The Coming Collapse of “Marriage Equality”

One day the notion of same-sex marriage will be in the rearview mirror along with Prohibition and New Coke, with people saying, “What were we thinking?”

The Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship ever built, helmed by the most experienced captain of the North Atlantic, and considered unsinkable because of its reinforced hull and water-tight compartments.  Not unlike the Titanic, the gay rights movement is a huge force riding the wave of tolerance and equality. But the movement is heading full speed into a field of icebergs with an illusion of invulnerability and overconfidence in human “progress.”

 

At the present moment it appears that “gay rights” or “marriage equality” is virtually unstoppable. Efforts to make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) sexuality a normal part of society are gaining ground on virtually every front. Whether it is making same-sex marriage legal, undermining any attempt to change sexual orientation, or public opinion, the movement of “marriage equality” or “LGBT rights” is in full swing. But the warning signals can already be seen. It may not sink tomorrow, next year, or even the next decade, but the warning signals are present and they spell catastrophe for the movement if things continue as they are currently. It would not be the first time in history that a movement had strong momentum for a time but ended up on the “wrong side of history.” Only time will tell for “marriage equality.” But it is entirely possible, if not probable, that one day the notion of same-sex marriage would be in the rearview mirror along with Prohibition and New Coke, with people saying, “What were we thinking?”

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2013 in the case of United States v. Windsor has proven to be a politically defining moment. Since then voter-approved bans on same-sex marriage have fallen like dominoes. But even a full two months before the U.S. Supreme Court decision was made, the cover of TIME Magazine on April 8, 2013 aptly read “Gay Marriage Already Won.” It certainly has in terms of public opinion.

Public opinion has drastically changed in just the past two years. When President Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage on May 9, 2012, the scales of public opinion started tipping in a different direction.  Today, not only are Gallup and ABC News/Washington Post polls showing record numbers of Americans are in support of legalizing same-sex marriage, but even the evangelical Christian polls are showing the shift. The Southern Baptist-affiliated LifeWay Research reports 58% of American adults agree same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue, and 64% believe it’s legality throughout the country is inevitable. The evangelical Barna Group has stated, “Clearly, social and legal acceptance of the LGBTQ community has passed the tipping point in the U.S.”[1]

Even political conservatives are waving the white flag. Ross Douthat published “The Terms of Our Surrender” in the New York Times on March 1, 2014. Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin has said “there’s no doubt” that younger Republicans are shifting on same-sex marriage, which is why he avoids the topic in favor of economic and fiscal issues.[2] Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah said “gay marriage is going to be the law of the land,” and anyone who thinks otherwise “hasn’t been observing what’s going on.”[3] Indeed, it does seem like politically and socially, those for traditional marriage are fighting a losing battle.

But history is loaded with movements that were confident and cutting edge but later collapsed. The Japanese had plenty of reason to be confident in 1941 when they attacked Pearl Harbor, bringing the United States into World War II. Japan had a long history of warrior culture, as opposed to the wealthy and decadent Americans, but Pearl Harbor proved to be the beginning of the end for the Japanese Empire. Lest we be guilty of only finding fault in others, the United States has been doomed by its own arrogance plenty of times. John F. Kennedy had a whole panel of experts who supported the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. Prohibition was passed by 47 of the 48 states in 1920, but just 13 years later those states were passing repeals of the failed experiment. The Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship ever built, helmed by the most experienced captain of the North Atlantic, and considered unsinkable because of its reinforced hull and water-tight compartments.

Not unlike the Titanic, the gay rights movement is a huge force riding the wave of tolerance and equality. But the movement is heading full speed into a field of icebergs with an illusion of invulnerability and overconfidence in human “progress.”

It must be noted here that LGBT persons are a diverse group of people. Some wish to live their lifestyle quietly and to fit into society as best as possible without causing commotion. These people are not constantly waving rainbow flags, losing their temper or threatening lawsuits. They want a quiet life and are looking to be friendly neighbors who volunteer at their children’s school and would rather not talk about their sex life. At the other end of the spectrum are those who not only engage in gay sex but are aggressively and even recklessly pushing for their lifestyle to be universally accepted. While the former group is responsible for winning increasing acceptance of LGBT lifestyles among Americans, the latter group is posed to be the undoing of “marriage equality,” if present trends continue.

At least 4 warning signs face this “unsinkable” LGBT equality movement.

First, the legal changes are happening too fast, coming from the top down, and overturning voter-approved laws, all under the rickety assumption that the public view has changed.

Second, the arguments most commonly used to validate same-sex marriage are more manipulative than substantive. The positions that homosexuality is comparable to race and the notion that lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT) is an “identity” have serious holes, which instead of being addressed and answered are instead avoided and disregarded.

Third, the movement exhibits all the symptoms of groupthink. The overconfidence as well as an assumption of being on “the right side of history” is firmly entrenched, and internal pressure towards a uniform viewpoint is great. Worse, the immaturity that once was shown by traditionalists is shifting to the LGBT advocates.

Finally, the full consequences of legalizing same-sex marriage are yet to be seen, and the possibilities of unforeseen consequences are enormous.

Warning #1 – The Legal Changes are Happening Too Fast

The speed of legalizing same-sex marriage is stunning. In Illinois, legislators legalized same-sex marriage in November 2013 and set legalization of same-sex marriage for June 1, 2014. But that wasn’t fast enough. On February 21, 2014 U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled that same-sex couples can begin applying for marriage licenses immediately. “There is no reason to delay further when no opposition has been presented to this Court and committed gay and lesbian couples have already suffered from the denial of their fundamental right to marry,” she wrote in the order.[4]

Most of the same-sex marriage legislation has been through autocratic court decisions and not votes of the people.

Before 2012, same-sex marriage was never approved by voters. The first four states in the union to legalize same-sex marriage were by state Supreme Court decisions.

Then, even while same-sex marriage was beginning to become legalized through legislation in a few states, and even voter-approved same-sex marriage in a few more states, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to weigh in. On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in United States v. Windsor overturned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) of 1996, extending federal benefits to and recognizes same-sex marriages in states where it has been legalized. Unfortunately, what was supposed to be limited to states that already recognize same-sex marriage has dropped the laws of other states like dominoes.

This one sweeping autocratic move would prove to be grounds to overrule the will of the people in multiple states throughout 2014, beginning with – of all places – the ultra-conservative state of Utah!

As of this writing, federal judges have struck down laws in 12 states (Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Texas, Michigan, Idaho, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, and Colorado.) 2 more states (Tennessee and Ohio) have had federal judges force states to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. Arkansas had its voter-approved marriage definition overturned by state judge.

Judicial actions that overturn voter decisions are recipe for backfire. When even Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the most liberal members of the U.S. Supreme Court, says the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on abortion was a mistake, you know that court rulings are not necessarily victories. “My criticism of Roe is that it seemed to have stopped the momentum that was on the side of change.” Because the court did not show “judicial restraint,” as she called it, today those who call themselves “pro-choice” are at record lows.

When the judicial branch of government effectively shoves aside one of the core values throughout America’s history, democracy, the result will not be favorable. When the matter is over mere semantics, the efforts can draw all the more rejection.

The push is no longer about having personal freedoms or equal protection under the law, but about forcing legitimacy on the public.

As it turns out, “marriage equality” is not about legal equality. If it were, then civil unions and partnerships could have sufficed. Now the effort is down to semantics. The demand for same-sex “marriage” over and above other civil partnerships shows that adopting children and seeing a partner in a medical emergency was never the real issue.

Delaware was the 11th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Same-sex civil unions were already in place that offered all the rights and benefits of a legal marriage, but this was not good enough. Legislation supporters argued same-sex couples deserve the dignity and respect of married couples.[5]

U.S. Senate Republican candidate Elizabeth Cheney in November 2013 gave an interview on Fox News Sunday where she said same-sex couples should have all the same legal privileges as heterosexual couples. She spoke in favor of legal recognition of same-sex unions in almost every respect, except for using the word “marriage.” It was a surprising amount of support for same-sex marriage for a Republican running in a red state. But for Liz’s lesbian sister, Mary, this was not only unacceptable but offensive. “Liz – this isn’t just an issue on which we disagree, you’re just wrong.” Mary’s partner, Heather Poe, also chimed in: “To have her now say she doesn’t support our right to marry is offensive to say the least.”[6]

The issue is not about equality under the law anymore but semantics. Legal rights are not the real motive. Proponents are now fighting for a word: “marriage.” The issue now is a desire for legitimacy, not just in the eyes of the law but in the eyes of everyone.[7]

Polls could be overstating public opinion on gay rights

Yes, polls across the board show increasing support for same-sex marriage, but do they spell success of LGBT equality? Are we achieving a new level of human progress towards utopia of peace and acceptance? Or perhaps we are witnessing something else.

How many of the polls are asking the right questions? Mark Regnerus has a fascinating article on the potential bias of public opinion polls.[8] A recent Rice University study asked the questions differently, where a positive “yes” response was for traditional marriage rather than for same-sex marriage, and the result was significantly different. Regnerus also mentions a finding by Patrick Egan in 2010 based on ten years of polling data about same-sex marriage in states that had voted on same-sex-marriage ballot initiatives that public-opinion polls consistently underestimated ballot-box opposition to same-sex marriage.

However, even if the polls are accurately reflecting public opinion, they might simply be reflecting the human tendency toward conformity. How many people are giving approval to same-sex marriage because they simply want to go with the flow and not be considered bigoted or homophobic?

The public is decidedly exposed to many more arguments in favor of same-sex marriage than those opposed. The Pew Research Center’s analysis of 488 news stories covering same-sex marriage during the 2013 Supreme Court deliberation on United States v. Windsor showed a huge imbalance of coverage in favor of gay marriage supporters. Stories that had twice as many statements supporting marriage equality outnumbered stories with twice as many statements supporting traditional marriage by a 5-to-1 margin. Even the conservative-friendly Fox News cable channel had 29% of its stories airing twice as many voices in favor of same-sex marriage than those opposed. [9]

Polls show that our opinions can be completely disconnected with reality. While over two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, [10] about the same percentage of Americans claim they are “not overweight.”[11] Men are especially delusional in this area. Men are more likely to be overweight (71% vs. 62% of women) but are also more likely to say they are “not overweight” (66% vs. 60% of women). Opinion polls capture only what people say, not necessarily what is true.

