Gay Tea Party Founder: If We Redefine Marriage, ‘We’re Going to Redefine Children’

Michael James | March 25, 2013 | 5:08pm EDT
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This photo taken Feb. 8, 2013, shows Sandy Stier, left, and Kris Perry, the couple at the center of the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage case. The women live in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

( – Three opponents of same-sex “marriage” spoke at the conservative Heritage Foundation on Monday, including the gay co-founder of the National Capital Tea Party Patriots who argued that children are entitled to a biological mother and a father, and that if the government seeks to redefine marriage to include homosexual couples, it will necessarily also be redefining children.

“The redefining of marriage, quite frankly I think it’s nuts,” said Doug Mainwaring, co-founder of the National Capital Tea Party Patriots and a homosexual.  “Being gay, I’ve had a long time to consider this, look at it.”

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“I used to be pro-same-sex marriage but the more I thought about it, it occurred to me, this just isn’t right,” he said. “Marriage is the most successful institution that civilization has produced over the last few millennia, and we shouldn’t mess with it. If we attempt to redefine marriage, we’re going to redefine children in the same way. In fact, I prefer to use the term ‘undefine’.”

Mainwaring said he was a resident of Maryland and he and his Patriots’ group had worked to try to stop the same-sex marriage referendum in that state, which became law on Jan. 1 of this year; the legislation had been passed by the Maryland General Assembly in February 2012 and approved by voters (52%) in a statewide referendum on Nov. 6, 2012.

Mainwaring explained that he had thought a lot about having a family but that even if the law allowed him to adopt children, “my kids would still have a giant, gaping hole in their lives because kids need a mom and a dad in the house.”

Mainwaring made his comments during a panel discussion entitled “The Marriage Debate: What’s at Stake?” Other panelists included Ryan Anderson, author of What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, and Kellie Fiedorek, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Starting Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments for two cases: Hollingsworth v. Perry, which concerns Proposition 8 in California and an appellate panel of judges that held the 2008 ballot initiative amending the state constitution to allow only opposite-sex couples to marry was unconstitutional; and a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was enacted in 1996 and defines marriage for federal purposes as the legal union of one man and one woman, and asserts that no U.S. state or political subdivision must recognize a same-sex marriage from another state.

A homosexual couple and their adopted daughter. (AP)

“There’s been some confusion on what issue is actually before the Supreme Court,” said Kellie Fiedorek with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a group comprised of Christian attorneys who advocate for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.

“The question before the Court is not whether marriage should be redefined,” she said. “The question before the Court is whether the Constitution requires that marriage be redefined. In other words, the question is, does the Constitution demand changing this long-standing definition of marriage that diverse cultures and faiths have embraced and supported throughout all of Western civilization?”

“Does the Constitution require the court to impose on every American around this country a fundamentally different definition of what marriage is? What the Supreme Court should find is that it does not,” Fiedorek said.

“The Court should uphold marriage and leave questions about marriage policy to the democratic process and the people” she continued. To do otherwise “would not only usurp the power of the people and get involved with the democratic process, it would ignore the many basic facts we know about what marriage is, and why we’ve valued this institution throughout Western civilization,” she said.

Ryan T. Anderson said,  “The Supreme Court should respect the constitutional authority of American citizens and their elected representatives to make marriage policy.”

“We don’t need the Supreme Court settling the marriage debate once and for all by striking down laws in all 50 states and making a one-size-fits-all answer on this question,” said Anderson.  “They tried doing that 40 years ago in the abortion debate [Roe v. Wade in 1973]. It didn’t settle the debate. It struck down the laws, but it didn’t settle the debate.”

“Marriage exists to bring together a man and a woman, as husband and wife, to be a mother and father to any children that their union creates,” he said.  “It’s based on the truth that men and women are different and complementary. It’s based on the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman; and it’s based on the social reality that children need a mother and a father – a married mother and father.”

“The social science evidence shows that mothering and fathering are two different, distinct phenomena,” said Anderson. “Children do best with a mother and a father because they’re not interchangeable.”

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