by FRC Media Office
July 18, 2012
This afternoon, FRC President Tony Perkins appeared on The Mike Huckabee Show today to discuss the Boy Scouts’ decision to uphold their policy on homosexuality.
This afternoon, FRC President Tony Perkins appeared on The Mike Huckabee Show today to discuss the Boy Scouts’ decision to uphold their policy on homosexuality.
The American Spectator‘s James Antle has some interesting thoughts today about homosexual, or same-sex, “marriage.”
Consider the following two quotes from his piece:
… gay marriage is conceivable precisely because heterosexuals have made such a hash out of traditional marriage. It’s straights who have separated it from procreation, who have achieved astonishing divorce rates, and who have rested the institution on the tenuous bonds of human affection.
Men, women, and children need an institution that does what marriage does. The question remains how well marriage can perform its vital functions when redefined to make men, women, and children optional.
Yikes. You mean there’s more to marriage than affection, contraception, and a ceremony? And that a male father and female mother might actually be important to the well-being of a child?
Novel thoughts, these, in the era of RU-486, “Glee,” and Roe v. Wade. Yet the moral philosopher J. Budziszewski wrote a number of years ago, “Nothing new can be written on the heart, but nothing needs to be; all we need is the grace of God to see what is already there.” In other words, we know marriage is between one man and one woman, that children need a mom and a dad, and that marriage is about more than joint incomes and cozy retirements.
We can only “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18) so far, and then the conscience “the law written on the heart” (Romans 2:15) rises up and stares directly at us, quite calmly and immovably.
Last fall, FRC was privileged to welcome Dr. Byron Johnson of Baylor University to our Washington, DC building for a tremendous lecture based on his book, More God, Less Crime.
Now, Dr. Johnson, Baylors Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences, director of the Program on Prosocial Behavior and co-director of the universitys Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR), has issued a new report about how Eagle Scouts benefit our country.
With his colleague Sung Joon Jang, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology at Baylor and an ISR Faculty Fellow, Dr. Johnson has written, Merit Beyond the Badge, which documents the significant, positive impact Eagle Scouts have on society every day.
I confess that I am drawn to this study not only because of my admiration for the Boy Scouts of America, but also because my sons are both First-Class Scouts and are on their way to Eagle rank, Scoutings highest. My wife and I are grateful for the wonderful influence of Scouting on our sons. Scouting has reinforced in them the need for high character, given them skills that literally could save their lives (and those of others), and built into them a measure of confidence and diligence that they otherwise might not have.
Beyond the Merit Badge shows that Eagle Scouts:
I see these things ever week at our regular Scout meetings. Of course, Scouts are boys, not angels, and as with every institution that involves people, there are periodic problems and difficulties to overcome.
Yet some of those problems are not of Scoutings making. Those committed to advancing a pro-homosexual social agenda have targeted the BSA because the latter believes:
… an avowed homosexual is not a role model for the values espoused in the Scout Oath and Law … The BSA does not equate homosexuality with pedophilia, but neither avowed homosexuals nor pedophiles are appropriate role models for Scouting youth … The Boy Scouts of America makes no effort to discover the sexual orientation of any member or leader. Scouting’s message is compromised when members or leaders present themselves as role models whose actions are inconsistent with the standards set in the Scout Oath and Law.
The Supreme Court, in 2000, upheld the Scouts standing as a private organization with the right to set its own membership and leadership standards. For that past 12 years, at least, this has meant that Scoutings conviction that homosexuality is incompatible with its mission and activities has been sustained throughout the BSA.
Many of the boys in Scouting come from fatherless homes. Scouting provides them with role models, both older Scouts and men in leadership capacities, who can help make up what is lacking in their lives: The interest, respect, and affection of a man. It is because so many of these boys are vulnerable that the BSA not only prohibits homosexuality, but will not even allow a single Boy Scout to be alone with an adult, even for a short walk. The Scouts buddy system exists for a reason.
There are Scouts in 155 nations. Many religions participate in Scouting, making Scouts a sore spot for avowed atheists and agnostics. Yet Scoutings affirmation of a Creator to Whom all are accountable is foundational to Scoutings emphasis on remaining morally straight. And many Scout troops are chartered by churches, which enable people of various faiths to retain both their unique religious identities and share in the common fellowship of Scouting.
Scouting remains a pivotal activity for an estimated 2.7 million boys (and 1.1 million adults) nationwide, teaching them how to serve, volunteer, protect others, and work effectively and cheerfully with boys and young men of various racial, religious, ethnic, economic, and educational background.
