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Dear Heterosexual Community: Your Kids Are Hurting, Part 2

April 6th, 2015 Comments off

Part One of this series is located here.

How savvy are you about step-families? Do you understand the structural similarity between step-families and same-sex marriage? Take the Step-Family Quiz to test your knowledge. I created this quiz as an engaging way to help defenders of marriage understand the cultural blind-spot that we have about step-families. Of course anybody is welcome to take it. But it is geared towards those who believe that marriage is only between a man and a woman. By the end it should become apparent why I have focused on marriage defenders. There are five questions and their answers, plus a bonus question at the end.

1. Which group was the first to claim there is “no difference” between the intact family founded on natural marriage and other family structures?

  • a. Heterosexuals
  • b. Homosexuals

2. When was that claim first made, and what form did it take?

Read more…

Sexual liberty v. real liberty

April 2nd, 2015 Comments off

Look at this screenshot I took last night:

sexual liberty is more google results 20150401

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was searching for a particular quote. A while back, somebody on the Left said that sexual liberty is more important than religious liberty and I wanted to find the exact quote. Went Google and started typing ‘sexual liberty is more…’ The screenshot is what Google showed me. Google created this list based on real searches by real people–it is not a fictional list. Real people are actually typing these statements into Google looking for similar results. (I eventually found the original quote here.)

I showed this screenshot to Dr. Morse and this is what she had this to say about it:

“These are the statements of an addict.”

Wow, how true. Anybody who has been around an addict knows that they will sacrifice anything and everything for their addiction… children, family, law, security, equality, life.

How will we respond as our culture and legal system elevate ‘sexual liberty’ above every other liberty?

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Dear Heterosexual Community: Your Kids Are Hurting, Part One

March 29th, 2015 Comments off

her scars are on the insideI am pleased to see that the community of natural marriage defenders is taking notice of kids in gay households:

Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting

Wonderful! But what if I told you that it’s only a start?

Consider this: kids in gay households are often there due to a prior divorce and later remarriage, or a prior divorce and later cohabitation. These structural issues are not being adequately addressed within the larger context of same-sex marriage, and this has created a logical gap in our arguments.

Filling this gap is our opportunity to reach the younger generation.

Largely, the younger generation favors same-sex marriage. But if we addressed the family structure problems first created by heterosexuals, this may help us persuade the younger generation:

  • that we care about their family structure inequalities and the pain caused by them
  • that gay marriage adds to the structural inequalities children face
  • that we are being fair in our assessments–we’re targeting all adults who are the impetus of structural inequalities for children under their care.

Here is why I am hopeful about this line of thought. The author of the above post retracted her support of same-sex marriage because she realized something important: Read more…

Exciting update! 800 comments sent about removal of marriage questions from census

January 7th, 2015 Comments off

Thank youYou may recall that the U.S. Census Bureau was proposing to remove five marriage-related questions from one of its surveys, and was soliciting feedback about the removal. Dr. Morse urged Ruth Institute fans and supporters to write to Jennifer Jessup at the Bureau to urge Ms. Jessup to not remove the questions (see Dr. Morse’s posts here). We have an update to this endeavor. The Washington Times reported on Dec 30:

The Census Bureau has gotten at least 800 written comments about its proposal to drop five marriage questions from its annual survey.

A bureau official declined Tuesday to say whether most of the comments were in opposition to the proposal, but leading family research groups have been unanimously against cutting the questions from the American Community Survey (ACS).

Scholars from the Brookings Institution and researchers from National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Ohio were among those who also protested the removal of the questions, according to the article. We also know that many of our fans and supporters sent emails to Ms. Jessup because of Dr. Morse’s request.

The article also reports that  there will likely be a second round of comments solicited before the final decision is reached. If you are on our newsletter list, you’ll receive an update about that when it becomes available. If you are not on our newsletter list and would like to stay updated about this and other topics, go here to signup: RuthNewsletter.org.

We appreciate all our fans and supporters who wrote to Ms. Jessup. Thank you!

Categories: Politics & Marriage Tags:

Why conservatives must embrace “Children’s Equality”

December 18th, 2014 Comments off
The new inequality: childrens' needs vs. adults' desires

The new inequality: childrens’ needs vs. adults’ desires

I was talking to Dr. Morse yesterday, and asked her to think back to when she was a young girl in school. “How many kids were from divorced families?” I asked her. She said she could think of one. The rest lived with their married biological parents. Before the Sexual Revolution, there used to be an important and unrecognized equality among children: nearly every child lived with his/her married parents.

Let’s think for a moment about what the Sexual Revolution has done to equality from the child’s point of view. In the name of adult sexual liberation, we now have a tremendous amount of family/structural inequality among children. Some kids live with their married parents, and many do not:

  • Nearly 40% of births are out of wedlock
  • A majority of teens don’t live in intact families
  • One in three children live in single parent homes

Read more…

Rethinking the Blended Family

December 11th, 2014 Comments off

As somebody who was raised in multiple divorce/remarriage situations, the phrase “blended family” has always reminded me of a blender.  Yes, a literal blender, like this:

Read more…

Children of Divorce and the Holidays: a Stressful Time

December 2nd, 2014 Comments off

InequalityDo you know a child of divorce? Maybe you are divorced and you have children. Maybe you have a young relative or a young neighbor whose parents are divorced. Maybe your child has a friend whose parents are divorced. The holidays can be stressful and chaotic for a young person who must navigate between the two–often shockingly different–worlds of their parents. As a child of divorce myself, I thought it might be helpful to share some thoughts so that readers can understand what these children go through during the holidays.

