"Too many members of the foreign policy establishment disagree with George Washington that religious conviction is essential to 'the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity.' Too few members of that foreign policy elite understand James Madison’s conviction that religious citizens and their communities are essential parts of civil society, and thus important checks on the tendency of all governments to expand their power."
"I Have Learned from My Father and Mother": Yousafzai's Speech at UN
“First of all, thank you to God for whom we all are equal and thank you to every person who has prayed for my fast recovery and a new life. I cannot believe how much love people have shown me.... Dear sisters and brothers, I am not against anyone. Neither am I here to speak in terms of personal revenge against the Taliban or any other terrorists group. I am here to speak up for the right of education of every child. I want education for the sons and the daughters of all the extremists especially the Taliban. I do not even hate the Talib who shot me. Even if there is a gun in my hand, and he stands in front of me, I would not shoot him.This is the compassion that I have learned from Muhammad the prophet of mercy, and Jesus Christ, and Lord Buddha…. This is the forgiveness that I have learned from my father and from my mother.”
"Here’s the least reported fact about [the] rulings on marriage: the Supreme Court refused to give Ted Olson and David Boies, the lawyers suing to overturn Prop 8, what they wanted. The Court refused to redefine marriage for the entire nation. The Court refused to "discover" a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Citizens and their elected representatives remain free to discuss, debate, and vote about marriage policy in all fifty states."
"The opinion was of a kind we are used to seeing by now from Justice Kennedy: long on windy rhetoric about 'dignity' and ad hominem attacks on the basic human decency of the law’s defenders, and short on actual coherent legal reasoning from recognizable constitutional principles…. But the battle continues, and for people who have faith in the truth, despair is never an option. Yes. It could have been much, much worse. We have a lot of work ahead of us."
“Today, the Supreme Court failed to uphold two important laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. At the same time, the Court also refused to fabricate a new right to same-sex marriage, as the proponents of redefining marriage through the courts had hoped to do. In other words, the debate about marriage will continue. States will lead the way..."
Liberté, Égalité, but Not Homosexualité: Why French Feminists Are Fighting Gay Marriage, by David A. Bell
“An important current of French thought, which has no real American equivalent, has maintained that while women deserve equal rights, these rights must not entail the supposed erasure of sexual difference.”
“We all agree on the critical role fathers play in the lives of their children, which is why we should continue to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the interest of children.”
"There is no civil right for the government to redefine marriage.”
"Government recognizes marriage because it is an institution that benefits society in a way that no other relationship does."
"The Pope urged the Archbishop to continue proclaiming 'the sacredness of human life or the importance of the institution of the family built on marriage, a value that you yourself have had occasion to recall recently.'"
“Redefining marriage will make it harder for our children to develop their self-understanding and will sanction procreative methods that treat children like commodities.”
“Kids need dads. Not ‘male role models.’ Not ‘masculine influences.’ Not ‘Y chromosome facilitators.’ Dads…. Marriage is more than a good idea. It is, hands down, the best way to ensure that mothers, fathers, and children reach their full potential and have the best opportunity to achieve happiness.”
Strengthening the Free Exercise of Religion, speech by Dallin H. Oaks upon receiving the Becket Fund's Canterbury Medal
"We are also encouraged by the turning tide of scholarly support for the free exercise of religion as it applies to important social issues. For example, the Girgis, Anderson, and George book What Is Marriage? states a powerful scholarly and philosophical case for the time-honored definition of marriage as between a man and a woman and its importance for the issue of religious freedom. If the defense of traditional marriage 'comes to be seen as irrational,' the authors write, 'people’s freedom to express and live by it will be curbed,' and 'believing what virtually every human society once believed about marriage—that it is a male-female union—will be seen increasingly as a malicious prejudice, to be driven to the margins of culture.'"
Archbishop of Canterbury: Gay Marriage Not a Faith Issue
“The British House of Lords began debate on a bill that would create a right to gay marriage. Speaking before the body, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby [said]: ‘The result is confusion. Marriage is abolished, redefined and recreated – being different and unequal for different categories…. The concept of marriage as a normative place for procreation is lost. The idea of marriage as covenant is diminished. The family in its normal sense predating the state and as our base community of society is weakened… It is not at heart a faith issue. It is about the general social good.
First Lady Seeks End To Teenage Pregnancies In Africa
"Delivering a keynote address on 'The Roles of Traditional and Religious Leaders in the prevention of teenage pregnancies,' the First Lady noted that... sustainable development can only be achieved in the fight against teenage pregnancies if our traditional leaders will return to the dignity and high moral values that had held our traditional communities together."
