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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.

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Do Kids Need a Mom and a Dad? The University of Chicago biz school study

January 12th, 2012 Comments off

In a previous post, I discussed a Life-Style Leftist blogman’s outraged response to a perfectly reasonable statement about a very sound study, and analyzed the rhetorical strategy of accusing your opponent of saying  something he didn’t say. In this post, I want to talk about the substance of the study, what it shows and what it doesn’t.

It is always dangerous to speculate about people’s motives of course. I’ve never met Zach Ford, the blogman over at Think Progress, so I don’t know exactly what he is thinking. But I can say this: the logic of the marriage redefinition movement requires its advocates to deny that gender matters.

If gender is to become legally irrelevant to marriage, the logic of their position drives them to claim that gender is irrelevant to parenthood. The gender of parents doesn’t matter.  The gender of children doesn’t matter.  There is no difference between “mothers” and “fathers:” those are just empty, social constructs. There are only generic parents. In fact, everyone is a generic person. There are no sons and daughters either, only generic children.  So, the impact of an absent father on a girl should be exactly the same as an absent mother on a girl, or an absent father on a boy, or as an absent mother on a boy.

But now, take a look at the study that Mr. Ford claims that Mr. Stanton has mischaracterized.  The title of the study reveals that it is profoundly about gender, “The
Trouble with Boys: Social Influences and the Gender Gap in Disruptive Behavior.”
  Mr. Ford characterizes the paper thus: “If anything, the Booth study supports arguments Read more…

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Left-wing rhetorical strategies: mischaracterize your opponents’ statements

January 10th, 2012 Comments off

This is one of our continuing series of posts on identifying the rhetorical tactics of the opponents of marriage. This strategy of mischaracterizing your opponents’ statements is extremely common, and takes several different forms.  Today we are going to deal with just one: being outraged over a statement you attribute to your opponent, but which he did not in fact make!

An example of this from Think Progress crossed my desk yesterday. Here is the breathless statement from left-wing LGBT blogman, Zach Ford, attacking Focus on the Family (FOTF):

But though FOTF is clearly trying to use this as evidence against same-sex marriage, the study did not prove anything “against” same-sex parents. The study in question (PDF here) did not, in fact, address same-sex parenting whatsoever, but instead compared children raised by married heterosexual parents to children raised by a single mother. It is one of many “fatherless” studies that conservative groups use to conflate not having a father/having one mother with having two mothers.

Mercy! Those nefarious right-wingers! Transforming a study that has nothing to do with same sex parents into an attack on gay parents! Read more…

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Categories: Children, Tactics Tags: ,