Matthew J. Franck

Same-sex marriage and social change: exceeding the speed of thought

Matthew J. Franck
By Matthew Franck

January 11, 2013 (thePublicDiscourse.com) - It is remarkable that the idea of same-sex marriage has gained ground so rapidly. Those most quick to accept the idea have been elite liberals, with ordinary Americans lagging behind but becoming more accepting of the idea. In the thick of the struggle over the law and politics of marriage, we can easily forget how novel is the idea of two men or two women marrying each other.

This fact came home to me when I participated in a forum on the subject at Princeton University last spring. Present in the room were two lions of the liberal academy, each past the “threescore years and ten” of which the Psalmist speaks, each a distinguished scholar with many publications to his credit, each known for his devotion to liberal causes. Both gentlemen expressed the opinion that the cause of same-sex marriage was obviously just, that opponents of the cause were obviously reactionary and benighted, and that this was plainly the new civil rights struggle of our time.

Yet it struck me that if denying same-sex couples the “right to marry” was such an obvious and gross injustice as to merit such energetic claims today, why had it never occurred to either of these august scholars decades ago, at the beginning or the middle of their careers? In the books of proud advocacy each had published, say, twenty or thirty years ago, there was not the slightest hint that American public life was disfigured by this particular injustice.

Redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships simply didn’t occur to them, because it didn’t occur to anyone. Yet that day they espoused that view with the fervor of men who had always thought so, and for whom it was unthinkable to believe otherwise. If they reflected on this change in their own thinking, would they conclude that their reasoning powers had been deficient years ago, or their moral sympathies inadequate?

It is, of course, possible for people to evolve in their thinking, and to come to views that weren’t on their radar in earlier days. But this seems to be a special case, not accounted for by the emergence of a genuinely new issue, nor by new knowledge, nor by a change of heart or of mind about something basic. The scholars of whom I speak, for instance, have been liberal in their attitudes toward homosexuality for many decades. One could well believe that mistreatment of homosexuals was wrong, without believing it was even possible for two persons of the same sex to marry.

If we compare the issue of same-sex marriage to an issue with which it is often equated, that of interracial marriage, we find that it stands out as unusual yet again. Like slavery itself, the now-discredited ban on interracial marriage was never without critics who complained of its injustice. Only racists thought such a ban was just, and Americans were not universally racist.

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By contrast, no advocates of justice in human history, prior to the modern sexual revolution in the West, ever thought of same-sex marriage, whatever their views on society’s treatment of homosexual persons. This historical reality brings us to Michael J. Klarman’s new book, From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage. Klarman, a Harvard law professor whose very large book on the struggle for African-American civil rights won the prestigious Bancroft prize in history, has written a much shorter book this time around because all the history he relates is so very recent. Every significant element of the story has occurred in just the last twenty years. And the overwhelming impression one gets, in the pages of From the Closet to the Altar, is of social change taking place at dizzying speed, with very little thought about where we are going.

Strictly a legal-political history in its first eight chapters, Klarman’s book is a thorough and instructive tour of the last few decades, but only on a very narrow subject. The author’s tight focus on the marriage issue makes the book unsuitable as a history of American sexual attitudes and mores, of homosexuality generally, or of other “gay rights” issues; all these subjects tangentially appear only in connection with the marriage question. The spotlight is on activists, lawyers, judges, politicians, and public officials as they battle over whether marriage will be redefined to include same-sex relationships; in the background are voters and the general public as the terrain of the contest among elites.

But here is perhaps the useful reminder provided by Klarman’s book. Not only did no one ever believe, before the last few decades, that justice required us to redefine marriage as the solution to some problem. Among gays and lesbians themselves, it remained highly contentious, until still more recently, whether marriage was even something they wanted. They universally desired better treatment from the larger society, but it was by no means universal among them to desire marriage as the mark of that better treatment. And it was not just a question of whether they wanted to press for marriage now or later, as a tactical matter; it was an open question whether they wanted it at all. In the memory of any of us of middle age who have known gays and lesbians all our lives, we quite vividly recall the commonly expressed view among them, not long ago, that marriage was “for straights,” or “for breeders,” in the patois of the gay subculture.

