Same-sex ‘marriage’ is just the beginning

| Jason Adkins | March 15, 2013

By the time you read this column, legislation to redefine marriage (HF 1054/SF 925) will likely have been passed out of committees in both the Minnesota House and Senate, and sent to the floor of each chamber, where it could receive a full vote at any time. (Have you called or visited your elected officials?)

The redefinition of marriage should not be seen as a stand-alone act. It is the harbinger of broader social change aimed at creating gender and sexual “freedom” and breaking down the supposedly repressive social norm of heterosexual monog­amy.

And it is accompanied by other significant pieces of legislation working their way through Minnesota’s Legislature that should be resisted just as vigorously as same-sex “marriage.”

Prevention of school bullying or re-education camp?

Much ink has been spilled inside and outside the Church critiquing the irrationality of this false movement of liberation.

Irrational ideas cannot subsist in a true marketplace of ideas. Criticism must be shut down or the Big Lie will be exposed.

This is plainly the case in the context of the marriage debate, where intimidation and name calling are used in the social sphere to silence people (or churches). If marriage is redefined, the coercion of silence will enter the legal sphere, where real penalties will befall those so-called “bigots” who “discriminate” by clinging to the traditional definition of marriage.

But it will not end there. In fact, the schools are the ideal place to foster this new regime of “tolerance,” and forcefully suppress any bad thoughts or “hate” speech that may emerge.

Enter HF 826/SF 783, the “Safe and Supportive Schools Act,” which is being sold as a measure to combat school bullying.

Legislation to combat school bullying seems like a no-brainer. No one wants his or her child bullied.

But this bill is not designed to protect all kids from school bullying. In fact, some victims of bullying may receive no special protection from the legislation.

The proposed law singles out certain “protected classes” of students — including sexual orientation and “gender identity and expression” — for special attention and favored treatment, and encourages curriculum and programming that will, in all likelihood, undermine traditional social and ethical norms and usurp the rights of parents as first educators of their children.

In attempting to guarantee select groups of students a “safe and supportive learning environment” (dangerously undefined) by prohibiting any words a student could arguably view as “interfering” with her “educational performance,” the bill would place chilling authority and burdensome administrative responsibilities in the hands of schools.

StarTribune columnist Katherine Kersten offers these examples:

  • The bill would compel schools to police cell phone activity, texting and “cyber-bullying,” including comments a student writes on her Facebook page.
  • Equally problematic, the bill would prohibit conduct that creates “a real or perceived imbalance of power between students,” along with conduct that violates “the reasonable expectation of privacy” of any student. Courts would have trouble applying these standards, let alone school officials.
  • The bill also appears to withhold due process of law from students accused of bullying. It requires schools to investigate anonymous accusations and does not give students the right to confront their accusers. Paradoxically, it would permit students to harass one another by making unsubstantiated charges of misconduct with little or no accountability.
  • One of the bill’s most chilling aspects is that students who dissent from certain state-approved cultural/political attitudes could potentially be referred to “counseling” by school authorities for failing to sufficiently “value diversity.”

We are not done yet! The bill’s proponents want to require private schools to follow the mandates of the law as well. If a Catholic school refuses to comply, its students could lose their pupil aid, such as textbooks, school nurses, and transportation.

Does this sound like an Orwellian nightmare? It should, because it is one.

The plethora of free speech and freedom of religion problems contained in this legislation will inevitably lead to an enormous legal headache, but an equally pressing concern is the relentless assault in our schools on the dignity of the human person, authentic sexuality, and the institutions of marriage and family.

The truths found in the natural order continue to be suppressed.

Assisted reproduction, or the commodification of women and children?

Speaking of nature, one more bill merits your close attention.

Those who choose not to live in accordance with the natural law soon discover that it is difficult (impossible) for two people of the same sex to create a child.

Sometimes, the natural desire to have children of one’s own persists, and therefore some same-sex couples resort to technology or the use of a surrogate mother to carry a child to term.