Huge increases in acceptance of LGBT lifestyles do not necessarily indicate widespread public approval. What appears to be happening is a widespread tendency to conform to social pressure.

Studies not only show that minority opinions gain traction among the majority when the minority message is consistent, but that people will conform their opinions to the majority unless there is a strong reason to dissent. The power of conformity without thought or consideration to one’s own beliefs or attitudes is basic to human nature. (See for yourself: Google studies done by Muzafer Sherif, Solomon Asch, or Stanley Milgram to see how powerful human conformity can be.)

Conformity is behind at least some of the legal changes taking place.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway who refused to defend the state marriage law in March[12] articulated his position based on conforming to new trends. “I have two young daughters. I want them to grow up to read about their dad in the history books and to proud of [sic] the decision that he made.”[13]

The peer pressure was evident in the May 20, 2014 Pennsylvania ruling, by federal District Court Judge John Jones III, who cited the opinions of colleagues from Texas, Ohio, Virginia, Utah and Idaho. “We now join the 12 federal district courts across the country which, when confronted with these inequities in their own states, have concluded that all couples deserve equal dignity in the realm of civil marriage,” Jones said.[14] The argument was not based on legal precedent but on the basis that “We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.”[15]

An Associated Press report on same-sex marriages in Wisconsin pointedly declared, “PUBLIC PRESSURE MAKES A DIFFERENCE” [emphasis not mine]. The story reports that the Outagamie County Clerk was refusing to accept applications for same-sex marriage licenses until hearing from a county attorney or the state Attorney General. “But the nearly 100 people gathered in her office refused to leave until they had filled out the paperwork.” A county attorney gave the green light and the crowd cheered.[16]

The legal front for “marriage equality” is gaining ground fast. But too fast. Many of the legal changes are coming from courts overturning voter-approved amendments to state constitutions, and this amounts to a recipe for backlash. Moreover, at least some of the legal decisions are motivated by peer pressure or perceptions (not necessarily realities) of public opinion, and such perceptions of public opinion could easily prove to be brittle.

Warning #2 – The arguments in favor of same-sex marriage and normalizing gay sex are full of weaknesses that are avoided instead of answered.

The demand for LGBT legitimacy has moved forward based on shaky arguments. However, instead of answering these arguments, proponents cry discrimination and bigotry.

Comparison with race & being left-handed is baseless and a hastily-assembled conjecture

Many have played the “race card” regarding same-sex attraction. Just ten days after President Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) also gave its support.[17] During a lesbian wedding on October 2, 2011, Rev. Tom Yorty compared the wedding to Rosa Parks refusal to give up her seat on the bus. “We’re making history today. This is the first same-gender wedding in this sanctuary in 156 years. This is a Rosa Parks’ moment, and we decided to sit in the front of the liturgical bus.”[18]

Even legal decisions are made on the comparison of race. The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled on August 22, 2013 that refusing “to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony… violated the [New Mexico Human Rights Act] in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races.”

While the strategy does have the advantage of playing on lingering civil rights guilt, it also plays the “persecuted” and “prejudice” cards, which have a way of overriding any honest discussion. Legitimate questions are left unanswered.

Realistically, what is the connection between race and gay sex? What do skin pigmentation and same-sex attraction have in common? Nothing. Nothing intrinsic at least. Both can claim to have been mistreated by society in the past, but unless we are willing to somehow or in some way justify the mistreatment of racial minorities and homosexuals, nothing remains to connect the two.

As Maina Mwaura, one African American pastor, put it: “Ethnicity and race refer to skin color and cultural background. Race is also publicly known. When I walk into a room, everyone knows that I am African-American. However, sexuality, including homosexuality and heterosexuality, refers to intimate personal behaviors.”

It is argued that both have been excluded on similar grounds.[19] Yes, there may have been similar social perceptions and corresponding arguments to exclude both groups. But these are perceptions, not realities. As incorrect perceptions there is no inherent or intrinsic link that would necessarily connect the two.

“Just because civil rights for gays and ethnic cultures have been debated in public policy doesn’t make them the same,” adds Mwaura.

Many African Americans, including some who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. himself, have adamantly opposed the comparison of LGBT equality with racial equality. The NAACP may have endorsed the comparison, but The Coalition of African-American Pastors certainly does not.[20] Neither does Dr. Alveda C. King, niece of Dr. King, who expressed dissatisfaction with the NAACP’s affirmation of gay marriage and rejected claims that the fight for such unions is linked to the civil rights movement.[21]

The claim that LGBT is an “identity” that cannot be changed is still debatable and, even if true, does not provide traction for moral reasoning.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer are supposedly integral to personal identity. We’ll call this the “identity” argument. It has been put forth by scholars, such as Eugene Rogers, Jr., professor of modern and medieval Christian thought at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.[22] Popular culture has seized this argument, most notably in Lady Gaga’s #1 hit single, “Born This Way”:

I’m beautiful in my way
‘Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way …
A different lover is not a sin
Believe capital H-I-M

Basically, LGBT is an identity and therefore part of the natural order. In other words, “…some of us are fearfully and wonderfully made with a gender and sexual orientation that falls somewhere in the LGBTQ spectrum from birth.”[23] If it cannot be changed, then it must be part of the created order instead of the sinful order. But in reality, the jury is still out on this one. Yes, there are those who had claimed to be “changed” and later admitted they were wrong. Exodus International’s Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper are two examples,[24] and John Paulk is another.[25] But this debate is not over.

The “gay liberation movement in the West” is divided, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. “In philosophical circles this movement is, in part, represented through a rather diverse group of thinkers who are grouped under the label of queer theory.” What is queer theory about? What does it study, discuss and debate? Queer theory discusses and debates “whether homosexuality, and hence also heterosexuality and bisexuality, is socially constructed or purely driven by biological forces.”[26]

Rosaria Champagne Butterfield gives a powerful testimony in her autobiography, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert.[27] She was not only “out of the closet” for ten years and in a committed lesbian relationship, but a tenured professor of English and Women’s Studies at Syracuse University with a Ph.D in Queer Theory. Now a committed Christian, she now says “being a lesbian was a case of mistaken identity” (p.24). In her study of the Bible, she came to the conclusion that “homosexuality – like all sin – is symptomatic and not causal – that is, it tells us where our heart has been, not who we inherently are or what we are destined to become” (p.32).

Even LGBT rights activists are divided on the matter. “I disagree with the queer movement [when it claims] that sexual orientation is predetermined,” said Debra Kolodny, former coordinator for The National Bisexual Network.

Similarly, actress Cynthia Nixon (HBO’s Sex and the City) says that for her being gay is a choice, though the backlash she gets from saying so is fierce. When giving an “empowerment” speech to an LGBT audience, she proudly declared, “I’ve been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better.” She was pressured to take that statement out, but she adamantly insisted it be included.[28]

Even if gay sexual desires are indeed “uncontrollable,” another question must be answered: Since when does inability to control desires dictate moral rights? Many other desires are (at least seemingly) outside a person’s control but not considered morally permissible. People who are depressed may not be able to control a desire to harm themselves, but does that render self-harm or suicide morally permissible? If someone believes they cannot control their desire for alcohol, or LSD, do those desires justify indulgence in those substances? What about someone married with an “uncontrollable” desire for a different sexual partner?

One more “unchangeable desire” of the identity argument can be found in human sexuality, but raising the question only infuriates LGBT proponents.

The title of L.A. Times reporter Alan Zarembo’s article says it pointedly: “Many experts now view pedophilia as a sexual orientation.” He interviewed researchers who concluded that pedophilia is “limited almost entirely to men and becomes clear during puberty and does not change.” He interviewed a man convicted of child pornography who said, “After five years of state-ordered therapy, the attraction remains.”[29]

Beyond one article, gay sex and sex with children has historically gone hand in hand with the ancient Greeks and Romans, but also a number of disgraced priests from the Catholic abuse scandals. Ruben Martinez is one example.[30] Another, Paul Shanley, a founding member of the North American Man/Boy Love Association,[31] is on record stating in the same speech, “It is immoral to try to change homosexuals,” and “When adults have sex with children, the children seduced them.”[32]

Scholars are also concluding pedophilia is a sexual orientation. Vernon Quinsey, professor emeritus in the department of psychology at Queen’s University, has research that supports the conclusion that the aberrant sexual desires of pedophiles develop early in life and cannot be changed.[33] James Cantor, Head of Research in the Sexual Behaviours Clinic at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Canada, has researched pedophiles for 12 years and finds conditions of pedophiles that show they cannot change their sexual desires.[34]

As unfavorable as the pedophilia comparison may be, an even larger problem faces the LGBT equality movement: Nobody wants to counter-argue this comparison.

“All One Body” is an LGBT-affirming group in my own denomination, the Christian Reformed Church. Their Facebook page has a post from June 17, 2013 at 5:28pm that says it all: “If you compare my relationship again to pedophilia, incest or bestiality, I will nuke the whole thread, and no one will care.”

Most shocking is not the comparison, but the avoidance. The powerful reaction against any connection of LGBT sexuality with pedophilia is so strong that it has led to the release of at least one sexual predator.

Catholic priest Michael Fugee, who admitted to and was convicted of fondling a teenage boy in 2003, had his conviction overturned by an appellate panel because part of his testimony heard by jurors appeared to blur the distinction between homosexuality and pedophilia. “The admission of this statement injected into this case the specter of a jury deciding defendants’ guilt on the unfounded association between homosexuality and pedophilia,” the court wrote. Fugee subsequently reinstated in 2009 and appointed to many positions where he would have contact with children.[35]

The LGBT identity argument, though persuasive with many, is fundamentally flawed. Hard-wired or not, human desires alone dictating virtue and vice, right and wrong, is an unsustainable position to take. Like all flawed arguments, it will one day fail. Even worse for LGBT proponents, the reaction to comparing gay sex to other non-traditional pairings is so strong that the challenges are avoided altogether. Being on “the right side of history” is what allows such challenges to be simply dismissed as ridiculous.

