Why Pro-Family Groups are Losing the Marriage Debate

Brian Camenker is a rabble-rouser from Massachusetts who founded something contentiously called MassResistance, a state-based pro-family group that takes perhaps the most aggressive stance in the country against the homosexual agenda.

In a recent column published on his website, Camenker offers no quarter to the national pro-family groups that he says have botched the fight against same-sex “marriage.” In fact, he says “the pro-family movement helped spread ‘gay marriage’ across America.”

Camenker is especially annoyed at the legal case put on by marriage defenders in the Prop 8 and DOMA cases. Camenker describes the well-funded and well-planned assault by LGBT activists including skilled attorneys, shrewd judge shopping, emotionally compelling legal arguments, a media juggernaut, training judges, and psychological manipulation. Even so, he says this could have been overcome except for “the terrible incompetence of the lawyers on our side.”

He says our lawyers put on weak defenses, with hardly any witnesses and used arguments that tended to go no further than “this is not about homosexuality but that children need both a mother and a father.” He says these “soft arguments” would have no effect, and they didn’t.

 

Besides soft arguments, most people don’t know that the lead witness for our side in the Prop 8 trial—David Blankenhorn of the Institute for American Values—actually said on the stand that America would be better on the day after we allowed for gay marriage. This was our witness.

No surprise not long after that Blankenhorn formally joined the movement for homosexual “marriage.” As he went out the door he said he was leaving because our side was mean—this after we adopted his softer messaging strategy.

Not enough people on our side know that the lead attorney in the Prop 8 case, Charles Cooper, was not on our side either. He was at that moment helping to plan the wedding of his stepdaughter to another woman. Sure, your lawyer does not need to know that you are guilty of murder, but in a case like this, he at least needs to agree with the arguments. Cooper didn’t and it showed abundantly.

Camenker traces these legal arguments to what he sees as the surrender of the mainstream pro-family movement, led by people like Blankenhorn, to certain assumptions of the LGBT movement including tolerance of homosexual behavior, believing that homosexuality is not immoral but natural, that loving homosexual couples are a legitimate part of society, allowing for gay civil unions, and much else.

He points to two heroes of the marriage movement and mistakes he says they’ve made. Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage went into the home of the odious Dan Savage, in the presence of Savage’s gay lover, over glasses of wine debated same-sex “marriage.” I have watched that film and I think Brown did a terrific job. Camenker says it was a huge mistake.

He also criticizes Maggie Gallagher, someone I have praised regularly, because she went to the Boston College law school and said, “It’s possible that gay couples could on average be much better parents than opposite-sex couples because they don’t have children as a result of sexual passion.” She prefaced that by saying it was reasonable to conclude that having gay parents was better than being in an orphanage or foster care.

He says the theme of the 2014 March for Marriage was “tolerance and that we’re ‘not haters.’” Camenker knows of no national pro-family group conference that has included speakers on “homosexual medical issues or the homosexual agenda in schools.”

And these are the nub of the issue for Camenker. Those two issues—the medical reality of homosexual behavior and what happens in schools—are the issues most national groups shy away from and are the ones Camenker believes are most effective.

The thing to know about Camenker is that he was radicalized on this issue because of what happened in the Massachusetts school system. In 1992 his neighbor showed him a teaching guide from the public school that depicted information about gross homosexual behavior. This was foisted upon kids without warning or parental approval. Camenker tried to get a bill passed by the legislature that would require teachers to inform parents when such subjects were to be taught and allow parents to remove their children. Camenker says the final bill was gutted.

In a quite remarkable documentary about what happened in Massachusetts after same-sex “marriage” was judicially imposed on that state, Camenker describes how rapidly the homosexual ethos was forced even upon kindergartners.

Though very rough and poorly made, the film makes the strong case that once same-sex “marriage” is allowed, certain things inexorably follow, things that are impossible to resist. The film was shown recently on national television in Finland and is credited with stopping their Parliament from allowing same-sex “marriage.” I recently invited Camenker to show the film at a conference for UN diplomats and the result was electric. When he showed a picture of two brothers, no more than boys, with one of them dressed as a girl, jaws dropped all over the room.

Besides what happens in schools, Camenker says the medical evidence about homosexuality is very powerful but left unused by the national groups. In fact, even after years of safe sex education recent data from the Center for Disease Control shows homosexual activity is profoundly dangerous. The infection rate for HIV continues to rise and is due almost exclusively to the homosexual community. So vast and interconnected are the health risks associated with gay sex—disease, drug/alcohol abuse, neuroses, violence—that researcher Dale O’Leary says the medical community refers to it not as an epidemic or even a pandemic, but something most of us have never even heard of—a syndemic.

Camenker believes the mother and father arguments don’t convince anyone and the reliance on them demonstrates that pro-family leaders have fallen for human respect. He also believes the studies showing the importance of moms and dads are mostly ineffective, too. After all, we trot out a new study, and the other side trots out two more. And look what happened to Mark Regnerus and his study. He has been professionally and personally crucified.

I am not a legal expert and therefore cannot comment on whether these arguments would have been allowed in a court of law. They certainly would have advanced the claim of the other side that it is “animus” that compels our opposition. But, we got that anyway.

Where I think Camenker is right but perhaps too late is in the court of public opinion. Everyone should read Robert Oscar Lopez on the dangers of sodomy. Everyone should read ex-gays and what happened to them in the gay subculture. It is all so horrific and anyone reading such things would feel great revulsion and understand that we cannot accept gay relationships let alone same-sex “marriage.”

I applauded some years ago when Maggie Gallagher and others came up with the new messaging about how this is not about homosexuality but what children need, more than anything a mother and father, something two men or two women cannot provide. It seemed brilliant to me then. But, this alone has not convinced, and the result is we have left behind other—perhaps more unpleasant—but possibly more effective arguments.

Austin Ruse

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Austin Ruse is president of C-FAM (Center for Family & Human Rights), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute. He is the author of Fake Science: Exposing the Left’s Skewed Statistics, Fuzzy Facts, and Dodgy Data published by Regnery and Little Suffering Souls: Children Whose Short Lives Point Us to Christ published by Tan Books. The views expressed here are solely his own.

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