Monday, April 09, 2012

From Northern Minnesota, Two Excellent Rebuttals to the "Convoluted Logic" of the Bishops' Pro-Amendment Argument

Jason Adkins (pictured at right) is serving double duty. Not only is he the executive director of the Minnesora Catholic Conference (of Bishops) but he's also the vice chairman of Minnesota for Marriage, the official campaign supporting the so-called "Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment." This really shouldn't be that surprising given the prominent pro-amendment activism of the Catholic bishops of Minnesota – in particular, Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis.

Adkins recently had an op-ed published in the Duluth News Tribune. Following are two excellent responses to his (and thus the bishops') perspective on civil marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Gay Couples Are Also Loving, Committed to Family

In his March 21 commentary in the News Tribune, Minnesota for Marriage’s Jason Adkins used combative language to say gay and lesbian couples shouldn’t be allowed to marry. By conjuring up “assault” and “threats” to traditional marriage, Adkins invoked a convoluted logic that must make his law-school professors cringe. His assertion that granting full marriage rights to same-gender couples would somehow detract from the integrity of heterosexual marriage and destabilize our civilization failed credibility.

He implied that if gay marriage was legalized, gays and lesbians would marry, stopping the procreation they’re obliged to do. Heaven forbid they’d perhaps try raising adopted children in a non-traditional family structure. It was an argument that bordered on delusional and that suffered from ignorance.

Had I not known and loved family members and friends who happened to be gay, then perhaps I’d be susceptible to the fears promoted by Adkins.

When he begins to discover just who among his family and friendship circles happens to be gay, he’ll understand committed, same-gender couples share the same love and commitment we all do. I believe he’ll then come to deeply regret his current public sentiments.

Increasing numbers of us are realizing that whenever two adults make a public, life-long commitment to one another, the quality of our communities is strengthened. I realize that for some faith traditions, the journey to full inclusion requires wrenching introspection as to what really defines core beliefs. We finally are acknowledging that full equality is right for all Minnesotans.

For all those like Adkins who have yet to travel this road of discovery, I wish them well. I have confidence enough of my fellow Minnesotans will choose to honor and affirm all families next November by voting “No” on the proposed marriage amendment.

– Geoffrey A. Witrak
Letter to the Editor, News Tribune
April 6, 2012

Gay Marriage Foe Described False Choices

It always disturbs me when an issue such as the marriage amendment is boiled down to a choice between two alternatives, and one of the alternatives is described in very negative terms while the other is presented in glowing, positive terms. In his March 21 commentary in the News Tribune, Jason Adkins of Minnesota for Marriage presented two alternatives in just this way.

Let’s examine the two alternatives, as suggested by Adkins.

In his negative choice, he implied that two people of the same gender who wished to be married do not care about anything other than themselves. In my experience, this is just not the case. If two gay adults love each other and want to enter into a committed relationship through marriage it does not follow that they are any threat to anyone else. It also does not follow that a gay couple somehow threatens the well-being of children and society.

In his positive choice, it appeared that every marriage made up of one man and one woman works for the “well-being of children and society,” as Adkins wrote. This also is not always the case. There are many examples in history where children and society have been threatened or wounded by married members.

We simply cannot lump all people into two groups based on their sexual preferences and then proceed to make generalities about every member of the two groups. We have a U.S. Constitution that protects minorities in our society from persecution and discrimination. Adkins does not comment on the discrimination that gay people face every day.

The fact that two gay individuals marry does not threaten my marriage, my society or my children in any way.

Vote “No” on the proposed marriage amendment on Nov. 6.

– Marvin Holt
Letter to the Editor, News Tribune
April 8, 2012

Recommended Off-site Link:
Obama Opposes Minnesota Anti-Gay Marriage Constitutional Amendment – Luke Johnson (The Huffington Post, April 9, 2012).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Responding to Whiny Catholic Bishops Who Cry Victim
"Come On, Ethel, We're Leaving!"
Progressive Perspectives on Archbishop Nienstedt's Anti-Gay Activism
A Head and Heart Response to the Catholic Hierarchy's Opposition to Marriage Equality
Palm Sunday at the Chancery
Sharing the Good News of Marriage Equality at the Basilica Block Party
Tips on Speaking as a Catholic in Support of Marriage Equality
A Catholic Statement of Support for Marriage Equality

1 comment:

Mike said...

Adkins' arguments don't just make his law school professors cringe... it also makes his former law school classmates (of which I am one) sick.