"Preventing teen pregnancy is as much about moral and religious values as it is about public health. Teens, like adults, make decisions about their sexual behavior based in part on their values about what is right and wrong, what is proper and what is not."
"The state legislature [should] not discriminate against two maiden or widowed sisters who were living together or a mother and a devoted son or daughter who were living together in a platonic relationship. Why should such households and relationships be left behind when legal privileges and recognition are being passed out just because they are not in a sexual relationship?"
"The United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/66/292 established June 1 as the Global Day of Parents, to be observed annually."
"World Congress of Families VII (Sydney, May 15-18, 2013) concluded on Saturday. The first Congress in the Asia-Pacific region, the first in the Southern Hemisphere and the first in an English-speaking country was judged an overwhelming success. World Congress of Families VII was also the first Congress with an economic theme – 'Happy Families, Healthy Economy: A New Vision for National Prosperity and Social Progress.'"
"The House of Commons has voted to allow gay marriage in England and Wales, despite 161 MPs opposing the government's plans."
"A gay man in New Zealand who wants to become an Anglican priest is taking the Bishop of Aukland to the country’s Human Rights Tribunal for discriminating against him. The man, whose name has not been released, claims the Rev. Ross Bay refuses to allow him to enter the Anglican Church’s training or discernment program for priests because he is gay… In April, New Zealand became the 13th country in the world to approve same-sex marriage."
The Rise of Post-Familialism: Humanity's Future? by Joel Kotkin
“For most of human history, the family — defined by parents, children and extended kin — has stood as the central unit of society…. Today, in the high-income world and even in some developing countries, we are witnessing a shift to a new social model…. The most obvious impact from post-familialism lies with demographic decline. It is already having a profound impact on fiscal stability.”
"As anyone who has tried it knows, raising a family and sustaining a marriage are challenging things to do. However, at stake is not only the health of the individual family but also the prosperity and future of society."
Surviving the First Day: State of the World's Mothers, by Save the Children
"The birth of a child should be a time of wonder and celebration. But for millions of mothers and babies in developing countries, it is a dance with death."
"It is a structural injustice to a child, to deprive him or her of a relationship with both parents, without some compelling or unavoidable reason."
Hungary Protects Family and Marriage in Amended Constitution
The Fourth Amendment to Hungary's Fundamental Law (the Constitution) includes this provison: “Hungary shall protect the institution of marriage, understood to be the conjugal union of a man and a woman based on their independent consent; Hungary shall also protect the institution of the family, which it recognizes as the basis for survival of the nation. Marriage and the parent-child relationships are the basis of the family."
Against Discrimination and Same-Sex Marriage: Margaret Somerville, Director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law in Montreal
"I am against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and against legalizing same-sex marriage.... .My reasons for opposition go to the nature of marriage as the societal institution that institutionalizes, symbolizes and protects the inherently reproductive human relationship which exists between a man and a woman, and, in doing so, establishes children’s human rights with respect to their biological origins and the family structure in which they are reared."
“'In passing the ‘shot-gun’ same-sex marriage bill, Parliament has chosen to reject the obvious cultural and natural character of marriage and the subsequent creation and care of children, and made marriage just about partnership,' said Bob McCroskie, National Director of Family First."
“After months of debate and massive protests, the National Assembly in France passed President Francois Hollande's ‘marriage for all’ bill in to law on April 23…. One group, La Manif Pour Tous,… argues that the now-law is ‘profoundly discriminatory’ towards children since those adopted by two men or two women will, by law, no longer have a mother and father.”
"The future of Roman Catholic weddings in England and Wales is now in doubt because of David Cameron’s gay marriage bill, the church’s chief legal adviser on the issue has disclosed."
Four distinguished panelists, led by Dr. Allan Carlson of the Howard Center, explore the so-called 'war on women' (VIDEOS)
"Protests against the law, led by lay groups mostly backed by the Catholic Church, have become more agitated in recent days as noisy opponents rally outside the Senate and National Assembly and harass politicians supporting the reform."
"Civil recognition of the marriage union of a man and a woman serves the ends of limited government more effectively, less intrusively and at less cost than does picking up the pieces from a shattered marriage culture."
Secretary-General Says Gay Rights Should Trump Freedom of Religion:
As reported by UN: Religion and culture cannot justify discrimination against gays and lesbians, Ban warns: “My promise to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members of the human family is this: I am with you."
