Washington United for Marriage (WUM), the broad coalition working to Approve Referendum 74, released a new marriagefactcheck.com setting the record straight on a slew of innuendos and inaccuracies contained in a four-minute video produced by Preserve Marriage Washington (PMW) entitled “Call to Pastors.”
“There’s nothing new here – these are the same misleading and untruthful claims made for years by opponents of marriage equality,” said WUM campaign manager Zach Silk. “The video is disingenuous from the outset – emphatically saying that ‘God is the author of marriage’ even though R74 and our bipartisan marriage law has nothing to do with religious ceremonies and, in fact, protects religious liberties.”
FACT CHECK: “CALL TO PASTORS” VIDEO
ASSERTION: Same-sex couples already have all the legal rights as married couples in Washington.
FACTS: States that have passed civil unions have found that they’re fundamentally unequal and harmful. [See here, here, and here.] As the Supreme Court of Connecticut wrote in 2008 when it struck down a statute that prohibited same-sex marriage, civil unions and marriage “are by no means ‘equal.’”
ASSERTION: Social science research illustrated that children do better when raised by a married mom and dad.
FACTS: A wealth of research exists that finds the gender of parents has no impact on children’s well-being. In 2010, sociologists Judith Stacey (New York University) and Tim Biblarz (University of Southern California) conducted a review of nearly every study on gay parenting. They found that “Current claims that children need both a mother and father are spurious… At this point no research supports the widely held conviction that the gender of parents matters for child well-being.” Studies contending children of same-sex parents fare worse than children of heterosexual couples have been widely criticized for employing faulty methodology.
ASSERTION: Referendum 74 redefines marriage for everyone in Washington.
FACTS: R74 does not redefine civil marriage in any way. It simply allows gay and lesbian couples to marry under Washington law.
ASSERTION: Anyone who does not comply with the new definition of marriage will face legal consequences.
FACTS: States that allow same-sex couples to marry have not experienced any discernible increase in either litigation or complaints. As The Seattle Times wrote in February 2012, “A search of newspaper clips failed to turn up any evidence that same-sex marriage had produced a rash of suits involving businesspeople. We also checked with human-rights commissions in four of the six states where same-sex marriage is legal; the commissions said there was not an increase in discrimination findings or suits involving same-sex marriage.”
ASSERTION: Catholic charities in Boston and Washington DC have had to choose between fulfilling their social mission or upholding their religious beliefs. As a result, they had to close their adoption programs.
FACTS: Instead of complying with non-discrimination laws currently on the books that apply to any organization receiving taxpayer dollars, Catholic charities in Massachusetts, Illinois and Washington, D.C. CHOSE to abandon adoption services. These conflicts arose over long-standing non-discrimination laws, which had nothing to do with same-sex marriage.
ASSERTION: Redefining marriage will have irreversible consequences for our education system and the rights of parents to direct their own children’s upbringing. Whenever schools educate children about marriage, public schools will have no choice but to teach this new, genderless institution. In Massachusetts, children as young as second grade have been taught about homosexual marriage in class. Courts have ruled that parents had no right to prior notice or to opt out their own children out of such instruction.
FACTS: The courts have ruled that parents’ rights to exercise their religious beliefs are not violated because of contrary ideas in school. There are only two examples of Massachusetts parents issuing complaints about the materials taught in their children’s classrooms.
One of the children was given a “diversity book bag” that included the book, “Who’s in a Family”, which depicts a variety of non-traditional families, but the book was not required reading. Another involved a child being read “King & King” in a second-grade class. Both happened in one town, Lexington, MA.
After two rulings that were favorable to the schools, the Supreme Court refused to hear the couples’ joint case. Kris Mineau, executive director of the Massachusetts Family Institute, couldn’t cite incidents other than in Lexington when he was pressed to do so. He said, “I don’t have documentation of everything going on.”
ASSERTION: Business owners face consequences for expressing support for traditional marriage. Wedding professionals have been fined for declining to participate in a sex-same ceremony. An innkeeper in Vermont had to pay over $30,000 for not making his private property available for same-sex wedding receptions. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, church-based counselors and other licensed professionals risk their state licenses if they act on their belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.
FACTS: The issue here is not same-sex marriage but rather existing state laws that prohibit discrimination. For example, the manager of the Vermont inn cited the owners’ “personal feelings” as the reason why it refused to host the lesbian couple’s wedding. But the Vermont Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act prohibits public accommodations – such as inns, restaurants and schools that serve the public – “from denying goods and services based on customers’ sexual orientation.” A summary of Washington State’s anti-discrimination law can be found here.
Source: Washington United for Marriage