Marcia Segelstein (a columnist for OneNewsNow, a division of the American Family News Network) is the latest in a long line of scare-mongers determined to illustrate for one and all just how bad it could get if gays had their way. To hear her tell it, the government is waiting with bated breath to yank the carpet out from under us heterosexuals, paint it red, and roll it out for every homosexual out there.
There is no shortage of speculation, and a glaring lack of legal precedent and fact, as Ms. Segelstein paints an ever-grimmer picture of the heterosexual future: “But if and when same-sex ‘marriage’ becomes law, it becomes against the law not to follow it. And that could indeed result in the government not only dictating doctrine to churches, but to religious schools, and to individuals.”
Does the government dictate doctrine to churches, religious schools, and individuals with regard to straight-sex marriage? Doctrine, no; law, yes. No one is allowed to disregard the legality of a straight-sex marriage — and we the people have yet to protest this. Clearly it’s not the dictating so much as the dictating of something someone doesn’t like.
Where is this fear coming from that same-sex marriage would become the standard of human existence? There is no legal or historical precedent suggesting that same-sex marriage would enjoy more or greater regard by the government if it were to be made the legal equivalent of straight-sex marriage. If anything, that legal rights are enjoyed by straight-sex marriage is the very precedent most likely to be followed with regard to same-sex marriage.
Echoing the threat of government intrusion while lamenting the lack of it on her behalf, Ms Segelstein writes, “Right now, individuals and corporations may choose to treat same-sex unions the same way they treat traditional marriage, or not. What's at issue here is government-enforced recognition that same-sex ‘marriage’ is legally identical to traditional marriage, no matter the individuals' or institutions' religious beliefs. Government intrusion on religion is what's at stake.”
Right now, individuals and corporations may not choose to treat straight-sex marriage the same way they treat same-sex unions. Is this government intrusion? Yes, it is. It’s the government telling individuals and corporations that they will recognize and practice legal regard for straight-sex marriage no matter their individual or institutional beliefs. This naturally begs the question, “Who doesn’t believe in straight-sex marriage?”
For many a health and life insurance company it’s not an issue of belief; it’s an issue of money. Extending benefits to a spouse and/or children for no additional cost or less cost than the primary individual reduces the amount of revenue these companies would otherwise enjoy –- so many charge secondary beneficiaries the same as the primary even though they were sitting on record-breaking profits when providing discounted rates. The U.S. government’s position of wallflower on this issue has not gone unnoticed.
Ms. Segelstein is right to say government intrusion is at stake. Without it, we’re paying more than we’ve ever paid for basic living expenses. (Those who would suggest health insurance is not a basic living expense ought to try paying their electric bill when they can’t work because treatment of their illness is not covered by their insurance company, the premiums for which could just as easily have been used to pay said electric bill since paying it to the insurance company didn’t do any good.)
The language of love is further twisted up with the language of religion, specifically that there are those who are not being allowed to say what they think and believe – even though that isn’t true. Ms. Segelstein points out that Canadian and European pastors have been threatened with legal challenges because of their teaching of traditional Christian doctrine on marriage.
Let’s be clear: “threatened” with a legal challenge is not the same as being legally challenged and it sure as hell isn’t the same as being legally barred from — and until that is the case, this particular argument holds no water. Even if one were to be legally challenged about something, it does not mean the demise of that something. If that were so, there would be no McDonald’s, Victoria’s Secret or handicapped parking; women wouldn’t have the right to vote and slavery would still be legal.
“What about the parents?” Ms. Segelstein cries out. “What about their right to teach their morality to their children? Will they have a legal leg to stand on when public schools teach that gay marriage is okay?”
Meanwhile, parents of every sexual orientation have retained the right to teach their morality to their children no matter what the schools are teaching, just as parents of every race retained the right to teach their morality to their children even as black children were escorted into public schools, much to the chagrin of those individuals and local governments in opposition to it.
Ms. Segelstein missed the opportunity to help others understand what kindergarteners can reasonably be expected to understand by way of sounding like she is pro-harassment. In the end, I’m not sure what her point was.
“Already, thanks to GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), homosexuality is being introduced in schools at younger and younger ages. Just a few days ago, kindergarten students at a California school were given pledge cards produced by GLSEN and asked to sign them to support a ‘harassment-free school.’ Parents protested. But is there a day coming when such protests would bring charges of discrimination, punishable by law?”
While she risks being crowned “Drama Queen” in defense of the First Amendment, it sounds like the parents protested a “harassment-free school,” wanting their children accommodated if their children were to bully others because they or their parents are gay.
The five and six-year olds, however, must still be scratching their heads over those pledge cards. Seriously folks, who uses this kind of verbiage outside of the Supreme Court, much less on kindergarteners?
I pledge not to use “anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) language or slurs; intervene, when I feel I can, in situations where others are using anti-LGBT language or harassing other students and actively support safer schools efforts."
Alas, no good diatribe is wrapped up more nicely than with a bold-faced lie. Using both a Christian agency as well as quote marks around the word equality, Ms. Segelstein tells us about an adoption agency in Great Britain she says was forced out of business by law.
Laws do not force agencies out of business. Compliance with regulation and law is a choice. The agency in question, if it made the choice not to comply with the equality law, closed their own doors. The global atmosphere of bailouts and corporate welfare has wrongly given the public the impression that a company should be saved by the government even as that company no longer meets the criteria of the free market under the government in which it operates. The same thing happened to businesses that brazenly catered only to whites – and all the restaurants that had one too many dead rats rotting in their grease traps.
If you can’t dazzle them with one lie, baffle them with two. Ms. Segelstein asserts the Wales’ Roman Catholic adoption agency, St. David’s Children’s Society, can’t keep placing abandoned and abused children in homes because of their Christian beliefs. This is not true. It is true that St. David’s will cut ties with the bishops, becoming an independent charity in compliance with the Sexual Orientation Regulations –- and will continue to place abandoned and abused children in homes.
Wording is everything, yes? Before my foes say it isn’t so, it’s worth noting how much the phrase “same-sex marriage” means to everyone. In fact, the opposition’s cant is rife with words like “dictate, government-enforced, intrusion, wide-ranging implications, redefine, threat, morality, discrimination, punishment and force.”
Those opposed to gay rights use these words to express how they feel about what they fear might happen. The gay rights movement, however, uses these words to describe what is happening to them right now.