Tonight, with about 50-60 other boys of every race, height, and home-life, my sons will be at our church gymnasium taking an oath. They will raise their right hands and say, On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
One of the boys will pray briefly and the flag will be saluted, and then myriad activities will get underway.
I cant wait.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, a member of the Conservative Party, met today with leading British clergymen and pleaded with them to play nice as he forces homosexual “marriage” on an unwilling public.
I hope we wont fall out too much over gay marriage, said Mr. Cameron. This pathetic request is sort of like throwing food at someone and then saying, “Oh, the gravy brings out the color of your blouse so well!”
Mr. Cameron asserted that same-sex “marriage” would change what happens in a register office, not what happens in a church. In doing so, he insults homosexuals, whose “marriages” would be, apparently, merely matters of legal accounting, not of anything substantive. And he insults orthodox Christians, who understand too well that placing homosexual unions on the same plane as marriage not only sends a moral message that runs contrary to their convictions but also has legal ramifications that inevitably would affect the way a church operates. For example, could a church be compelled to provide benefits for an employee’s same-sex “husband” or “wife?”
To his credit, Mr. Cameron agrees that the excesses of Britain’s increasingly aggressive secularism are extreme, and passed a law allowing city councils to hold prayers after a court had declared them unacceptable. “The values of the Bible, the values of Christianity are the values that we need,” said the PM.
Well, good. But understand that the values of the Bible are not merely those enumerated by Mr. Cameron in today’s message to the religious leaders: “compassion, generosity, grace, humility and love.” This is a helpful but incomplete list. Other biblical values include truth, moral courage, doing what is right in God’s sight, and loving our fellow men and women sufficiently not to acquiesce when they want to take society in the wrong direction.
The current Archbishop of Canterbury hasn’t helped the situation. As a headline in The Telegraph put it, “Rowan Williams’s authority goes up in smoke as he replies ‘Pass’ to a question about future gay bishops.” As a columnist wrote, “It’s inconceivable that Benedict XVI would produce the game-show reply ‘Pass’ to a question about sexual morality.”
Rev. Williams’ likely successor, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, accepts civil unions but is unequivocal regarding homosexual marriage. He strikes the proper Christian balance between compassion and conviction in the following statements: Homosexual people are children of God, loved and valued by Him and deserving the best we can give - pastoral care and friendship.” Yet the Archbishop has also written that “Marriage in the UK, whether in Church or Register Office, is a pact between one man and one woman, for life.” As he put it in an interview:
Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. I dont think it is the role of the state to define what marriage is. It is set in tradition and history and you cant just [change it] overnight, no matter how powerful you are. Weve seen dictators do it in different contexts and I dont want to redefine very clear social structures that have been in existence for a long time and then overnight the state believes it could go in a particular way.
So much for Mr. Cameron’s “it’s only a matter of registration.” If Rev. Semantu becomes the next head of the Church of England, it will be interesting to see how he fares with the man he implied is a “dictator.”
As conservatives in the United States continue to stand against homosexual marriage, we can take heart in the example of those “across the pond” willing to take on their own government. Families in our own country deserve this kind of bravery and strength from those who profess to be our public servants and Christian leaders.
At the Family Research Council, were standing for marriage and families as God designed them, and doing so in a way consistent with the God Who is both Truth and Love. Click here to learn more about our efforts.
Last night, our First Lady said that the upcoming election would have a profound affect on “whether we can … love whomever we choose” as the election will decide who is appointed to the Supreme Court.
Mrs. Obama’s office was quick to issue a “non-denial denial” concerning her intent: Mrs. Obama has never made any public statements about same-sex marriage,” according to the First Lady’s communications director, Kristina Schake. Technically, this is true. Her language was euphemistic, and the actual words “gay” and “marriage” were not spoken.
Yet the intent of what she said was hardly ambiguous. In the words of openly homosexual Richard Socarides, a director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Law Association Foundation of Greater New York, in “this political environment, when you use language like that, you are sending a message. Does the freedom to love whomever we choose not include the freedom to marry? When you have a policy position in the state of perpetual evolution, these are the kinds of problems that are created.
Michelle Obama implied, strongly, that homosexual “marriage” (a) is a moral good and (b) a Supreme Court candidate’s favorable position on it will be a criterion for her husband’s picks for the nation’s highest court. Perhaps that’s why homosexual blogger John Aravosis writes today, “I’ve been saying for a while now that the White House should be using Michelle Obama to woo the gay vote.”
