Recently an article entitled “In Defense of Gay Marriage, from a Pro-Life Republican” appeared on the blog Third Base Politics. The author, Councilman Phil Van Treuren of Amherst, Ohio, advances the premise that the pro-life movement must embrace marriage redefinition. Van Treuren castigates Cleveland Right to Life and other pro-life groups that maintain that traditional marriage between a man and woman is the best situation in which to raise and nurture a child. Incidentally, the author fails to note that these groups stress traditional marriage as the optimal, but not the only, situation fit for childrearing. Van Treuren’s concluding paragraph sums up his entire article as he asks pro-life advocates,
“[C]an you really argue that aborting a child is better than letting it be raised by a loving gay couple, regardless of how immoral you think their union is?”
Of course, the question doubles as an implied accusation that pro-life groups would rather see babies aborted than be placed with a gay couple.
This is a reprehensible accusation. One’s answer to the councilman’s loaded question largely depends on one’s susceptibility to Big Lie theory: the theory that through mere repetition, an outrageous falsehood gains validity because of its familiarity.
The fact is that the majority of Americans remain uneasy with marriage redefinition, a popular trend of the moment, in part because of the vim and vigor with which accusations of “hate” are levied against those who question the wisdom of chucking 5,000 years of recorded history and bedrock religious morality.
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A self-proclaimed “pro-life Republican” like Van Treuren could never thus accuse pro-life groups if he were truly familiar with the pro-life movement. Cleveland Right to Life and countless other pro-life organizations have, for decades, steadfastly argued for the sanctity of life even against the popular trends and politicized science of the day. A “pro-life Republican” would have to work hard to argue that a member of the Right to Life movement would prefer a child losing its life, to any alternative. Such “pro-life Republicans” would do well to remember that groups like CRTL have been in the vanguard championing the value of innocent life, whether a child is born with Down Syndrome or born to a family mired in poverty; whether placed in a Leave It to Beaver home or with an adoptive gay couple.
Conversely, it is highly doubtful that the author has any knowledge of a single pro-life advocate (self-described or not) who would advise expectant parents to walk into a Planned Parenthood to secure the termination of an unborn child so that it would not be adopted by “gays.” Thus Van Treuren’s accusatory question is a red herring, distracting readers from the true import of “marrying” the pro-life movement to traditional marriage.
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Unfortunately, this is just one of many places where the councilman’s logic goes unconsummated. He fails to address the moral, ethical and legal implications as alternative couples attempt to “create” their own children. Ignored are the societal and emotional concerns as children are brought forth as a consequence of third party surrogacy contracts, whose basic genetic material, ovum and sperm, are purchased on the open market, or as embryos are discarded as “surplus material” from in vitro fertilization procedures. Has the author considered the implications whereby our cultural paradigm shifts from the “rights of a child” to the “right to a child”?
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The pro-life movement does everything within its power to create the best potential for life and the preservation of the dignity of life at all stages. Would the author criticize CRTL for championing abstinence education in schools as a means of securing the best circumstance for the beginning of new life? Would the Right to Life movement’s opposition to the haphazard creation of “snowflake babies” be condemned by the author as limiting the pool of potentially adoptive children?
The author’s premise appears so seductively appealing because we have gone so bone stupid when it comes to understanding the fundamental importance of marriage and of raising children by one man and one woman, a mother and father. With our country’s burgeoning illegitimacy rate, coupled with an equally high divorce rate, why not officially sanction the experiment of raising children by alternative couples, throuples, or whatever combination human imagination can conceive?
Indeed, after decades of denigrating and weakening the institution of marriage, redefining it almost sounds reasonable on its face–at least, until one looks at the data.
The author’s focus on legitimizing “gay marriage” ignores the assault on marriage generally. More importantly, he overlooks that our culture’s de-emphasis of the necessity of both a mother and father for child-rearing has contributed to the staggering number of abortions sought today. According to the Ohio Department of Health, 82% of Ohio abortions in 2012 were performed on unmarried Ohio women. Nearly 42% of 2012 abortions in Ohio were African Americans babies, an ongoing genocide which the Right to Life movement valiantly opposes — almost single handedly. 
[RELATED on OCR: “The Fight for Marriage Part 1”]
The trend of children born to single parent homes is not encouraging. The Census Bureau reported in 1960 that children in single parent homes numbered 9.1%. By 2012, that number rose to 20.7%. The same report holds that as of 2012, 55% of African American children, 31% of Hispanic children, and 21% of white children live in single parent homes.  According to the National Center for Fathering, fatherless children are more likely to be poor, abuse drugs and alcohol, drop out of school, and suffer health and emotional problems.  Exceptions to the rule aside, factors such as these tend to create more obstacles than they remove when it comes to fostering the kind of relationships most suitable for bringing new life into the world. Strong traditional marriage is a vital component to advancing a culture of life.
[RELATED on OCR: “The Fight for Marriage Part 2”]
Although “pro-life Republican” Van Treuren may genuinely believe that “gay marriage” and marriage redefinition is good for the Life movement, his sincerity cannot change the fact that he is merely manipulating the deck chairs on the Titanic. Genuine or not, he is sorely mistaken when he criticizes CRTL, or any Right to Life organization championing traditional marriage, as a means of addressing a root cause of the assault on innocent life.
All opinions expressed belong solely to their authors and may not be construed as the opinions of other writers or of OCR staff.
Michael Hamilton contributed to this article.