|Mainwaring testifying in Maryland in 2014|
in opposition to marriage equality
Doug Mainwaring is a marriage and children’s rights activist. This article is adapted from the introduction to his forthcoming book, Marriage, Ground Zero: The Real Battle Dawns.”Some “activist.” Children's rights? Seriously? How about the right of gay kids to have a positive outlook on life? Must they envision a future life of lonely celibacy? For what? Prior to Obergefell, National Organization for Marriage schlepped this guy around to testify to the evils of same-sex marriage. He was the gay man who opposes gay marriage. Mainwaring was never more than a novelty item. As for Mainwaring—The Book, it is unlikely to end up on my Kindle. Mainwaring's intellect is in the shallow end of the pool.
My contempt for this guy is born of the fact that, more than most people, a gay man opposed to gay marriage should simply choose not to gay marry. Trying to deny that same decision to other gay people through a restrictive public policy is arrogant and moronic. Ultimately, Mainwaring seeks to impose his religious beliefs on everyone else.
The title of this piece tells you pretty much all that you need to know. According to Mainwaring, same-sex marriages are not real and he has a unique perspective on the “Big Picture©,” whatever the hell that is.
I am neither a philosopher nor a theologian, and I possess no advanced degree, but I try to be an informed observer and reasoning contributor as best I can. As a former apologist for the sexual revolution, and as a gay man who once promoted same-sex marriage, here's what I’ve concluded.“I am neither a philosopher nor a theologian but I will pretend otherwise.” Furthermore, I can find no evidence that Mainwaring has ever “promoted” anything other than marriage discrimination. Conflating gay rights with the sexual revolution is religious fare. Self-righteous conservative Christians (particularly Catholics) express the continuing cultural conflict and dissatisfaction that they have experienced sine the 1960s. They feel obligated to voice their disapproval of women's liberation, contraceptives and extra-marital sex. So now add gay marriage to the list.
These people transact day-to-day affairs with the currency of disapproval; Shame.
No matter what you read or hear, the heart of the battle over the redefinition of marriage and genderlessness in culture is not found in our courts, legislatures, ballot boxes, or media. This is not a tug of war between political parties, between left and right, conservative and liberal. Likewise, this is not a battle of “gay versus straight.” And while focusing on religious liberty is an absolutely necessary pursuit, if it stands by itself, it too misses the mark.Making gay couples eligible for civil marriage does not “redefine” marriage. This kind of demagoguery should have ended on June 26, 2015 with the ruling in Obergefell.
Taken as a whole, this is a war of one kingdom against another. At its heart, this is a spiritual battle.I hate to devalue Mainwaring's coming tome but there is no battle — no war. Same-sex marriage isn't even a controversy. The issue has been settled. Gay couples who wish to marry will do so. Those who disapprove are not affected in any way whatsoever.
These folks are convinced that we seek or require their approval. It then follows that their stated disapproval is somehow important. To whom? It's not even terribly original. Mainwaring's prose comes from Pope Francis' Evangelii Gaudium “on the proclamation of the gospel in today's world.” This is a futile enterprise. None of this over-stuffed rhetoric will affect so much as one gay couple. In fact a very coherent argument can be made for the spiritual benefit of the commitment of marriage as an alternative to gay couples shacking up.
Mr. Mainwaring is impervious to reason and logic. His guidance comes from ancient chronicles, theologians and catechists. These are the same forces that are directly responsible for millennia of death, destruction, ignorance and poverty on a massive scale. I think that the apt phrase is “of biblical proportions.”
It wasn’t so long ago that LGBT activists like me were fighting for “equal rights.” We only wanted the benefits that accrue to married couples to be available to us as well. But then suddenly, with what seemed like lightning speed, the discussion changed. The battle was no longer for rights and benefits, the battle was over a very familiar eight-letter word: “marriage.”I can find no evidence of any LGBT activism on Mainwaring's part. No so much as a blog post. To address this economically, marriage is a right and benefit. Equal rights are defined, in part, on the concept of equal protection.
There is a surprising element of tyranny to all this. Men and women who dare reveal their reservations about the notion of same-sex marriage are publicly chastised and dealt swift punishments. Even the most powerful, high-profile titans of technology, medicine, and Wall Street are not immune. And everyday main-street business owners—florists, bakers, photographers, and bed-and-breakfast proprietors—are being forced to relinquish their reason, their intellect, and their consciences in order to comply with the new, superior definition of marriage.I know. It is tyranny to expect public accommodations to comply with nondiscrimination laws. This is all so unoriginal. Moreover, they are still talking about the same two bakers, the same florist and the same photographer for about five or six years now. These people seem to think that serving a gay couple constitutes their religious approval which they choose to withhold. It is the shaming construct. This is part the boilerplate of anti-gay demagoguery whether it makes sense or not. It is a testament to the scarceness of victims of same-sex marriage. There are none. Although, come to think of it, Johnny Weir's ex-husband might count.
The devil? Yes, he really wrote that. As we cross the line dividing faith and superstition I can depart with one unanswered question. If this is all so irrelevant, why bother?
Certainly not to influence Mainwaring. He's a done deal. Gone. The answer is that in some circles Witherpsoon is a respected outlet. Parents and young people read this nonsense. More importantly, they might believe some of this nonsense.
Mainwaring has managed to fuck up his own miserable life. He had a sham marriage, a divorce and then a re-marriage. He has a couple of kids I think. He is probably fucking up their lives. Mainwaring shouldn't be able to fuck up anyone else's life because of idiotic, cult-like, religious devotion.