Warning #3 – Groupthink characterizes the LGBT equality movement, where being on the “right side of history” is fully entrenched, which means that the discussion is over and its time to get ugly with any dissent

Groupthink is when a group of people, no matter how educated or informed, ends up making disastrous decisions. This happens when the group overestimates its correctness or virtue, such as believing it is on the “right side of history,” has a stereotyped view of the opponent, has cohesiveness that pressures members to conform, and an illusion of unanimity. Under such a social climate, objections and dissenting views are not welcome. Even highly intelligent people, out of concern for group morale and not wanting to be the only idiot in the room, will not raise relevant questions or valid concerns. Claiming the “right side of history” can often be famous last words.

“Liz – this isn’t just an issue on which we disagree, you’re just wrong – and on the wrong side of history.” – Facebook post from Mary Cheney to Elizabeth.

After the June 25, 2014 U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, Stephanie Fudge of Marion, Iowa writes, “There’s no stopping the inevitable.”[36]

Any other voices are silenced, ridiculed and being shoved out of the way.

As explained above, the arguments for legitimizing LGBT sex are full of problems, waiting for real explanations. Yet in the minds of “marriage equality” supporters, the discussion is over. Any other voices are being silenced.

Even friendly ones such as Debra Kolodny was slammed for challenging the LGBT identity argument. She says LGBT is not predetermined at birth, and then she spoke of the backlash. “The queer movement relies on, ‘We can’t help it. We’re born this way,’ she said. “It feels so safe. If you don’t say it you’re thrown to the lions and you’re evil.”[37]

Actress Cynthia Nixon saying to a group of LGBT equality supporters, “I’ve been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better,” was unacceptable for her audience. “They tried to get me to change it, because they said it implies that homosexuality can be a choice. And for me, it is a choice. I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me.” She says the matter of whether you choose this way or are born this way is irrelevant. “…let us stop trying to make a litmus test for who is considered gay and who is not. As you can tell, I am very annoyed about this issue. Why can’t it be a choice? Why is that any less legitimate?”[38]  According to Cynthia Nixon, LGBT identity can be a choice, but fellow LGBT supporters don’t want to hear it.

Different opinions are not acceptable. The marginalization that the gay community complained about for many years is now being done to the traditional community. Now the shoe is on the other foot. The bullied have become the bullies.[39]

If you are a Miss America contestant and are asked about same-sex marriage, you better not say, “I think it’s great Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.”

An answer like that itself will cost you the crown, with one of the judges posting a video the next day saying you “gave the worst answer in pageant history” and “She lost because she’s a dumb b—-.” If you had won, the judge says he would’ve jumped on the stage and snatched the crown from your head.[40]

People are personally penalized for even holding a respectfully personal view that homosexual unions are unethical.

If you are head of a successful web-browser, and you donate a thousand dollars supporting a traditional marriage ballot initiative, you can expect to lose your job. Never mind that you were just made CEO less than a month ago. Never mind that you co-founded the company and its very existence owes itself to you work. Your reassuring statements that traditional marriage is only part of your “personal beliefs” and that you intentionally “kept them out of” the company for “all these 15 years we’ve been going,” mean nothing. Your public statement that you are “committed to ensuring” that your company “is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion,”[41] is useless. You should have apologized[42] for your personal views and private donation. You will be pressured to step down from the organization you helped create because of your personal beliefs, all while a company spokesperson announces that the organization “supports equality for all;” that it “believes both in equality and freedom of speech,” and that “our organizational culture reflects diversity and inclusiveness.”[43]

The irony of getting rid of someone under the banner of “equality” and “freedom of speech” is not lost on most people. The very next day an undisputed LGBT rights supporter would say, “I think there is a gay mafia.” The way supporters of traditional marriage are being treated has brought even comedian and political commentator Bill Maher – an undisputed polar-opposite of the Christian right – into surprise.

LGBT advocates can recoil sharply from the notion that the harsh treatment has shifted to traditional Christians.

One writer says, “In America, LGBTQ people face persistent, systemic, widespread employment discrimination. Christians do not. In many states, LGBTQ people have no legal recourse to redress employment discrimination. Christians do—in every state in the country.” Thinking otherwise is “so asinine that I almost regret wasting space refuting it.” Yet while reading this story on LGBT persecution, on the right pane of the page was a link to, “Gay? Fired for It? Sue Your Employer Today!” This second article says President Obama’s executive order to forbid workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation is “unnecessary” because of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. More surprising than the conflicting nature of the two articles was that they were written by the same author, and published only seven days apart.[44]

Groupthink is supporting your cause so strongly that when you come across any information that might present a challenge to the cause, it has to be eliminated. Answering the information is “wasting space” because it presumes the challenge is valid. But information that supports your cause is readily welcomed without much scrutiny. It supports your view, therefore it must be true! Human reasoning is always susceptible to what psychologists call “confirmation bias,” and it has made fools out of experts, Presidents and entire nations. When intolerance is enforced in the name of tolerance, the foundation itself is compromised and the clock is ticking. In response to the first article, mc5552968, fittingly says, “Oh, are the poor cultists crying that I am a bigot for having no tolerance for bigots?  Get over it!”

Individuals and even churches are being forced to operate against personal religious convictions.

In Great Britain, the same-sex marriage law approved by the Queen on July 17, 2013, the day after it was passed by Parliament was built with a “quadruple lock” in order to protect religious institutions from being forced to perform same-sex marriages against their faith. Nevertheless, just weeks after the legislation was passed, Barrie Drewitt-Barlow and his civil-union partner, Tony, wish to “test” this protection in court. The couple claim to be practicing Christians and want their children to see them married in the church. In an interview with the Essex Chronicle, they said they “need to convince the church that it is the right thing for our community for them to recognise (sic) as practicing Christians.”

Religious beliefs and values of individuals are being required by law to literally “compromise” their beliefs as the price of U.S. citizenship. New Mexico’s Supreme Court unanimously ruled on August 22, 2013 in Elane Photography, LLC v. Willock that a photographer cannot refuse to photograph a lesbian wedding even on religious convictions.

Anger, harassment and even violence are becoming more prevalent among gay supporters.

On July 3, 2012 the mother of famous actor Brad Pitt had an editorial in the Springfield News-Leader, which published her letter supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney because President Obama “is a liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage.” The response on Twitter was not only ugly but even frightening:

I Bleed Gaga † @IBleedGaga BRAD PITT’S MOM WROTE AN ANTI-GAY PRO-ROMNEY EDITORIAL. KILL THE B—-. 6 Jul 12
sandy kownacka @sandy_dollx Brad Pitt’s mom, die 6 Jul 12
karengeier @karengeier  f— you, brad pitt’s mom. the gay community made your kid a star, you whacko. 6 Jul 12
@PatrikSandbergBrad Pitt’s mother can go f— herself.— PΛTRIK SΛNDBERG 6 Jul 12
Charles Veselsky @Charlito18 So, Brad Pitt’s mom is a real c— eh? 6 Jul 12
Tumock N @Kokomoko77 Brad Pitt’s mother…what a brainless old b—-… 6 Jul 12
Lee Young @odysseus94 Brad Pitt’s Mom Slams Obama, Gays. That stand makes her a deluded, dumba– Fascist Repuke b—-. pinterest.com/pin/1052717100…  5 Jul 12
@o_Osab Brad Pitt’s mom is a dumb c— — Sabrina 5 Jul 12
Shayne @Zoocritter    @ddsnorth I hope Brad Pitt has been supporting his mother and decides to cut her off. What a b—-.   6 Jul 12
Matthew Cameron @Mattvcameron    Hey, Brad Pitt! Your mom is a f—ing c—!   6 Jul 12
@FormerlyM Brad Pitt’s mom should try eating a d—. Judgmental b—-. — Mimzay 6 Jul 12

If inhumanity has been shown to LGBT persons in the past, the inhumanity has not vanished. It is only shifting sides. Viciousness is being exhibited by those who have prided themselves of being accepting and tolerant.

Actor Harvey Fierstein (The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie, Mulan, Independence Day) uses some frightening words: “The next time someone dares to say, ‘Just because I don’t approve of homosexuality doesn’t make me a bigot,’ we must all answer back, ‘Yes, it does. Not only does it make you a bigot, it makes you a criminal, a danger to me, my family, my community, my city and my country.’ Intolerance is not a matter of opinion. It is a call to violence.”[45] Unfortunately, for all viewpoints, the violence is not an empty threat.

In July 2013, a Seattle gay pride event turned violent when a two people with Christian messages showed up. One carried a sign that said “Jesus saves from sin” on one side and “Repent or else” on the other. A second man wore a t-shirt that read “Trust Jesus” and was holding a Bible. All caught on camera and posted on YouTube, the Christians were harassed and attacked.[46]

Even some open supporters of same-sex marriage are expressing concern about the viciousness exhibited in the name of equality.

Damon Linker has “made clear repeatedly” that he supports gay marriage, and yet he is “troubled by the equally stunning lack of charity, magnanimity, and tolerance displayed by many gay marriage advocates.” The problem is that certain “equality” proponents “don’t just want to win the legal right to marry. They don’t just want most Americans to recognize and affirm the equal dignity of their relationships. They appear to want and expect all Americans to recognize and affirm that equal dignity, under penalty of ostracism from civilized life.”[47]

As Linker observes, being on the “right side of history” brings out the worst in people. It always has, no matter what “side” you’re on. This certainly includes National Socialism of Germany in the 1930s, the Bolshevism in the Soviet Union, and the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia in the 1970s, but it goes for Christians as well. The atrocities committed in the crusades, by Catholics during the Inquisition, by Lutherans and Calvinists against the Anabaptists, and the list goes on… are done with a mindset that “we” are in the “right” and even have a “divine right.” Being on “the right side of history” brings out the worst in people, and future generations are often disgusted with viciousness in the name of being “right.”

Warning #4 – The full consequences of validating gay sex and legalizing same-sex marriage are yet to be seen, and the possibilities of unforeseen consequences are enormous.

Legalizing same-sex marriage is uncharted territory in history. “The redefinition of marriage as a union between two individuals regardless of their sex is a twenty-first century phenomenon,” as one marriage equality supporter puts it.[48] In legalizing same-sex marriage, we truly have no idea what we’re getting ourselves into.

