Push for Genderless Marriage within GOP is a Red Flag for Free Speech
by Doug Mainwaring and Stella Morabito
This article was first published at aim.org on October 23, 2012.
One would think the only news about conservatives with regard to same-sex marriage is the hoisting up of white flags, if not rainbow ones.
We should instead be raising red warning flags.
Within the GOP there is a concerted frontal attack against those who oppose genderless marriage. The aim is to stifle real debate before it can take place. The strategy: marginalize opponents by finding high profile “conservatives” who can help fund and manufacture an illusory cascade of public opinion away from the definition of marriage as one man and one woman.
Astronomical sums are piling into the coffers of the gay lobby in its now-or-never quest to make genderless marriage the law of the land. Recent headlines have blared: Major GOP funder gives to Maryland same-sex marriage campaign, (Washington Post); N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg gives $250,000 to Maryland same-sex marriage effort, (Politico).
With each high profile conservative the same-sex marriage lobby enlists, it builds the false illusion of mainstreaming their agenda. This also serves to skew public opinion before the issue is fully debated. Wittingly or not, commentators like Michael Barone, a conservative pundit who writes endlessly about polling numbers, have become part of this scheme.
Though one of us is gay, we both recognize that the emotional argument for same sex marriage is indeed a trap, laid not to increase our nation’s freedoms, as we are told to believe, but to increasingly limit them.
Now that the Attorney General has attacked the Defense of Marriage Act, and several governors and state legislatures have twisted arms to force the issue, proponents have set their sights on abolishing opposition among Republicans.
The Republican Convention in Tampa was underwritten by billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer, who has donated millions to gay initiatives, including same sex marriage efforts.
According to The New York Times, Singer “was pivotal in rounding up about $250,000 apiece for the Republican state senators in New York whose votes for same-sex marriage provided its margin of victory in the Legislature . . . Now, Singer says, he’s providing $1 million to start a new ‘super PAC’ with several Republican compatriots. Named American Unity PAC, its sole mission will be to encourage Republican candidates to support same-sex marriage…”
Singer asserts that opposition by conservatives is “part of the landscape of so-called harshness.” His is simply the language of political correctness, attempting to shame and silence all opposition. Indeed, Singer has the resources to be a powerful enforcer.
Log Cabin Republicans are also spearheading the effort to abolish dissent among Republicans. R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of Log Cabin, is a “communities contributor” for The Washington Times, a conservative newspaper. His agenda is to standardize the notion of same sex marriage in the GOP, while attacking groups such as The National Organization for Marriage as “a cancer that needs to be removed for the good of the conservative movement.” While Cooper claims to believe there are “good and loyal conservatives on both sides,” apparently they comprise a “cancer” in the body politic. In fact, it is their voices he wishes to surgically remove.
The real goal is to make sure the national discussion is driven by the suppression of any voice daring to raise a real question about genderless marriage and its consequences for a functioning society. True debate has not only been stifled. It has in fact yet to occur.
Consider the “debate” as it has played out so far. Perhaps you believe the issue of same-sex marriage hinges on “equal rights” or the claim that it is only fair that all should be able “to marry the person they love.” Or that the state’s interest (as defined in a 2001 Vermont ruling) is about promoting couples’ relationships of “mutual affection.”
As conservatives, we understand how people of good faith fall into this trap. We all want to stand for the dignity and worth of every human being. On the surface, these notions sound good, but in fact are nothing but a media/political machine at work. Who could possibly be against equal rights or fairness? What curmudgeon could object to mutual affection?
To preserve the freedom that ensures dignity, we must first look deeper and vigorously oppose the suppression of dissent and debate.
Now consider these salient and suppressed arguments:
That the state has no business incorporating the notion of “love” into the basis for defining the right to civil marriage;
That the state’s only valid interest in sanctioning marriage is to hold biological parents responsible for the new citizens they sire or bear. Only the heterosexual union produces citizens of the state, and therefore the state has no valid interest in any other union, period.
That government-sanctioned same-sex marriage actually increases and solidifies state authority and undermines freedom by eroding the bonds of traditional families and the strong buffer these bonds provide all members of society against government intrusion into our personal relationships. Most alarming is that the imposition of genderless marriage opens a clear path for allowing the state to pick the parents for all children.
Few are aware of these arguments because the left’s machine doesn’t want you to hear and digest them. The proponents of same-sex marriage all share two great fears: First, that people might pause and choose to think deeply, rather than feel, before going to the polls. And second, that people might begin to speak freely with each other, unconstrained by the inhibiting strictures political correctness places upon normal discourse in daily life.
If this were to happen, the left’s fragile narrative might spin wildly, irrevocably out of control.
To watch Republicans try to silence other Republicans – especially on an issue that means so much to children who hunger and yearn for their mothers and fathers to accept them – feels almost criminal. But the non-debate over same-sex marriage is just an example of the most pressing issue of our time: the silencing of dissent.
Free speech is a use-it-or-lose-it proposition. We desperately need a movement in which citizens demand their right to free expression. A good and logical place to start is the issue of gay marriage.
Conservatives, don’t be intimidated. Come out of the closet on this one and put away your white flags.