Prudence, the new cowardice- my brief for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo slaughter, some brave news outlets chose to print the satirical paper’s disparaging cartoons of the prophet Mohammed.  Many others chickened out using the “let’s be prudent” defense. They have, unfortunately, confused prudence for cowardice in this case and I have found myself increasingly frustrated by those mediaites who refuse to speak the truth about Islamists. The result is the few who do risk standing up to these lunatics are easier to target. In other words? Safety in numbers people.

I am ashamed to admit that I realized today I am a guilty chicken too.  Full disclosure coming your way friends. I have written and put my name on things that are a part of the legal fight regarding gay marriage. I filed an Amicus Brief on behalf of the state of Texas for the case which was heard before the 5th Circuit Court of appeals last week. While anyone could Google “Katy Faust gay marriage” and find both the brief as well as this blog, I had chosen to keep them separate, because I am prudent. Or maybe it is really just an attempt to avoid backlash because I know the result is that the few who choose to publicly stand behind their convictions are more readily targeted by the well-funded radical gay lobby.

Maybe I should just go all the way and illustrate it with pictures of Mohammed.

Truth is, dear readers, you were able to view the majority of my brief long before the justices.  It’s posted, almost in it’s entirety, under the “Gay Marriage” tab above. But for those who enjoy all the legal footnoting and headers, sections and subsections, you can view the official brief here.

Cheryl Wetzstein of the Washington Times, wrote an article last week on the four children of gay parents who filed briefs in the Texas case. As I’m sure is the norm for most articles of this kind, the four of us shared a great deal of information in response to Ms. Wetzstein’s questions. But only a fraction of our answers made its way into her finished piece. Her questions were good, and really made me think. So I thought I’d share some of our exchange below.

Question: Is there anything in other circuit court opinions that you find particularly egregious? And did any judge write something you liked?

The Seventh Court decision stated: “Because homosexuality is not a voluntary condition and homosexuals are among the most stigmatized, misunderstood, and discriminated against minorities in the world, the disparagement of their sexual orientation, implicit in the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples, is a source of continuing pain to the homosexual community.”

My Response: I agree that homosexuality, in most cases, is not a voluntary condition. (Though I have met several women who decided to enter into a same-sex relationship in adulthood despite being exclusively attracted to the opposite sex prior to that relationship.) But having sex with someone of the opposite sex, despite your homosexual attractions, is voluntary. And that is where most of the children come from who are being raised in same-sex headed households.

That many homosexuals have been “misunderstood”, “discriminated against” especially in other parts of the world, and have suffered personal toil and conflict because of their attractions is true. However, the government’s interest in marriage is not to assuage the “continuing pain” of the homosexual community. It is to protect the rights and well-being of children.

Q: If you like, please offer a comment to anything said by the “other side” (COLAGE, Family Equality Council, et. al). For example, they say kids of gay parents are:

  • invisible/nonexistent in this debate
  • it’s the man-woman marriage laws that make children of gays and LGBT children feel unworthy, confused, unhappy.          

and their families are:

  •  “traditional” and “no different” (except for no marriage rights)
  • not odd” and “not rare” (with 250,000 estimated children being raised by one or more gay parents today).

My response: I really empathize with the voices of the children who are quoted in the COLAGE brief. Throughout high school and into college I would have supported gay marriage legislation if it had been proposed. I want my mom to be happy. I want both my parent to be happy. And I would have gladly supported redefined marriage policies to show them that I believe that they are valuable and precious to me. It wasn’t until I had children of my own that the wholeness and worth of having both father and mother raising their children together hit me like a freight train. My kids need both of us. My husband offers qualities and aspects to parenting that I don’t have. It’s not just a personality difference. It’s a gender difference. And my kid’s hearts would be shredded if they grew up without one of us. Like my heart was shredded when my parents divorced. Even though my parents went on to partner with wonderful people, I lost something foundational. And while I bristle at language or policies here or abroad which criminalize gay and lesbian relationships, marriage law should always encourage and promote that ideal of mother and fathers parenting their children together.

The COLAGE brief states: “The major challenge most same-sex parented families must surmount is nothing inherent in their family structure, but rather the societal and governmental disapproval that Texas’ laws represent and perpetuate.”