Of this we should pause and take stock for a moment. The consensus among gays and lesbians today (with very few dissenters) is that they do indeed desire the right of civil marriage. But why do they want it? The question is seldom asked. They so plainly desire it so very much that it seems rude to ask.

Well, why have men and women throughout the ages wanted to marry—to unite with each other in a private relation that is publicly recognized, honored, and commonly sanctified? The answer may be found in another recent book, by Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George, titled What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense. Sexual attraction and romantic love may prompt a couple’s desire to be together, but they marry in order to make something new that honors and ennobles that attraction and love: the nucleus of a family, in a comprehensive relation of husband and wife that points toward the future, with an openness toward making that future through procreation.

We know that marriage can take place without procreation, and most assuredly procreation can take place without marriage. But as a public institution founded on private relations, marriage would not exist were it not for the offspring that regularly result from marital acts. And so, ask the question again: why do (typically young) men and women get married? What purpose are they pursuing? In the paradigm case, the answer is: to start a family in the way all families are made possible in nature, by sexual intercourse and childbearing.

Same-sex couples can and do raise children, but in no case can a child be the offspring of both partners. The family-with-children headed by a same-sex couple, then, is by definition an exceptional case, and cannot ever be the paradigm case of a marriage-based family. In this it resembles opposite-sex couples with stepchildren or adopted children, but only superficially. The difference that still remains is that these opposite-sex couples can provide their children with both a mother and a father, which same-sex couples cannot do. Whether that is a difference that makes a difference is a fitting question, not one to be banished as invidiously discriminating before it is asked.

Where the “conjugal view” of marriage is concerned (as What Is Marriage? calls it), as opposed to the “revisionist view,” something both natural and necessary is pursued. Uniting sexually complementary persons so that new life is brought into the world, and children are provided with mothers and fathers (and this by adoption or stepparenting or the like where “nature” fails), is what marriage has always been about at its core. And it is in order to foster this union and its fruits that marriage is recognized and protected by the laws.

In the revisionist view, marriage comes to be about something else. Throughout Klarman’s book one encounters this fact, though the author, whose prejudices are entirely in favor of this change, makes no effort to present it. For same-sex marriage advocates, marriage is about material benefits (of financial advantage, inheritance rights, control of medical care, etc.), or it is about social status and recognition (the attainment of equality under the law for a relationship hitherto left out of its ambit), or it is about a liberationist ideological project (the normalization and acceptance of homosexuality by the “heteronormative” larger society), or it is about some “transgressive” project (to transform our understanding of marriage because its traditional norms are thought to be unjust, or part of a larger fabric of injustice).

How strange this all looks from the standpoint of the tradition these advocates presumably seek to join. Men and women too might marry for some of these reasons (e.g., for material advantage or status), but they are not why marriage exists, and we are inclined to think ill of couples whose reasons for marriage do not go to the core of its purpose and nature. A change to the definition of marriage that eliminates, among its essential features, the purpose for which it came into being in the first place, is quite a step to undertake.

Throughout From the Closet, we find leading figures in the fight for same-sex marriage trying to divert the attention of voters, legislators, and judges away from the very unorthodox nature of the claim they are making on marriage as an institution. Again and again they are portrayed as pressing on accepted precepts of equality—the condemnation of “discrimination,” the application of “rigorous scrutiny” by judges to claims on behalf of tradition, and so on—as though the thing they so ardently desire were simply an extension of marital norms on which all agree.

Yet this is an astounding case of misdirection. The truth is that they wish to redefine a foundation stone of human society in such a way that it will no longer bear the weight we put on it. As others have observed, redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships completes the separation of marriage from its true nature, already begun by modern divorce law and other social changes, by making it about adult desires rather than the formation of families and the welfare of children.