As reported by GayStarNews: UN chief Ban Ki-moon to lead global campaign for gay rights: "The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has promised to lead a global campaign for LGBT rights. And he has told governments around the world that they have a ‘legal duty’ to protect gay and trans people and that ‘culture, tradition or religion’ could not be used as an excuse for failing to do so."
"If marriage is redefined in civil law, individuals and religious organizations – regardless of deeply held beliefs – will be compelled to treat same-sex unions as the equivalent of marriage in their lives, ministries and operations."
Wendell Berry’s Marriage Reversal, by Christopher C. Roberts, in First Things
"The old Berry thought marriage was a cultural response to creation, a vow men and women take to humanize procreation, to embed fertility in faithful community. The new Berry thinks that marriage is a portable contract, suitable for any two autonomous individuals who want the law to facilitate their care for each other."
The Wealth of Nations Depends on the Health of Families, by Patrick Fagan
"The intact married family with children is the household that generates the productive work, income, and savings that purchase houses, food, cars, and clothing, use energy, send children to school, and save for college and weddings.... If we want a vibrant economy, we must grow the best of children, just as the farmer who wants the best crops pays close attention to the timing of the seasons, and sows the best seed in the best soil he can."
"The Church of England’s Common Worship Marriage Service declares, ‘Marriage is a gift of God in creation’. The teaching of Jesus on marriage began with creation: ‘he who created them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”’ (Matthew 19.4-5 (ESV)). In calling it a gift of God, we mean that it is not simply a cultural development (though it has undergone much cultural development) nor simply a political or economic institution (though often embedded in political and economic arrangements). It is an expression of the human nature which God has willed for us and which we share. And although marriage may fall short of God’s purposes in many ways and be the scene of many human weaknesses, it receives the blessing of God and is included in his judgment that creation is ‘very good’ (Genesis 1.31). In calling it a gift of God in creation, we view marriage within its wider life-context: as an aspect of human society and as a structure of life that helps us shape our journey from birth to death..." "Men and Women in Marriage"
“The most recent rule [proposed by the Obama Administration] does nothing for people of faith who run for-profit workplaces. The mandate continues to apply there without exception, or even the pretense of one. It is unconscionable for the federal government to force religious people to check their deeply held beliefs at the door as they enter the world of commerce. These days, our business sector needs to be informed by more moral reflection, not less..." Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard, and fomer US Ambassador to the Holy See
Washington, DC: Marriage in the Supreme Court
“You want us to step in and render a decision based on an assessment of the effects of this institution, which is newer than cellphones or the Internet.”—Justice Samuel Alito during arguments in the Prop 8 case
"Social science data demonstrates two nearly incontestable conclusions: (1) stable, natural marital structures provide profound benefits for men, women and children, while (2) the breakdown of stable, natural marital structures imposes significant social costs upon individuals and society at large. In short, families play a profoundly important social role."—Professor Richard Wilkins (in The Social Role of the Family)
"Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the pivotal justice on the issue, said the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) may have intruded too deeply on the traditional role of state governments in defining marriage..."
"Proposition 8, the law banning same-sex marriage in California, got its day in court...."
"A Maryland man who co-founded National Capital Tea Party Patriots told the crowd: 'I am Doug Mainwaring, and I’m gay. And for a very long time, I was pro-same-sex marriage. . . . Until I began to consider why I supported same-sex marriage, and I came to the following conclusion: Marriage is an immutable term, and we should not mess with it.'"
"Marriage... is a religious civil liberty, not a right granted by government."
Rome: The Pope and Family Values
“Striking a tone of radical humility that has already become his trademark, Pope Francis offered a passionate pledge in his installation Mass on Tuesday to serve “the poorest, the weakest, the least important,” urging world leaders to protect human life and the environment and use tenderness to inspire hope…”
"At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God."
"Representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church met in Rome to discuss cooperation in promoting family values, social services and care for the poor..."
"One week into his new job, Pope Francis is being hailed by some as a modern saint whose concern for the poor is mirrored in his humility and simple lifestyle."
"Religious liberty doesn’t stop at the church doors. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the nonpartisan public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religions, filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court..."
Remembering Pope Benedict XVI: A Note of Gratitude
Amid the swirl of reaction to the Pope's announcement of his pending resignation, I wish to express gratitude for his unequivocal support of family and marriage. His defense of these foundational institutions included the following statement made in an address given in Rome on January 19, 2013: "The Church reaffirms her great 'yes' to the dignity and beauty of marriage as an expression of the faithful and generous bond between man and woman, and her no to 'gender' philosophies, because the reciprocity between male and female is an expression of the beauty of nature willed by the Creator." Thank you, Pope Benedict. Your courage has made a difference. —EDC