Sunday, June 1, 2014

Are gays' brains better than mothers'?

A fascinating study shows that men’s brains are “very plastic” and will mimic a woman’s emotional circuits if their infant lacks a mom.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published the study conducted in Israel based on work by neuropsychologist Ruth Feldman of Bar-Ilan University and others.  Researchers compared the MRIs of 89 mothers and fathers watching videos of themselves caring for their infants.

Having a baby alters new mothers' brain activity, researchers have found, and a new study adds the first evidence of such changes in the brains of gay men raising children they adopted through surrogacy. 
The men's pattern of brain activity resembles that of both new mothers and new fathers in the study.
Researchers videotaped parents interacting with their babies and then later showed the videos to the parents while taking an MRI of their brains.  To get a baseline, an MRI was also taken of the subjects watching a video that did not involve their children. When watching their own infants on video, the 20 mothers’ brains showed five times more activity in the amygdala, which processes emotions.  Meanwhile, the 21 heterosexual dads showed an increase in their cognitive circuits, which help decode babies’ movements so fathers know whether to burp the baby, or change the diaper.
Differences between genders is not surprising.  What is intriguing, is how fathering changed the male couples’ brains:
The 48 gay fathers raising children with their husbands seemed to be both mom and dad, brain-wise. Their emotional circuits were as active as those of mothers and the interpretive circuits showed the same extra activity as that of heterosexual fathers'. 
Ideally, scientists would perform neuroimaging on men and women before and then after they became parents, to show definitely that any heightened activity followed junior's arrival and was not present before. Until they can do that, Feldman said, she is confident that the telltale brain activity results from parenting. 
One clue: in gay fathers, but not heterosexual ones, the brain also had extra communication lines between emotional and cognitive structures. The more time a man spent as primary caregiver, the greater the connectivity. It was as if playing both parental roles caused the brain to integrate the structures required for each.”
Nature versus nurture
This study showed that nurturing an infant changed the nature of men’s brains.  Scientific studies like these offer clues to humans’ gray matter.  The fact that gays’ neural circuitry is naturally rewired in reaction to an infant, makes one wonder what is possible if men intentionally work to effect a change in their brains. 
"Fathers' brains are very plastic," Feldman said. "When there are two fathers, their brains must recruit both networks, the emotional and cognitive, for optimal parenting."
Does this also happen to a mother’s brain if she is a single parent?  Would her brain automatically adapt a man’s heightened cognitive activity?
Gray matter versus gay matter
It is interesting that scientists such as Feldman acknowledge the importance of both emotional and cognitive responses to children for “optimal parenting” which occurs naturally when a child has both a mother and a father.  As much as it reveals the malleability of our minds, the fact that men’s brains change when a female is missing in a child’s life, shows the importance of motherhood.
Rather than show the importance of homosexual fathers in the development of children, does this research speak more to the crucial need for mothers?  Does this study reveal more about gender diversity than sexual orientation?
What if researchers studied the brains of heterosexual men who are primary caregivers?  Would their emotive circuitry change as much as gay men’s?  Is it a function of the plasticity of the male brain or a reflection of the changeability of gays?  And just because a gay man can change, does that mean he should?
If a man’s neural circuitry can change, does that mean his sexual orientation can?  And if so, should society support that through legal, political, and cultural means? 
The researchers also measured the bonding hormone oxytocin in all the parents and “found no difference among the three groups. Feldman, an adjunct professor at Yale University, said this means all three groups are biologically ready for parenthood.”
If there was no difference in oxytocin levels between the men and the women, can we assume these mothers were not breastfeeding?  

The action of a baby suckling actually changes how the mother's brain behaves.  This results in a massive rush of the 'love hormone' oxytocin in women's brains.  The release of the chemical in massive surges enhances a mother's feelings of trust, love and affection, scientists say.
It is exciting that a man’s brain can adopt a woman’s emotional intelligence.  And we can celebrate the flexibility of gay men’s wiring.  However, that does not mean that women are interchangeable with men.  Not only does nursing benefit mothers by flooding them with oxytocin, but scientists have long acknowledged that breastfeeding is also better for infants than formula.  Whether gay or straight, it is impossible for men to breastfeed their children.