Societies that have accepted homosexual sex acts, such as the ancient Greeks and Romans, have kept this activity separate from marriage. In most of human history, marriage was about producing legitimate offspring and the survival of the nation. We’ll lay aside for the moment that the ancient Greeks and Romans acceptance and toleration for homosexuality equally extended well beyond what today’s LGBT liberation supporters would tolerate. (Pederasty, the practice of affluent adult men having sex with prepubescent boys, was idealized as the highest level of love.) LGBT sexual activity has been acceptable in some places and times for recreation and fun, but it had nothing to do with marriage.

In fact, connecting romantic love with marriage is itself a new and novel notion. Marriage historian Stephanie Coontz says, “Today we are entering uncharted territory, and there is still no definitive guide to the new marital landscape. Most of what we used to take for granted about who marries and why, or how to make a marriage work, is in flux.”[49]

So much change in so little time raises the risk of unintended consequences.

Studies on the effects same-sex marriage could have on society are still inconclusive. Kids raised by same-sex parents turn out the same as male-female parents? The jury is still out.

While many studies are said to have shown no difference of children raised in same-sex households, realistically we do not yet know the effects it will have on children or the society that will inherit them.

University of Texas at Austin sociology professor Mark Regnerus has taken much grief for his study, published in the July 2012 issue of Social Science Research,[50] showing that children of same-sex parents had more social and mental health problems than children of heterosexual parents.[51] The New Yorker called his research, “breathtakingly sloppy.”[52] The New Republic headline said his study “gets everything wrong.”[53]

Scott Rosensweig (aka Scott Rose), a writer on LGBT issues for The New Civil Rights Movement blog, sent a letter to the university president accusing Regnerus of scientific misconduct.[54] The university immediately conducted an inquiry in response to the allegations.

University of Texas at Austin is an academically competitive school. U.S. News and World Report’s annual Best Graduate Schools report in 2013 showed in its sociology category University of Texas-Austin ranked #14, tied with Duke University, and surpassing other notable schools: Cornell University (#17), Yale University (#20), Brown University (#25), Johns Hopkins University (#27), and others. With a reputation to uphold and a controversial study published by one of its professors, the university would have every reason to appropriately address any threats to its reputation. The university hired Dr. Alan Price, a private consultant and former associate director of the Office of Research Integrity in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to ensure that the inquiry was conducted appropriately and fairly.

One month after the charge of academic dishonesty, the university determined in August that there was insufficient evidence to warrant an investigation. Consulting with a four-member advisory panel composed of senior university faculty members, the Office of the Vice President for Research concluded in its report that there was insufficient evidence to warrant an investigation. Dr. Price observed the inquiry to be in keeping with university policy and “also consistent with federal regulatory requirements of inquiries into research misconduct.” The Provost and Executive Vice President accepted the report and “deemed the matter closed from an institutional perspective.” Though it anticipated further discussion and additional research as scholars “continue to evaluate and report on the findings of the Regnerus article and [the University of Texas at Austin] supports such discussion.”[55]

Twenty-seven social science professors from other highly-rated schools made a public statement criticizing the bias toward certain results.[56] Nevertheless, Regnerus continues to be tarred and feathered by the media,[57] academics,[58] and LGBT advocates. The Human Rights Campaign set up an entire website, www.regnerusfallout.org, to discredit the study with headlines like, “JUNK SCIENCE TARGETS LESBIAN AND GAY COUPLES.”[59]

Most importantly, however, is a point that the twenty-seven social scientists make: “In fact, research on same-sex parenting based on nationally representative samples is still in its infancy.” As a field of study only begun to be harvested, we as a society have very little knowledge of what effects same-sex partnerships or marriages have on children raised in such households.

Like the Titanic, we’re moving at full speed in the dark of a moonless night and into a sea of icebergs. Legalizing same-sex marriage could easily lead to a flood of other sexual “minorities” clamoring for official recognition.

Coming Attractions… Other taboo sexuality

While we’re opening the door to same-sex marriage because gay sex is a normal form of sexual expression that is the victim of homophobia, what about other sexual expressions?

Same-sex marriage provides an ideal legal stepping stone to polygamy. A precedent has been set when definitions of marriage are redrawn. Other sexual lifestyles will be clamoring for their own legitimacy. While the mainstream Mormon church has repudiated polygamy, even today, there are religious groups, particularly the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which still maintain that possessing multiple wives is integral to their religious belief.

On August 14-17, 2003, the WOW (Witness Our Welcome) convened its gathering in Philadelphia for “sexually and gender inclusive Christians.” Debra Kolodny boldly declared support for relationships of threesomes: “I am a strong ally of those in healthy, polyamorous relationships,” she said, leading a workshop called, “Blessed Bi Spirit: Bisexual People of Faith.” “There can be fidelity in threesomes,” Kolodny said. “It can be just as sanctified as anything else if all parties are agreed.”[60]

Supporters of LGBT equality would protest such comparisons. “Marriage should be extended to people who can’t get married, not those unable to marry six people,” says Jonathan Rauch, author of Gay Marriage: Why It is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America. But, regardless of any indignance, the truth of the matter is that the same logic that justifies same-sex unions can be used to justify a host of sexual anomalies.

“There’s no argument you can make against a poly marriage that wouldn’t work just as well as an argument against gay marriage,” says writer Lee Stranahan. “I’m in favor of real marriage equality. Love the one you’re with. Love the two or more you’re with, if you can work that out. Marry them if you’re into that kind of thing. But until the gay marriage movement embraces polygamy…well, they are just acting like bigots and haters, aren’t they?”[61]

At the 2012 Toronto Film Festival, writer-director Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook) unveiled his new movie “Yellow” and found himself defending the main character’s incestuous love affair with her own brother. “I’m not saying this is an absolute but in a way, if you’re not having kids – who gives a d—? Love who you want. Isn’t that what we say? Gay marriage – love who you want? If it’s your brother or sister it’s super-weird, but if you look at it, you’re not hurting anybody except every single person who freaks out because you’re in love with one another.”[62]

Even if legal same-sex marriage does not lead to legalized polygamy, polyamorous threesomes, and brother-sister unions, gay sex in itself has potential to create substantial problems.

Aside from any right/wrong, legal/illegal questions, practicing gay sex is hazardous to bodily health and even dangerous for men especially.

Beneath all the lively debates about right and wrong or fairness and equality, the health risks for gay sex are enormous, particularly for men who have sex with men (MSM). Looking at all HIV/AIDS cases in the United States between 1981 and 2011, 61% of all cases in males were attributed to MSM. If we count the men who both share injection drug needles and have sex with men, the percentage is 69.6 percent.

More alarming is the increasing HIV/AIDS rates for MSM. While rates plummeted for men, women, whites, blacks, Hispanics, heterosexuals, injection drug users and most age groups. “The only group in which diagnoses increased was gay and bisexual men.”[63] If awareness is working for everyone else, why not for men who have sex with men?

The HIV/AIDS risk to men who have sex with men is startling, and yet that is only one of many sexually transmitted diseases.

Of course, active homosexuals can and do practice a variety of sexual techniques, but according to one source an “estimated 90 percent of men who have sex with men (and as many as 5 to 10 percent of sexually active women) engage in receptive anal intercourse,” which WebMD calls “the riskiest of sexual practices.” Even if both partners are free of STDs, the anus is “full of bacteria” and both giving and receiving partners are at risk for infections.[64]

None of this is to suggest that AIDS is God’s curse on LGBT persons. The astounding number of children, especially in Africa, infected with HIV/AIDS is more than enough reason to dismiss that conjecture. At the same time, sin of every type has a long reach of destruction, which calls for we ourselves to take a good look in the mirror.

Conclusion: Want to hasten the collapse?

Before Christians begin a blazing attack in righteous anger on those who identify as LGBT or supporters of their “equality,” we would do better to hear our own Lord and Savior, and take the log out of our own eyes.

Whatever we upright Bible-believing Christians would think of ourselves, the truth is we have much in common with the very same-sex advocates who so quickly kindle our anger. The same Bible and even the same book that most directly condemns LGBT sexual acts (Romans 1:27-28) also says that every last one of us is sinful and fallen short of glory (3:23; cf. all of chapters 2 and 3).

The same penchant for sin is present in Christians as much as any of their opponents. As self-proclaimed sinners who need salvation by grace, is this too difficult to accept? If we want to think LGBT sex is more offensive to God’s divine majesty than the relatively harmless sins that plague us ourselves, we would be guilty of minimizing our own sinfulness by comparing ourselves with others. If we choose that road, we follow in the footsteps of the religious leaders and Scriptural experts for whom Jesus made his most frightening condemnations. Surely born again Christians do not want to be in the same moral category as the scribes and Pharisees.

The very motivation that drives those seeking to validate same-sex unions actually comes from the same sinful impulse in all of us – to reject God’s way for our own. Sin is not rational; it is impulsive. It does not consider the consequences; it ignores them. Sin does not respond well to light. When sin is confronted, it goes into fight or flight mode. All human beings want what we want when we want it and if we don’t get it, we’ll scream and protest like outraged toddlers. “Are we any better? Not at all!” (Romans 3:9).

The campaigns against LGBT legalization and validation have too often been motivated by anger instead of love.

We too often let anger fuel our fight against same-sex marriage. Consider this headline of an opinion piece: “Hey Gay Rights Fascists: In Spite of Your Mozilla Victory, You Will Still Lose.”[65] Is this an example of Christian love? Or is this anger that comes from being on the losing end of a culture war?

A sermon on YouTube exemplifies such anger: “Build a great, big, large fence — 150 or 100 mile long — put all the lesbians in there. Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out…and you know what, in a few years, they’ll die out…do you know why? They can’t reproduce!”[66]

Another pastor preached, “Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch.”[67]

Do we pray for people who call themselves LGBT as much as we support legislation to stop them from getting married? In our eagerness to stand against the immorality taking over our nation, are we just as ready to show acts of kindness to people who oppose us? Wouldn’t we rather ask for fire from heaven to get rid of those LGBT activists, like the disciples against the Samaritans who rejected Jesus (Luke 9:41-56)? Of course not, we say to ourselves. We are kind and good people who love the sinner and hate the sin. However, groupthink works both ways. Christians are also susceptible to overconfidence, self-righteousness, and denial of any weaknesses we have. In spite of our confidence in our righteous cause, the track record speaks for itself.

Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, a homeschooling pastor’s wife from the very conservative, exclusive-psalms-singing Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America has some instructive thoughts as former lesbian English professor. She said for most of her life Christians “scared me,” and they “still scare me when they reduce Christianity to a lifestyle and claim that God is on the side of those who attend to the rules of the lifestyle they have invented or claim to find in the Bible.” By contrast, “the lesbian community was home… was accepting and welcoming while the Christian community appeared (and too often is) exclusive, judgmental, scornful, and afraid of diversity.” She continues, “Christians truly become ugly when we become jealous of the successful persuasive rhetoric of others.” Christians have lost respect in the nation’s academic world, and not because of an anti-religious coup d’état. “Too often the church sets itself up as a victim of this paradigm shift in America, but I think this is dishonest.” By identifying Christian faith with tradition and lifestyle instead of the gospel itself, Christianity “comes to the table only ready to moralize,” and “There is a core difference between sharing the gospel with the lost and imposing a specific moral standard on the unconverted.” By reducing Christ to morals, Christianity has lost “the war of intellectual integrity. And Christians are in part to blame for this.”[68]

In other words, we Christians have too often reduced the faith to a moral code of conduct to be prescribed for everyone whether or not they believe and follow Jesus Christ. If Christianity is simply a moral code, then our righteousness comes by a set of standards or law, and if our righteousness is attained by law then Christ died for nothing (Galatians 2:21). Even so, while promoting a moral code for everyone to follow that is isolated from grace in Christ, we ourselves too frequently fail to keep the moral code we want to impose on others.

Christians have also made sex into a god

Our society and too often we Christians have made sex into a god. Young people in churches have sex before marriage. Internet pornography is so easy to access and so prevalent in cyberspace that many solid Christian husbands, fathers, sons, as well as some women and far too many pastors seek it out. Our young women become pregnant out of wedlock and our young men push the boundaries of sex before marriage, or simply disregard them, much more than we would like to admit. People raised to believe sex is for marriage will cohabitate. Marriages end in divorce within the church, and remarriage is not treated with much reservation. “Everybody deserves to be happy,” we tell ourselves, and since most divorced individuals consider themselves the offended party and the former spouses as “unfaithful,” it is easy to justify remarriage. Jesus himself has some sharp words about divorce and remarriage, but of course that doesn’t apply to us.

As a god, sex is not in its proper place as a privilege for a man and a woman bound in the lifelong covenant of marriage, but a “right” and a “need” that must be obeyed. As such, we obey our sexual inclinations despite the fact that God himself is better than sex, and belonging to Jesus Christ is more powerful than being “had” by even the hottest of supermodels. Knowing the God of the universe who created sex for marriage as a picture of his special love for his church is greater than the greatest sex on earth. The problem is we Christians don’t really believe this. “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (1 Corinthians 6:13). Having Christ Jesus as Lord is so wonderful that it makes everything else look like garbage, or worse! (Philippians 3:8). Until we get this through our thick skulls, we will only be preaching a Christ-less moral code that others only hear as, “we can have sex because we’re heterosexual and you can’t.”

If we are going to say that same-sex marriage and LGBT sex acts are sinful, then we first need to control our own bodies in ways that are holy and honorable (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5). But this doesn’t come from within. We trap ourselves into thinking that we have to somehow muster enough willpower and discipline to overcome our problems with pornography, premarital sex, and lusting after our neighbor’s spouse. It is God himself by the Holy Spirit who saves and delivers us from these passions that hold us in bondage. As the Bible says, “Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (Galatians 5:16). Overcoming our own sinfulness requires prayer, patience, endurance, and even death since the Bible compares ridding ourselves of sin to dying with Christ (Romans 6:1-14; Colossians 2:20-3:14). Christ did not resist arrest or fight against his death. He faced it head on for the joy set before him (Hebrews 12:2), saying “no” to his closest disciples who tried to prevent his arrest and death (Matthew 16:22-23 and Luke 22:51/John 18:11), enduring the torments of ridicule and flogging and crucifixion unto death. Instead of fighting temptations with willpower, we need to learn to face them head on, saying “no” to them with the Holy Spirit’s power, to endure their torments until that part of us craving what is sinful dies inside us.

Overcoming of our own sin happens only by the power of God’s grace. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:11-14).

The way to hasten the coming collapse of marriage equality is not by political moves or taking defiant stands. In fact, opposition actually fuels the fire and solidifies the resolve.[69]

Out-love them

The way to address same-sex marriage as Christians is not waging an all-out political war for a nation that is “under God” in name only. Rather, as it is written and as our Lord demonstrated by the cross, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). If you want to defeat liberals, out-love them. Show more kindness, more respect, and more neighborliness to your LGBT neighbors than those who claim to be on their side and fight for their rights. Showing the love of Christ to our neighbors and even our enemies is the definitive command for the Christian life, therefore showing kindness and respect to your LGBT neighbor is not an endorsement of their lifestyle. If your boss, teacher or supervisor identifies as LGBT, treat them with just as much respect as if they were anyone else. If your son or daughter “comes out of the closet,” you tell them you love them no matter what, even if they believe and act contrary to what you have in Christ. If someone in your church identifies as LGBT, go to them with a hug and listen to them. Even when they say something unbiblical, a simple listening ear shows that a person is more than the sin. Be so relaxed and respectful of them that they are shocked when they learn you believe LGBT sex acts and unions are sinful. I shared the same locker room with someone who identified transgendered (though was anatomically male) for a couple years where I was training in martial arts. We would talk religion and politics, sometimes standing outside after class for an hour discussing a topic. Most LGBT people believe that everyone who opposes same-sex marriage is hateful. So don’t be the one to bring up the topic of sexuality. (How often do you bring up sex with your other friends and neighbors?) As Christians we believe that all people are made in God’s image and are more than their sinfulness. God our Father has claimed us to be his own children in spite of our high treason against His holiness, and Christ His Son took our punishment even while we were yet sinners.

Therefore, treat others as they amount to more than the sum of their sins. Instead of raising objections to their lifestyle up front, wait for them to bring it up. Concentrate on proving that you love and respect them no matter what, with the same unconditional love God has shown you. It is not your job to fix their actions. Even if you did manage to get them to change their actions to fit Christian sexual standards, it would still remain for them to have a change in heart, which comes only by the Holy Spirit’s work. Instead of trying to change them, be a living breathing example of the love of God in Christ Jesus. Show them that true love has nothing to do with sexuality. Be a person who is not defined in any way by sexuality, but by the Savior who shows love even to those who crucified him.

God won us over to him through love shown in Jesus Christ and the cross. If we want to be on the right side of history, we must take up our cross and follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This means willingness to endure the pain of having our sinful impulses crucified, and showing unmerited kindness to all people, even those who would want us dead.[70]

Rev. Aaron Vriesman is Pastor at North Blendon Christian Reformed Church(CRC) in Hudsonville, Mich.

 

[1] “America’s Change of Mind on Same-Sex Marriage and LGBTQ Rights,” the Barna Report; July 3, 2013. https://www.barna.org/barna-update/culture/618-america-s-change-of-mind-on-same-sex-marriage-and-lgbtq-rights (retrieved July 2, 2014).

[2] Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Meet the Press, Sunday, March 16, 2013, admits young Republicans are in favor of same-sex marriage. When asked by David Gregory, “Are younger conservatives more apt to see marriage equality as something that is, you know, what they believe, that is basic rather than as a disqualifying issue?” He answered, “I think there’s no doubt about that. But I think that’s all the more reason, when I talk about things, I talk about the economic and fiscal crises in our state and in our country, that’s what people want to resonate about. They don’t want to get focused on those issues.”
Top Republican Governor Admits Conservatives Have Lost The Battle Against Marriage Equality” By Igor VolskyMarch 17, 2013 at 10:31 am Updated: March 17, 2013 at 11:53 am (retrieved May 28, 2014).

[3] “Hatch: gay marriage will become law of the land” Associated Press; May 28, 2014 http://news.yahoo.com/hatch-gay-marriage-become-law-land-231348643.html  (retrieved May 29, 2014)

[4] “Wedding bells in clerk’s office after ruling on same sex marriage” By Michelle Manchir | Chicago Tribune reporter; February 21, 2014http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-02-21/news/chi-judge-same-sex-couples-can-marry-now-in-cook-county-20140221_1_mercedes-santos-theresa-volpe-marriage-licenses (accessed May 18, 2014)

[5] “Delaware becomes 11th state with gay marriage” by Doug Denison of (Wilmington) News Journal in USA Today, May 7, 2013. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/07/delaware-gay-marriage/2142703/

[6] “Liz Cheney criticized by sister” by James Hohmann; November 17, 2013 http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/liz-cheney-criticized-by-sister-99972.html#ixzz2l1hKBsEg (retrieved March 23, 2014)

[7] Consider for example the challenges put forth by Ryan Anderson on Piers Morgan Live show, March 26, 2013. Anderson is not opposing LGBT relationships or even legal rights for same-sex couples, but is simply saying that the definition of marriage is between a male and female. This opinion is dismissed as “uneducated,” “offensive,” and “un-American.” http://youtu.be/vrk1R-3X9Hc published May 1, 2013 (retrieved August 13, 2014).

[8] “‘Right Side of History,’ or Primed to Say Yes?” by Mark Regnerus, NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE August 20, 2013 4:00 AM http://www.nationalreview.com/article/356220/right-side-history-or-primed-say-yes-mark-regnerus (retrieved July 20, 2014)

[9] “News Coverage Conveys Strong Momentum for Same-Sex Marriage,” Pew Research Center, press release http://www.journalism.org/2013/06/17/news-coverage-conveys-strong-momentum/ (retrieved July 10, 2014); full report http://www.journalism.org/files/legacy/EMBARGOED_Same-SexMarriageandNews.pdf (retrieved July 10, 2014)

[10] The May 29, report by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington showed 71% of American men and 62% of American women were either overweight or obese.
— Press release by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, “The vast majority of American adults are overweight or obese, and weight is a growing problem among US children.” http://www.healthdata.org/news-release/vast-majority-american-adults-are-overweight-or-obese-and-weight-growing-problem-among (retrieved July 2, 2014). Christopher J.L. Murray, Marie Ng & Ali Mokdad, publication authors. Published in The Lancet on May 29, “Global, regional, and national prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adults during 1980–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013.”