Interestingly, though surrogacy agreements are becoming more common, they are not, as of yet, considered enforceable contracts under Minnesota law. The birth mother still has certain rights and responsibilities.

HF 291/SF 370 has been introduced to allow surrogacy agreements to be used as admissible evidence in custody proceedings between surrogate mothers and “intended parents.”

This might all sound very technical and legalistic, but it is supposed to sound that way. Its real aim is to covertly decide a controversial public policy question — the legitimacy of surrogacy agreements — without opening a big public debate.

If state law considers surrogacy agreements as admissible evidence, it will signal to courts that these are, in fact, legitimate and enforceable contracts, paving the way for a full-blown surrogacy business in Minnesota.

Groups as diverse as the Minnesota Family Council and the National Organization for Women have contended (rightly) that such a regime would lead to the exploitation of women and the commodification of children, denying them their right to be connected to their biological parents.

Widespread acceptance of surrogacy will likely transform the way in which our society brings children into the world. Children will become “products” that are produced, bought, and sold; often, poor women will become incubators for these new consumer “goods.”

The 2013 Minnesota legislative session is offering a glimpse into a brave new world. Though well-intentioned by some as a path to freedom from both nature and outdated social norms, it ultimately threatens our humanity.

Please take the time to oppose these three related bills.

Jason Adkins is executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

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Category: Faith in the Public Arena

  • Ben

    You people are just a bunch of bigots. Your church has turned into a hate group!

  • Bob

    “Irrational ideas cannot subsist in a true marketplace of ideas. Criticism must be shut down or the Big Lie will be exposed.”

    I am so happy that I was able to recognize the irrationality of the ideas being fed to me in my fifth-grade catechism class. I am also happy that I am still able to recognize the “Big Lie” that represents the false premise on which this piece rests.

    “Have you called or visited your elected officials?”

    Yes.

  • Very telling that you automatically reach for the gay red alert button. Have you actually read the bill? It covers ALL children.

    I grew up Catholic. I admire much of what the church does. But this is insulting to children and adults everywhere.

  • Blue Parker

    So an anti-bullying act aimed at protecting children at school is somehow just a disguised attempt to legalize gay marriage? You are SO DUMB.

    That said, gay marriage WILL soon be legalized everywhere in this country. Deal with it.

  • reallyaimai

    You do know that nothing in this article is true, practically including the “and” and the “the” don’t you? For example, if the writers had taken “thou shalt not bear false witness” seriously they would never argue that the anti bullying law is either harmful to the church or to religious believers–it is true that the children at your schools will not be permitted to bully or harass gay students but, of course, neither will those students or their families be permitted to harass or bully those students whose religious beliefs include worrying about other people’s sex lives or gender conformity. It says so right in the text of the legislation: religious belief and practice are two things which are given special protection against bullying.

    As for the extreme disingenousness of arguing that the church wants a “free market place of ideas” I have some sad news (insert sad face here)–you lost in the free market place of ideas. Normal, non bigoted and happilly monogamously married heterosexuals like myself are not at all worried that our children will be forcibly gayed by the gay mafia. We have plenty of evidence from history and literature and personal experience that our children and our friend’s children may be bullied into suicide by religious sex fetishists. Certainly we choose to excercise our freedom of choice in the “free marketplace of ideas” by avoiding schools like yours or people who share your beliefs. Why isn’t that ok? That *is* the free market place of ideas. The Catholic Church would rather have “fewer but better Catholics” and it is more than free to choose that route to eventual demographic suicide. But why should taxpayers like myself, who want our money educating children not paying for religious bullying lessons, be forced to support you? If you want separatism then be willing to pay for it.

  • Strepsi

    With all this interference in secular politics, your churches really should be taxed. But since they’re not, maybe you can chip in for the schoolbooks for schools that are actually unwilling to teach children that they should not bully gay kids?

  • mattymaxxx

    If you don’t want to play by the State’s rules, then don’t take the State’s money. NEXT.