Many U.S. adoption agencies do not accept applications from same-sex couples, and in some states it is against the law for a gay couple to apply jointly for custody of a child. This study suggests that, biologically, gay couples are fit to be parents as straight couples are, and could change the debate as to whether gay men should be allowed to adopt children.
Does this study imply that mothers can be replaced because of the holistic wiring in men’s brains?  What about the mother’s estrogen?  Her lactation?  Are these less important to developing children than a double dose of testosterone?

Yes, a gay man could be "fit" for fatherhood.  However, he will never be ready for motherhood. 
Why is the ability to assume a feminine trait applauded as proof that gay men are “biologically ready for parenthood” and yet females are, by definition, eliminated from male marriage?  Why are surrogate mothers excluded from their children’s lives?
If a man’s brain becomes mom-like when he functions as the primary caregiver, does that give him a license to exclude the mother from the life of the child?  Should sex discrimination against mothers be allowed for gay men?
Is gayhood more important than motherhood?
And then, the most important question of all:  What about the children?
  • If an adult man’s brain is changeable, what about an infant’s?
  • How will the intentional lack of a mother alter a baby’s brain?
  • Biologically, what does the lack of lactation and estrogen do to a child’s neurons? 
  • Emotionally, what does gender-deprivation do to an infant?  To a teenager?
  • Socially, what will be the impact of segregating marriage by gender and by sexual orientation?
  • How does being raised in a gender-exclusive home impact a child?  A culture?

As intriguing as this study is, it generates more questions than answers.


Friday, May 9, 2014

How will abortion filmer Emily Letts celebrate Mother’s Day this year?

Actress Emily Letts works at abortion clinic Cherry Hill Women’s Center in New Jersey, and recently filmed her own abortion so she could tell her “story” and put a “positive” spin on the face of abortion.

The abortion selfie:

This is my story. This is ONLY my story. I do not pretend that it is anything more or anything less. I do not speak for everyone on this sensitive subject and I respect everyone's opinions as long as they do not force them onto others. 
My dearest hope is that someone somewhere will see this and it will provide some guidance, strength, support, or whatever else they need in that moment. I want to tell that person that you are not alone. Having an abortion does not make you a bad person, a bad woman, a bad mother. Having an abortion does not make you guilty. It is simply one step in your reproductive story.
Why did Letts choose to terminate her pregnancy?  And why did she choose to videotape her abortion?  According to Letts, “We're forgetting the faces of the women involved, and we're forgetting to have empathy for the women going through it.”

Letts explained to Cosmopolitan: 
Patients at the clinic always ask me if I can relate to them — have I had an abortion? Do I have kids? I was so used to saying, “I’ve never had an abortion but…” While I was pregnant and waiting for my procedure, I thought, “Wait a minute, I have to use this.”  
I could have taken the pill, but I wanted to do the one that women were most afraid of. I wanted to show it wasn’t scary — and that there is such a thing as a positive abortion story. It’s my story.  
I knew the cameras were in the room during the procedure, but I forgot about them almost immediately. I was focused on staying positive and feeling the love from everyone in the room. I am so lucky that I knew everyone involved, and I was so supported. I remember breathing and humming through it like I was giving birth. I know that sounds weird, but to me, this was as birth-like as it could be. It will always be a special memory for me. I still have my sonogram, and if my apartment were to catch fire, it would be the first thing I'd grab.
Safe, legal, and “positive”

Wait a minute, something doesn’t ring true here.  There are many mixed messages going on.  But then, relying on feelings for morality is like building on shifting sands.

Is it calling the abortion “birth-like”?  See, we’re just the same as moms who give birth!  (Except for the teensy weensy fact that we’re terminating our babies).

