Marriage equality has been an ongoing struggle for both those that agree and disagree
with this issue. Some people believe that marriage is only meant to be between a man and a
woman, while others believe that it is a human rights issue.
The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property
o TFP Student Action was originally founded in 1960 by Plinio Correa de Oliveira,
but the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property,
which is the American branch, was founded in 1973. TFP Student Action was
founded as an anticommunist organization that was inspired by Catholic beliefs.
o TFP Student Action is an organization for college students where their traditional
beliefs and moral values are defended. They are funded by donations, and they
specifically say that they are not government funded. TFP Student Action boasts
that they have 75 full-time volunteers and that they have more than 120,000
o Those most likely to be members would be college students that are most likely
Catholic and share in the traditional views of this organization. Those least likely
to be members would be those that are gay or that do not share in these
“traditional” belief systems.
o NOH8 was founded by Adam Bouska and his partner Jeff Parshley in 2010. The
organization was originally founded in response to Proposition 8 which banned
same-sex marriage in the state of California, and then later went on to defend
equality and to fight against discrimination and bullying.
o This organization used photographs of everyday people to celebrities as a silent
sign of protest against Proposition 8. They are able to financially sustain
themselves with money that they make from photo shoots and independent
donations. Also, they have close to 33,000 faces and they are quickly growing.
o Those most likely to be members of this organization would be those that agree
with marriage, gender, and human equality. Those that would be least likely to
join would be anyone that does not agree that marriage, gender, and human
equality are human rights.
o The American Society for defense of Tradition, Family, and Property list 10
reasons for their stance against same-sex marriage: 1) It is not marriage, even if
you call it marriage, because marriage I meant as a promise or covenant
between a man and a woman. 2) Marriage is rooted in nature, therefore, samesex marriage violates what they consider to be natural. 3) It denies a child either
a mother or a father because both parents would be of the same gender, so
essentially it ignores the child’s best interest. 4) It validates homosexual lifestyle,
including those that are bisexual and transgender. 5) It takes away focus from
the moral wrong in order to make something a civil right. They compare this to
racial equality, but go on to claim that they are two different issues. 6) It does
not create a family, but makes a sterile union because same sex couples could
not reproduce without the assistance of a donor of some kind. 7) It defeats the
states purpose of benefiting marriage and does not create a beneficial
atmosphere for raising children. 8) It promotes acceptance of same-sex marriage
on everyone. So by legalizing same-sex marriage the state is promoting it. 9) It is
the beginning of a sexual revolution and who will stop legalization of incest,
bestiality, pedophilia, or any other “unnatural” behavior? 10) The most
important reason: God’s offended. (tfpstudentaction.org)
o Although NOH8 was founded in response to Proposition 8, they now say that it
can be used more broadly and that it can mean something different to each
person. Their main focus is to stand against any kind of discrimination and
o Proposition 8 was passed in California in order to ban same-sex couples from
getting married. However, since then same-sex couples have the freedom to
marry in 37 states, Washington DC, and in some counties in the state of
o Gender is a key component of this debate because the freedom to marry
whomever you want, just like every other freedom we have fought for, affects
all of us and it will affect everyone that comes after us.
o I think that the functionalist perspective would be fitting for both. People who
are anti-same-sex marriage would argue that same-sex marriage would promote
an immoral lifestyle which would cause other people to follow suite. If that
happened then it would be a domino effect starting with weakened morality
followed by legalization of incest, bestiality, pedophilia, or any other unnatural
behavior. Also, while children might have two parents and may even be in a
loving home, they would be deprived of either a mother or a father. However,
people that are for same-sex marriage and that have the same philosophy as
NOH8, might argue that acceptance of other people regardless of their physical,
sexual, or any other differences would create an environment of peace and
equality in our society.
Gender inequality is a major issue that plagues all of us. Legalization of same-sex
marriage happens to be fairly equal amongst males and females because either
everyone can or no one can. It is a human issue not just an issue for men or an issue for
women. I am strongly pro-human rights and equality amongst us all, so reading and
writing about the first organization, TFP Student Action, was very difficult for me. I
believe that it is a beautiful thing to be able to accept another person regardless of their
physical or sexual qualities, and also to be accepted in that same way.
Www.tfpstudentaction.org. (n.d.). Retrieved April 8, 2015, from
About. (n.d.). Retrieved April 8, 2015, from http://www.noh8campaign.com/article/about
It is unsurprising that thirty seven states out of fifty states in the US have now lifted the
ban on same sex marriage in the name of marriage equality and freedom. With states as
conservative as Kansas legalizing same sex marriage (as of Nov. 12 2014), it is evident that the
fight for marriage equality is reaching an end. What’s also clear is that the issue is prevalent
enough for societies to re-consider some presumptions and for movements such as ‘Freedom to
Marry’ to form and fight for ‘equality nation-wide’. On the other hand, opposing movements and
organizations such as religious groups have also formed to resist reformations to legalize same
sex marriage and one of the harshest organizations is the WestBoro Baptist Church.
Westboro Baptist Church:
Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is an organization that was established in 1955 by Fred
Phelps who actually died last year (2014). WBC’s primary aim is apparently to preach against all
sin, however, they are specifically against homosexuality and they see America’s tolerance of it
as the reason why God is ‘punishing’ them by inflicting misfortunes such as AIDS/HIV viruses,
the incident of 9/11 and so on.
WBC consist of around 40 members and they perform daily demonstrations in public
areas against homosexuality by holding posts that say things like ‘God hates fags’. WBC have
been taking actions such as anti-gay picketing since at least 1991 when they started picketing at
Gage Park (Topeka). Today, WBC actually pickets at 6 locations every day and they have
reported to have picketed in 50 US states and at least 50,000 events nation-wide (Burke).