The calculation behind this painfully gradual but still obvious embrace of same-sex “marriage” by the Obamas is clear: Don’t alienate Democrats still uneasy with homosexual “marriage,” tease-along those who support it, and rally the homosexual activists who demand it. This is a sad commentary on the current state of political discourse and simple honesty in public life. Our First Lady is better than that.
Book review: A Queer Thing Happened to America: And What a Long, Strange Trip Its Been, by Michael L. Brown
Note: Dr. Brown will be giving a policy lecture about his book at the Family Research Council in Washington, DC on Thursday, January 5, 2012. For more information and to register, click here.
Reviewed by Caleb H. Price
In the span of a few short years, American culture has undergone a breath-taking shift in attitudes about homosexuality and transgenderism. Behaviors that were recently viewed by most to be unseemly, if not immoral, are now embraced. What was good is now evil. What was evil is now good.
And while homosexual and transgender activists insist that there is no agenda in play, a closer look shows that this 180-degree turn was no accident.
In his latest book, A Queer Thing Happened to America, Dr. Michael L. Brown documents this cultural sea-change. Here, he takes the reader on an eye-popping account of the strange and bewildering trajectory that gay activists have charted for America.
And he persuasively argues that the trip were on will result in the catastrophic deconstruction of the most basic building blocks of human society biological sex, marriage and family.
The topics covered in this comprehensive work are timely and helpful for understanding the GLBT political agenda. Brown fearlessly engages political correctness on these issues and winsomely encourages concerned citizens to step up the plate and take action before its too late.
Specifically, Brown details how our schools and universities have been strategically targeted by GLBT activists to bring about their revolution in the span of two short generations. Terms like tolerance and diversity now almost exclusively refer to sexual orientation and gender identity. And intellectually honest debate on these issues has been completely stifled in the academic and mental health professions.
In this context, Brown offers a strong rebuttal to the born gay myth and the largely unquestioned view among cultural elites that sexual orientation and gender identity are equivalent to race. And he points out the undeniable and disturbing parallels of this equation to issues like polyamory and pedophilia.
Significantly, A Queer Thing offers an indictment of the one-sided embrace of the GLBT political agenda by media and corporate elites and the mean-spirited attack on those who hold to traditional values on these issues. Here, Brown treats the semantic issues well and shows how GLBT activists have masterfully reframed terms to advance their agenda.
Similarly, Brown provides a helpful understanding of and rebuttal to of the GLBT revisionist theology that has taken root in both the church and secular arenas. Given that Christians are called to offer a winsome answer for their convictions, this section is very helpful in equipping those who feel inept discussing these difficult issues.
At its core, A Queer Thing details the totalitarian nature of the GLBT rights movement. The inevitable conflict between religious liberty and sexual freedom is chillingly presented. Here, those who disagree with Brown will be particularly challenged.
Winsome and witty, well reasoned and meticulously researched, Michael Brown raises the bar with A Queer Thing and calls citizens to take action to turn the tide of the GLBT agenda at the local level. Theres even an accompanying website offering detailed action steps for citizen involvement (www.aqueerthing.com).
Ever since the highly-publicized suicide of a New Jersey college student in September of 2010, pro-homosexual activists have been using the issues of bullying and teen suicide as tools in pursuit of their political agenda, and as rhetorical weapons against those who oppose it. Every time another report surfaced about a suicide by a teenager who identified as or was perceived to be gay, and who had reportedly been bullied, the finger would be pointed directly at conservatives. Bullying causes suicides, we were told, and public expression of conservative political, social, or religious viewpoints concerning homosexuality causes bullying. Affirm homosexual conduct as morally neutral, or more kids will die.
As early as October of 2010, however, experts on suicide prevention were warning that this simplistic approach linking suicides (which are always tragic) to bullying (which is always wrong) could do more harm than good. An article based on an interview with Ann Haas, research director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, asked, [W]hat if the way were talking about these suicides could actually be encouraging vulnerable young people to copycat the tragic behavior?
A year later, a commentary last month on the website of The Advocate, the nations leading gay magazine, finally admitted that this is a serious problem. David McFarland is interim executive director and CEO of The Trevor Project, which runs a suicide prevention hotline for LGBT youth. McFarland cited the political and cultural benefit from showcasing the health crisis of disproportionate rates of suicide and incidences of bullying that affect LBGT young people. Howeverin an astonishing admissionhe also acknowledged that this tactic has also increased suicide risk.
