A photo of Reverend Bob Emrich getting an award from Maine native and resident FRC’s Tony Perkins

“The work of the Maine Jeremiah Project was recently recognized by the Family Research Council. The photo shows Tony Perkins, President of FRC presenting the “Watchman Award 2007” and the “FRC Watchman of the Year” award to Pastor Bob in Washington, D.C. “

I’m so glad to see that no matter how much “out-of-staters” like Perkins might want to weigh in on Maine’s marriage bill that they are respecting our process and quietly staying out like Maggie Gallagher is.

Yeah, right.

Anyhoo, today we have this week’s guest opinion in the Kennebec Journal on the Maine marriage bill provided by Reverend Bob Emrich of the “Maine Jeremiah Project”.

It’s an… interesting… rebuttal to the excellent pieces by brothers former Maine NAACP President Gerald Talbot and  Robert Talbot.

Check it out below the fold.    

Gerald Talbot (“Civil marriage about equal protection of all under the law”) is certainly entitled to his own opinion that allowing homosexuals to marry is a civil rights issue similar to the black civil rights struggle. But he appears to be outside of the mainstream thinking of most U.S. black leadership.

Barack Obama opposes same-sex marriage and he is not only the most prominent black political leader in the world but a former constitutional law professor. No one would seriously argue that he is not a champion of true civil rights.

Former Secretary of State General Colin Powell also rejects the argument that sexual orientation is comparable to race. He has testified that: “Skin color is a benign, nonbehavioral characteristic. Sexual orientation is perhaps the most profound of human behavioral characteristics. Comparison of the two is a convenient but invalid argument.”

Dee Garrett, a black civil rights leader in the South in the 1960s, also rejects the claim that this is a legitimate civil rights issue. In an eloquent statement that is posted on YouTube and was widely circulated in the California black community, she said, “It’s (same-sex marriage) not about civil rights. Racism was about civil rights. Marriage is about society, the future and about our children.”

In California, seven out of 10 black voters agreed and voted for Prop 8, which amended the state’s constitution to eliminate same-sex marriage. Many credit these black voters for passing the amendment.

Garrett understands what Talbot clearly does not. Marriage is not about adult needs, desires or convenience, whether for social and governmental recognition and acceptance, for economic advantages and tax breaks or simply to make their life easier. As she points out, marriage is primarily about children and the future of society. Understanding this fundamental truth allows us to place the demands of this tiny minority to be allowed to “marry” into the correct and socially responsible perspective.

Societies have a vested interest in the welfare of their children because they are the future of that society. A society is more likely to flourish if these children grow up to become responsible, productive and contributing members of that society. In the last half century, social science research has overwhelmingly validated what societies throughout history have learned through practical experience: Children do best by far on every measure of development, achievement and welfare when they are raised by their married biological parents.

It is primarily to encourage the most positive outcomes for their children that societies encourage men and women to marry and provide special protections and incentives for this social institution. Because same-sex couples obviously cannot produce children, societies historically have never even contemplated allowing them to “marry.”

Given the critical role of marriage in society, it is easy to understand that defending man/woman marriage is not discrimination. There is no inherent “right” to marry and societies have always regulated this institution for the best interests of society. Brothers and sisters or parents and children cannot marry, for example, nor can minors.

Legalizing same-sex marriage would so radically change the existing social institution of marriage that it would destroy its time-proven ability to provide essential benefits to society. It would transform marriage from a primarily child-centered institution into something that would be little more than governmental recognition of the professed affection of any two people for each other regardless of their gender.

There is absolutely no assurance that this new social institution of “genderless marriage” would, or even could, provide these same essential societal benefits. If it cannot, society and future generations will suffer serious harm. Whether to legalize genderless marriage is much more than a minority “rights” issue.

Bob Emrich, Plymouth, is director of the Maine Jeremiah Project, a grassroots coalition of social conservatives, organizations and churches who support “the sanctity of life, traditional family values, freedom of religion and educational choice” and a state constitutional amendment to protect marriage in Maine; www.mainejeremiahproject.com.

Ah- so now we’re going to dissolve marriages of the elderly or sterile couples, huh? Or those who marry yet choose NOT to have a child?

And apparently Coretta Scott King’s words didn’t and don’t mean diddly-squat. Silly me, I tend to think that Mrs. King’s analysis was spot-fucking-on.

We should start rereading and refocusing on her words… as well as those of her husband’s.

The sort of twisting that Emrich and others attempt are divisive and obvious- I find it utterly disgusting that California’s Prop 8 is being used as an example of support for Maine’s marriage bill opposition.





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