Could it be that humming?  How many of you moms out there hummed through your labors?!

Is it that she says we need “empathy” for the women undergoing abortion and at the same time she claims abortion is positive and guilt-free?  If abortion is so fantabulous why should we feel sorry for anyone choosing this humdinger of a procedure?

Is it the fact that Letts says she doesn’t speak for all women, this is “ONLY” her own individual “story.”  Then she pleads on Youtube in capitals: “PLEASE PLEASE SHARE THIS VIDEO.”

Or that several times she calls herself a "pretty lucky girl" and claims afterwards, “I don’t feel sad,” while she looks haunted?

Or her comment:  "I knew that what I was going to do was right because it was right for me and no one else."  What does that even mean?  Abortion is right for her, but no one else?

Or is it her claim that if a fire came, the first thing she would save is the sonogram of her baby?  Why is that so hard for me to believe?

Or this:  "I feel like I talk to women all the time and they're like 'Of course everyone feels bad about this.  Of course everyone's going to feel guilty' as if it's a given how people should feel about this."  So she doesn't want to be told how to feel, but then she produces this ad for abortion to tell other women how they should feel:  positive.  This is not just moral relativism. This is emotional superiority.   Don't tell me how to feel.  I'll show you how to feel.

Finally, both sides agree

Finally, both pro-abortion and pro-life teams can agree on something:  videotaping your abortion is reprehensible.  Although not everyone agrees.  One pro-abortion organization granted Letts’ video an award.

Many pro-lifers are outraged at the callous disregard Letts showed for her child as well as her fervid loyalty to the abortion industry.  Terminating babies is bad enough, now we’re supposed to be “positive” about it and watch women smile through it??

Many abortion advocates are angry at the bad press that Letts generated as well as her poor example.  Normally they revert automatically to the we-need-more-birth-control talking points when confronted with abortion.  In fact, one Cosmo commenter couldn’t resist robotically spouting the contraception mandate:  “we have to focus on making birth control and plan B more readily available to the masses and teaching kids everything about sex.” 

Number one, Letts is not a child.  Number two, she worked at an abortion clinic.  She counseled hundreds of clients about birth control.  Letts gives the lie to the claim that all we need is more Plan B.  Access to condoms is obviously not the problem.  The problem here is access to a sane moral code. 

Does working in the abortion trade cause a person to go insane?  Planned Parenthood sells the lie to both men and women (and schoolchildren) that you can have sex whenever you want with no responsibility for the ensuing child.  And when you base an entire industry on a lie, you reap crazy results.  See Kermit Gosnell.

It takes a village to raise a child

How did our virtual village raise Emily Letts?

Presumably the abortionist and coworkers agreed to be videotaped.  Meanwhile, the father of the child was summarily excluded from the decision. 

But how did motherhood get such a bad reputation?  Being a mother is now considered so execrable that women are encouraged to avoid it at all costs?  Even at the price of their child’s life?

Normal mothers fleeing a fire would scoop up their infant, not their baby’s photo. Why does Letts treasure her sonogram more than the actual child it depicts?  Did too much time online create this skewed preference for a picture over a life?  Did Planned Parenthood teach her that?  Did I?  Did you?

Did you, like me, once support a young mother’s decision to abort her baby?

Did you, like me, once put your career ahead of your child’s well-being?

Did you, like most Americans, vote for a politician who thinks pregnancy is a punishment, and that abortion clinics are doing God’s work.  “Thank you, Planned Parenthood.  God bless you.”  And that if a baby survives a botched abortion, she should be left to die? 


Legal abortion was foisted on America through an invented  “right to privacy.”  It was supposed to be between a woman and her doctor.  Now it’s between Emily Letts and over a million viewers. 