Klarman turns, in the final three chapters of his book, to the correlation of forces that, in his view, will “inevitably” result in the establishment of same-sex marriage in the whole United States, probably as a result of a Supreme Court ruling in the near future. Here the most striking thing, coming from the pen of a law professor and constitutional historian, is how little interest he takes in the legal arguments and their persuasive connection to constitutional principles. Klarman seems to regard the Supreme Court justices as life-tenured Solons, lawgivers for the nation who act on their own moral convictions, and a rough sense of public opinion, rather than on legal principles discernibly present in the supreme law of the land to which the people have consented.

It is best not to be too confident of the success of a movement that has existed for so short a time, is so unsure of its arguments, and is so heavily reliant on a cynical view of constitutional government. With two cases on the Supreme Court’s docket, we will find out very soon how well moral and legal incoherence hold up, in the court of law and the court of public opinion.

Matthew J. Franck is Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute. This article reprinted with permission from The Public Discourse.

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Scott Walker rebukes media claiming he thinks forced ultrasounds are ‘cool’

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By Ben Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – They say there's no such thing as bad publicity, but Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker begs to differ. The Republican presidential hopeful found himself on the receiving end of a media feeding frenzy this week, as several leading mainstream media outlets misquoted him and implied that he thought forcing women to undergo an invasive transvaginal ultrasound was “a cool thing.”

Last week, Walker defended his pro-life record in a conversation with Dana Loesch, a talk show host with 97.1 FM in St. Louis. “Most people I talk to, whether they're pro-life or not, I find people all the time will get out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids' ultrasound and how excited they are. That's a lovely thing,” he said. “My sons are 19 and 20. We still have their ultrasound picture – it's a cool thing out there.”

On Tuesday, Right-Wing Watch posted a story with the headline: “Scott Walker: Ultrasounds Should Be Mandatory Since They're 'A Cool Thing.'” The website, which frequently cherry-picks quotations for maximum outrage, is a project of People for the American Way, a liberal group dedicated to fighting conservative Christians.

Politico, regarded as an authoritative website for campaign issues, picked up the remarks the following day with the headline: “Scott Walker on mandatory ultrasounds: ‘It’s just a cool thing out there.'”

The new account of Walker's remarks soon went viral in both the mainstream media and the left-wing blogosphere. Salon, Mother Jones, The Week, and Blue Nation Review among other outlets reported that Walker had said forcing women to have a transvaginal ultrasound was “cool.”

The meme had been a major part of the Democrats' “War on Women” in 2012 and 2013, as the abortion industry likened mandatory ultrasounds to rape. In fact, transvaginal ultrasounds are standard care before abortions.

Nonetheless, Planned Parenthood tweeted this week:

An outraged Loesch posted the full quotation, as well as audio of the full segment, on her website. (Walker's remarks on ultrasounds begin at 15:49.)

Ironically, his comments came as part of a complaint that the media had distorted his record on abortion.

“Anyone with the reading comprehension of a dolphin knows that Walker was specifically describing ultrasound images, not the legislation itself,” Loesch said.

But Think Progress, a project of the George Soros-funded Campaign for American Progress, dismissed this as “a narrow distinction.”

Politico eventually relented and changed the headline to “Scott Walker defends mandatory ultrasounds.”

The governor, who regularly polls near the top of the 2016 Republican presidential field, came out swinging Thursday.

“I said ultrasounds are pretty cool,” Scott Walker clarified, praising “the wonders of that technology.”

The constant repetition of a media distortion, he said, was “more than biased; it’s just lazy.”

Despite efforts to set the record straight, prestige media outlets continued to churn out headlines misconstruing his remarks, with new stories appearing in New York Magazine and the New York Daily News as the week drew to a close.

“They can’t win on the Left on an issue, [so] they exaggerate things,” he said. “They make things, and they take them out of context.”