WBC’s source of funding was solely provided by Fred Phelps and his congregation (which were
mostly his family), along with any money they would win from winning civil lawsuits.
Additionally, WBC don’t accept donations and they never solicited, however, the way they are
classified as a non-profit organization means that they are not taxed and any money they won
from civil lawsuits was directly poured into the organization as a church.
WBC is a family based religious organization that consists of Fred Phelps, his children,
their spouses, and his grand-children and a few other families that make up the rest of the count.
The most likely people to be members of WBC are Fred Phelps children (9 out of 13 remained in
the church) and spouses’ families. Anyone else from society regards WBC as the most
obnoxious and harsh hate group that exists today, and that is why they only have 40 members at
Freedom to marry:
Freedom to marry (FTM) was founded in 2003 by Evan Wolfson who is now the
president of the organization. Evan Wolfson is an American civil rights attorney who has
launched the FTM campaign which engages in legislative lobbying for the aim of achieving
marriage equality nation-wide (at a Supreme Court level) and to create a mass of public support
for FTM. So far, FTM have been successful in the legalization of same sex marriage in 33 states.
FTM’s field strategies include growing groups of ‘first responders, business leaders and clergy
who show the diverse majority of support for marriage’. Prior to oral argumentations at the
Supreme Court, FTM flood national TV and national media with depictions of families who
were hurt by the discrimination; FTM would also print ads and make online campaigns to get all
FTM includes two entities which are ‘Freedom to marry, inc.’ and ‘Freedom to marry
action, Inc.’ which FTM uses both to achieve its goals while fulfilling legal requirements. FTM
regularly makes fundraisers such as ‘Win more states fund’ and they accept contributions
/donations. Contributions to any entity are all pooled toward achieving the same goal of
legalization of same sex marriage nation-wide and candidates who run for public office do not
receive any funding. FTM features 1346 ‘voices for equality’, a lot of which are government
officials, entrepreneurs and politicians. Considering that 37 states out of 50 now recognize same
sex marriage means that 72% of Americans live in counties that recognize and license same sex
marriage. The most likely to be a member of FTM are liberals and people from the LGBT
community; the least likely to be members are conservatives and religious people.
The WestBoro Baptist church regards same sex marriage as America’s ‘number one
moral issue’ and sees it as completely contrary to bible doctrine which states that marriage is
only supposed to be between one man and one woman. Additionally, they see a ban of same sex
marriage as not only a ‘preservation’ of god’s standard, but that its best for ‘health, safety and
welfare’ of people. Furthermore, WBC believe that tampering with the Scripture’s definition of
marriage (one man and one woman) ruins the symbol of ‘Christ and his bride, the church’.
While WBC focus on the religious aspects of same sex marriage, FTM regard it as a civil
rights issue in that everyone in America should have the right to marry who-ever they love,
focusing on the expressive aspect of marriage which is commitment. Freedom to marry
emphasizes on the way in which many committed gay couples cannot secure their relationships
with their loved ones because they are being discriminated against even though marriage matters
to gay people as much as it matters to everyone else. Additionally, the name ‘freedom to marry’
targets the constitutional guarantee of ‘equal protection and the right to marry’ for everyone.
Moreover, FTM emphasize that marriage only requires the two components of love and
commitment and that any other factor such as religious recognition of the marriage should not
The defense of marriage legislation (DOMA) of 1996 stated that no state is obliged to
accept the validity of same sex marriage even if another state recognizes the validity of their
marriage. Another legislation that passed for same sex marriage is the State Marriage Defense
Act which passed in January 9 2014 and meant that the federal government would recognize the
validity of a marriage based on the person’s legal residence rather than the validity of where and
when they get married.
Gender is a key concern in this debate because there is a huge community of people in
every society that has gay, lesbian and transgendered individuals that can love others in exactly
the same way that any typical couple can and that hence will have the same desire to marry. To
ignore members of the LGBT’s desires to marry simply because they don’t have the same gender
ideologies and don’t want to participate in the ‘traditional’ way of marriage is unconstitutional.
The legalization of same sex marriage seems logical from the perspective of marriage for
love, where as the functional and opposite perspective suggests that the purpose of marriage is to
simply regenerate the population and to socialize the young rather than ‘love’. The functional
perspective matches more with WBC’s perspective on the matter as they deem it harmful to
Regardless of whether same sex marriage betters society or hurts society, the government
cannot rid a group of people from the expressive dignities of marriage as that would be
unconstitutional and discriminatory against a group of citizens who are no less qualified or less
capable than any other loving person from society. The reason that most religious affiliations
such as WBC would be opposed to same sex marriage is simply because all of us have deeply
held ideologies about what is natural and unnatural. Ultimately, the fact of the matter is that the
only thing a ban on same sex marriage will do is stop LGBT couples from reaping the benefits of
being ‘married’ (such as government benefits), but it will not change their desires to be together
and hence we must follow the constitution in accepting everyone equally.
Wong, Curtis M. "Westboro Baptist Church Files Brief Against Challenge To Kansas' Gay
Marriage Ban." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2015.
Southern Poverty Law Center." Westboro Baptist Church. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2015.
EVAN WOLFSON, Founder and President | Freedom to Marry." EVAN WOLFSON, Founder and
President | Freedom to Marry. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2015.
Roadmap to Victory | Freedom to Marry." Roadmap to Victory | Freedom to Marry. N.p., n.d. Web.
12 Apr. 2015.
Just the Facts." Just the Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2015.
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