Obamacare also broke the code of privacy by mandating that everyone pay for everyone else’s abortions.  Even celibate nuns caring for the elderly must pay for abortion drugs, or risk being fined out of the nursing home business. Instead of remaining between a mother and her doctor, funding for abortion drugs are now charged to the Little Sisters of the Poor for your neighbor’s son’s ex-girlfriend’s Plan B.

This is no longer Letts’ private story.  It’s public now.

What’s next in Letts’ reproductive tale?  How long it will take for the regret to begin?  Some believe it has already started.  Look at her face in the video—you can see her grief, they say.  Or is that concocted sorrow?  Simply her acting skills on display?  Was this entire production an actress's fight for fame?

This Sunday we celebrate Mother’s Day, which began “as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children.”

It’s time for us to act like mothers and make sacrifices for children, rather than work in an industry that sacrifices children for the acting careers of mothers.

Yes, it takes a village to raise a child.  But first it takes a mother. 

What is your village saying to young ladies?  That mothers are irreplaceable and we should support them as much as possible?  Or that mothers are unwanted and we should exclude them from children’s lives?

Does your village teach that motherhood is a beautiful sacrifice that showers blessings on women and society?  Or that motherhood is so heinous we should kill children to avoid it?

Whether you speak in person, at the voting booth, or on Facebook, what do you tell the young women in your village?

"Abortion kills twice. It kills the body of the baby and it kills the conscience of the mother. Abortion is profoundly anti-women. Three quarters of its victims are women: Half the babies and all the mothers."

I’m waiting for Letts to experience her Unplanned moment when she wakes up and realizes what she’s done.  I look forward to her positive video explaining Why I Regret Aborting My Child and How I Healed.  (If you need help with that, check out Project Rachel).

I await the day America realizes our mistake is not a scarcity of contraception, rather a dearth of respect for motherhood and children.

No, Mr. President.  It’s not “God bless" Planned Parenthood.  Rather, God bless the little children. 

Casting call

Let’s honor mothers and motherhood itself, not just this Sunday, but every day.  Yes, mothering is difficult.  But with each sacrifice comes a chance to expand our hearts.  Children give us the opportunity to grow in love and wisdom.  Yes, there are challenges.  But they are far outweighed by blessings and joy.

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, including post-abortive ones.

Emily, whether you like it or not, you are a mother now.  It’s time to act like one.  And as far as roles go, it’s a beautiful one.  

At your job, you can stop choosing death and start counseling mothers to choose life.  You can choose to marry before your next pregnancy, and star in your own life as a loving mother:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pope Francis: ‘Marriage is the icon of God’s love for us’

For all those hoping that the genuine love Pope Francis shows to homosexuals means he would endorse redefining marriage, they got their answer at his General Audience at St. Peter’s Square on April 2.  During this address, the religious leader reiterated the Church’s commitment to the integration of the complementary sexes in the sacrament of marriage.

The Pope began by quoting Genesis, the first book of the Bible:
“[A]t the culmination of the creation account it says: ‘God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.... Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh’ (Gen 1:27; 2:24).”
In case that wasn’t clear enough, the Pope emphasized that each marriage is composed of both a man and a woman:  “The image of God is the married couple: the man and the woman; not only the man, not only the woman, but both of them together.”

In other words, there is no such thing as a “male marriage” or a “female marriage.”  Each marriage is gender-integrated.


Why this insistent push for gender inclusiveness in marriage?  Because both sexes together reflect God. You can hear the Holy Father’s enthusiasm as he explains:  “This is the image of God: love, God’s covenant with us is represented in that covenant between man and woman. And this is very beautiful!”