Sometimes holiday stress can manifest in anger, combativeness, tears, sadness, stubbornness, withdrawal… all of which may seem inappropriate or unjustified to an untrained observer. People might wonder, “Why is this child acting out?”  If you know a child of divorce, please be sensitive to their feelings during the holidays. The holidays may serve as a magnifying glass as to how broken their family feels to them. For example, they might feel very divided. They might not know how to talk about the division they feel. Whether real or imagined, they might not feel like they have permission to talk about it. In point of fact, they might not have permission to talk about it.

Here are some situations that the child of divorce must navigate every holiday season: Read more…

Categories: Children, Divorce Tags: , ,

Tax Advantages of Donating Appreciated Stock to the Ruth Institute

November 19th, 2014 Comments off

appreciated stockHere is a unique way to help the Ruth Institute. If you have stock that has appreciated in value, you may be able to donate it to the Ruth Institute and receive great tax advantages for doing so. The general idea is that when you donate appreciated stock to a charitable organization, you can write off the stock on Schedule A at the market value, and you don’t have to pay capital gains on the gain (neither does the charity). For example, according to the Wall Street Journal:

You also can give appreciated stock to charity. If you’ve held it for more than one year you may take a charitable tax deduction for the market value of the stock, and neither you nor the charity has to pay capital-gains taxes when the stock is sold. The combination can result in a bigger deduction (and more tax savings) for you and a bigger gift for the charity than if you sell the stock, pay the taxes, and donate the net proceeds.

Sandra Block at Kiplinger.com has this to say about it:

If you’re in a charitable mood, consider donating appreciated securities — stocks or mutual funds — instead of cash. When you give $1,000 in cash, you get to deduct $1,000, and that saves you $250 in the 25% bracket. (Any state-income-tax savings are gravy.) 

But let’s say you have $1,000 worth of mutual fund shares that you bought more than a year ago for $500. If you sell the shares, you’ll owe $75 in tax on the profit, even at the preferential 15% capital-gains rate. But if you donate the shares, the charity gets the full $1,000 (it doesn’t have to pay tax on the profit when it sells), you avoid the $75 tax bill, and you still get to deduct the full grand. It’s a win-win-win situation.

For those who would like a more concrete example, Wells Fargo Advisors has a chart with examples from two different tax brackets. Click here to see it.

If this sounds like something you would like to do: first, speak to your tax advisor about it to make sure this fits with your tax and other financial goals. After doing so, call our office at (760) 295-9278 for more information. Thank you!

Categories: Tips and Reminders Tags:

PROPOSAL: gender-based civil unions

October 7th, 2014 Comments off

Proposal from the Ruth Institute:

Gender-Based Civil Unions

Since an essential public purpose of civil marriage in the United States has been to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another, and since this essential purpose is being overwritten and therefore discarded due to gender neutral marriage and parenting laws, we propose the following:

To establish civil unions that are gender based–one man and one woman. With respect to taxation, parentage, federal benefits, etc. (reference), they will be legally equivalent to (now gender neutral) marriage in everything but the name. The legal doctrine that was formerly known as the marital presumption of paternity, which existed in order to attach the father to the family, was distorted into the marital presumption of parentage under gender neutral marriage and parentage. It shall be restored to its former function of attaching the father to the family for these civil unions. Gender based terms shall be used to describe the parties, such as male, female, mother, father, etc.

Male/female couples who were previously considered married under the gender neutral system may opt into a gender-based civil union. Churches who uphold marriage as the union between a man and a woman can perform these ceremonies under whatever name they wish. If they wish to call it marriage, they can do so. There will be no speech restrictions regarding what individuals, churches, or other private entities call these unions. However, with respect to the legal code, they will be called civil unions.

Regarding divorce: generally, we prefer the state to have a higher bar to overcome before getting involved in a divorce for these civil unions than it does currently for civil marriage. Michael J. McManus, in the Spring 2011 edition of The Family in America (reference), proposes what he calls “Three Achievable No-Fault Reforms.” They are:

  1. Mutual Consent.
  2. Parental Divorce Reduction Act.
  3. Responsible Spouse/Fit Parent.

We are open to discussion about any of these or other reasonable proposals. Our primary goals are to reaffirm sex differences in the legal code and to reaffirm the father’s attachment to the family. Secondarily, we see these civil unions as an opportunity to make long-needed reforms to divorce laws.

If you like this idea, we encourage you to share this post with your friends. You can also support our work by making a donation today. Donate safely via Paypal.

To Melanie Batley at HuffPo

September 16th, 2014 Comments off
Jennifer Johnson, Director of Outreach

Jennifer Johnson, Director of Outreach

 

Hi Melanie,

My name is Jennifer Johnson and I am the Director of Outreach at the Ruth Institute. Since you linked to an important document created by my organization in your post called, “Conservatives Can’t Be Pro-Marriage and Oppose Gay Marriage,” I would like to respond to you.

You said that you haven’t found a conservative to “give you a satisfactory answer” as to “how gay marriage tangibly undermines traditional marriage arrangements.” That’s unfortunate, and I’m not very surprised. However, this kind of answer is the kind of answer specialize in here at the Ruth Institute (which is no longer part of NOM, BTW).

Before I answer, let me pose a question, Melanie. Have you researched the precise manner in which gay marriage is implemented into the legal code? I would like to make a prediction: that you have not done this research. Very few have. What I have observed, instead, is that gay marriage supporters make an assumption. Their assumption goes like this: Read more…