Williams Institute is a LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trasngender) organization established to advance sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy through rigorous, independent research and scholarship. It disseminates its stands to judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the public. Because it is an activist organization, it was never intend to be unbiased in its "research." As a national think tank at UCLA Law, the Williams Institute is largely funded by taxpayers.
It recently claimed that wedding arrangements and tourism by same-sex couples and their wedding guests added between $12 and $13 million to the Iowa economy over two years in 2009 and 2010. The study, released Wednesday, also reported that the increased spending on weddings likely added between $850,000 and $930,000 in tax revenue in that State during that two-year period. There reportedly were at least 2,099 same-sex weddings in the year following the decision to legalize marriage equality in April 2009. Of these couples, over half came from other states to wed in Iowa. The study estimates that out-of-state couples account for about $2.2 million of the spending.
The Institute's story did not disclose the methodology behind finding the numbers the reported.
Now, a little history:
Marriage is a formal relationship established by God -- not government. Religions and cultures of all kinds around the world have consistently established marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. In some cases, that religious bond has included multiple spouses of the opposite sex.
Relatively recently, the government got involved with marriage. This involvement has its roots in racism. Laws were passed requiring couples to obtain a marriage license prior to the marriage. The intent of these laws was to restrict intermarriage among races -- particularly Blacks with Whites. Marriage laws also establish age and other restrictions. By those racist laws government interjected itself into private family affairs to the point where it now tells parents how it can raise children and can confiscate children with no legal basis other than a rumor or lie.
Since it grabbed control of marriage away from churches and families, broken families have become the norm (beginning with California's introduction of no-fault divorce which makes it impossible for the spouse who wants to stay married to have a voice in whether the marriage is dissolved).
Then, along come activists for the homosexual agenda. Although homosexuals have always had the full right to marry a person of the opposite sex, they demanded a new right -- the right to marry a person of the same sex. Most States have laws against such relationships. In fact, some State constitutions clearly establish that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Many States refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in States with same-sex marriage.
Currently, a few States allow same-sex marriages: Massachusetts (thank you very much Mitt Romney), Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. Washington, DC also recognizes same-sex marriage. Generally, a majority of the People rejected the idea of same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage in each of those three States came about only by judicial ruling -- against the will of the People.
How's that for democracy?
After the judicial rulings in the above-listed States, only the legislatures of Connecticut and Massachusetts changed their laws to comply with the rulings imposed by a handful of lawyers in black dresses. The remaining jurisdictions (Iowa, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and the District of Washington) have same-sex marriage imposed by judicial ruling.
Now, Williams Institute claims Iowa benefits financially from same-sex marriages performed in that State, but which likely are not valid in the State in which the couples live. These marriages are also not valid for federal purposes.
A question I have on all this is: What value or price do judges in Iowa place on democracy? Apparently, democracy in Iowa is worth something less than $6.5 million per year.
The root of all this is morality and truth. There are two types of truth: absolute truth and relative truth.
Absolute truth comes from natural law and from God. When God (or nature) reveals a truth, it does not vary. That truth applies equally to all of creation.
Relative truth is whatever a person says it is. What is true for one person may not be true for another.
Because of the influence of the aggressive activism of a tiny minority of mankind, God's absolute truth of marriage as between opposite sexes has morphed into a relative truth of marriage is whatever anyone wants for whatever reason or for no reason whatsoever.
I say that those who are sexually attracted to persons of the same-sex deserve all the respect due to any other son or daughter of God. However I reject their behavior when it violates God's counsel and commandments -- just as I reject heterosexual behavior which violates God's teachings. Both have need of repentance. But, activists in and out of government are imposing this corruption of absolute truth upon society with the force of law.
Activists in and out of government are imposing this corruption of absolute truth upon society with the force of law. Government is forcing those who believe homosexual behavior is immoral to accept that immoral behavior as if it were moral and wholesome. And, government is giving that behavior its stamp of approval at taxpayer expense. Government has no right or authority to redefine morality.
As mentioned above, marriage has been a family and/or religious rite for most of human history. Only relatively recently has one needed government permission to marry. It has done so for two primary reasons: social engineering (something politicians and bureaucrats love to do, but do horribly) and revenue.
I believe that marriage is one of many issues where government does not belong. Where government intrudes, it invariably makes things worse. Politicians and bureaucrats do a horrid job of defining morality.
Government must get out of the marriage business and restore it to families and religion where it historically worked just fine. As far as the government should be concerned, a marriage should be viewed as nothing more than a legally-binding private contract made between consenting adults -- not to regulate who people can marry. The only role government should have is to provide a mechanism whereby the marriage contract can be enforced and to protect the rights of the persons involved (ie property rights or to restrict marriage of children).
As long as government interjects itself into defining marriage, I defend the right of individuals and organizations such as churches (eg California's Prop 8) to voice their opinions on that definition. Ultimately, politicians and judges need to learn to respect the voice of the voters.
So, what's next for government-sanctioned marriage? How far will government go to redefine morality? Legalized polygyny? Legalized polyandry? Legalized marriage between children and adults? Legalized marriage between siblings? Legalized marriage between parents and their children? Legalized marriage between humans and animals? Legalized marriage between humans and trees or other inanimate objects?
Preposterous, you say? Just you wait and see. The horse is out of the barn. Without a moral and spiritual revival, it is too late to close the barn door on government-controlled marriage.
We need smarter and wiser voters.