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Planned Parenthood has misrepresented political stories numerous times before. It tweeted out a picture that falsely implied that no women took part in a religious freedom hearing before the House of Representatives. In fact, two pro-life women participated.

The Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationally, Roe v. Wade, hinged upon a lie that Norma McCorvey had been raped. McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of the decision, now hopes the decision is overturned.

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Many parents and families are ill-equipped to respond when faced with such circumstances, leaving them frightened and uncertain how to act.
Lianne Laurence

What to do when your own child is a sex abuser

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

May 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In the wake of revelations that Josh Duggar allegedly sexually molested five minor girls – four of them his younger sisters – when in his early teens, many familiar with the evangelical Christian Duggar family and their ten-season-long TLC hit reality show “19 Kids and Counting” are inevitably putting themselves in Jim Bob and Michelle’s shoes and asking: What would I do if faced with a similar situation? What should I do?

Many parents and families are ill-equipped to respond when faced with such circumstances, leaving them frightened and uncertain about their responsibilities both to the victims, as well as as to the perpetrator of the abuse. 

What, then, are parents’ moral and legal obligations, and how can they most compassionately and effectively respond to both offender and victims? These are the essential questions.

Moral obligations

“Clearly, this is the last thing that a parent wants to hear,” says Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, associate professor of psychiatry and director of the program in medical ethics at the University of California Irvine School of Medicine, speaking of parents who discover that their child has been involved in abusive behavior. But “we should take anything like this very seriously.”

In a telephone interview with LifeSiteNews, Kheriaty said parents have two moral obligations that might seem contradictory.

The first is to protect their and other people’s children from “any form of sexual abuse.” “All of us in society have a responsibility for protecting all children from any form of abuse, including of course, sexual abuse.”

The second and equally important “is to help one’s own child who may have been the perpetrator of the abuse. And the way to help them is not to try to manage the situation on one’s own.”

Parents must “bring their child to a licensed mental health practitioner” such as a child psychologist or child psychiatrist “for an evaluation to look at what’s going on with the child’s sexual development.” There is a possibility the perpetrator has himself suffered from abuse, or is “entangled in the use of pornography.”

While parents may shrink from “the hard realities of what this is going to entail,” they lack the necessary professional knowledge to deal with the situation, or if they do have such knowledge, their “emotional attachment to their own child would cloud their judgment,” noted Kheriaty, a father of five sons and author of The Catholic Guide to Depression.

And while certainly not necessarily the case in every instance, “there’s going to be a much higher probability that there’s serious family dysfunction” if such incidents are occurring in the home.

Legal obligations

Parents also meet their legal obligations when they take their child to a licensed mental health practitioner, Kheriaty explained. All states have mandatory reporting laws, which require the mental health practitioner inform parents that he or she must report the incidents to Child Protective Services (CPS), which will then investigate.

“What would happen legally really depends on the nature of the case and the age of the child as well,” he said. A 13-year-old may be considered too young to be legally or morally culpable. But the CPS would monitor the situation and take steps to ensure the abuser can’t “continue this abusive behavior” and “to reduce his access to younger children.” This might mean removing him from the home for a period of time.

“Obviously that whole process is going to be extremely trying and painful for any parents, but not only is it the best thing for potential victims, to protect them, it would also be the best thing for the perpetrator,” Kheriaty told LifeSiteNews. “In general, the earlier you catch this behavior, probably the more amenable it is to treatment.”

The inclination to sexually use a minor “tends to be difficult, if not impossible, to change or to eradicate” in an adult. But “in a younger child, where they’re still going through a process of ongoing sexual development, there may be things that can be done to put them on a better track and diminish, if not completely eradicate, those tendencies.”

If a youthful offender doesn’t get the help he needs, he could be “doomed to a life in prison or a situation where he’s done tremendous damage or harm to others,” Kheriaty observed. “It’s a situation in which the most loving thing may be very, very difficult and very, very tough, and yet still the best thing for the child who is perpetrating this behavior.”