Children who are raised by 100% lesbian or gay parents (those who have never had a sex with someone of the opposite sex) are rare. They are the small, but growing, number who have been placed with parents wealthy enough to adopt, or pay three-figure fees to have a child via third-party reproduction (which comes with its own unique set of complications.) The rest of us are the product of less well-off parents who were bisexual enough to at one time or for a long time, be in a heterosexual relationship. We are the largest body of children who are being raised in same-sex homes. If a parent conceives a child with a member of the opposite sex and then chooses to raise that child with a biological stranger of the same sex- that child’s life is going to be complicated. There is no child raised in a same-sex headed household whose life history has not been complicated. If the child is then told that the situation is “natural” “traditional” or “no different” than living with both biological parents, it may lead to the child feeling “unworthy, confused, or unhappy.” I would hardly blame their “confusion” on a marriage law which reflects the uncomplicated version of childhood.

The PFLAG brief states: “why should the state grant marriage licenses to heterosexual couples who cannot or don’t desire to have children?”

I have married heterosexual friends who were thought to be clinically infertile who now have a home filled with their children.  I also know several straight couples raising little ones who swore that they would never have children.  Heterosexual sex creates life- even if a couple has been told it would be “impossible” to get pregnant and even for those who have taken measures (birth control or surgery) to hamper the creation of new life.  And in that way man/woman marriage is fundamentally different from same-sex unions.  The law treats opposite sex couples and same sex couples differently- because they are inherently different when it comes to creating and raising children. Men and women together do something that same-sex couples cannot do.  The state can and should treat the two differently when it comes to marriage laws.

There is no difference between the personal worth and value of a gay person vs. a straight person. None at all. There is a distinct difference between a mother and father raising their children together, and two women or two men raising children together.  It’s not discriminatory to treat different things differently.

Question: I think a lot of attorneys have tried to make your arguments in court about the essential value of children having mother & father for the best child development. Do you think attorneys have made good enough arguments on these points? Or are they missing something … and if so, what would you like them to say?

I am not too familiar with specific legal arguments in the gay marriage debate. But I am sure that you are right- that many who are better versed, smarter, more familiar with statistics, and who have a stronger command of child development and child psychology- have said everything I’ve already tried to say. In fact, I bet they said it better. And I know that many of them have failed to persuade the courts.

But a generation from now many of the children with “two moms” or “two dads” who were repeatedly told that their family is “just like everyone else’s” and that they really didn’t need a parent of each gender, will become adults and marvel at the lies they were told. They will come of age and see that they were denied the influence of both male and female in their most important formative years. Those children will wonder why the separation from one parent who desperately mattered to them was celebrated and even used as a tool to normalize and justify the separation of other children from their parents. When those children ask this generation for an answer, I want them to know that a few of us were willing to stand against the tide, be called ridiculous and hurtful names, have our jobs and friends threatened, and even risk straining relationships within our own families to provide a counter-narrative. The narrative that isn’t built on political correctness and identity politics and suspicious social science. The narrative which dares to state the obvious: that kids desire, and do best when, their mommy and daddy are with them forever. 

Question: How do you cope with straddling this issue – staying connected and honoring your mom and her partner while facing down an array of (high-profile) researchers and (angry) advocates who disagree with you about a child’s need and right to have a mother and a father?

Children have natural feelings of protectiveness for their parents. Even those who have suffered abuse at the hands of their father, for example, will often still defend him and long for his attention and approval. How much more so is there a defensive posture for children when it comes to their gay parent who has strived to love and raise them to the best of their ability? This is especially the case if we have seen the personal struggles that our parent (and/or their partner) has had to endure.

So yes, it’s difficult to speak out about this. For years, in an effort to “honor” my parents I didn’t talk publically about my marriage views. No child wants to hurt their parents. I think that is why the other three adult children of gay parents who filed briefs in this case waited until that parent had passed away to share their stories.

While there are no secrets around my beliefs and my advocacy for the rights of children, I also strive to be sensitive if/when we discuss the subject. Those infrequent conversations happen in the context of lots of visits, dinners, the sending of silly internet videos, celebrating holidays together, emailing them pictures of my cute doggies, playing hide-and-seek with my kids, and sharing our hearts about whatever we may currently be struggling with.

