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Anti-Gay Groups Hit the Mall

Crosswalk reports on the recent “Mayday For Marriage” rally against gay marriage in Washington DC:

On Oct. 15, an estimated 200,000 people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in response to a call to protect the endangered institution of marriage from what U.S. Ambassador Alan Keyes called “the arrogant elite.”

In addition to Keyes, Christian leaders such as Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Charles Colson of Prison Fellowship Ministries, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Dr. Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church spoke at the rally.

However, the ungodly at the New York Times dispute the figure:

Organizers put the attendance at the rally, called Mayday for Marriage, at close to 200,000, but others said it appeared to be far less than half that. In any case, it fell short of organizers’ projections, which ranged from a million last month to about 400,000 earlier this week.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the event was conceived by Hutcherson, who is a protégé of Tim LaHaye and Howard Hendricks. According to Crosswalk, Dobson made an anguished call for someone to “please think of the children”, and the Times notes that he also gave an explicit endorsement of Bush, warning that people who watch “propaganda” on MTV are also being encouraged to vote by the music channel. Charles “Watergate into Wine” Colson added:

[Same-sex ‘marriage’] separates parenthood from marriage. It says that it doesn’t matter if you’re married to raise children, but it does matter because those children need a male and a female – a mother and a father.”

Not only do homosexuals want to raise children, they want to raise them within the context of being married! How has America sunk so low? But there’s more, from the hellhole that is Scandinavia:

Colson warned that if we fail to protect marriage in the United States, the nation could end up like Norway and Holland – where marriage is so diminished that few, regardless of rights, bother to marry anymore.

This bizarre non-sequiter, that gay people wanting to get married causes less people overall to want to marry, has its origins with conservative anthropologist Stanley Kurtz, writing in the Weekly Standard in February. Kurtz was debunked by M.V. Lee Badgett in Slate in May:

The main evidence Kurtz points to is the increase in cohabitation rates among unmarried heterosexual couples and the increase in births to unmarried mothers. Roughly half of all children in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are now born to unmarried parents. In Denmark, the number of cohabiting couples with children rose by 25 percent in the 1990s. From these statistics Kurtz concludes that “… married parenthood has become a minority phenomenon,” and—surprise—he blames gay marriage.

But Kurtz’s interpretation of the statistics is incorrect. Parenthood within marriage is still the norm—most cohabitating couples marry after they start having children. In Sweden, for instance, 70 percent of cohabiters wed after their first child is born. Indeed, in Scandinavia the majority of families with children are headed by married parents. In Denmark and Norway, roughly four out of five couples with children were married in 2003. In the Netherlands, a bit south of Scandinavia, 90 percent of heterosexual couples with kids are married.

Kurtz is also mistaken in maintaining that gay unions are to blame for changes in heterosexual marriage patterns. In truth, the shift occurred in the opposite direction: Changes in heterosexual marriage made the recognition of gay couples more likely. In my own recent study conducted in the Netherlands, I found that the nine countries with partnership laws had higher rates of unmarried cohabitation than other European and North American countries before passage of the partner-registration laws. In other words, high cohabitation rates came first, gay partnership laws followed.

Also at the rally were Dennis Rainey of FamilyLife, speaking against divorce, and Alan Chambers of Exodus International. Crosswalk failed to note the presence of Rabbi Daniel Lapin, who heads up Toward Tradition, and Gary Bauer.

And, according to the Seattle Post, it all cost only $4 million!

(Some links snagged from Christianity Today and The Revealer)

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