Got that? Here is a pro-homosexual activist admitting that this tactic (showcasing … suicide and … bullying) has also increased suicide risk (emphasis added).
There are three key problems with the bullying causes suicide theme. The first is that it ignores most of what we know about the causes of suicide. McFarland acknowledges gently that the reasons a person attempts suicide are … complicated, and notes that suicide is closely tied to psychological well-being. Haas was more blunt, indicating to the reporter that underlying mental-health issues … are present in 90 percent of people who die by suicide. In other words, most people who are bullied do not commit suicide. It is mental illnessnot bullyingthat causes most suicides.
However, the second problem with emphasizing the link between bullying and suicide is that, as McFarland states, it can influence someone who is at-risk to assume that taking your own life is what youre supposed to do next if you are LGBT or bullied. Haas made the same point a year ago, warning that publicly identifying bullying as a motive for suicide can mak[e] suicide seem like an understandable, if not unavoidable, culmination of a person’s experience. She added, Suicide is not a rational act. McFarland makes the same point, declaring that we can help avoid making suicide appear like a logical choice.
The third problem, which flows out of the second, is what McFarland refers to as suicide contagion. He warns that the more a story of a particular victim is out there, the more likely one or more people who are at-risk will also attempt suicide. Haas warned, Stories depicting the person who’s died by suicide as very sympathetic can inadvertently encourage vulnerable young people to identify with him or her. In other words, being revered as a martyr in death can appear more attractive than experiencing continuing pain in life.
We should do all we can to help young people with mental illnesswhether homosexual or heterosexualand to prevent teen suicides. And we should do all we can to prevent bullying of any childfor their sexual orientation, appearance, religion, or any other reason. But it is time for homosexual activists to stop exploiting personal tragedies to advance their political agendaespecially in a way that may cause more such tragedies.
According to today’s Wall Street Journal, a homosexual activist named John Becker owes Marcus Bachmann’s counseling practice $150 for failing to cancel two counseling appointments. Becker disputes this, asserting that he canceled the appointments on time and therefore owes nothing. As a result, Bachmann has told the gay rights organization “Truth Wins Out,” under whose auspices Becker secretly filmed an interview session with a Bachmann counselor in an effort to get anti-homosexual comments on tape (Becker failed; the counselor was tasteful and helpful throughout) that he will turn the bill over to a collection agency unless it is paid forthwith.
Bachmann, whose wife is running for the presidency and is therefore a target of activists who oppose his views on traditional marriage, argues that “it’s not the amount of money. For us, it’s the principle.” Imagine that: a business owner standing up for his staff and himself, using legal means to do so, and insisting that since Becker “signed a contract that stated he would pay for no-shows,” that Becker be held to account.
All I know of the case is what the Journal reports. If Becker is telling the truth - that he canceled his meetings in an appropriate time-frame - let him prove it. If he’s not, let him pay what he owes.
This is not a “petty and vindictive campaign of harassment and threats” against “Truth Wins Out,” as the group’s director, Wayne Besen, asserts. It’s about responsibility, keeping one’s word, and paying what is owed. “A promise made,” wrote the poet Robert Service, “is a debt unpaid.” Enough said.
Two acts of vandalism were committed in recent days against facilities associated with the debates over homosexualityone on each side of the issue.
In Arlington Heights, Illinois, bricks were thrown through the glass doors and windows of the Christian Liberty Academy. That night, the Christian school was to host a banquet put on by Americans for Truth about Homosexuality (AFTAH), a pro-family organization led by Peter LaBarbera. The banquet was to feature presentation of an award to Scott Lively, another pro-family activist who heads Abiding Truth Ministries.
In the other incident, an office door and two display cases of the GLBT Center at North Carolina State University in Raleigh were defaced with spray paint, including an anti-gay epithet.
Both acts of vandalism were contemptible, and Family Research Council (FRC) condemns them both equally. The debates over homosexuality, however emotional they may become, should be carried on peacefully by those on both sides. Physical attacks on people or property are never justified. (Will liberal groups join us in equally denouncing both acts? The Southern Poverty Law Center, which is quick to accuse conservatives of hate, chose to blame the victims, criticizing the attackers in Illinois primarily for [a]dding fuel to a fire started and stoked by anti-gay activists.)