The pro-gay marriage press and media screams that the only way that I can love those in my life who are gay is to support redefining marriage- and I must hate them if I don’t. But on this subject (and a host of others) media is wrong. Completely wrong as a matter of fact. And I strive to show my mom just how wrong media is. I doubt that in any other area we would maintain the idea that to love someone you must love everything they do or think or believe. My love for my mother and her partner is real and deep and long-lasting.

The pro-gay marriage camp doesn’t get to pigeonhole me into being a hater or anti-gay. I’m neither. I am pro-child and therefore pro-man/woman marriage. I am also FOR my mother, her partner, my father, his wife, and all my gay friends. We don’t have to agree about gay marriage for that to be true.

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48 thoughts on “Prudence, the new cowardice- my brief for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

  1. Your efforts in protecting the traditional family unit is appreciated. The gay and lesbian community and their social justice worker allies has tremendous political power, and they have used it to destroy people and businesses who do not share their views. I came across this site by accident, and although you seem to have a feminist bias (correct me if I’m wrong) I appreciate your insight. God bless.

    • Hi Dante. Welcome and thanks for the comments. If you are using feminist in the popular sense of demonizing everything that comes naturally to men and boys, labeling it as dominance and chauvinism to such a degree that they have been emasculated and as a result we have seen a great shortage of good men in our day, then I certainly hope not. If by feminist you mean that I believe women have an equal and distinct role to play in the life of a child and society, then you’ve got me. I talk repeatedly about how critical men are, especially to children but certainly to society at large. You might want to read around a bit more. Especially check out the “Hobby Lobby and the real war on women” post. Great to have you here!

  2. But the civil contract of marriage is (mostly) not about children. It’s about creating the common marital estate and next of kin rights. Why should the same sex couples be deprived of that?

      • >Why does society value this relationship above others?

        Whether “society” values “this relationship” above or below “others” (including a valid, no questions asked, Charlie Manson’s marriage in prison) is irrelevant. Society has many individuals and many relationships. When a couple marry, they don’t ask the whole society if their particular relationship is worthy of legal protections and privileges. There is no legal test for that “value”. There are common requirements of competency, etc. And that’s it.

        • No. Giving value to the relationship, in essence promoting it, is exactly what the state is doing when it validates the romantic union of two people. Why has our government (and countless others across history) done so?

          • The state does NOT validate the “romantic union” of two people. The state doesn’t require them to provide proof of their everlasting love or whatever. They could meet yesterday and decide to marry, and the state will give them a marriage licence without a question, as long as they satisfy the objective legal requirements, not some subjective “relationship test”.

            Actually, the idea of marriage based on romance is not very traditional. Not so long ago such notion was even frown upon. It was a pragmatic, not romantic, union in some distant and not so distant cultures, including European cultures.

          • Agreed. Romance is not a criteria at all. You are so right. So why does the state have an interest in two people committing to lifelong union with one another?

  3. Although you stand against the tide now, know that history favors your viewpoint, and the pendulum will swing back in due time. Thank you for your defense.

  4. “The pro-gay marriage press and media screams that the only way that I can love those in my life who are gay is to support redefining marriage- and I must hate them if I don’t”

    Agree 100% with you here. And I think this is where people who support traditional marriage have lost the battle of message and rhetoric. Just as I love my children, I don’t let them do whatever they want. That’s bad parenting.

    Thank you for your insights.

    • I didn’t finish my thought … I wonder how we can overcome the deficit here? I feel like even though I am screaming from the rooftops that I do not hate gay people, no one is interested in letting me having my say.

      • I’m not sure. This new crusade is creating a lot of zealots Left and Right. One idea is to network, create groups, and put our voices out there, help break the false images the media is creating. Otherwise, live it out and be a living example to it. Not sure how effective it’ll be, but the public is never harmed from adding moderate voices to the debate.

  5. It is to protect the rights and well-being of children.

    Noble sentiments indeed.! I applaud you. However, does this include protecting children from religious indoctrination, allowing them to reach an age where they are able to exercise critical thought towards such insidious doctrines as Original Sin and Hell, and grossly ignorant and unscientific nonsense such as Creationism?
    Will you express similar noble sentiments regarding these issues?

