it for years. Gay marriage is a slippery slope! A gateway drug! If we legalize it, then what’s next? Legalized polygamy?
Yes, really. While the Supreme Court and the rest of us are all focused on the human right of marriage equality, let’s not forget that the fight doesn’t end with same-sex marriage. We need to legalize polygamy, too. Legalized polygamy in the United States is the constitutional, feminist, and sex-positive choice. More importantly, it would actually help protect, empower, and strengthen women, children, and families.
For decades, the prevailing logic has been that polygamy hurts women and children. That makes sense, since in contemporary American practice that is often the case. In many Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints polygamous communities, for example, women and underage girls are forced into polygamous unions against their will. Some boys, who represent the surplus of males, are brutally thrown out of their homes and driven into homelessness and poverty at very young ages. All of these stories are tragic, and the criminals involved should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. (That goes without saying, I hope.)
But legalizing consensual adult polygamy wouldn’t legalize rape or child abuse. In fact, it would make those crimes easier to combat.
Right now, all polygamous families, including the healthy, responsible ones, are driven into hiding (notwithstanding the openly polygamous Brown family on TLC’sSister Wives, that is). In the resulting isolation, crime and abuse can flourish unimpeded. Children in polygamous communities are taught to fear the police and are not likely to report an abusive neighbor if they suspect their own parents might be caught up in a subsequent criminal investigation. In a United States with legalized polygamy, responsible plural families could emerge from the shadows—making it easier for authorities to zero in on the criminals who remain there.
Many people argue that there is no such thing as a “healthy, responsible” polygamous family, particularly for the children born into one. “Children are harmed because they are often set in perennial rivalry with other children and mothers for the affection and attention of the family patriarch,” argued John Witte Jr. in the Washington Post. “Men with lots of children and wives are spread too thin,” agreed Libby Copeland in Slate. The earnestness of these arguments is touching but idealistic. Men in monogamous marriages can’t be spread too thin? Children in monogamous families don’t rival each other for the attentions of their parents? Two-parent families are not the reality for millions of American children. Divorce, remarriage, surrogate parents, extended relatives, and other diverse family arrangements mean families already come in all sizes—why not recognize that legally?
It’s also hard to argue with the constitutional freedom of religious expression that legalized polygamy would preserve. Most polygamous families are motivated by religious faith, such as fundamentalist Mormonism or Islam, and as long as all parties involved are adults, legally able to sign marriage contracts, there is no constitutional reason why they shouldn’t be able to express that faith in their marriages. Legalized polygamous marriage would also be good for immigrant families, some of whom have legally polygamous marriages in their home countries that get ripped apart during the immigration process. (It’s impossible to estimate exactly how many polygamous families live here, since they live their religious and sexual identities in secret. Academics suggest there are 50,000 to 100,000 people engaged in Muslim polygamy in the U.S., and there are thousands of fundamentalist Mormon polygamist families as well.)
Finally, prohibiting polygamy on “feminist” grounds—that these marriages are inherently degrading to the women involved—is misguided. The case for polygamy is, in fact, a feminist one and shows women the respect we deserve. Here’s the thing: As women, we really can make our own choices. We just might choose things people don’t like. If a woman wants to marry a man, that’s great. If she wants to marry another woman, that’s great too. If she wants to marry a hipster, well—I suppose that’s the price of freedom.
And if she wants to marry a man with three other wives, that’s her damn choice.
We have a tendency to dismiss or marginalize people we don’t understand. We see women in polygamous marriages and assume they are victims. “They grew up in an unhealthy environment,” we say. “They didn’t really choose polygamy; they were just born into it.” Without question, that is sometimes true. But it’s also true of many (too many) monogamous marriages. Plenty of women, polygamous or otherwise, are born into unhealthy environments that they repeat later in life. There’s no difference. All marriages deserve access to the support and resources they need to build happy, healthy lives, regardless of how many partners are involved. Arguments about whether a woman’s consensual sexual and romantic choices are “healthy” should have no bearing on the legal process. And while polygamy remains illegal, women who choose this lifestyle don’t have access to the protections and benefits that legal marriage provides.
As a feminist, it’s easy and intuitive to support women who choose education, independence, and careers. It’s not as intuitive to support women who choose values and lifestyles that seem outdated or even sexist, but those women deserve our respect just as much as any others. It’s condescending, not supportive, to minimize them as mere “victims” without considering the possibility that some of them have simply made a different choice.
The definition of marriage is plastic. Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage, marriage between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less “correct” than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults. Though polygamists are a minority—a tiny minority, in fact—freedom has no value unless it extends to even the smallest and most marginalized groups among us. So let’s fight for marriage equality until it extends to every same-sex couple in the United States—and then let’s keep fighting. We’re not done yet.