So are there any differences between these two incidents? Yes. There is not the slightest evidence that the spray paint attack at NC State had any connection with any religious or political organization or public policy issue, or that it was perpetrated by anyone other than a lone thug.
In the attack on the Christian Liberty Academy, however, the vandals made clear that their attack was directed specifically at the work of AFTAH and Lively. A note accompanying one of the bricks said, This is just a sample of what we will do if you dont shut down Scott Lively and AFTAH. It followed with obscenities (edited here): F*** Scott Lively and Quit the homophobic s***! The other brick had written directly on it, Shut down Lively.
If that werent bad enough, an anonymous person posted a detailed claim of credit for the attack on the left-wing Chicago Independent Media Center website. It included this declaration:
These chunks of concrete were thrown through these windows and doors for two reasons: to show that there is a consequence for hatred and homophobia in our community and to directly cause this event to be shut down.
(It is bizarre that anyone could think throwing bricks through school windows could be considered a way of combating hatred.)
Were either or both of these incidents hate crimes? In a generic sense, as the term hate crime is typically used, both were hate crimes. Both involved criminal acts, and both were motivated by characteristics of the victims (in the one case, sexual orientation, and in the other, religion, or more specifically religious beliefs in opposition to homosexual conduct).
In the legal sense, however, neither of these fit under the definition of hate crimes that merit federal intervention, according to the 2009 law passed by Congress and signed by President Obama. The new federal hate crimes bill applies only to cases where a person willfully causes bodily injury or attempts to cause bodily injury, so crimes of vandalism directed only at property are not covered.
Some states have their own hate crime laws featuring broader definitions than the federal statute. North Carolina, however, does not include sexual orientation as one of the protected categories in its hate crime law.
Illinois, on the other hand, has a hate crime law that does cover religion as a protected category. It also states explicitly that even an act of misdemeanor criminal damage to property will be treated as a Class 3 felony if it is motivated by bias and takes places on property used for religious purposes (such as the Christian Liberty Academy).
Thus, under current state laws, the North Carolina incident would appear not to be a hate crime, but the Illinois one would be. However, police treatment of the two cases appears to be diametrically opposite of what the law would suggest. Authorities in North Carolina say they are investigating the spray paint attack as a hate incident, while those in Illinois say there was no hate crime because Lively was targeted for his views, not his religion.
While Christian moral teachings are not the only reason to oppose homosexual conduct, does anyone seriously believe that if an African American church were targeted for supporting civil rights protections, or a Jewish synagogue were targeted for giving aid to Israel, it would not be considered a hate crime?
Family Research Council opposes the entire concept of hate crimes, because we believe that criminal laws should punish actions alone, not the personal opinions of those who commit those actions. We hope that both the Illinois and North Carolina incidents will be thoroughly investigated, solved, and prosecuted on that basis.
Nevertheless, the selective application of the hate crime law in Illinois shows that such laws are actually not applied on a neutral basis, but are used primarily when they will advance a politically correct cause, such as the affirmation of homosexual conduct.
While both the Illinois and North Carolina incidents were hateful on their face, there is another factor at work in the attack on Christian Liberty Academy. Those who claimed credit for the attack online said it had a specific goalto directly cause this event [the AFTAH banquet that night] to be shut down (in this they failedthe program went forward as scheduled). They also warned of similar attacks in the future: If this event is not shut down, and the homophobic day trainings [a reference to AFTAHs Truth Academy educational programs] do not end, the Christian liberty academy will continue to be under constant attack.
There is a word for the use of violence to deter others from opposing your political agenda. That word is not just hate, but terrorism.
Some who posted comments under the claim of credit for the Illinois attack condemned it: As a gay man, I cannot condone your actions. Violence is never acceptable. Shockingly, though, a number of the comments actually praised this act of pro-gay terrorism.
Some were mild in their endorsementThese kinds of actions may have their place, and It should be respected. Others, however were downright gleeful: lol those homophobes got served maybe they think twice before bringing fascists to our town again; and, I only wish I could have been there with a truckload of concrete blocks for smashing. Let’s STONE those haters for the criminals they are.
There is such a thing as anti-gay hate. The attack on the GLBT Center at NC State is an example of it, and FRC does not hesitate to condemn it.
Peaceful opposition to demands for official affirmation of homosexual conduct, however, is not hate.