Pope Francis continued: 
“When a man and woman celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony, God as it were “is mirrored” in them; he impresses in them his own features and the indelible character of his love. Marriage is the icon of God’s love for us.”
Holy matrimony is wholly integrated

In contrast, same sex marriage does not reflect God’s diversity and procreative love.  Instead, a male marriage is more like a man reflecting his own image, not God’s.  It is missing the feminine genius of woman.  It is not wholly matrimony.  A male “marriage” is incomplete and cannot achieve the life-giving “one flesh” union of a husband and wife.
“And this is precisely the mystery of Matrimony: God makes of the two spouses one single life. The Bible uses a powerful expression and says ‘one flesh’, so intimate is the union between man and woman in marriage.”
Freedom of religion versus freedom to redefine

Many same sex marriage advocates believe marriage is not religious.  Therefore businessmen and women have no right to decline serving at a male marriage or a female marriage.  They claim it is irrelevant for bakers, photographers, and florists to plead freedom of religion. 

Perhaps redefiners don’t see their marriages as a reflection of God’s relationship, but Christians do.  The Pope refers to St. Paul’s description to clearly point out that marriage is indeed a religious experience.  In fact, it reveals Christ’s relationship with all of us.
“[A] great mystery is reflected in Christian spouses: the relationship established by Christ with the Church, a nuptial relationship (cf. Eph 5:21-33). The Church is the bride of Christ. This is their relationship. This means that Matrimony responds to a specific vocation and must be considered as a consecration (cf. Gaudium et Spes, n. 48: Familiaris Consortio, n. 56).”
Same sex marriage activists certainly are free to ignore these Christian beliefs in their own lives, but they do not have the right to impose their beliefs about marriage on others, including butchers, or bakers, or candlestick-makers.

If “Love is Love,” why not mother’s love?

Many people support same sex marriage out of love for their gay friends and relatives.  The “Love is Love” crowd.  However, in their zeal to prove their love for gays, are they overlooking the fact that male marriage discriminates against wives and mothers?  It intentionally deprives children of their mother’s love because she’s female.  In short, same sex marriage is sexist.

We can love our gay brothers and sisters without endorsing sex discrimination in marriage.  And without distorting holy matrimony to a half-of-humanity.

God’s complete and faithful love for us is revealed in Christ, the Bridegroom and his beloved bride, the Church.
"The two will become one flesh. This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the Church.”  (CCC 796)
Or as Pope Francis explained, marriage “leads us to the heart of God’s design, which is a plan for a Covenant with his people, with us all, a plan for communion.”

True marriage does not exclude wives and mothers.  True marriage does not fine bakers and photographers for honoring God in marriage.  True marriage does not lie to gays.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Nabisco: Sex discrimination is 'wholesome'

Scientists agree that breastfeeding is best for infants. Breastmilk is considered so important and nutritious, that hospitals now offer Lactation Consultants on site to birthing mothers to offer advice and support to moms.

 Although infant formula makers work hard to make their product as nutritious as possible, how can powdered formula beat Mother Nature?  (Spoiler alert:  It can’t.)

"While the food aspects of milk to some extent are replicated in formula, the immuno factors and medicine of milk are not and the hormonal signals are not," says evolutionary biologist Katie Hinde at Harvard University. In fact, a new study revealed another startling difference between formula and breastmilk.  Researchers have discovered that the bodies of nursing mothers automatically adjust their milk content depending on the sex of their baby. Hinde reported, "Mothers are producing different biological recipes for sons and daughters."  The biologist co-authored a study that documents “baby boys often get milk that is richer in fat or protein — and thus energy — while baby girls often get more milk.”  

Good luck, scientists,  trying to match the genius of a woman's body.

Milk and cookies

What does breastmilk have to do with Nabisco?  The company famous for Oreos (“Milk’s favorite cookie”) recently launched an ad called “This is Wholesome” to promote its Honey Maid graham crackers and gender-exclusive families.  

That's right, some guys have tried to improve upon women--by excluding them from the family and replacing them with another guy.

The ad opens with a close-up of an infant drinking from a bottle (even though science confirms breast is best!)  Then the camera pulls back to reveal the man holding the bottle, followed shortly by another guy who comes and kisses the baby’s forehead.

The commercial continues with clips of other families, including gender-integrated and racially diverse ones.  The voiceover intones:  “No matter how things change, what makes us wholesome never will.  Honey Maid.  Everyday wholesome snacks.  For every wholesome family.”

