COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BP) -- Same-sex "marriage" proponents have made remarkable strides in getting a hearing for their radical marriage counterfeit. No society at any time has ever raised a generation of children in same-sex families, and two short decades ago, the idea of men marrying men and women walking down the aisle with women was unheard-of. Times have changed.
Gay activists have conducted their focus groups and message-testing and realized there is one message that works better than all others. In fact, the gay magazine OUT explained in the mid-1990s that the phrases "marriage equality" and "freedom to marry" were "actually something that activists began using on the advices of a Los Angeles PR firm, based on how well they believed it would play in the heterosexual mainstream."
The genius is that while the average American might not personally like the idea of same-sex "marriage," they are hard-pressed to offer meaningful reasons for why it shouldn't be adopted in society. Compound this with the very deliberate and widespread accusation that opposition to same-sex "marriage" and parenting is tantamount to hate-filled bigotry at its worst and back-woods ignorance at its best. With that gambit, this movement has really accomplished something. Show of hands: Who wants to be seen as hateful or ignorant?
But here is the truth. Same-sex "marriage" advocates have largely gained their ground through deception, emotional manipulation and diverting the public's attention away from the thousands of scientific studies that tell us healthy child-development requires the two different models of human parents: mothers and fathers. They have manipulated us by high-jacking civil rights language for their own narrow purposes. And as a result, millions of boys and girls will be subjected to intentionally motherless and fatherless families for no other reason than to fulfill the desires of adults who want such radical homes.
So what do we make of the bigot/ignorant accusation? I have been debating this issue on secular and liberal Christian college campuses for nearly a decade. It is the rare event -- if there has even been one -- where this charge is not leveled at least once. Well, there are number of ways to expose the fallacy here.
First is the fact that same-sex activists have made little ground in convincing black Americans that their very long and real struggle for civil rights is just like the gay community's. But African-Americans are buying it less than the religious folks, as polls reveal that same-sex advocates have more difficulty convincing black Americans of their case then religious folks.
The New York Times recently addressed this truth, quoting a civil rights leader in the black community who explained that phrases like "gay is the new black" can be "deeply offensive" to black Americans who know sexual preference is nothing like race.
Blacks have boldly refused to fall for this false and deceptive comparison. Who believes that being hand-cuffed and arrested for trying to eat at a neighborhood lunch counter or use a public bathroom -- not to mention being attacked by Bull Connor's police dogs and fire hoses -- is in any way similar to not being able to redefine the universal institution of marriage? It's nothing short of perverse to compare the two.
President Obama has clearly said on numerous occasions he opposes same-sex "marriage." If you take him at his word, are we to assume he's bigoted or unenlightened? Perhaps the majority of African-Americans -- who largely possess a deeply held Christian faith -- see this not as an issue of equality, but morality.
And these are not just conservatives who resist the comparison. The Rev. Walter Fauntroy, friend of Martin Luther King, former Congressman and coordinator of the historic 1963 March on Washington, warned, "Don't confuse my people who have been the victims of deliberate family destruction by giving them another definition of marriage."
This is a very real issue for black leaders, Fauntroy said, because their children and communities have been profoundly wounded by the lie that families don't need fathers. It is just as wrong to say mom's lesbian lover can replace a father. Neither can teach a little boy how to grow to be a man and neither can make sure a little girl receives healthy, appropriate love and affirmation from a caring man.
While a loving and compassionate society comes to the aid of motherless or fatherless families, there is no "civil right" to intentionally create fatherlessness or motherless homes in order to fulfill adult desires. Race and gender are clearly a fundamental part of who a person is. It is evident at birth and even before. But for all the effort to do so, science has not been able to establish that one is born gay, lesbian or bisexual. Race and sexual preference have no similarities. And those who equate them reveal a total lack of understanding of both.
Glenn T. Stanton is the director of family formation studies at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Colo., and is the author of "The Ring Makes All the Difference: The Hidden Consequences of Cohabitation and the Strong Benefits of Marriage" (Moody, 2011), and "Secure Daughters Confident Sons, How Parents Guide Their Children into Authentic Masculinity and Femininity" (Waterbrook, 2011). Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net