And the terrorism at the Christian Liberty Academy shows that it may be those making such pro-homosexual demands who are guilty of the most hatred toward their opponents.
This is Part 2 of a 2-part blog post based on the transcript of the Proposition 8 trial—the legal challenge to the state constitutional amendment, adopted by California voters in 2008, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Today (Monday, September 19), Broadway will be the scene of a star-studded staged reading of a new play—one based on the transcript of the trial in the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now known as Perry v. Brown). The unprecedented trial, presided over by the (then closeted, now out) homosexual judge Vaughn Walker, resulted in Walkers opinion in August 2010 declaring that the male-female definition of marriage violates the U. S. Constitution. The ruling is currently on appeal in the Ninth Circuit.
Yet the testimony of one of the actual plaintiffs in the case, Sandra Stier, undermines the argument by same-sex marriage advocates that gay people are denied the fundamental right to marry just because of who they are. It also directly contradicts Judge Walkers finding of fact number 51: Marrying a person of the opposite sex is an unrealistic option for gay and lesbian individuals. In fact, Stiers testimony undermines two of the most fundamental premises of the entire homosexual movement—the claims that people are born gay, and that a persons sexual orientation can never change.
Stier testified that she was married—to a man—for twelve years, and had two biological children with him. Even more startling is her admission that she did not learn that she was a lesbian until she was in her mid-thirties.
Part 1 of this post featured the beginning of attorney Ted Olsons direct examination of Stier, dealing with her marriage to her husband.
This, Part 2, features Stiers testimony about her relationship with her current lesbian partner, Kristin Perry.
Stiers testimony appears in bold; [my editorial comments are in bracket and italics].
Perry v. Schwarzenegger
1/11/2010 9:00:00 AM
Transcript pp. 163-167
Q. When did you meet Ms. Perry?
A. I met Kris around 1996.
Q. And how did your relationship with her develop? And go ahead.
A. Well, when I first met Kris, of course, I hadn’t known her previously. I was teaching a computer class and she was a student in my class. So I just sort of knew of her, but then we started working together on projects at work and ended up being coworkers and became fast friends quite quickly. And we were friends for quite some time and I began to realize that the feelings I had for her were really unique and different from friends, feelings I normally had towards friends. And they were absolutely taking over my thoughts and my — sort of my entire self. And I grew to realize I had a very strong attraction to her and, indeed, I was falling in love with her.
Q. And tell us when you realized finally that you had fallen in love with her?
A. I really — I realized that in 1999, early in the year.
[Other anecdotal accounts of lesbian relationships suggest that this pattern is fairly typicalthey begin as friendships which grow more and more intimate emotionally, and only at the end become sexual. She does not report that she looked at her partner and immediatelyor even quicklyfelt a strong sexual attraction to her. Again, this undermines the claim that all lesbians have an innate orientation which makes them sexually attracted to women in general.]
Q. Did your falling in love with Kris have anything to do with the dissolution of your marriage?
A. My marriage was troubled on many fronts and had been in a very, very difficult state. And the end of my marriage was precipitated by my own extreme unhappiness, my ex-husband’s severe problems with alcohol and his inability to provide the type of support as a husband and a family person that I had to have.
[Since Stier realized in 1999, early in the year that she was in love with Kristin Perry, and her marriage also ended in 1999, it is somewhat difficult to give credence to this denial, whatever difficulties her husband may have had. Advocates of same-sex marriage often ask, What harm could same-sex marriage do to your marriage? In the case of Stiers marriage, it appears that societys growing acceptance of homosexual relationships may have made it easier for her to leave her husband. If same-sex marriage were legalized, and it were possible to go directly from a heterosexual marriage to a homosexual one, the incentive to break up the first marriage might be even greater. Thisthe breakup of some existing opposite-sex marriagesis a potential harm of same-sex marriage which is very real. However, it is impossible to predict in advance who will experience it.]
Q. Did your sexual orientation or your discovery of your sexual orientation have anything to do with the dissolution of that marriage?
A. No, it did not.
[Again, this is a fascinating admission. It would seem more consistent with typical homosexual propaganda for her to say, as noted above, I realized I was living a lie, or I decided it was time to be who I really am.
Judge Walker supported his Finding 51 with testimony from a witness who stated:
Some gay men and lesbians have married members of the opposite sex, but many of those marriages dissolve, and some of them experience considerable problems simply because one of the partners is gay or lesbian. A gay or lesbian person marrying a person of the opposite sex is likely to create a great deal of conflict and tension in the relationship.