Audiences had mixed reactions to the male family featured in the ad.  Some viewers sent notes complaining about the presumably gay couple.  One Million Moms wrote:
“There is concern about the way this ad is pushing the LGBT agenda, but an even greater concern is the way that they are changing the meaning of the word ‘wholesome.’ This is truly sad. If this is what Honey Maid thinks is wholesome, then my family will no longer purchase Honey Maid or Nabisco products.”
Meanwhile, same sex marriage enthusiasts sent ten times as many messages thanking Nabisco.  The company compiled the comments, hired two artists, and created a new commercial, in which they rolled up the mail to spell out the word “Love.”

Although both sides of the marriage debate often focus on whether or not homosexuality is wholesome, here’s the more pertinent question we need to examine:  Is sex discrimination wholesome? 

Should discrimination against women be fostered and legalized in male marriage?  

Where is that baby’s mother in the opening scene?  And why is she excluded from this family and from her baby’s life?  And why does Nabisco think kicking women out of children’s lives is “wholesome”?  

Is Nabisco telling us:  Breastfeeding is best except when your dad is not oriented toward women so he bans your mom from your family because she’s female and has breasts.  Which produce breastmilk.  Which is better than manmade formula.  But, whatever.

Why is it forbidden for everyone else to discriminate based on sex, but when gays do it, it’s called the New Civil Rights Movement?

This isn’t Wholesome; this is Halfsome

Segregating men and women in marriage is not wholesome.  A “marriage” of two men is missing one half of humanity.  A female “marriage” lacks the other half.  In contrast, each whole marriage consists of the complementary genders, both male and female. 

A mother's body automatically adjusts to the sex of her baby and produces breastmilk geared toward that child's needs.  In contrast, male marriage does not adjust to the different genders; instead it rejects females.  It is a manmade formula which intentionally segregates genders in marriage.

Separating a child from his mother isn’t equality.  That baby represented in the video should have the same right to a mom as any other baby.  Excluding wives and mothers from male  marriages isn’t tolerance.  That’s intolerance.  And depriving children of a mother simply because moms are female is not “Love.”  It’s sexism.

If they believe women are so toxic that they ought to be banned from male families, then Nabisco should change the name of their graham crackers from Honey Maid to Honey Lad.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich slammed for supporting gender diversity in marriage

Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich is being pilloried for supporting gender integration in marriage.  Eich co-founded Mozilla and invented JavaScript, the most commonly used computer programming language, but he’s in the news now for defending gender diversity.

Six years ago Eich donated $1,000 to support Proposition 8, which states, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”  Many gay rights activists jumped to the conclusion that everyone who endorsed Prop 8, including Eich, must be anti-gay.

Note that there is no mention of homosexuality or sexual orientation in that amendment, or for that matter, on a marriage license.  Instead, Prop 8 deals strictly with gender.  Nevertheless, proponents of gender-segregated marriage are outraged that Eich had the audacity to support gender integration.  (Are they equally angry at President Obama, who also endorsed pro-gender marriage up until 2012?)

Same sex enthusiasts are not just targeting Eich; they also are calling on consumers to boycott his company.  For example, dating site OKCupid wrote to users linking to their site via Mozilla’s Firefox Internet browser:
“We’ve devoted the last ten years to bringing people—all people—together. If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal. Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OkCupid. But it’s professionally important to the entire company. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure."
One itty-bitty problem.  Segregating genders in marriage will automatically “deny love” between mothers and children.  If OKCupid wants to bring “all people” together, then why do they endorse male marriage, which separates children from their mothers and divides mothers and fathers?  If they believe equality is “personally important,” then why intentionally deprive some children of the chance to have a loving relationship with their mom?  Don’t gays’ children have an equal right to mothers?

