Another Presidential Non-Debate on Homosexual ‘Marriage’

‘Gay’ agenda not raised in three presidential debates — but don’t just blame the media …

mccain-obama_debate.jpgBy Peter LaBarbera

OK, now it’s official. In three presidential debates to help us decide which man – John McCain or Barack Obama – will lead this nation, the critical issue of homosexual “marriage” didn’t even come up.

Add to that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal “hate crimes” bill and Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), homosexuality in the military, how “gay rights” laws threaten religious and other freedoms, and homosexual adoption of children.

On each of these issues, Obama and McCain strongly disagree, but we never (or barely) got to hear them explain their positions on the same stage – in contrast to Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church debate where at least “gay marriage” was discussed. The only time that homosexuality was raised in the four official debates, including the vice-presidential debate, was when moderator Gwen Ifill asked a poorly constructed question about same-sex benefits and then “gay marriage” to Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Joe Biden.

The issue of judicial appointments did come up but certainly has received far less attention than it deserves since judges are setting now policy in this country.

Do you feel as gypped as I do by the combination of media bias, campaign jingoism and political correctness that resulted in one of the most important issues facing our nation — whether marriage should be radically redefined to accommodate “rights” based on homosexual behavior – not even being mentioned in the official debates?

There are millions of voters representing both sides of this issue who would have loved to hear Sens. Obama and McCain go head-to-head on “same-sex marriage,” DOMA, etc. — just as we were relieved last night to finally hear the candidates debate a clear question about abortion and Roe vs. Wade from moderator Bob Schieffer (of CBS’ Face the Nation).

Too often reporters cynically treat abortion and homosexuality as mere “wedge issues” manipulated by politicians, thus echoing a central canard of the Libertine Left (and liberal Republicans). There may be some of that going on, but the social issues – like all issues – only have the potential to become game-breakers because so many Americans care about them.

But to many jaded members of the Fourth Estate, the Culture Wars are like a sport, disconnected from truth (what’s that?) and the driving idealism of pro-life, pro-family advocates. Many reporters can barely hide their contempt for the “religious right” (as they disparagingly call us) and don’t view homosexuality as much of an issue anymore. The media increasingly regard even “same-sex marriage” as a matter of declining importance except for its lingering political potential — per the talking heads’ insistence ad nauseam that homosexual “marriage” will not be a decisive issue in this election. (We’ll see if they are right on November 5th.)

Journalists are notoriously secular and ignorant about religion, so many don’t even try to understand the deep motivations of those who oppose homosexual practice as immoral or who fight for pro-life laws to help save innocent unborn babies. Instead, we are told that such  “wedge issues” are raised in a campaign mainly as a vehicle to help the Republican Party – ignoring the growing dissatisfaction of many pro-family advocates with the GOP’s weak advocacy on these issues.

I’ve talked to many reporters over the years who repeat the shibboleth that Culture War issues like abortion and homosexuality are trivial when compared to those that “really matter” – you know, the economy, the environment, health care, etc. But such value judgments are beyond the media’s “pay grade,” to quote Obama. In a fairer journalistic world we would not be subjected to reporters’ condescension and elitism merely because we defend traditional morality and the dictates of our faith in the public square — especially in the crucible of an election.

All we in the pro-family movement ask of reporters, editors and producers is impartiality and equal time with the Social Left to explain our cause. But apparently that is asking too much of the media, who look to dubious professional groups like the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association for guidance on how to cover homosexual issues.

Then there is the radical activist group GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination) – which has even greater media clout – and which regularly equates Judeo-Christian, pro-family opposition to homosexual practice with “hate” and “prejudice.” GLAAD pressures news outfits not to cover homosexuality’s many downsides (e.g., gay bathhouses and homosexual health risks), and tries to silence and discredit the voices of ex-“gay” men and women who left homosexuality behind.

GLAAD’s intimidation strategy works: Have you noticed how even most conservative opinion-makers like FOX’s Sean Hannity have avoided or downplayed the “same-sex marriage” issue and other aspects of the homosexual agenda this year, even though marriage amendments are on the ballots in three states — California, Florida and Arizona — and homosexual organizations are ramping up their lobbying on Capitol Hill to end the military’s homosexuality ban?

Why are conservatives cooperating with the Left and the media in taking homosexual-agenda issues off the table?

Lemming candidates?
But what about the candidates’ role in neglecting moral issues?  Neither Barack Obama nor John McCain issued statements on the recent Connecticut Supreme Court decision imposing same-sex “marriage” on that state – even though the candidates have very different positions on DOMA and whether government should sanction homosexual relationships. Why the silence? Each has his own reason, which we at AFTAH cannot discuss until the day after the election.

Ronald Reagan was different. He talked above the media and excelled at getting out his conservative, pro-family message directly to the American public even though he was derided by smug reporters as a “B actor” with a penchant for dangerous rhetoric (that Evil Empire stuff). A media-approved candidate never could have defeated Communism; Reagan did – but not by sucking up to the boys on the bus! And he succeeded back in the ‘80s when the Big Three news networks still ruled the airwaves. Now, 20 years post-Gipper, a candidate who takes bold, principled stands can still get his message out by clearly and passionately articulating his beliefs — and using the power of the burgeoning New Media to get around the biased press.

But being namby-pamby or disingenuous on issues of profound moral truth will get you nowhere fast.

The sad reality is that in our dumbed-down, secularized society, homosexuality has become the “third rail” of American politics. Being against homosexuality today is much more political incorrect than being pro-life. Just look at America’s young people, who are more pro-life and yet more pro-“gay” at the same time. The remedy is for each of us to “man up” by committing to defend moral absolutes in the culture — to heck with charges of “intolerance”! (At this point I must point out that many pro-family women like Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness have put men to shame in their willingness to stand up for morality in the culture – shame on us men.)

Perhaps some of the blame we routinely assign to the liberal media for ignoring social issues like life and marriage is more appropriately directed at gutless politicians who lack the conviction and fortitude to defend moral truth given by our Creator — in a culture that increasingly dismisses both.

Peter LaBarbera is founder and president of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality ( He can be reached at

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