[11] A June 10, 2014 Gallup poll shows 60% of American men and 50% of American women claim to be “not overweight and not trying to lose weight” with an additional 6% of men and 10% of women claiming “not overweight but trying to lose weight.”
— “In U.S., Majority ‘Not Overweight,’ Not Trying to Lose Weight,” by Joy Wilke; Gallup on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 http://www.gallup.com/poll/171287/majority-not-overweight-not-trying-lose-weight.aspx (retrieved Wednesday, July 2, 2014)

[12] “Kentucky Gay Marriage Ban: Attorney General Jack Conway Won’t Defend,” Time.com http://nation.time.com/2014/03/04/kentuck-gay-marriage-steve-beshear-jack-conway/

[13] “State attorneys general forced into spotlight on marriage debate” by Edith Honan; Reuters, June 2, 2014 3:52 PM http://news.yahoo.com/state-attorneys-general-forced-spotlight-marriage-debate-195140301.html (retrieved June 3, 2014).

[14] “Victories propel gay-marriage movement” by Richard Wolf, USA TODAY 7:32 a.m. EDT May 30, 2014 http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/29/supreme-court-gay-lesbian-marriage-judges/9499579/ (retrieved June 3, 2014)

[15] Whitewood v Wolf (District Court docket 13-1861) Case 1:13-cv-01861-JEJ Document 133. Filed 05/20/14; page 39 http://coop.pamd.uscourts.gov/13-1861.pdf (retrieved July 22, 2014)

[16] “5 Things to know about gay marriage in Wisconsin,” by M.L. Johnson; Associated Press via ABC News; June 10, 2014 http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/things-gay-marriage-wisconsin-24064310 (retrieved June 10, 2014)

[17]  Text of the resolution passed by the NAACP board of directors: “The NAACP Constitution affirmatively states our objective to ensure the “political, educational, social and economic equality” of all people. Therefore, the NAACP has opposed and will continue to oppose any national, state, local policy or legislative initiative that seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law or to remove the Constitutional rights of LGBT citizens. We support marriage equality consistent with equal protection under the law provided under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.  Further, we strongly affirm the religious freedoms of all people as protected by the First Amendment.”
“NAACP Passes Resolution In support of marriage equality,” http://www.naacp.org/press/entry/naacp-passes-resolution-in-support-of-marriage-equalit retrieved April 7, 2014.

[18] “Ronnie Cohen: The First Presbyterian Gay Wedding: Two Lesbian Women Are Joined in Holy Matrimony in the Westminster Church”  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ronnie-cohen/lesbian-elderly-women-matrimony-westminster-presbyterian-church_b_994186.html (retrieved June 7, 2014)

[19] Eugene F. Rogers, Jr. Sexuality and the Christian Body: Their Way into the Triune God (Blackwell, 1999), pg. 39, 46.

[20] On May 17, 2012, only 8 days after President Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage, the CAAP held a special event “to speak up against the media-generated view that gay marriage is a civil right. We ask President Obama to stand with the black church, on the word of God and evolve again back to the common sense Biblical view that marriage is the union of husband and wife,” said Rev. William Owens, who marched with Dr. King and helped organize the civil rights movement in Nashville.
— “Major Civil Rights Leaders Speak Out Against ‘Hijacking” of Movement Leaders to Press Obama on Gay Marriage Shift,” CAAP press release, May 15, 2012 http://caapus.org/may-15-2012-major-civil-rights-leaders-speak-out-against-hijacking-of-movement-leaders-to-press-obama-on-gay-marriage-shift/ (retrieved June 13, 2014)

[21] “Neither my great-grandfather an NAACP founder, my grandfather Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. an NAACP leader, my father Rev. A. D. Williams King, nor my uncle Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. embraced the homosexual agenda that the current NAACP is attempting to label as a civil rights agenda,” said Alveda King, founder of King for America and Pastoral Associate for Priests for Life.
— “African American Leaders Decry NAACP Endorsement of Homosexual Agenda, Say Issue also Linked to Abortion” http://www.priestsforlife.org/africanamerican/blog/index.php/african-american-leaders-decry-naacp-endorsement-of-homosexual-agenda-say-issue-also-linked-to-abortion (retrieved June 13, 2014)
cf. http://www.christianpost.com/news/martin-luther-kings-niece-rejects-naacps-embrace-of-homosexual-agenda-75413/ (retrieved June 13, 2014)

[22] “If there are such human beings as homosexual persons, then God is committed, in unmerited grace, to take their bodies – somehow – as means rather than impediments to that communion [of God’s love].”
— Eugene F. Rogers, Jr. Sexuality and the Christian Body: Their Way into the Triune God (Blackwell, 1999), pg. 45.

[23] H. Adam Ackley, formerly known as Heather Clements, chair of theology and philosophy at Azusa Pacific University, from “I’m Transgender-Masculine, a Lover of Men, and Living in Accordance With My Biblical Faith Religion and Sexuality” by H. Adam Ackley on Huffington Post blog. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/h-adam-ackley-phd/im-transgender-masculine-a-lover-of-men-and-living-in-accordance-with-my-biblical-faith_b_4006863.html (accessed May 6, 2014).

[24] Exodus International, an organization to help Christians overcome their LGBT feelings, had two of its co-founders, Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper leave the group to be with each other in 1979. Bussee has commented how he counseled hundreds of people and none of them changed. — “Exodus Co-Founder: I Never Saw One Of Our Members Become Heterosexual,” posted by Daniel Gonzales, April 27, 2010 http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2010/04/27/22017 (retrieved June 15, 2014)

[25] Shortly after renouncing his advocacy that homosexuals can change their orientation on April 18 to PQ (Proud Queer) Monthly, John Paulk, the face of ex-gay movement apologizes for preaching reparative therapy, saying “it does great harm to many people.” Paulk was founder and leader of the ex-gay ministry Love Won Out, as well as the chairman of the board of Exodus International. He was the ex-gay movement’s face until he was spotted at a gay barin Washington, D.C., on Sept. 19, 2000, by Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out. Then he left the ex-gay movement in 2003. He was removed from Exodus’s board of directors, but was later reinstated, and also was a social research analyst for Focus on the Family. He is seeking a divorce from ex-lesbian wife Anne Paulk of 20 years and co-authored a book, titled Love Won Out: How God’s Love Helped Two People Leave Homosexuality and Find Each Other. John Paulk’s apology encouraged people not to purchase the book or any of his other writings. Anne Paulk issues her own statement: “His conclusions and mine are very different in key ways. I would ask that you join me in praying for his decisions regarding his future, hope, God’s truest freedom, and love to direct his decisions.”
(“Former Ex-Gay Spokesman John Paulk Apologizes Amid Divorce: Wife Anne Paulk cites key differences in their walk and asks for prayer for him” by Melissa Steffan; Christianity Today gleanings; May 2, 2013. http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2013/05/former-exgay-spokesman-john-paulk-apologizes-amid-divorce.html  retrieved June 7, 2014)

[26] Pickett, Brent, “Homosexuality”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2011/entries/homosexuality/ (retrieved June 29, 2014)

[27] Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert.
Available from the publisher, Crown & Covenant, 2012.  (http://www.crownandcovenant.com/The_Secret_Thoughts_of_an_Unlikely_Convert_p/mis85.htm), as well as Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Thoughts-Unlikely-Convert-Professors-Christian/dp/1884527388/) and Christian Book Distributers (http://www.christianbook.com/thoughts-unlikely-english-professors-journey-christian/rosaria-butterfield/9781884527388/pd/52738X)

[28] “Life After ‘Sex’” By ALEX WITCHEL; New York Times, published: January 19, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/magazine/cynthia-nixon-wit.html (accessed May 11, 2014)

[29] “Many researchers taking a different view of pedophilia” By Alan Zarembo, Los Angeles Times; January 14, 2013. http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jan/14/local/la-me-pedophiles-20130115 (accessed May 11, 2014)

[30] “Religious order files reveal decades of LA abuse” by Gillian Flaccus; Associated Press; August 1, 2013 | 5:01AM. http://news.yahoo.com/religious-order-files-reveal-decades-la-abuse-193827319.html (retrieved May 20, 2014)
cf. “Religious order priest admitted abusing 100 boys; new files add to LA clergy abuse picture,” Associated Press Writers Sarah Parvini and Lisa Leff in Oakland contributed to this report. Associated Press via Fox News, August 1, 2013. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/01/religious-order-priest-admitted-abusing-100-boys-new-files-add-to-la-clergy/#ixzz2bIKU8P1C

[31] “Unholy Communion” By Maureen Orth | Vanity Fair | August 2002. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news/2002_08_Orth_UnholyCommunion.htm (retrieved May 20, 2014).