For these reasons and others, some gays do not support sex discrimination in marriage.  Are they “anti-gay” for not supporting male marriage?
One major problem with same sex marriage is that it grants more importance to sexual diversity than to gender diversity.  Many, such as OKCupid, want to “enforce misery, shame, and frustration” on those who disagree with this sexist view of marriage. 

Eich has responded to all the hate mail with a blog post:
“I am committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion…I intend to demonstrate with meaningful action my commitment to a Mozilla that lives up to its ideals, including that of being an open and inclusive community.”
Does this mean Eich will now start promoting same sex marriage?

Not according to Hampton Catlin “who with his husband comprises the development firm Rarebit.”  Catlin reported to CNET:
"[Eich] fended off the question [of whether he would vote 'yes' on Prop. 8 again] without answering, which leads me to believe that he is totally unwilling to empathize with those of us who suffered under the law.” "After having the meeting, I was truly surprised to see him double down on his original position of sticking his fingers in his ear and saying 'inclusion' over and over again," he said. 
"I asked him to just issue a statement that his personal, private beliefs remained the same about what a traditional family is, but that he recognized that we should not legislate morality and that those laws had a tangible negative effect on people," Catlin said. "Instead, he fell back to his defensive position and refuses to apologize for helping to fund a law that actively discriminated against his own employees and community."
In other words, Eich vows to foster openness and inclusivity to all at Mozilla "regardless of sexual orientation."  Yet he didn't retract support for Prop 8.  Is this proof Eich understands that you can treat the LGBT community with respect and at the same time, honor gender diversity in marriage law?  These are not mutually exclusive.

What is exclusive is same sex marriage.  Each male marriage excludes a woman.  It lacks a wife who can be a mother for subsequent children.  And each female marriage excludes a husband and father.  That’s not marriage equality.  That’s same sexism marriage. 

Catlin says we shouldn’t “legislate morality” yet he would have us legislate sex discrimination in marriage.  (If not morals, what are laws supposed to be based on?  Emotions?  Attractions?)  For all his talk of inclusion and discrimination, it is same sex marriage that excludes people based on their sex.  In contrast, pro-gender marriage welcomes both men and women regardless of sexual orientation.

Since Eich invented JavaScript, he knows how important language is.  Words have meaning.  And gender matters to everyone.  Let’s hope Eich continues to get the language of marriage correct and perseveres in supporting pro-gender marriage.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A polite sexist is still a sexist even if he’s gay

Prominent writers recently wrestled with the following question:

If a business declines to photograph a same sex wedding, does that automatically prove the owner is an “anti-gay bigot”?

Ross Douthat started the conversation with his op-ed at the New York Times in which he pretty much repeated the left’s mantra that the debate is over and same sex marriage will soon win.  The only question remaining is, will gay rights activists honor freedom and “let the dissenters opt out,” or will they be pressured and sued into celebrating same sex marriages?

At Slate, Mark Joseph Stern promptly criticized Douthat for claiming the war was already won.  This is odd since this is precisely what the left’s talking point has been for months:  Same sex marriage is inevitable, so give up already. 

Which Douthat did.

Stern also excoriated Douthat for portraying religious business owners as victims:
Douthat, like most state legislators who have defended “religious liberty” bills, explicitly cites that infamous trio: a florist, a photographer, and a baker, who claimed their Christianity required that they deny service to gay couples. There’s a reason these same three cases pop up time and time again: They tell a very human story of a small-business owner suddenly trapped in the labyrinth of a lawsuit, the victim of the gay rights movement run amok.
(Does Stern believe only gays have the right to play the victim card?)

For someone who argues against hatred, Stern’s piece is curiously full of contempt.  He calls Douthat’s opinion “homophobic apologia.”  But perhaps Stern is merely following the example of the highest court in the land.

The United States Supreme Court did a grave disservice to both sides of the marriage debate when they claimed that everyone who wants to preserve gender-integration in marriage must be motivated by “animus.”  This only encourages gay rights activists to look suspiciously at supporters of pro-gender marriage. 