    • It is just a silencing tactic and shaming tactic–stock and trade abusive manipulation. The truth is they do not care how you feel about them–and you do care. Simply put you are nice and they are not. And I know the feeling but at this point their accusations have lost all meaning to me. They sound like the teacher in Charlie Brown–blabla bla. I think on some level the accusation is certainly just a manipulation and also a projection and kind of slip that revels more about them than who they are bullying–they are the ones that hate. Many hate women, kids, the poor, minorities any person within a religious frame work. They know that people who are basically kind and with good intentions can’t bear to associated with hate so they use the bigot and hater as a shame and control. I have gotten to the point I don’t care I am not going to be coerced by a destructive movement. Right now they have a lot of money and political power, they have captured themselves a moment–a TV media moment but they are dysfunctional–they demand society props them up in every area–that is getting old. The center cannot hold, nature abhors a vacuum and all that stuff. I think it will crash under the weight of its own destructive impulses. The question is how many kids lives will be damaged and what will tell those kids. I mean really what are these supporters going to say–“I was just trying to be nice” Here are the tactics to shame, silence and bully
      Name calling and personal attack–bigot bla bla bla, crazy, liar, fundementalist
      Missive– they will trivalize a point–or say “that never happens”
      Cry Victim–
      Deflect and derail–
      All just a bunch of manipulations.

    • Okay hold your applase I have a question. What do you mean by “religious indoctrination” how many hours a day does this indoctrination take? Are there specific institutions devoted to it rooms and basements where it takes place? Big heavy books–what exactly does that mean? What is it? Where does it take place? Creationism is a belief and so is Evolution–neither have been proven, Einstein was able to accept the notions of science and G-d but he was very smart . People who no imagination are very threatened by religious ideas and often this lack of imagination leaves them with very simplistic views of science also. Many thing are “unscientific” and still true. I do not know much about original sin–I assume you mean Eve eating the apple? Her sin was curiosity not a biggy. As for Adam his sin I assume was shirking the blame back on his wife. These seem like very powerful comments on the human condition and how very small acts can lead to a hard life. I see no problem with teaching that to children. It is called cause and effect or they can learn it the hard way. Science was created by religion–some of the greatest relgious minds were physicians and scientists. Your characterization is untrue and disingenuous. And Yes it is to protect children and their rights. They have rights separate from adults wants. They are real humans and not owed to adults so the can feel happy.

  6. I am 62. I am also a slow learner. For me, one the most important lessons of life is to embrace the people you disagree with. However, those in the spirit of fanatical beliefs (religion, not God), who abuse and kill others, I cannot embrace. I believe God condemns hatred and murder. Thanks for a great post.
    Dale

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. And great blog, but the way! I’ve been researching porn and its widespread and damaging effects on men (young and old). Very grateful for your voice!

  7. “But having sex with someone of the opposite sex, despite your homosexual attractions, is voluntary. And that is where most of the children come from who are being raised in same-sex headed households.”

    You know that’s not how it works, right?

      • I mean that’s not how it works. Gay people having sex does not produce the children living in homes with same-sex parents. So if your qualm is with same-sex parenting, there is no connection to gay people having sex.

        • I see what you’re getting at, but you are mistaken. Even if I agreed that the majority of children going through same-sex parenting came either through adoption or third-party reproduction, that does not eliminate the children who came from initial heterosexual marriages. Through literal interpretation, your second sentence is incorrect. I’m sure you were thinking of gay sex, but that hasn’t stopped many homosexual people from having heterosexual relationships either before claiming the orientation or after. Thus, not only does askthebigot’s statement stand, but your conclusion falters.

          To be perfectly honest, that is one aspect of the situation that’s always bothered me. How can anyone claim to be of the homosexual orientation after (especially after) having married to an opposite-sex spouse, consummating the relationship, and having children? Does the consummation not require at least some form of attraction to take place? (These questions I address to everyone, including askthebigot.)

          • But her statement is that gay people having sex with someone of the same sex is where children living in same-sex parented homes come from, which is incoherent and illogical.

            To answer your second question, all I can say is that sexuality is fluid and complicated and not at all binary. As a very straight person, I can’t really give a good answer, but from the experiences I’ve been told it can sometimes be overwhelming pressure to conform that causes people to attempt relationships that they don’t really feel sexually attracted to. Sometimes people just fall in love with someone of the same sex after being with someone of the opposite. There is no formula for sexuality, so there really isn’t much of an answer to your question.