While Christian parents might worry about what influences their child will encounter in a secular treatment center, Kheriaty countered that “no behavior could be more contrary to living a Christian life” than sexual abuse. He contended that the benefits of a treatment center far outweigh any perceived dangers, and the danger of not getting treatment.

“Any decent program is going to have the same aims that the parents have,” Kheriaty said, and its goals therefore will be “consistent with the goals of living a Christian life.”

Strong families, open communication about sex/porn

Kheriaty and fellow Christian psychiatrist Richard Fitzgibbons emphasized that parents need to educate their children on sexuality and to be particularly vigilant about the pervasiveness of pornography.

“How to raise psychologically and morally healthy children: that is the million dollar question for all of us as Christians,” Kheriaty noted.

“Parents need to wake up and dial in and be clued in to what’s happening with their children and technology, and whom their children are communicating with on the Internet.” They also need to teach their kids about sexuality in an “age appropriate way” but in this culture, “that will probably happen earlier than parents are comfortable with.”

In terms of protecting one’s child against being a victim of sexual abuse, “the best thing is to maintain strong, healthy, intact families,” he told LifeSiteNews.

A father of three daughters, Fitzgibbons, the director of the Institute of Marital Healing outside Philadelphia and an expert on sexual issues, said that “parents should closely monitor any youngster who has few friends and who isolates himself” and “try to support and encourage close friendships in their children, particularly with those of the same sex. They should inquire as to how friendships are going and support having friends over and going to friends’ homes.”

He too urged parents to instruct their children about “what God’s plan is for human sexuality.” He advised this take place “certainly by 6th grade given the pornography epidemic. Youth need to be taught that pornography is the use of another person as a sexual object.”

“Fathers should ask their sons about how they are dealing with sexual temptations.  Mothers should have similar discussions with their daughters,” he suggested. “Psychologically, it is important to encourage male friendships in their sons, build their confidence in their God-given gifts and provide comforting love and praise by each parent.”

For Catholic parents, he recommended the teachings of St. John Paul II, which “can also be valuable in helping to prevent such tragedies in families and in healing the wounds inflicted by sibling betrayals.” He recommends summaries of “Love and Responsibility,” “The Theology of the Body,” “The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World,” and the “outstanding” 1996 document by the Pontifical Council for the Family, “The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality.”

Obligations to the victims

Fitzgibbons echoed Kheriaty in pointing out that the parents of the offender have a moral obligation to the victims. No type of sexual abuse can ever be termed minor, he noted. “Our experience is that if parents become aware of such behaviors that they act promptly.”

But he noted that “many older female patients” have stated that their parents denied their “reports of sexual molestation by an older male family member, such as a cousin, uncle or grandparent,” which “further weakened the trust of the victim.”

Forgiveness is essential in healing the effects of abuse, Fitzgibbons said, but forgiveness does not necessarily mean trust.

“Parents need to pursue in their own lives the hard work of forgiving one child who may have sexually abused another child. They also need to insist that the abuser ask for forgiveness and in that process identify the emotional or spiritual conflicts that made them vulnerable.”

“Parents need to also encourage a victim child to work on the process of forgiveness so that he/she does not become, in the words of St. John Paul II, ‘a prisoner of one’s past’ because of the failure to forgive.”

It’s also essential that victims be protected from further abuse. “Hopefully, if the offender worked for a long time on his/her weakness, in some cases it might be possible to build a degree of trust, but in other cases this is not possible.”

If the trauma suffered is severe, the victims must be protected “from people, places and things that remind one of the trauma” in order to recover. And if abuse occurred within the extended family, “the usual response is to end the relationship with the abuser indefinitely and with his/her parents… The nature of the abuse often indicates the time necessary.”

Lasting damage to the victim will “depend upon the nature of the abuse, its frequency, length and the abuser,” Fitzgibbons pointed out. “If the abuser is a very angry person, it will instill more fear and mistrust that could seriously damage a person’s ability to trust and to give oneself fully later in life.”