Fortunately, many see through the Court’s animus argument.  As Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic noticed:
The Slate article is implicitly trafficking in its own sort of prejudice. The working assumption is that homophobia, anti-gay bigotry, and hatred are obviously what's motivating anyone who declines to provide a service for a gay wedding.  That assumption is wrongheaded.
Slate writer William Saletan agrees that opponents of gender-segregated marriage are not ipso facto bigots.  He warned, "We’re stereotyping and vilifying opponents of gay marriage the way we’ve seen gay people stereotyped and vilified. This is a deeply personal moral issue."

Gay rights activists used to hold the sympathy card.  But does suspicion, name-calling, and stereotyping their opponents signify that they are now trafficking in hate? 

Friedersdorf cautions activists, “Telling a group that an incident or dispute is rooted in bigotry when evidence supports a different conclusion increases the perception of being hated more than reality justifies.”

And will activists’ zealous search for animus yield results?  As they continue to accuse Christians of bigotry, will they be fostering a climate of hate?  As they sue their fellow citizens for holding a different religious belief about gender in marriage, will the tables be turned?  This is precisely Douthat’s concern-- that same sex marriage activists might overplay their hand and bully those who disagree with them.

This is an important conversation.  If supporters of pro-gender marriage are automatically branded as haters, this will shut down debate and prejudice wins.  Fortunately, we have free speech and can have this debate out in the open, even though both sides risk being labeled by haters.

Stern defended himself in his post titled “A Polite Homophobe Is Still a Homophobe.”  He argues that simply because a photographer declines politely doesn’t mean she’s not bigoted.  “By dressing up her homophobia in good manners,” the photographer “might have softened the blow for” the female couple seeking photos of their ceremony.  “But the ultimate effect of her actions is the same as if she had placed a sign on her shop door stating ‘No Gay Couples Served Here.’”

In his rebuttal Stern starts out talking about a “union” and then promptly switches it to an individual “identity.”
[F]or Friedersdorf, believing that gays, lesbians, and their legal unions are “sinful” does not qualify as homophobia—even if this belief leads you to turn gay couples away from your business. I disagree. To believe that someone’s identity is inherently sinful is, to my mind, to be bigoted against them.
First of all, when talking about Christians, gays, and sin, it is crucial to note that Christians believe everyone is sinful, themselves included.

Secondly, Stern conflates marriage and identity.  Whether people are born with same sex attraction or not is an ongoing debate. But no one is arguing that they are born married.  Choosing a spouse is an action, not a state of being.  Even many gays do not endorse same sex marriage.  Surely they are not “anti-gay” for honoring gender diversity in marriage.

Thirdly, Stern conveniently ignores the fact that the photographers in question "will serve anyone" including gays.  However, they draw the line at endorsing same sex weddings.  And a whopping 85% of Americans agree with the photographers' right to do so.  We can all delight in baby photos and senior portraits and graduation pictures regardless of sexual orientation.  But we can choose not to celebrate gender discrimination in the public institution of marriage.

Would photographers take pictures of a mixed orientation marriage?  How about a gay man married to a lesbian woman?  If they say yes to these jobs, that’s not homophobia. 

What about two straight guys who want to marry and raise a family together?  If the photographers decline to take pictures of the wedding of two straight guys, again, that’s not anti-gay.  And it’s not anti-straight.  It’s pro-gender.

In their hunt for animus and discrimination, gay rights activists would do well to look at marriage with wide eyes and an open mind and insightful questions. 

When two men decline a wife and exclude from their marriage the mother of their children, is that sexist?  Is there an inherent animus against women when two men marry?

Is male marriage sexist even when it’s all politely dressed up in trendy gay rights talk? 

Gay rights advocates obviously have a heart for homosexuals.  We can join their quest to stamp out bullying and to treat all gays with dignity and respect.  In turn, we invite them to open their hearts to women and join us in opposing the unjust discrimination against women in marriage.