[32] Wilma M. Higgs in a letter dated April 29, 1985 to Your Excellency Bernard Law, Chancery Office of Boston, 2121 Commonwealth Avenue, Brighton, Massachusetts 02135. (stamped “Archbishop’s Residence Received, May 2, 1985, Office of the Secretary”) http://www.bishop-accountability.org/ma-boston/archives/PatternAndPractice/0008-RCAB-00058.pdf

[33] “Is Pedophilia a Sexual Orientation? A Psychologist Breaks Down What Makes a Jerry Sandusky,”November 22, 2011 at 8:00 AMhttp://www.good.is/posts/is-pedophilia-a-sexual-orientation-a-psychologist-breaks-down-what-makes-a-jerry-sandusky/

[34] Cantor says his first indication that there was something different about pedophiles’ brains was that, compared to sex offenders who victimized adults, pedophiles’ IQs were about 10 points lower on average. He also found that the age of a pedophile’s victim was directly proportional to the pedophile’s IQ—the younger the children, the lower the attacker’s intelligence. “That was our first clue that the brain was somehow involved,” says Cantor, adding that pedophiles also performed relatively poorly on memory tests.  Other patterns soon emerged: Pedophiles tended to be shorter than other sex offenders, which Cantor says told him “whatever’s going on, it’s not just the brain; it seems to be that the whole body isn’t formed quite correctly.” Pedophiles were more likely to have failed grades in school. They were also more likely to have sustained head injuries before the age of 13.
Cord Jefferson, “Born This Way: Sympathy and Science for Those Who Want to Have Sex with Children.” Gawker; Sep 7, 2012 10:30 AM. http://gawker.com/5941037 (retrieved June 7, 2014)

[35] In 2006, an appellate panel vacated the guilty verdict because a portion of his confession, in which Fugee described himself as bisexual or homosexual, should have been withheld from jurors because they might have drawn “an unfounded association between homosexuality and pedophilia.” Fugee’s appeal led to his release because, “The admission of this statement injected into this case the specter of a jury deciding defendants’ guilt on the unfounded association between homosexuality and pedophilia,” the court wrote. Fugee subsequently reinstated in 2009 and appointed to many positions where he would have contact with children, causing a major scandal in the New Jersey Catholic churches. One parishioner, Paul Franklin, a deacon whose children were associated with Fugee’s youth group, said he knew the priest had been convicted of criminal sexual contact and that the verdict had been subsequently overturned. He thought that was the end of it.
— “Newark archbishop allows priest who admitted groping boy to continue working with children” by Mark Mueller, The Star-Ledger; April 28, 2013. http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/04/with_approval_of_archbishop_pr.html
— “Archdiocese removes priest from hospital in Newark after learning of molestation history” by Jeff Diamant, The Star-Ledger; October 16, 2009. http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/10/archdiocese_removes_priest_fro.html
— “Priest who admitted groping boy appointed to high-profile position in Newark Archdiocese” by  Mark Mueller, The Star-Ledger; February 3, 2013 http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/02/priest_who_confessed_to_gropin.html

[36] “Tracking same-sex marriage rulings in the states,” by Richard Wolf, USA TODAY; Tuesday, June 24, 2014 6:25 p.m. EDT http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/06/24/same-sex-marriage-states-courts/11319491/ (retrieved Thursday, June 26, 2014)
Comment: June 24, 2014 at 8:08pm.

[37] “Sexually Inclusive Christians” Celebrate Victories, Push for More” by Mark Tooley, August 22, 2003 | Institute on Religion and Democracy | Posted on 8/30/2003 8:48:16 PM by xzins http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/973415/posts (retrieved June 13, 2014)

[38] “Life After ‘Sex’” By ALEX WITCHEL; New York Times, published: January 19, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/magazine/cynthia-nixon-wit.html (accessed May 11, 2014)

[39] When Ryan Anderson debates same-sex marriage with Piers Morgan, notice how he is marginalized in all sorts of ways. He is placed in the audience instead of the platform with Morgan and lesbian guest Suze Orman. Notice how the host calls for an audience response against Anderson’s ideas and the round of applause given. Mostly, notice how his points are dismissed as “uneducated,” “offensive,” and “un-American.”
http://youtu.be/vrk1R-3X9Hc published May 1, 2013 (retrieved August 13, 2014).
– “Fresh off his Piers Morgan confrontation, Ryan Anderson explains his ‘un-American’ views on marriage” by Jamie Weinstein, The Daily Caller; 03/30/2013 3:24 AM http://dailycaller.com/2013/03/30/fresh-off-his-piers-morgan-confrontation-ryan-anderson-explains-his-un-american-views-on-marriage/ (retrieved August 13, 2014)

[40] On April 19, 2009, 21-year-old Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean (Miss California) gives a traditional marriage answer to a question on same-sex marriage from openly gay celebrity blogger and pageant judge Perez Hilton, and lost the competition as first runner up.
Prejean: “I think it’s great Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.”
The answer sparked arguments in the lobby. “It’s ugly,” said Scott Ihrig, a gay man, who attended the pageant with his partner. “I think it’s ridiculous that she got first runner-up. That is not the value of 95 percent of the people in this audience. Look around this audience and tell me how many gay men there are.” Charmaine Koonce, the mother of Miss New Mexico USA Bianca Matamoros-Koonce, argued back: “In the Bible it says marriage is between Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!”
The winner was Miss North Carolina Kristen Dalton.
Hilton, who is gay, took to his blog and posted a video in which he says, “She gave the worst answer in pageant history. She lost because she’s a dumb b—-, okay?” He also said that if she won the pageant, he would’ve jumped on the stage and snatched the crown from her head. He later apologized for the name-calling but added, “We were/are just soooo angry, hurt, frustrated by her answer. Perez would love to take Miss California out for coffee and ‘talk’!”[40] Hilton told ABC News: “She lost it because of that question. She was definitely the front-runner before that.” Keith Lewis, who runs the Miss California competition, released a statement condemning Prejean’s comments. “As co-director of the Miss California USA, I am personally saddened and hurt that Miss California believes marriage rights belong only to a man and a woman.”
The next day, Prejean told Billy Bush, who hosted Miss USA, on his radio talk show on Monday: “It did cost me my crown.” … “It is a very touchy subject and [Hilton] is a homosexual, and I see where he was coming from and I see the audience would’ve wanted me to be more politically correct. But I was raised in a way that you can never compromise your beliefs and your opinions for anything.”
(“Carrie Prejean Says Answer to Gay Marriage Question Cost Her Miss USA Crown” Published April 20, 2009 | FoxNews.com  http://www.foxnews.com/story/2009/04/20/carrie-prejean-says-answer-to-gay-marriage-question-cost-her-miss-usa-crown/ (retrieved June 7, 2014)

[41] “OKCupid seeks to block Mozilla Firefox over gay rights” http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26830383 (accessed April 7, 2014)

[42] “Eich sought to make clear that he would not and has not let his political feelings influence his working practices, but stopped short of apologising (sic). As a result, anger and hurt grew, both within Mozilla and outside it.
“Eich took his views out of the realm of the theoretical when he donated to Prop 8, to Pat Buchanan, Tom McClintock, and Linda Smith. Rather than some shadowy coalition, it was a group of Mozilla’s employees and associates, gay and straight, who do not want to work with or for someone who has actively worked to hurt them, their friends and their families.” — Mary Hamilton, “Brendan Eich has the right to fight gay rights, but not to be Mozilla’s CEO” theguardian.com, Monday 7 April 2014 01.15 EDT http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/07/brendan-eich-has-the-right-to-fight-gay-rights-but-not-to-be-mozillas-ceo retrieved June 7, 2014.

[43] On April 3, 2014, after less than a month on the job, Brendan Eich steps down as CEO of Mozilla, the company he co-founded, amid a firestorm of criticism because he donated $1,000 in 2008 supporting California’s Proposition 8. The departure came a day after Eich insisted he would not leave the company over his support for Proposition 8. “I don’t believe they’re relevant.” When the announcement of Mr Eich’s appointment was made on 24 March, angry users voiced their opinions on social media. Creator of the JavaScript scripting language, he also stepped down from the board of the Mozilla Foundation, the non-profit organization which owns the for-profit Mozilla Corporation.On March 31, when Mozilla users went to OkCupid dating website, a special message read, “Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience. Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.” Ok Cupid is owned by media conglomerate IAC/InterActive Corp, which owns 50 brands across 40 countries, including Match.com, the Daily Beast, and Dictionary.com.
(“Mozilla boss Brendan Eich resigns after gay marriage storm” by Dave Lee | BBC News, 4 April 2014Last updated at 07:02 ET http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26868536 retrieved April 7, 2014.
“Mozilla CEO steps down amid protest over gay marriage views,” published April 03, 2014, FoxNews.com http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2014/04/03/mozilla-ceo-steps-down-amid-protest-over-gay-marriage-views/ retrieved June 7, 2014).
Mozilla’s executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker apologizes to those offended by hiring him:
“Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves.
“We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.
“Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community.
“Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.
“Our organizational culture reflects diversity and inclusiveness. We welcome contributions from everyone regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual orientation, geographical location and religious views. Mozilla supports equality for all.
“We have employees with a wide diversity of views. Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public. This is meant to distinguish Mozilla from most organizations and hold us to a higher standard. But this time we failed to listen, to engage, and to be guided by our community.
While painful, the events of the last week show exactly why we need the web. So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better.
“We need to put our focus back on protecting that Web. And doing so in a way that will make you proud to support Mozilla.
“What’s next for Mozilla’s leadership is still being discussed. We want to be open about where we are in deciding the future of the organization and will have more information next week. However, our mission will always be to make the Web more open so that humanity is stronger, more inclusive and more just: that’s what it means to protect the open Web.
“We will emerge from this with a renewed understanding and humility — our large, global, and diverse community is what makes Mozilla special, and what will help us fulfill our mission. We are stronger with you involved.” (https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/04/03/brendan-eich-steps-down-as-mozilla-ceo/ retrieved April 7, 2014)

[44] “Gay? Fired for It? Sue Your Employer Today!” By Mark Joseph Stern; Slate; July 1 2014 2:26 PM http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/07/01/anti_gay_job_discrimination_is_probably_already_illegal.html (retrieved July 19, 2014)

[45] “Don’t End the War on Terror” by actor Harvey Fierstein; Huffingtonpost.com | Posted: 05/28/2013 2:38 pm http://www.huffingtonpost.com/harvey-fierstein/dont-end-the-war-on-terro_b_3347411.html (retrieved June 13, 2014)

[46] “Video Shows Men attacking religious protesters at Pridefest,” by Michael Harthorne; KOMO News; Published: Jul 3, 2013 at 9:19 AM PDT http://www.komonews.com/news/crime/Video-shows-crowd-attacking-religious-protesters-at-Pridefest-214151861.html (retrieved June 7, 2014)
“Street Preacher Brutally Beat Down During Seattle ‘Gay Pride’ Event,” by Heather Clark; Christian News Network; July 5, 2013 http://christiannews.net/2013/07/05/street-preacher-brutally-beat-down-during-seattle-gay-pride-event/ (retrieved June 7, 2014)

[47] Damon Linker, “Who are the real gay marriage bigots?” The Week; March 7, 2014 (emphasis Linker’s); http://theweek.com/article/index/257628/who-are-the-real-gay-marriage-bigots(accessed May 6, 2014)

[48] Macarena Saez, “General Report – Same-Sex Marriage, Same-Sex Cohabitation, and Same-Sex Families Around the World: Why ‘Same’ is So Different.” General Report prepared for the 18th Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law, Washington D.C., July 2010. Journal of Gender, Social Policy & The Law vol.19, no.1; p.14.