Spiritual response

Fitzgibbons adds that in addition to counseling, the response of a Christian family to adolescent abuse should also include “a discussion of the youngster’s spiritual life.”

“When someone uses others in one’s family, he/she has serious psychological and, often, spiritual conflicts,” pointed out Fitzgibbons. In the case of repeat offenders, “the child really needs some moral help.”

For Catholic children, this means “particularly the use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This Sacrament can help in mastery over strong sexual temptations.”

Fitzgibbons, who has extensive experience treating Catholic priests for homosexual attraction and ephebophilia says it’s also absolutely crucial to get to the root of the behavior through therapy.

“You can repent and say God has forgiven me, and I believe the Lord does forgive us, but you want to know specifically what caused it. … The burning question we always have is, what is the cause?”

In his clinical experience, men with youthful offenses involving some form of sexual abuse had “serious weakness in confidence and social anxiety” on a psychological level. “Often, they did not have close male friends and were highly anxious with adolescent females.”

“If I had a 13-year-old son who did that, I would want to look very carefully: Is there some weakness he has that would predispose him to do that? Is he overly selfish? Is he very insecure in his masculinity, doesn’t have enough friends? Is he a very lonely person? Does he need more comforting female love than he’s getting?”

“These are hard questions but they have to be looked at.”

While Fitzgibbons emphasized that “this type of behavior in youth is not an indication that there are serious problems in the family,” he also observed “I’d want family therapy” in order to ascertain if there is “there some conflict the child has that he would seek comfort like that. … One would have to look with complete honesty at everyone.”

It is possible that “the cause may not be anything psychological. It could be the allurement of sin,” Fitzgibbons noted. “But the devil often works through a weakness we have within us.”

Fitzgibbons added it is critical that those who have been involved in such behavior understand and resolve the reasons for their adolescent actions. “There are numerous studies that demonstrate that 70 to 80 percent of people’s adult psychological problems are the result of unresolved child or adolescent traumas,” he said. “It’s a huge problem, for example, in married life.”

In the case of Josh Duggar, he pointed out that Josh had voluntarily confessed his adolescent crimes to his wife and her family two years before they were engaged, something he said was "very important."

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The well-funded propaganda blitz in full swing.
Mass Resistance

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What really happened in Ireland’s gay ‘marriage’ referendum

Mass Resistance
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The "big lie" techniques were alive and well in Ireland.
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This issue is very powerful -- and frightening -- over in Europe.
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Across the country the "No" side was much more creative.
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This militant movement is just getting started.

May 29, 2015 (MassResistance.org) -- Last Friday’s 62% vote in Ireland to legalize “gay marriage” has been hailed as a triumph of progressive thinking by the mainstream media and the political establishment. The outcome shocked many in the pro-family movement. But what the mainstream press isn’t reporting is even more shocking.

There is no question that the secularization of Ireland, the weakness of the Catholic Church and refusal of the Pope to intervene, the corrupt political class, and the relentless pro-gay media were all contributing factors to the “gay marriage” vote.

But the “Yes” vote would still have most likely failed if it had been a normal Irish election. Those same general conditions existed in many places here in the U.S. from California to Maine where “gay marriage” failed to win a popular vote.

This “culture war” election was conducted under extraordinary conditions that have never been seen anywhere before in the West. As we described in our pre-election article virtually all of the effort to pass “gay marriage” in Ireland came from massive funding from the United States – primarily a billion-dollar pro-gay foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies –  in a sophisticated campaign spanning over a decade.

Background: Years of referendum losses by the LGBT movement

To understand how this Irish election was won, a bit of history from the U.S. is in order.

Most of us forget that for over 20 years, the idea of a “gay marriage” referendum passing anywhere seemed next to impossible. From 1998 to 2009, there were 31 statewide votes to completely ban “gay marriage.” All of them won. Some won by majorities as high as 80%. Even in Massachusetts, the LGBT lobby fought furiously to keep a “gay marriage” ban from coming to a vote. Their own leaders had come to believe that the only way they would make any “progress” in the U.S. was through the courts.