  8. From the opening of your notable and, on the whole, appreciated blog-article, I wonder why you support printing disparaging cartoons of the prophet Mohammed? Having followed you and read so many of your articles, I doubt very seriously that you would support disparaging cartoons of the prophet Moses, or of Jesus the Christ; am I correct in this assumption? To proceed a bit further, and importantly, most Muslims are not terrorists; most Muslims do not support terrorism; most Muslims are not radical Islamists. There is a difference. On the one hand, there are the millions upon millions of Muslims (most of whom do not live in the Middle East, and are non-Arab interestingly enough), and on the other hand there is the tiny fraction/minority of radical Islamists. It is patently injudicious to characterize all Muslims and the whole religion of Islam by Islamism. So, too, it is most egregious to openly mock and disparage the prophet Mohammed. Differing in faith-religion, and even debating, is one matter; distastefully ridiculing and denigrating is another altogether.

    • Hi Noble!!! So great to see you again. It has been too long. Thanks for the opportunity to clarify. Obviously, I’m not a fan of disparaging anyone’s religion and personally would never draw a cartoon of Mohammed (my art skills stink and also it doesn’t go along with the whole “gentleness and respect” theme that the New Testament encourages). Yes, disagree. Yes dig in, study and attack ideas and principles. No, I wouldn’t mock simply to stir the pot.

      Most big news outlets here wouldn’t hesitate to share a news-worthy cartoon or piece of “art” or essay which denigrates Christianity. They have before they will again. But they would not in this case, though it’s hard to imagine a more news-worthy story, do the same for Islam. Some showed the cover of Hebdo but blurred the picture. They made their decisions out of FEAR. And when we, they, or anyone are choosing to do what we do or say what we say because we fear retribution, we have a very clear picture of who really is running the show.

      Again, thanks for the comments!! Hope all is well with you.

      • Can you show definite evidence of the outlets in question ever publishing similarly offensive material attacking Christianity? I don’t mean the slightly offensive stuff.

        Also, if a newspaper publishes the cartoons, it puts every single member of its staff in danger – not just the editor and journalists but the secretaries and cleaners. And members of the public may be put into danger too. It is right to put other people at risk in order to show just how brave you are?

  9. I’m replying here since I can’t reply directly for some reason. I guess it’s a WordPress rule?

    My original questions were thus: “How can anyone claim to be of the homosexual orientation after (especially after) having married to an opposite-sex spouse, consummating the relationship, and having children? Does the consummation not require at least some form of attraction to take place?”

    Leilah’s answer wasn’t very comprehensive and left me with more questions. How is sexuality fluid? How is it complicated? Why isn’t it binary?

    Finally, I don’t support the myth of ‘falling in love’. It’s becoming a popular excuse to do the wrong thing, and it completely ignores the reality of actual love by confusing it with an emotional state.

    Answers are appreciated as I am trying hard to see the situation from outside of my normal viewpoint and being thorough about it.

    • You can ask those thousands gay mormons (and other confessions) who are told that their “same sex attraction” is not preventing them from marrying a woman, and who after that are either cruising gay hookup spots or watching gay porn. Some 50% of them divorce. Other 50% are afraid to.

      • Well….that answer was…lacking of intellectual strength. And didn’t even touch on the other half of my questions. I don’t suppose you have a source of statistics matching your declaration?

        • For first hand information, it’s better to ask those guys from TLC’s “My husband’s not gay” show. Or ask Duggars’ newest son-in-law, he might have something to say.

  10. The PFLAG brief states: “why should the state grant marriage licenses to heterosexual couples who cannot or don’t desire to have children?”

    I have married heterosexual friends who were thought to be clinically infertile who now have a home filled with their children. I also know several straight couples raising little ones who swore that they would never have children.
    —————————
    This is a disingenuous answer. The reality is, there ARE actual married straight couples that are unable to procreate. There are also married straight couples that are too old to procreate; and there are married couples that don’t ever want to have children — and may have even taken steps to make sure that never happens (e.g. – the man gets a vasectomy). In all of these scenarios the non-procreative couples were legally able to marry. So, no, the state does NOT promote the concept of marriage being solely a child-centric institution. Otherwise they would have legal measures in place to dissuade non-procreative couples from getting married. (e.g. – the state bans marriage for those over the age of 55) Current marriage laws permit 100% of the heterosexual population to get married… regardless if those couples EVER procreate.