[49] This is the closing sentence of the introduction to Stephanie Coontz, Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage. New York, NY: Penguin, 2005.

[50] Mark Regnerus, “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study,” Social Science Research, Volume 41, Issue 4, July 2012, Pages 752–770.

[51] A positive take on the research see “‘Gold standard’ study’s striking findings: children of heterosexual parents happier, healthier,” LifeSiteNews.com, Mon Jun 11, 2012, 6:42 pm EST http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/gold-standard-studys-striking-findings-children-of-heterosexual-parents-hap (retrieved July 2, 2014)

[52] “It purports to show the very harmful effects of having gay and lesbian parents. This would be in contradiction to a whole series of studies in recent years that showed children in those families doing very well. Attacking the methodology of a study whose conclusions you don’t like can be a lazy default reaction. But, in this case, the way it was conducted is so breathtakingly sloppy that it is useful only as an illustration of how you can play fast and loose with statistics.”
— “A Faulty ‘Gay Parenting’ Study,” posted by Amy Davidson; The New Yorker June 12, 2012 http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/closeread/2012/06/a-faulty-gay-parenting-study.html (retrieved July 2, 2014)

[53] “Are Gay Parents Really Worse For Children? How a New Study Gets Everything Wrong” by John Corvino; New Republic; June 11, 2012 http://www.newrepublic.com/article/104001/john-corvino-are-gay-parents-really-worse-children-how-new-study-gets-everything (retrieved July 2, 2014)

[54] “Open Letter to University of Texas Regarding Professor Mark Regnerus’ Alleged Unethical Anti-Gay Study,” by Scott Rose on June 24, 2012 http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/open-letter-to-university-of-texas-regarding-professor-mark-regneruss-alleged-unethical-anti-gay-study/civil-rights/2012/06/24/41977 (retrieved June 18, 2014)

[55] “University of Texas at Austin Completes Inquiry into Allegations of Scientific Misconduct,” University of Texas news release, August 29, 2012  http://www.utexas.edu/news/2012/08/29/regnerus_scientific_misconduct_inquiry_completed/ (retrieved July 2, 2014)

[56] The twenty-seven professors from other highly-rated schools (including Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania, two from Wellesley College, and two from Regnerus’ own University of Texas at Austin) said: “We are disappointed that many media outlets have not done their due diligence in investigating the scientific validity of prior studies, and acknowledging the superiority of Regnerus’s sample to most previous research. … We are also disappointed that many of our academic colleagues who have critiqued Regnerus have not publicly acknowledged the methodological limitations of previous research on same-sex parenting.” These twenty-seven professors are not exactly isolated right-wing religious fanatics. Their statement makes claims definitely outside right-wing dogmatism: “…we think it is unfortunate that other media are using the Regnerus study to draw definitively negative conclusions about gay parenting,” and later on, “Indeed, it is possible to interpret Regnerus’s findings as evidence for the need for legalized gay marriage…”
— “A SOCIAL SCIENTIFIC RESPONSE TO THE REGNERUS CONTROVERSY,” June 20, 2012; posted on the Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion website; http://www.baylorisr.org/2012/06/a-social-scientific-response-to-the-regnerus-controversy/ (retrieved July 2, 2014)

[57] See for example, “The Shamelessness of Professor Mark Regnerus,” by Nathaniel Frank; Slate.com on March 4, 2014 5:30 PM
http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/03/04/mark_regnerus_testifies_in_michigan_same_sex_marriage_case_his_study_is.html (retrieved June 18, 2014)

[58] See for example, “Scientists Rebuke Publication of Study on LGBT Parenting: 150 scientists show what’s wrong with new study of kids with gay parents,” by Brian Mustanski, Ph.D.Psychology Today; Published on July 30, 2012 http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-sexual-continuum/201207/scientists-rebuke-publication-study-lgbt-parenting (retrieved June 18, 2014)

[59] (emphasis not mine)

[60] “Sexually Inclusive Christians” Celebrate Victories, Push for More” by Mark Tooley, August 22, 2003 | Institute on Religion and Democracy | Posted on 8/30/2003 8:48:16 PM by xzins http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/973415/posts (retrieved June 13, 2014)
Recall that former Brazilian Roman Catholic priest, Roberto Francisco Daniel, excommunicated for teaching same-sex marriage is morally acceptable, also feels similarly about adultery: “If someone is in an extramarital relationship and that relationship is accepted by the spouse, then faithfulness still exists there.” — “Catholic Church Excommunicates Brazilian Priest for Pro-Gay View,” by Stoyan Zaimov; Christian Post; May 1, 2013|5:57 pm http://www.christianpost.com/news/catholic-church-excommunicates-brazilian-priest-for-pro-gay-view-95094 (retrieved July 23, 2014)

[61] Lee Stranahan, filmmaker, writer, photographer, “Why Are Gay Marriage Advocates Not Defending Polyamory?” Huffington Post; posted January 6, 2009 3:07 AM ET http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-stranahan/why-are-gay-marriage-advo_b_155476.html (retrieved Tuesday, August 12, 2014)

[62] “At Toronto Film Fest, Nick Cassavetes on Incest: ‘Who Gives a Damn? Love Who You Want’” By Sharon Waxman, The Wrap, Sunday September 9, 2012 @ 5:50 pmhttp://www.thewrap.com/movies/column-post/toronto-film-fest-nick-cassevetes-incest-who-gives-damn-love-who-you-want-55581/ (retrieved June 13, 2014)

[63] “HIV diagnosis rate fell by third in US over decade,” By MIKE STOBBE; Associated Press — July 19, 2014 3:06 PM EDT http://bigstory.ap.org/article/hiv-diagnosis-rate-fell-third-us-over-decade (retrieved July 23, 2014)

[64] “Anal Sex Safety and Health Concerns,” http://www.webmd.com/sex/anal-sex-health-concerns (retrieved June 13, 2014)

[65] Matt Walsh “Hey Gay Rights Fascists: In Spite of Your Mozilla Victory, You Will Still Lose” | Sunday, April 6, 2014. http://theaquilareport.com/hey-gay-rights-fascists-in-spite-of-your-mozilla-victory-you-will-still-lose/ (retrieved July 10, 2014)

[66] “Charles L. Worley, North Carolina Pastor: Put Gays And Lesbians In Electrified Pen To Kill Them Off” Huffington Post; Posted: 05/21/2012 1:33 pm Updated: 05/22/2012 11:04 am http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/21/north-carolina-pastor-gay-rant-starvation_n_1533463.html (retrieved August 12, 2014)

[67] “North Carolina Pastor Sean Harris: Parents Should ‘Punch’ Their Effeminate Children,” Posted: 05/01/2012 3:33 pm Updated: 05/10/2012 6:29 am  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/01/north-carolina-pastor-sea_n_1468618.html (retrieved August 12, 2014)

[68] Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert.
(Pittsburgh, PA: Crown & Covenant, 2012), p.5-7.

[69] One example is when Glen Beck mentioned an incident in Salem, Massachusetts and LGBT advocacy raised money. Salem Mayor Kimberly Driscoll terminated Gordon College’s contract to operate the city’s Old Town Hall after the college President D. Michael Lindsay signed a letter to President Obama asking for a religious exemption to his executive order to prohibit LGBT discrimination by anyone working for the federal government. The mayor’s office was flooded with angry calls. In response, the mayor posted to Facebook that for every protest call she would be donating $5 to the North Shore Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth. The day’s headline read, “Glen Beck, the LGBT community thanks you for your intolerance.”
– “Glen Beck, the LGBT community thanks you for your intolerance,” Shawn Langlois; The Margin; July 17, 2014, 2:23 AM ET http://blogs.marketwatch.com/themargin/2014/07/17/glenn-beck-the-lgbt-community-thanks-you-for-your-intolerance/ (retrieved Thursday, July 17, 2014)
A second example: When rainbow flags began to be stolen off First Congregational Church in Rochester, New Hampshire, the minister replaced the flags twice, but the third time she posted about the thefts on Facebook and dozens of rainbow flags, garlands and banners poured in. “We are expecting vandalism. But this is more important. Being a safe place, including our conviction that God’s love encompasses all people—no asterisks, no exceptions—is worth a little annoyance,” the minister wrote. As a result, they plan to cover their church with the flags and banners.
– “Here’s the Amazing Response to Rainbow Flags Being Stolen From This LGBT-Friendly Church,” by Nicole Pasulka | Takepart.com August 4, 2014 http://news.yahoo.com/heres-amazing-response-rainbow-flags-being-stolen-lgbt-193215826.html (retrieved August 5, 2014)
A final example: A gay drag queen describes the moment when he stopped trying to fight his gay feelings. A Bible major at a small Christian college, attempting to grow closer to God and put aside his gay feelings was turned toward embracing his gay feelings after a nasty incident of being bullied. “While walking across campus one day, out of nowhere a group of guys physically stood in my way and then pushed me to the ground, yelling, ‘You are going to hell, faggot!’ before they ran off, laughing. I was mortified, first because I was shocked that at a place supposedly full of Christian love and fellowship, such vile hatred was present, and second because although I had tried to escape who I was, I was reminded that no matter how many prayers I offered up, I was still gay. I hung my head low, not because of the shoves administered by a group of thugs but because I realized that in trying to be someone I was not, I was gay bashing myself in a far worse manner. Lifting myself off the ground, I found a sense of empowerment knowing that I’d never again treat myself like anything less than the wonderful person God made me to be.”
– “My Journey From Christian College to Drag Queen,” by Jeza Belle, Huffington Post; Posted: 08/03/2014 10:40 am EDT Updated: 08/03/2014 10:59 am EDT http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeza-belle/my-journey-from-christian-college-to-drag-queen_b_5639445.html (retrieved August 3, 2014)

[70] Special thank you to Pastor Nate Meldrim of North Blendon Reformed Church, as well as Bryna Parcels, M.S.W. candidate at Grand Valley State University, and a couple anonymous people who gave helpful feedback.

[Editor’s note: Original URLs (links) referenced in this article are no longer valid, so the links have been removed.]