Politics June 06, 2014

How the Media and the Courts Collude on Same-Sex Marriage

Demonizing the opposition has proven an effective weapon.

Dustin Siggins
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Dustin Siggins
June 06, 2014
Steffi Reichert/URBAN ARTefakte
According to the mainstream media, same-sex "marriage" is on the rise in America. A survey published earlier this year by the Public Religion Research Institute found a majority of Americans support the concept, and other polls are showing similar results. Even the Chairman of the Republican Party -- which has opposition to same-sex "marriage" in its official platform -- tends to shy away from the subject.

And the media are right. There is no denying that a strong majority of younger Americans believe same-sex "marriage" should be legal. As older, more conservative, and more religiously affiliated Americans die, support for same-sex "marriage" will continue to grow.

But why has opinion on same-sex "marriage" reversed itself so quickly since 2004, when numerous states passed amendments to state constitutions to prevent the practice, with overwhelming majorities? Or since 2008, when even California supported a state marriage amendment?

I believe the answer lies, at least partially, in media bias and language choice. Rather than having a "majority" in favor of changing what marriage means, most Americans are simply being cowed into submission.

Consider, for example, this National Journal article on a young Republican group that is trying to change the GOP's platform on marriage. Its headline declares the GOP's position on marriage as "homophobic," and twice the article states that the GOP has "anti-gay language" in its platforms at the national and state levels.

Terms like "homophobic" and "bigot" litter blogs, articles, op-eds, and television shows. Former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich was a "bigot" according to many, even though his only sin was to donate to Proposition 8 six years ago. And Huffington Post has a whole page dedicated to the so-called homophobia of "Duck Dynasty's" Phil Robertson.

Another bias can be seen the wording of poll questions on the subject, which often inaccurately ask if people support same-sex "marriage." (As marriage is between a man and a woman, it would be more accurate to ask if people support "changing the definition of marriage.") In asking this question, polling companies of all political stripes influence the way the public thinks of marriage and homosexual relationships.

After seeing such language used throughout mainstream media, and then parroted by politicians, who in his right mind would want to be labeled a bigot? Or a homophobe? And "anti-gay" must mean something awful, even if it rarely defined -- after all, we all just want to be married!

If you Google "homophobia definition," this is what appears on Webster:

irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals

Yet Googling "phobia" brings this up:

an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation

In other words, "phobia," which is the base of "homophobia," is a fear. Yet "homophobia" has been expanded in this instance to include "discrimination."

Do so-called "homophobics" actually show fear of homosexuals? Again, Robertson was accused of being homophobic, but in his infamous comments of last year he condemned sin of all kind and expressed love and compassion for everyone. Yet, because he failed to embrace the homosexual agenda, he was accused of being "anti-gay," which translated into "homophobia," whose definition should be "a fear of homosexuals or same-sex attractions."

This definition of "homophobia" ignores the real difference between having a fear of something and having a principled disagreement with it.

Another windfall for the pro-homosexual cause has been the courts’ flouting of public opinion, in which a court substitutes its judgment for actual public opinion. Tyler Deaton, the campaign manager of the group National Journal, made the point directly:
According to the mainstream media, same-sex "marriage" is on the rise in America. A survey published earlier this year by the Public Religion Research Institute found a majority of Americans support the concept, and other polls are showing similar results. Even the Chairman of the Republican Party -- which has opposition to same-sex "marriage" in its official platform -- tends to shy away from the subject.

And the media are right. There is no denying that a strong majority of younger Americans believe same-sex "marriage" should be legal. As older, more conservative, and more religiously affiliated Americans die, support for same-sex "marriage" will continue to grow.

But why has opinion on same-sex "marriage" reversed itself so quickly since 2004, when numerous states passed amendments to state constitutions to prevent the practice, with overwhelming majorities? Or since 2008, when even California supported a state marriage amendment?

I believe the answer lies, at least partially, in media bias and language choice. Rather than having a "majority" in favor of changing what marriage means, most Americans are simply being cowed into submission.

Consider, for example, this National Journal article on a young Republican group that is trying to change the GOP's platform on marriage. Its headline declares the GOP's position on marriage as "homophobic," and twice the article states that the GOP has "anti-gay language" in its platforms at the national and state levels.

Terms like "homophobic" and "bigot" litter blogs, articles, op-eds, and television shows. Former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich was a "bigot" according to many, even though his only sin was to donate to Proposition 8 six years ago. And Huffington Post has a whole page dedicated to the so-called homophobia of "Duck Dynasty's" Phil Robertson.

Another bias can be seen the wording of poll questions on the subject, which often inaccurately ask if people support same-sex "marriage." (As marriage is between a man and a woman, it would be more accurate to ask if people support "changing the definition of marriage.") In asking this question, polling companies of all political stripes influence the way the public thinks of marriage and homosexual relationships.

After seeing such language used throughout mainstream media, and then parroted by politicians, who in his right mind would want to be labeled a bigot? Or a homophobe? And "anti-gay" must mean something awful, even if it rarely defined -- after all, we all just want to be married!

If you Google "homophobia definition," this is what appears on Webster:

irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals

Yet Googling "phobia" brings this up:

an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation

In other words, "phobia," which is the base of "homophobia," is a fear. Yet "homophobia" has been expanded in this instance to include "discrimination."

Do so-called "homophobics" actually show fear of homosexuals? Again, Robertson was accused of being homophobic, but in his infamous comments of last year he condemned sin of all kind and expressed love and compassion for everyone. Yet, because he failed to embrace the homosexual agenda, he was accused of being "anti-gay," which translated into "homophobia," whose definition should be "a fear of homosexuals or same-sex attractions."

This definition of "homophobia" ignores the real difference between having a fear of something and having a principled disagreement with it.

Another windfall for the pro-homosexual cause has been the courts’ flouting of public opinion, in which a court substitutes its judgment for actual public opinion. Tyler Deaton, the campaign manager of the group National Journal, made the point directly:
 
"Deaton says hard-core social conservatives are losing control over the soul of America, and over their own party. 'They're losing in the courts. They're losing in the states. They're losing at the federal level. They're losing in the court of public opinion,' Deaton said. 'All they have left are these five angry sections in the national party platform.'"

Frankly, I don't want to be a "hard-core" or "angry" social conservative. I just want to be an average one.

But in which states has marriage been changed? Of the 19 that made it legal for homosexuals to "marry" each other, 11 have changed their laws because of the votes of the public or elected legislators. A further eight states have seen judges overturn state laws, but those decisions were "stayed" due to appeal.

In other words, only 41 percent of the 27 states have seen their state laws successfully overturned in any capacity due to the will of the people or their elected officials. Instead, a full 59 percent of states have been given dictates by judges.

So are social conservatives "losing in the states," as Deaton says? Yes, but generally not because of changes in public opinion, but because of federal judges.

There is no doubt that the homosexual agenda has gained tremendous ground in the last decade. But rather than have a discussion on the merits of the position, its proponents have managed to change what language means, use Orwellian terms to demonize the opposition, and convince the courts to overstep their bounds.


Dustin Siggins is the Washington, D.C. Correspondent for Lifesitenews.com and formerly the primary blogger with Tea Party Patriots. He is a co-author of the forthcoming book, "Bankrupt Legacy: The Future of the Debt-Paying Generation." His work has been published by numerous online and print publications, including USA Today, Roll Call, Hot Air, Huffington Post, Crisis, and First Things.
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