  11. Askme: homosexual male, trying-to-be-faithful-Catholic, but I fail a lot. I know it is not necessary to your strength and well-being, but I wanted to say “Hi, I am on your side. You are right.” Other than the drugs and some seedier sides of gay life, I’ve tried it all, so, my “credentials” are as good as any other gay’s on here. You’ve got it right: as much as we might shout (and it is a shout … methinks we (sic) doth protest …) that it’s all ok, I don’t know a single gay man who wouldn’t take a pill to change if he could. The shouting is mostly about drowning out the sorrow of losses. Anyway, you have allies in the not-so-successfully celibate gay community too: we’re not all homo-fascists.

    • Bjm, I love you.

      You are so welcome here. Please stop by often. I know that you are not all homo-fascists. Some of my favorite people are gay and very not-fascist. 😉 Welcome to the Body of Christ. We are better because you are with us. I hope you have friends who are walking this road with you and bearing your burden. Undoubtedly, they have burdens that you can bear for them too.

      Much love and prayers,
      Katy

  12. Why should a gay couple who has no intention of ever having children, not be allowed to get married?

  13. Congratulations on the Public Discourse article. I found out about it through http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2015/02/katy-faust-wishes-her-parents-wouldnt-have-divorced-so-gay-people-cant-marry-parent.html

    I love your new tag line- “A place where ideas, not people, are under assault.” Beautifully expressed. Unfortunately, it is completely wrong. I would counter it with “The political is personal”- what you say here, and especially with your amicus brief, affects people’s lives. You hurt people. Even here, you say that the Government has no interest in assuaging the continuing pain of gay people, though you admit that pain. Once oppression is lifted, people function better, which benefits all of society.

    I have never heard from you- I have not read everything you write- on how your argument about needing a father and a mother affects divorcing parents. Here, you mention a father abusing his child. When the mother finds out, should she stay with him so that her child has a mother and a father? How far would you restrict divorce? Abuse can be insidious: verbal bullying can destroy a person’s self-confidence. If such a wife could be freed from the bullying of her husband, would not her daughter benefit too?

  14. Hey! Just found your blog today. While I grew up in a pretty conservative Christian circle and I usually understand the thinking behind views I now disagree with, I find some of yours pretty baffling and would like to get your thoughts on a couple situations that I don’t think compute with your arguments.

    1) I just read your <a href="http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/02/14370/"Public Discourse post addressing Justice Kennedy. In it, you state that children “have the right to the love of a mother and father,” that they should not be denied a parent’s influence due to divorce.

    My parents divorced when I was eight, my brother four. My father, an attorney, received custody of us. But he was not a well man. Though he appeared high functioning, he was actually schizophrenic. He often told me that he loved me, but his form of love was incredibly harmful and involved, for instance, burning my books in a public park, because he believed that would save my soul.

    I would have suffered far less harm if he had abandoned us the day after the divorce. My brother might not have committed suicide at the age of 19.

    Of course that’s just one story of thousands of children who were not served well growing up with their biological (even non-divorced) parents. I would submit to you that a parent’s gender is far less important than their character and, indeed, mental stability.

    2) A dear friend of mine developed stage 4 ovarian cancer when she was 28. She had a hysterectomy to save her life. Fortunately, it worked. She and her husband had always wanted children. A friend offered to be a surrogate for them (injecting the husband’s sperm into one of her eggs), and in time brought to term a baby girl that is now my friend’s and her husband’s daughter and only child. She’s been in their arms since she was just hours old.

    Apart from curiosity about the woman who brought her to term, what “significant harm” do you imagine she’s going to suffer? Especially more so than I suffered with my natural father?

    Finally, unrelated to the above two points: you mention you adopted a young boy from China. I strongly recommend this essay written by a Korean-American adopted by white parents, about her experience growing up in a white community and how that affected her. It does not condemn interracial adoptions — nor am I — but it emphasizes there is a lot that such parents need to be aware of when raising a child from another race.

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