Here are a few real-life examples that have occurred recently:
• The City of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, ordered Christian ministers to perform same-sex weddings under pain of 180 days’ imprisonment for each day the ceremony is not performed and fines of $1000 per day; some British MPs have threatened to remove the marriage licenses from clergy who fail to conduct ‘same-sex marriages’
• Clergy in Holland, France, Spain, the US, and Australia have been threatened with prosecution for ‘hate speech’ for upholding their faith tradition’s position on marriage; the City of Houston, Texas, has even subpoenaed pastors, compelling them to submit sermons to legal scrutiny when discussing sexuality
• In Colorado and Oregon, courts have fined bakers who refused on religious or conscientious grounds to bake wedding cakes for ‘same-sex weddings’; in New Mexico, a wedding photographer was fined for refusing to do photography for such a ceremony, and in Illinois, accommodation providers have been sued for not providing honeymoon packages after ‘same-sex weddings’
• Yeshiva University in New York City was prosecuted for not providing accommodation to ‘same-sex married couples’ and other Catholic university colleges have been threatened with similar actions
• Catholic adoption agencies in Britain and some American states have been forced to close for not placing children with same-sex couples: for example, Evangelical Child Family Services in Illinois (US) was shut down for its refusal to do so
• Catholic organizations in some American states have been forced to extend spousal employment benefits to same-sex partners
• In New Jersey, an online dating service was sued for failing to provide services to same-sex couples, and a doctor in San Diego County was prosecuted after refusing personally to participate in the reproduction of a fatherless child through artificial insemination
• Parents in Canada and several European countries have been required to leave their children in sex-education classes that teach the goodness of homosexual activity and its equality with heterosexual marital activity; for example, David and Tanya Parker objected to their kindergarten son being taught about same-sex marriage after it was legalized by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, leading to David being handcuffed and arrested for trying to pull his son out of class for that lesson. They were told they had no right to do so
• The Law Society in England revoked permission for a group called ‘Christian Concern’ to use its premises because the group supported traditional marriage which the Law Society said was contrary to its ‘diversity policy’
• In the US, Canada, and Denmark, pastors or religious organizations have been forced to allow same-sex marriages in their churches or halls: Ocean Grove Methodist Camp in New Jersey (US) had part of its tax-exempt status rescinded because they do not allow same-sex civil union ceremonies on their grounds
• British MPs have threatened to stop churches holding weddings if they do not agree to conduct same-sex ones.
Thus, a view of marriage – as between a man and a woman – which was previously common to believers and non-believers alike, across a whole variety of cultures and times, is increasingly becoming a truth which cannot be spoken. Redefining marriage has consequences for everyone.
- See e.g. P Amato, “Research on Divorce: Continuing trends and new developments,” Journal of Marriage and Family 72 (2010): 650-666; S McLanahan and C Percheski, “Family Structure and the Reproduction of Inequalities,” Annual Review of Sociology 34 (2008): 257-276; S McLanahan and G Sandefur, Growing Up with a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1994); B Ellis, et al., “Does Father Absence Place Daughters at Special Risk for Early Sexual Activity and Teenage Pregnancy?” Child Development 74 (2003): 801–21; W B Wilcox, et al., Why Marriage Matters: Twenty-Six Conclusions from the Social Sciences, 2nd ed. (New York: Institute for American Values, 2005); E Marquardt, Family Structure and Children’s Educational Outcomes (New York: Institute for American Values, 2005); P Amato, “The Impact of Family Formation Change on the Cognitive, Social, and Emotional Well-Being of the Next Generation,” The Future of Children 15 (2005): 75–96; C Harper and S McLanahan, “Father Absence and Youth Incarceration,” Journal of Research on Adolescence 14 (2004): 369–97.
- See, e.g.: S Brown, “Marriage and Child Well-Being: Research and policy perspectives” Journal of Marriage and Family 72 (2010): 1059-1077; D P Sullins, “Emotional Problems among Children with Same-Sex Parents: Difference by Definition,” British Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science 7(2) (2015): 99-120; W B Wilcox, et al., Why Marriage Matters; W B Wilcox, “Reconcilable Differences: What Social Sciences Show about the Complementarity of the Sexes and Parenting,” Touchstone 18, no. 9 (November 2005): 36; M Regnerus, “How Different Are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study,” Social Science Research 41 (2012): 752–70; and L Marks, “Same-sex Parenting and Children’s Outcomes: A Closer Examination of the American Psychological Association’s Brief on Lesbian and Gay Parenting,” Social Science Research 41 (2012): 735–51, 748.