Have some Boy Scouts board members lost their compass?

Reports of recent comments by two board members of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) provide Exhibit A examples of self-serving inclinations and failing to remember which way they (should) face.

The first comes from The Dallas Morning News: 

Two prominent business executives signaled Wednesday that they will work to reconsider the controversial Boy Scout policy that bans openly gay and lesbian adults from being troop leaders, den mothers or youth members.

James Turley, CEO of Ernst & Young, and Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, both issued statements this week indicating their willingness to use their positions as Boy Scouts of America national officers to revisit the anti-gay policies…. Read more

Liberal thinking and religious views don’t mix

Shortly after President Obama “evolved” his position on “gay marriage” to one of support, he held a Hollywood fundraiser at which he described his new position as “a logical extension of what America is supposed to be.” As a liberal with a liberal vision of America, what this really means is that President Obama’s support for “gay marriage” is a logical extension of liberal thinking on the family and liberal views and definitions (not to be confused with realistic views and definitions) of “equality” and “tolerance.”

Shortly after President’s Obama’s announcement, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), a fellow liberal and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, similarly announced a flip-flop in his position on “gay marriage,” from one aligned with his religious thinking to one in line with his political thinking. Majority Leader Reid, like President Obama, claimed to be following the leadership of his children and grandchildren on the issue.  Read more

Groundbreaking Study on Alternative Families

This morning a reputable scholarly journal published two key studies that could unsettle some of the happy talk about alternative family forms. The studies have already been the subject of major stories in the Deseret News and Washington Times. Maggie Gallagher and Charlie Cooke have both made important comments at National Review Online.

In the first study, Dr. Loren Marks of Louisiana State University carefully critiques the research relied on by the American Psychological Association in its policy statement supporting parenting by same-sex couples. Dr. Marks effectively demonstrates that the methodology of the studies is poor enough that the conclusions drawn from them by the APA are unwarranted.

The second study, by Dr. Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin, is even more startling. It examines a large national data set, randomly selected, and assesses the outcomes for children across a wide-range of variables.  Read more

The judicial campaign against DOMA

Yesterday, a panel of three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit (the federal appeals court that covers Massachusetts and some of the other Northeastern states as well as Puerto Rico) ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. DOMA was passed by Congress in 1996 and has two sections. The first part allows states to determine whether they will recognize a same-sex marriage contracted in another state. The second part says that wherever federal law uses terms like “marriage” or “spouse” those terms refer to the union of a husband and wife. That means federal law does not recognize things like same-sex marriage or polygamy.

The second part has been targeted in a recent series of lawsuits. It appears that major gay rights advocacy groups have divided up the U.S. and brought lawsuits in various states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, California) where the federal courts seem likely to accept their claims. A couple of courts have done so, two of these decisions are on appeal and today’s 1st Circuit case is the one that has gone furthest. The decision notes the U.S. Supreme Court will likely be the final word on the constitutionality of DOMA.  Read more

The real flaws in homosexual advocacy

In 1973, Robert Spitzer, then-leader of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), supported the removal of homosexuality as a mental disorder from the industry’s bible. He was a staunch opponent of “reparative therapy” for homosexuals – the practice of helping people (mostly men) struggling with homosexuality overcome those urges and change their sexual choices.

In 2003, Spitzer recanted that earlier position and argued in a peer-reviewed journal that people struggling with homosexuality can indeed be helped to not make those sexual choices. Of course – using a tactic they found so successful in politicizing medicine and science back in 1973 through their public protests at the APA convention – homosexual advocates raised a ruckus. But Spitzer lived with it. For a while.

Now, in 2012, dying of Parkinson’s disease, Spitzer is back to his original sentiment that, notwithstanding his peer-reviewed work on the subject, he thinks he was right in 1973. In The New York Times, Spitzer writes, “I think I owe the gay community an apology.” He adds,  Read more

‘Gay-rights’ advocates who turn into bullies

President Obama is in favor of same-sex marriage. So is Senator Harry Reid – always referred to as “a Mormon” when he is at odds with his own church. And now Mitt Romney – always referred to as “a Mormon” when, well, always – has to defend his political correctness by insisting that he didn’t know a kid from high school was struggling with homosexuality when he helped to hold him down and cut his gay-looking hair.

