5 Victims of Same-Sex Marriage
In the brief period of human history that the U.S. has recognized gay “marriage,” proponents have asked the same question: “How does my gay marriage affect you?” The legacy media caricatured opponents as busybodies while presenting same-sex marriage as the ultimate “live and let live” issue. Even the bland, technical mechanism Democrats used to sell the “Respect for Marriage” Act to some Republicans — the full faith and credit clause, recognizing contracts signed in other states — wraps the issue in a façade of reciprocity.
In reality, redefining the central institution in human society causes real harms — the very harms predicted by the defenders of marriage. Radical LGBT activists have already tried to deprive believers of their livelihoods, their businesses, and the right to live out their faith. All the while, they could rest assured that the light emitted by TVs tuned to legacy media networks would flicker at the same rate as the LGBT activists’ gaslight. “The dire predictions that same-sex marriage opponents are concocting now have not come to pass since [redefining marriage] began in 2005, and there’s no legitimate reason to suspect that they ever will,” said David Stacy, government affairs director at The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT activist group.
But Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has pointed out, the real consequences are no longer theoretical. Here are five victims of the decision to redefine marriage:
- Barronelle Stutzman. Washington state legalized gay “marriage” in 2012 — and by 2013, it had its first major target: elderly Christian florist Barronelle Stutzman. In 2013, two men who identify as gay asked Stutzman to make a floral arrangement for their ceremony. Stutzman declined, explaining that, while her store — Arlene’s Flowers — served and employed LGBT activists, her Christian faith could not allow her to participate in a same-sex wedding. By all accounts, she practically whispered her rejection; she was the epitome of “winsome” and had considered one of the plaintiffs, Rob Ingersoll, a personal friend. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) promptly sued her for discrimination, and the Washington State Supreme Court ruled against her in 2017. The U.S. Supreme Court took the case but remanded it, asking state justices to reconsider in light of SCOTUS rulings — but the state supreme court produced essentially the same verdict in 2019. The cumulative fines and attorney’s fees necessary to preserve Stutzman’s conscience threatened her business, her assets, and her livelihood. To make matters worse, last July, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear her case itself. Stutzman decided to retire and signed an agreement last November to pay the same-sex couple a $5,000 settlement — which they promised they’d donate to PFLAG, an LGBT pressure group. “I am willing to turn the legal struggle for freedom over to others. At age 77, it’s time to retire,” wrote the great-grandmother with a sense of evident weariness and resignation.
- Jack Phillips. The legal persecution of Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips has lasted longer than many of the marriages his confections adorned. Phillips said a same-sex couple began screaming at him after he cited his faith to explain he could not bake a wedding cake for their upcoming ceremony. State officials contacted him within 20 minutes, he remembered, touching off a religious liberty case that wound all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Within weeks of his 7-2 victory, the state launched a new case against him, because the Christian baker would not create a cake to celebrate a transgender transition. “My faith compels me to serve everyone that comes into my shop, but I can’t create every message,” Phillips recently told The Jerusalem Post. “Every American should be free to live and work according to their conscience without fear of punishment from the government. And that’s what was at stake.”
- Orphans in Tennessee. Holston United Methodist Home for Children in Greeneville, Tennessee, has placed abused, neglected, and abandoned children with Christian parents since a Methodist widow founded the agency in 1895. Over the years, the home has served more than 8,000 children in eastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia — an area where the United Way estimates 51% of residents can’t afford the cost of living. Holston receives some funding from the HHS’s Title IV-E (the Foster Care and Adoption program), and the Obama administration issued guidelines requiring those who receive federal funding to place children with LGBT couples. President Trump issued a religious exemption, which Biden’sHHS secretary, Xavier Becerra, retracted. Although secular adoption agencies outnumber faith-based adoption agencies six to one in Tennessee alone, the Biden administration demands the agency bend the knee to the rainbow agenda. The orphanage has sued Becerra, who apparently places the value of same-sex marriage above the well-being of poverty-stricken orphans in Appalachia.
- Children in public school. Politicians who claimed they could alter the definition of the family without impacting public education misunderstood (or deceived). When politicians redefine an institution, public schools become their ideological enforcers. To take but two of the more egregious examples: On June 10, a school librarian at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Prince William County, Virginia, used the morning announcements to read “Prince & Knight” — a title the principal later described as “an age-appropriate book that celebrated the bravery of a knight and prince who fight a dragon, marry, and are celebrated with inclusion in their community.” It shows the couple holding hands on multiple pages. Similarly, in 2006 parents objected to a teacher reading her second-grade class a book portraying same-sex marriage. The book, “King & King,” also depicts the couple’s first kiss. When concerned parents objected, the superintendent of public schools in Lexington, Massachusetts — the powder keg that set off the American Revolution — essentially pointed to the law and told them to pound sand. “Lexington is committed to teaching children about the world they live in, and in Massachusetts same-sex marriage is legal,” said Paul Ash. Even public schools in Texas have punished students for saying homosexuality “is wrong.” The confusion these children experience when parents instill one set of moral values, while their teacher uses their parents’ taxes to indoctrinate them in another, ought not exist.
- Children, period. Last September, Pete Buttigieg shared a photo of himself and his partner holding their two surrogate children. He carefully staged the photo of them lying in a hospital bed, as though one of them had somehow given birth to the child. In reality, their biologically mandated recourse to a surrogate eliminated the twins’ mother from her children’s lives. All children raised in a home with a same-sex “marriage” lack a parent who models either masculine or feminine biological traits. While circumstances may dictate that some children born to natural families are denied a relationship with one (or both) of the people who shares their own DNA, same-sex “marriage” requires it by design. At the whim of a same-sex couple, children were produced by surrogacy and traded like the ultimate consumer good. Removing a parent from a child’s life leads to life-impacting negative results. Children raised by same-sex couples were 35% less likely to graduate high schoolthan those raised in traditional families, and twice as likely to suffer emotional problems or ADHD. That may help explain why British actor Rupert Everett, who identifies as gay, said his mother “thinks children need a father and a mother and I agree with her. I can’t think of anything worse than being brought up by two gay dads.”
Many of the real social harms created by same-sex “marriage” were forecast in conservative dissents to the Obergefell decision. Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out that the majority opinion “graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to ‘advocate’ and ‘teach’ their views of marriage,” while the First Amendment guarantees the freedom to “exercise” religion. “Religious liberty is about freedom of action in matters of religion generally,” wrote Justice Clarence Thomas separately, noting the Obergefell decision carried “potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty.”
Thomas proved right, but today’s politicians do not need his prescience. Now the issue has been settled definitively, and the skeptics have been proven right. Republicans who vote with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to endorse the wrong side of history — the short, tragic, seven-year experiment with placing sexual “rights” above constitutionally defined freedom of religion, and children’s well-being — will do so with no excuse. They enter wide-eyed with the undeniable knowledge that their vote will inflict harm on their party and our posterity. Neither constituency will look upon them kindly for it.
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.