Title: Getting Moody about relationship equality Credit: Craig Young Comment Monday 6th September 2004 - 12:00pm1094428800 Article: 399 Rights
Given the diarrhoetic flood of US Christian Right volumes opposed to civil unions, same-sex marriages and same-sex parenting, it is with profound regret that I am forced to draw our NZ glbt community's attention to this tome. Reverend Edwin Lutzer is senior minister at Chicago's "Moody Church" and has penned this repetitive 'rebuttal' of what the US Christian Right expects to see happen if the US Supreme Court ever decides that there is a constitutional right to lesbian and gay marriage or civil union status, and antigay state 'Defence of Marriage Acts' and the proposed so-called (and unpassed) "Federal Marriage Amendment" are ever swept away. Firstly, we can expect hordes of frothing fundamentalist traditionalist Mormons to flood the courts, demanding legal recognition of polygamy, or 'plural marriage' as they call it. Er, except for one thing. These traditionalist Mormon communities tend to be clustered in Nevada and Utah, and don't exist outside the United States, although I understand that polygamists are challenging Canada's federal marriage laws over the legal status of their relationships. Can someone point me toward any such polygamists rights organisation in New Zealand? No? Then isn't this a blue herring? Secondly, what about the effect on children of same-sex parents? Well, what about it? Stacey and Biblarz tell us our kids are usually communicative, well-adjusted, gregarious and knowledgeable youngsters, who have good relationships with their parents, other children and teachers. Moreover, same-sex parenting doesn't adversely affect educational achievement or future employment prospects. I know, I know. I've said that time and time before in New Zealand debates about relationship equality and same-sex parenting, but can I help it if the Christian Right keeps singing from the same tattered songbook? Thirdly, what about the effects on religious freedom? Oh, come on! Why would any self-respecting lesbian or gay man want to dress that badly and resort to life without a decent hairstylist to achieve the same dire look as the 'average' aesthetically challenged fundamentalist or conservative Catholic? No, again. We will not be tottering toward their tacky little sectarian outposts, demanding to be civilly united inside them. And what about the effects on religious freedom related to religious institutions that do believe that celebration and legal recognition of faithful, egalitarian and monogamous same-sex relationships is a social good, and should be performed? Actually, the US Christian Right is on about religious "liberty," which isn't about freedom at all. It means that if one is a religious social conservative, you can take all the liberties that you want in pursuit of your particular sectarian beliefs, but other people are not entitled to practice their own religious and/or philosophical stances. One word summarises what happens when this argument is allowed to take centre stage and destroy emergent or established democratic institutions: Yugoslavia. Finally, one does wish that Reverend Lutzer hadn't been quite so 'moody' about the issue of LGBT relationship equality. "Truth" about legal recognition of same-sex relationships? Only in the inverted sense of George Orwell's 1984, which is alive and well in the US Christian Right's fundamentalist worldview, where ignorance and mendacity are 'truth.' Not recommended reading: (but then, are any such books?) Edwin Lutzer, The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage: Chicago: Moody Press: 2004. See also Lutzer's webpage on the issue, on Pat Robertson's 'Christian Broadcasting Network' (without footnotes): Indispensable: Judith Stacey and Tim Biblarz "Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?" American Sociological Review: 68:2: (April 2004): 159-183. Craig Young - 6th September 2004    
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