By David Tulis
Chattanooga city council member Chris Anderson faces a petition for recall on the part of disgruntled residents dissatisfied by his representation overall as much as by his homosexual agenda push.
Thanks to Mr. Anderson city government has wandered past two “keep out” signs. One is that its domestic partnership ordinance is illegal. It tromps upon the authority reserved by the general assembly to itself. No municipal corporation can create such legal entities as domestic partnerships unless granted under a city charter. For Chattanooga to presume to create such legal nullity in a pro-marriage state with a constitutional provision describing man and wife is wild — and, well, bold.
Mr. Anderson’s second miscreancy is to attack marriage in thought, word and deed,‡ and to convince fellow council members to join him in a seemingly irresistible cultural movement to redefine marriage and eventually turn the state against its defenders.
Constituents are not happy with monomania. “Chris Anderson operating on his own personal agenda has brought all of this about,” says East Lake resident George Goss, according to a news release. “He does not represent the concerns of our district. Since being elected to the City Council, his focus has been the concerns of special interest groups.” Says the Rev. Alfred Johnson, “Mr. Anderson is operating on a personal agenda and is not addressing the primary needs of our district like affordable housing, gang violence and job opportunities.”
The county election commission will take up the petition at its next meeting. If the petition gets 1,600 signatures in 56 days, it will go on a ballot Aug. 7, says Charlie Wysong, an organizer in the program. Also on the ballot will be the iffy ordinance.
The big picture: Marriage as capital
The referendum to overturn gay partner benefits is not about gay people. It’s about marriage. Gays used a similar argument to get the council to vote for the benefits plan. Their plea was not against marriage or tradition in any way, they insisted. It was about fairness, equality, equal pay for equal work, giving a human right to a bigger group of people.
The referendum to overturn the city’s ordinance Aug. 7 is not about gays. It’s not about fairness, equality, equal pay for equal work, human rights or being generous to a dispossessed minority. It is about marriage.
Mr. Anderson’s homosexual pals, as the combat intensifies midsummer in Chattanooga, are going to misrepresent the debate. Here are pointers to help you keep things clear in your mind:
➤ Gays are not demanding a right to marry, but are demanding a redefinition of marriage to suit individual preferences and emotions. No one has ever had such a right in any area of law.
➤ Gays have a right to marry. I have no greater right than Chris Anderson to marry. We have equal rights. If I am a bachelor, I am free to marry a woman. Mr. Anderson is a bachelor; he is free to marry a woman. Equal rights to marry exist.
➤ Tennessee does not ban gay marriage. Mr. Anderson and his male paramour are free to visit the most Rev. Pamela Rumancik at Chattanooga’s Unitarian church (or other), bid her perform nuptials on their behalf. They can hold forth as married, consummate their relationship and cohabit — these being requirements of marriage at common law. They can be married in their own eyes as much as they want, and convince everyone they know they are married. This sequence of acts is not a crime; they are not banned from doing it. Wearing a pistol under your jacket is banned if you don’t have a state concealed-carry permit. Gay marriage is not banned in this sense, that doing the act is a civil or criminal evil. Rather, Tennessee refuses to recognize this erstwhile union as marriage, call it what the partners will. Gays are free to act as they please; homosexual acts are not recognized in Tennessee law as crimes. For a gay to say he is under a ban is manipulative and dishonest.
➤ Gay ideas of marriage are subjectivist, private, emotional and deny the existence of the larger culture or society. Gay theory is atomistic, individualistic and pleasure-oriented. It seeks to establish unbridled individual autonomy as a moral and legal center, marginalizing all other forms and penalizing all whose worldview doesn’t conform. (Bed and breakfast operators, wedding lensmen, cake bakers tell the story.)
➤ Marriage is a creation ordinance. Gays rejection creation. They want to redefine marriage. So what is marriage? The conjugal relationship is a union between a man and a woman, comprehensive in nature, a contract unlike any other form of contract, exclusive of all others in the world until death, publicly avowed and legally enforceable. Most importantly, it is procreative and civilizational in orientation.
The lugbutt lobbys’ strategy has been to redefine marriage while pretending that is the last thing they want to disturb. Its pretense is this: All we want is to include more people in the joys of the marital union. We stand on the side of love. Its spokesmen shift debate from their real goal, the overthrow of marriage and Christian moral order, to arguments in the egalitarian framework that appeal to Americans’ sense of fair play. We just want what you have, and we have no intention of hurting you.
Useful tip: In the rhetoric of gay activists coming to Chattanooga this summer, notice how they smuggle into their arguments a redefinition of marriage before their hearers have accepted their premise. They make you assume the point you are arguing against. They are begging the question.
Sources: Lecture, Vaughn Hamilton, Brainerd Hills Presbyterian Church Sabbath school, Jan. 26, 2014
‡ City council, in approving the gay ordinance, trifles with the ninth commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” Apart from its numerous positive requirements, the ninth prohibits wittingly appearing and pleading for an evil cause, calling evil good and good evil, and rewarding the wicked according to the work of the righteous, and the righteous according to the work of the wicked. Also forbidden is breach of promise, such as violating an oath to uphold a state constitution.