The big LGBT turnaround in 2012

Then, after the their 2009 “gay marriage” referendum defeat in Maine, the homosexual movement decided to craft an entirely new approach toward elections.

They brought together groups of political strategists, psychologists, pollsters, organizing experts, and various “think tank” types. They meticulously studied the data and their election experiences and designed a new set of strategies and tactics to win against their “right wing” adversaries.

They created a sophisticated propaganda campaign. They shipped thousands of activists into key voting areas to canvass door to door. In order to soften the average people toward homosexuality and create an animus against traditional religious values, they resurrected many of the “big lie” techniques used by the 20th century totalitarian movements. For example, people were told over and over that not allowing “gay marriage” was bad for the economy and that only backward, ignorant, and superstitious people still were against it. Homosexuality was said to be the next phase of the Civil Rights movement. A key talking point was that by supporting “gay marriage” you are “on the right side of history” – a Marxist concept (later used by the Third Reich).

Fundraising became a major part of the strategy. For earlier elections they had casually raised about the same amount (or less) than the pro-family side. But now, they would tap the “gay” moneymen for very large sums of money.

And it all worked. In November 2012 they won all four statewide “gay marriage” referendum votes: Maine (a re-vote), Minnesota, Maryland, and Washington. In those races they spent between five and ten times as much as the pro-family side. Their propaganda was shrewd – for instance, putting forward friendly faces of “gay” couples who seemed just liked everyone else. Their winning margins were not large (between 51% and 53%), but they won.

Shortly after the 2012 wins, the LGBT movement published an article in a Maine newspaper describing much of their “turnaround” process. And since then, they’ve been virtually unstoppable.

Laying the groundwork in Ireland over a decade earlier

Funded primarily by Atlantic Philanthropies, the Irish LGBT lobby groups started laying the groundwork over a decade in advance. Their ambitions multi-year plan (which they later outlined HERE) included a very sophisticated and aggressive lobbying effort targeting Ireland’s key politicians, which resulted in a long string of “incremental” parliamentary successes for the LGBT movement.

The National Catholic Register recently published a very good article chronicling this.  Also, the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts has compiled a complete list of the major anti-family political actions over the past decades that helped bring Ireland to the state it’s in.

However, from the beginning the main goal from all of this for both the Irish LGBT groups and their American funders was to soften up the Irish citizenry to eventually win a nationwide “gay marriage” vote, which for constitutional reasons had to be done by a nationwide referendum. The referendum finally took place on May 22, 2015.

Ramping up for a nationwide “gay marriage” vote in Ireland

It’s one thing to get a country’s parliament to chip away at the moral underpinnings through legislation. But it’s a much different challenge to get a country with a thousand-year Catholic culture to accept “gay marriage” through a nationwide vote.

So to take on the Irish election, the LGBT movement ramped up their effort tremendously over what they did for the elections back in the U.S.

The total LGBT funding to achieve “gay marriage” in Ireland has been estimated at between $17 and $25 million – roughly 50 times what was raised and spent by the pro-family side. Their execution was planned and focused rather than scattered and haphazard as our side’s tended to be.

The campaign with lengthy and intense (and expensive) nationwide propaganda using psychological manipulation techniques to pound the entire country. The average person could barely grasp the force that was coming at him. And that was just the beginning.

The arguments were not rational or truthful, but completely emotional.

People were told over and over that those opposed to “gay marriage”:

  • Are opposed to democracy
  • Will damage lives
  • Are against human rights
  • Will hurt Ireland’s international reputation
  • Will hurt Ireland’s economy
  • Are in favor of discrimination
  • Are against love
  • Are hateful and bigoted
  • Are stupid and backwards

This all had a horrible effect on our side while galvanizing their supporters. It got to a point where people who persisted in holding these “backward” beliefs were considered inferior humans by the supporters. One could literally lose his job over it. A particularly nasty venom was directed at religious believers and the Catholic Church. Many of our people became frightened and confused, while the other side became bolder and more vicious.

