Ben Johnson

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Same-sex ‘marriage’: A welfare program, not a right

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson

Despite all the Sturm und Drang about equal rights, ending prejudice, and transcending the final frontier of the civil rights movement, the homosexual “marriage” movement is essentially just a pitch for another welfare program. Yes, insecure LGBT activists want the government to formally legitimize their sexual behavior as “equal” to the nuclear family norm. But when one pierces through their pseudo-moral arguments and high-sounding rhetoric, one encounters an unremarked reality: it’s all about the Benjamins

Reading their complaints more closely shows, like all revolutionaries, they have a set of demands: They want government benefits, mandatory health insurance coverage, and tax shelters – an unearned wealth transfer from taxpayers or employers to themselves.

One homosexual told CNN it was “unfair” and “un-American” that he could not receive $2,000 a month in Social Security survivor’s benefits from U.S. taxpayers after his “partner” died. In a more costly move, the “husband” of late U.S. Congressman Gerry Studds is now suing the government, because he cannot receive the federal benefits other spouses collect when a congressman dies.

Marriage redefinition advocates also complain that, while most large corporations provide health care benefits for same-sex partners, they must pay more than married couples. One such partner called the extra $15 a month he must pay to enjoy insurance from someone else’s employer “simply unjust.” A lesbian activist lamented that the University of Michigan requires same-sex couples to prove their commitment by living together for six months before receiving university health benefits.

They also demand tax shelters heterosexual couples enjoy. “Queer advocate” Erik Lappman writes, “It is essential that progressives across the United States highlight” the fact that same-sex couples pay “on average at least $1,069 more than identical heterosexual, married couples in taxes.” 

There’s a bumper sticker: “Same-sex ‘marriage’: ‘Cause it’s not love if I don’t get a tax break.”

Same-sex couples must pay estate taxes if they inherit more than $5 million. Karen Mateer, a California tax attorney, claimed, “It may mean selling a home or business to raise cash to pay death taxes.” I’m opposed to estate taxes in principle, but as an example of “discrimination”? Cry me a river. 

Even same-sex divorce is about cash. Christel de Cries, a Dutch immigrant, grouses that she cannot deduct the alimony she pays her ex-“wife” from her taxes.

But why precisely has society arranged itself to provide health benefits and other temporal goods to support the natural family?

In the hoary long ago, we extended health benefits to employees’ spouses, because they were usually stay-at-home moms raising children. The government, which has an interest in well-rounded children from healthy homes, blessed and financially encouraged the decision.

Beginning with the Revenue Act of 1948, the government extended tax credits to offset the economic costs families face when raising children. This bill was passed in an era before widespread contraception, when abortion was illegal and children were still considered God’s blessings upon a healthy marriage. 

Social Security survivor’s benefits were designed to help women who spent their whole lives raising a family in lieu of earning a company pension. 

Although most Americans now work outside the home – often more by necessity than choice – most women still take time off to raise their children. Working women, in the workforce or at at home, focus more on their loved ones than slavishly climbing the corporate ladder. Thus, they have lower lifetime earnings than men and may, for a few years, have no income at all.

Homosexual couples, who can neither get married nor have children, need no such help from society.

Put bluntly, they could and should go get a job to provide for their own insurance and retirement. Society does not have the same interest in supporting their shacking up as it does in facilitating a married heterosexual family raising children.

Call me heartless, but I’d just as soon the private sector take the money it would have used to provide insurance benefits to workers’ paramours and use it to create more jobs. In a work-starved society, where more Americans are filing for disability payments than filling new jobs, this should be a top priority.

And I’d just as soon Social Security save the money it would spend to extend benefits to the survivors of homosexuals and use it to stave off the day of its rapidly approaching bankruptcy.

The logical position of the lifestyle Left is that Americans have to pay for benefits to allow homosexual partners to stay home and raise children they can’t have. Then, to rectify nature’s oversight, we must honor their associated “right” to have children – by adoption or surrogacy, a process that exploits vulnerable women in nations like India, Cyprus, and Ukraine. After all, this will allow gay couples to qualify for more child tax credits. 

Florida attorney Chuck Rubin noted federal government calculations about the health of Social Security, and federal tax revenues, were calculated under existing law. Changing the rules “does affect the budget deficit,” altering how much “the government is spending on benefits and receiving in taxes. It’s definitely going to increase budgetary pressures.”

In an era of trillion-dollar-plus deficits, is that what we need? And since when were liberals interested in giving anyone a tax break, anyway?

In effect, the Obama administration and LGBT advocates are saying we should go further in debt to China to provide benefits for those who could have worked but did not.

Their proposal will cost an already bankrupt nation money it doesn’t have to distort every facet of natural design in opposition to the will of the people.

Make no mistake: this is an economic debate, one that deserves a rational analysis of whether these costs are worth the “benefit” society would receive. And the burden of proof is on those who want to overturn thousands of years of tradition to put their hands in our wallets. 

It’s not just about money; it’s about other people’s money, our money. The greatest PR triumph of the socialist-progressive axis to date is to claim that if those who pay those tax dollars dare to object about the use of our money, it is an act of mindless bigotry. 

We reject the redefinition of marriage for many reasons, one of which is its proponents’ monumental selfishness and sense of entitlement. 

This article originally appeared on TheRightsWriter.com and is reprinted with permission.

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

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By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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