This morning in NPR’s Morning Edition, Renee Montagne spoke with Peter
Sprigg, director of the Center for Marriage and Family Studies at the
Family Research Council. What he said I found deeply offensive. You
can find their discussion here:
My letter to NPR follows.
In the words of Walt Kelly’s Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us!”
That is the message I take away from Peter Sprigg’s (of the Family
Research Council, Center for Marriage and Family Studies) comments on
Morning Edition (March 25, 2004) regarding the current controversy over
In his comments, Mr Sprigg tells us that same-sex marriage would be just
the latest affront in a continuing assault on marriage “over the last
fifty years” as we depart from marriage’s traditional role of promoting
and protecting procreation. He claims that the trend of single parent
households, childless couples and now same-sex marriages are eroding
By the time my wife and I got married we had each decided not to have
children. We chose to get married for many reasons, but we never thought
of ourselves as eroding a cherished institution by doing so. Apparently,
though, we are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Not too long ago a man and woman living together without the benefit
of the bonds of marriage were “living in sin.” Now, by the logic of
Mr Sprigg, our decision to get married threatens to destroy the very
institution that we have chosen to celebrate. What is a childless couple
to do? We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.
Mr Sprigg would have us believe that the institution of marriage
is something which survived, unchanged, from some long ago time up ’til
fifty years ago, when it came under sudden attack by an immoral society.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Unless he would have us revert to the not so distant past of arranged
marriages which predated the evolution of marriage as an expression of
romantic love, a development only two hundred and fifty years old, he
should accept that the institution is not immutable. Like any other
aspect of human existence it changes!
I recently sent a series of calls to action to friends and relatives
regarding a state constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage,
civil union and domestic partnership. I used a time worn rhetorical
tool — rather than accepting the title its proponents had chosen, “The
Affirmation of Marriage Act,” I referred to it as the “Anti-marriage Act.”
When I did this I felt that it truly was an anti-marriage proposal,
now Mr. Sprigg reveals just how accurate I was.
Now that the anti-marriage forces have placed my wife in their sights, and
not just my gay and lesbian friends, I am even more committed to fighting
to see that all citizens are afforded this most essential of rights.