Monday, October 13, 2014

The four lies that Tony Perkins repeats on Fox


What is Tony Perkins doing on Fox in the first place? They provide credibility to a hate group and its leader. But I digress. Perkins' arguments boil down to four talking points:
  1. Children do best with a mom and dad.
  2. What are the boundaries (slippery slope to whatever)?
  3. Persecuted Christians (wedding vendors).
  4. Contradictory values taught in school.
Mr. Olson is very lawyerly and has excruciating time limits on Fox. So let's take these one at a time (ad nauseum).

1. Any conversation about children has to include the hundreds of thousands of kids being raised by gay parents who are not able to marry. Those children are certainly beneficiaries of same-sex marriage. There is also a disconnect because there is no evidence (at least none offered) to support the notion that same-sex marriage increases the number of children being raised by gay couples. More importantly the social science concludes that children do best with a mom and dad in contrast to a single parent. Every reputable study has demonstrated that children raised by gay couples are as secure, healthy, happy and successful as their peers.

2. Do we really have to entertain slippery slope arguments? They should be dismissed for their silliness. When PFEM (Pets For Equal Marriage) arrives it will have to stand on its own merits. Same for polygamy.

3. First of all this has nothing to do with marriage. Most of these cases have occurred in states that did not recognize same-sex marriage at the time. What Perkins really has a problem with is the fact that, in many locales, people cannot legally discriminate against gay people. Tony's problem will continue to get bigger as society changes while he is stuck in the Bronze Age.

Anti-discrimination laws apply to public accommodations. The neo-Nazi, a member of the Church of the Creator who owns a coffee shop, has to serve Jews and Blacks. The United States Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Justice Scalia (yeah, him of all people) re: Employment Division v. Smith, asserts that their are no religious exemptions to otherwise valid state laws. As a society we have determined that offenses to the rights of minorities are more injurious than the compromise one makes for engaging in commerce which is to obey local laws. When someone tells a [ fill in the blank ] “we don't serve your kind here” then that victimizes the entire community that is offended. The idea that religious liberties are insulted by requiring someone to bake a cake for people doing something that they don't like is highly subjective. It remains my opinion that providers do this, not because of religious conviction, but as a way of protesting gay rights. Respecting the law is a condition of the privilege of having a business license.

4.  There are many things that are taught in public schools that are at odds with parental values. Evolution, for example, seems to be problematic for the same conservative Christians who oppose same-sex marriage. Yet children need to learn about Evolution because it is the foundation for biology and much of natural history. I can make the same argument for same-sex marriage. Eventually these kids are going to have gay co-workers, bosses or subordinates. Some of them are going to be married. Differences in ideology teach children critical thinking skills which, perhaps, is most threatening to people like Perkins. Some kids leave home in the year 5775 and arrive at school in 2014. If parents want to intentionally make their kids stupid then they can home school or send them to Christian madrasas. Personally, when it came to hiring someone who did not have a college degree, I would definitely prefer someone who went to public school over someone who was home schooled.
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These are the arguments that Perkins and his friends used to make in ballot contests. Hopefully we have seen the last of those. We are winning in courts across the nation because jurists aren't baffled by the bullshit.

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