Ireland gets a lesson in ‘election mechanics’

As the election neared, the polls showed a 78% “Yes” vote coming up. But the homosexual movement knew they still weren’t safe.

Their brain trust realized early on that a great many people would simply “go underground” with their views and would vote their conscience on election day, but would respond to pollsters in a “politically correct” manner. They also knew that the bulk of hardcore “gay marriage” supporters were young people who had a terrible record of voting or even being registered.

They could still lose if those they really needed (those responding emotionally) didn’t register or vote. So months before the election – with the help of the country’s police force – they set up pro-gay marriage voter registration areas at college campuses. According to eyewitness reports, these booths illegally skipped required steps in the registration in order to process more people.  Over 50,000 college students were registered in this manner, and others already registered were identified. In addition, according to reports, they also had paid canvassers make sure that their likely supporters in the cities were registered to vote.

Then on election day, using sophisticated social media and other techniques, they had the most massive “get-out-the-vote” effort ever seen in Ireland. As a result, over 90% of  known pro-gay marriage supporters voted, and 95% of registered college voters, according to one report. On the other hand, many pro-family people, we were told, feeling overwhelmed and beaten down by the psychological techniques used against them and with no overall get-out-the-vote organization, never made it to the polls.

Nobody in Ireland had ever seen anything like this. There is no question that if the election had been conducted on an even playing field from the beginning (or even with just a 2-1 funding advantage) the “Yes” side would not have prevailed. As one Irish voter observed, "If usual voing patterns had prevailed this would have been easily defeated."

The pro-family Irish opposition – a valiant stand

Given the odds against them and the terrible psychological battle focused against religious believers, the Irish pro-family people stepped up quite admirably. But they were on their own. "These groups received their funding from personal donations by private individuals. There was no big financial backing coming from anyone," we were told by one of the Irish pro-family people.

They put up as many signs as possible, even though a great many were vandalized. They passed out many thousands of leaflets in cities and also went door to door in rural areas. one organization distributed over 91,000 pamphlets. A group of 12 Baptist churches put some ads in newspapers.

We were told that the Catholic Church was very weak on this issue and did not officially call for a "No" vote. According to the Catholic Action League, at least 15 priests publicly endorsed the "Yes" campaign and at least one bishop criticized the pro-family "efforts. Nevertheless, many individual Catholic priests were outstanding in their outrcy for a "No" vote.

Lacking sophisticated planning, there was no unified message. “Every child needs a mother and father” was the common refrain, which has a much stronger meaning in Europe because of outrage over the child trafficking. Others used MassResistance information on what “gay marriage” brings to the schools and other social institutions. A few focused on the dangers of homosexual behavior.

Can this be stopped in the future?

There is talk about Italy being their next “gay marriage” target. They are also eying some of the African countries that have been holding out on “LGBT rights”. 

Can this juggernaut be stopped? Of course it can – with proper resources. Everything the other side does can be picked apart and be countered. Plus, working with the truth normally has a big natural advantage. Their lies, irrationality, and thuggish tactics only work because there’s no effective opposition.

Their biggest triumph has been the LGBT movement’s ability to cut off the  money supply to frontline groups. The millionaires and billionaires ostensibly on our side could easily donate many times the money necessary to fight this effectively. But they have virtually all become emasculated by fear of the “gay mafia”. It’s quite pathetic to see, and it has had terrible consequences. So we need to create new methods of funding. Average people are more becoming more important than ever.

Also, many people in the  pro-family movement (and many donors) still do not see this as a “war” to subvert society, but as a kind of religious/secular disagreement among individuals. This often causes our tactics to be skewed and usually only marginally effective. So even when we have the money, it often gets squandered on dumb things.

Let’s hope that we can all learn something from what happened in Ireland on May 22.

Reprinted with permission from MassResistance.org.

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