Yet Sandra Stiers testimony clearly does not support this theory. She states flatly that her discovery of [her] sexual orientation did not have anything to do with the dissolution of that marriage. The implication seems to be that if her husband had not had severe problems with alcohol and had been able to provide the type of support as a husband and a family person that she needed; and if she had not met and fallen in love with Kristin Perry; she might well have remained married to her husband until his death, never learning that she was gay.]
Q. Your husband is no longer living, is that correct?
A. That’s true.
Q. Then tell us about how your relationship with Ms. Perry developed?
A. Well, my relationship with Kris, the romantic part of the relationship certainly started for me in a — just a very exciting place. I had never experienced falling in love before, and I think
Q. Are you saying that you weren’t in love with your husband?
A. I was not in love with my husband, no.
Q. Did you think that you were at some point?
A. I had a hard time relating to the concept of being in love when I was married to my husband. And while I did love him when I married him, I honestly just couldn’t relate when people said they were in love. I thought they were overstating their feelings and maybe making a really big deal out of something. It didn’t really make sense to me. It seemed dramatic. You know, when you grow up in the midwest and in a farming family — which is a really unique way to grow up, if anybody knows much about that — but there is a pragmatism that is inherent and it’s part of the fabric of life and an understated way of being that is just pervasive in terms of your development. And I remember as a young girl talking to my mom about love and marriage and she would say, “You know, marriage is more than romantic love. It’s more than excitement. It’s an enduring long-term commitment and it’s hard work.” And in my family that seemed very true.
[It saddens me that there was laughter in the courtroom at the statement that [marriage is] an enduring long-term commitment and it’s hard work. Truer words were never spokeneven with couples who were madly in love when they first married, and even with couples who still are.]
So I really thought that was what I was kind of signing up for when I got married; not that it would be bad, but that it would be hard work and I would grow into that love, and that I needed to marry a good, solid person and I would grow into something like my parents had, which was really a lovely marriage and still is.
[I am glad that she says that her mother and fathers marriagepresumably one that modeled that enduring long-term commitment and hard workwas really a lovely marriage and still is. It was also a fruitful onewithout the natural procreation possible only in opposite-sex relationships, Ms. Stiers life would never have begun. It is simply obtuse to deny that this is the central reason why marriage is a public institution, and why it is defined as a male-female union.]
Q. And then you were — I interrupted you. You were in the midst of describing what happened in terms of your own feelings as your relationship with Ms. Perry developed?
A. Well, with Kris my — so we have this wonderfully romantic relationship and — that just really grew and blossomed very beautifully. And not only were we in love, but we wanted we realized fairly soon that we wanted to build a life together. We wanted to join our families and live as a family. That we didn’t want to date. I was 36 or 37 years old, and Kris is a tiny about it younger than me, but we really wanted to build a family together and have that kind of life of commitment and stability that we both really appreciated.
Q. How convinced are you that you are gay? You’ve lived with a husband. You said you loved him. Some people might say, Well, it’s this and then it’s that and it could be this again. Answer that.
A. Well, I’m convinced, because at 47 years old I have fallen in love one time and it’s with Kris. And our love is — it’s a blend of many things. It’s physical attraction. It’s romantic attraction. It’s a strong commitment. It’s intellectual bonding and emotional bonding. For me, it just isn’t love. I really, quite frankly, don’t know what that would be for adults. I don’t know what else to say about it.
[She has fallen in love one time and its with Kris. This seems a rather limited data point on which to base any claim that she has an innate lesbian identityan enduring pattern of sexual attraction toward other women.]
Q. Why are you a plaintiff in this case?
A. Well, I’m a plaintiff in this case because I would like to get married, and I would like to marry the person that I choose and that is Kris Perry. She is a woman. And according to California law right now, we can’t get married, and I want to get married.
[This is a succinct and accurate statement of her situation under the current law. And some peoplepeople who feel there is nothing morally wrong with engaging in homosexual conduct; that the definition of marriage has nothing to do with the procreative potential of opposite-sex relationships; that being raised by both their mother and father provides no advantage to children; and that changing the definition of marriage would have no impact at all on the institution of marriagemay sympathize with it and wish to see Stiers desire to marry Perry be fulfilled.
However, this provides no basis whatsoever for claiming that Californias definition of marriage violates the United States Constitution. Thwarting a persons desires is not at all the same as violating a persons constitutional rights.]