In the midst of the new hysteria over bullying and tons of homosexual agitprop in the media, a controversial bill returns to the Utah Legislature to criminalize bullying, especially the bullying of kids struggling with homosexuality or “gender identity.”

Evidently there is a link between bullying kids struggling with homosexuality and teen suicide. Of course this claim is an old one: People struggling with homosexuality kill themselves because … because … other people who should love them tell them that homosexuality is wrong or a sin, or, even worse, because of disapproving comments from teen peers. And so they kill themselves.  Read more

Obama, North Carolina and the politics of marriage

The president has just announced that he thinks marriage should be redefined to include same-sex couples. This comes one day after the voters of North Carolina made that state the 31st to enact a constitutional amendment reaffirming the legal definition of marriage as the union of a husband and wife. The president is at odds with (and, in fact, hostile to) the overwhelming majority of American jurisdictions on this issue, though not with his donors and the glitterati who are enthusiastically in favor.

The president has, famously, described his viewpoint as “evolving,” though anyone watching knew the real score when he publicly opposed every state marriage amendment and when his administration worked covertly and then overtly to undermine the federal Defense of Marriage Act. John O’Sullivan at National Review has a very amusing post about the idea of evolving opinion. Mr. O’Sullivan’s follow-up post cites an “Evolutionary Hymn” by C.S. Lewis with a line that seems to sum up the ideology of same-sex marriage supporters: “Goodness=what comes next.”  Read more

The conflict between same-sex marriage and religious liberty

In a recent Deseret News article describing the growing list of conflicts between religious liberty and attempts to redefine marriage, a prominent advocate of same-sex marriage is quoted regarding this trend. Here is the paragraph:

“It’s a right-wing talking point to stoke up fears for something that’s not a problem,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, a group dedicated to promoting same-sex marriage. “There’s only one or two isolated examples (of clashing) as to how this has even been an issue. We settled this question in the country decades ago when businesses were saying ‘We don’t want to serve blacks or Jews, Latinos, Mormons,’ and (the country) said ‘No, when you’re a business opening your doors to the public, you have to serve everyone. That’s (called) nondiscrimination in a democratic society.'”

This is a very revealing passage, notwithstanding the obfuscation in the answer Mr. Wolfson provides. The basic argument is that there really is no conflict between religious liberty and same-sex marriage worthy of notice since the conflict is “something that’s not a problem.” Why is it not a problem? At first, it appears that Mr. Wolfson would say it’s numerically insignificant: “There’s only one or two isolated examples as to how this has even been an issue.”  Read more

9th Circuit rejects Prop 8: what’s next?

Two judges of a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit have just ruled that California’s marriage amendment, approved by voters in November 2008, violates the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which was ratified in 1868.

The trial court judge had ruled that any definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman was unconstitutional. Today’s decision professes to be narrower in that it only applies to California. The logic offered in support, such as it is, is that since same-sex couples could marry by court order from May to November 2008 and California voters did not strike down laws allowing same-sex couples the benefit of marriage, the only reason voters could have had for approving Proposition 8 is that they hated gay people(?!). Most reasonable observers would have come to the opposite conclusion – that Californians wanted to protect the unique status of marriage as the union of husband and wife because of its contributions to society but wanted to bend over backward to be fair by not taking away other rights in California law.  Read more



As proponents of a statewide nondiscrimination law gathered last night with some of Utah’s most prominent companies to cheer on the cause, one business leader told The Salt Lake Tribune:

“We’re trying to attract people into this great state,” said Tim Sullivan, president and CEO of Ancestry.com, which has 900 Utah employees, during a forum on the proposed legislation. “We do find perceptions outside the state that make it difficult in particular to recruit gay or lesbian employees.”

Two things.  Read more