By John Wesley DeVilbiss, Ph.D.

Conservative voters must recognize that the typical strategies for the defense of natural secular marriage are failing.

Proof comes from somewhat biased opinion polls and rulings of federal judges against the constitutional amendments and voter initiatives in various states. As in any matter where selective empathy and animus motivates (these can come as a pair), the Rule of Law that made America unique is at stake. Therefore, this is no silly issue about romantic affairs for state or federal legislators to ignore.

Data from Pew Research

Data from Pew Research

Conservative voters also need a proper solution, even at this late stage.

Yet, a solution can come into focus only after we fully recognize that most voters and legislators have fallen for failing strategies. Though the defense of natural secular marriage is a distinction of the Republican Party’s platform, on page 10 (as opposed to the Democrats’ platform), its congressional majority is ready to abandon their constituents on this issue. Overwhelmed by demographic changes, Republicans in control of both Houses of Congress now see a sliver of chance to ultimate power, and their majorities seem to believe they can safely capitulate on socio-economic issues, pushing the consequences onto a future Congress, or the next generation. But this issue is also about money, as will become obvious.

The solution

We must focus on a concept I call “the cross-gender premise,” which initiated this controversy in the ’70s, took hold but was never genetically validated. I paraphrase it as follows:

The idea that some people, whatever their number is, close to zero, naturally perform as teens or adults psychologically contrary to their biological makeup and sex as could be determined at birth. And a corollary is that this requires a restructuring of any government or corporate policy and public opinion having anything to do with the concept of gender.

A few observations:

a) Note this premise is a scientific claim – a hypothesis; therefore it requires scientific validation. In science, “the burden of proof” is on whoever advances the hypothesis.

b) Science and mathematics are “heartless.” Empathy is irrelevant.

c) Conclusions from a science or statistics are not decided by majority vote, unlike the federal grants for scientific or case-study research. This gives federal agencies formidable power for propaganda under the guise of “science” (singular). Whether they use it or not is another question. But the sciences (plural) operate long-term on the prestige obtained from verified predictions, tested by autonomous peer review. The sciences, though slower than even the political or judicial processes, are progressing on the subject in spite of great prejudice and resistance. No scientific claim remains un-scrutinized for long.

d) Though anything can be made to be political, these cross-gender issues cannot be resolved politically, per jurisprudence, or by public policy. The burden of proof is on those that make the claim. So we must challenge them to do so, stop there, and ignore them – as we eventually do with all other scientific claims.

Focusing on this fundamentalist cross-gender premise resolves not only the secular marriage debate, but also all other modern cross-gender issues. Distinctively, feminism is merely a gender issue, but has been twisted by activists for that movement’s energy to spill over, figuratively, into the cross-gender issues of the last 40 years. Yet it cannot be analogous – the opposite is true.

Please ponder on this: Once you have accepted that certain persons are naturally psychologically unable to desire and use their biological organs to procreate, the end result cannot be but your allowance of “homosexual/lesbian” pseudo-marriage, since some infertile people are already permitted to enter secular marriage (not that a test of fertility should be required). On the other hand, note that secular marriage also doesn’t ask if a couple can prove their love for one another, because as in the case of infertility, it is not always permanent, but neither is it required overall. Nor does secular marriage require sexuality, yet its public purpose anticipates it, welcomes it and reserves scant fiscal resources to support its fruit. Without opposite sexes, marriage wouldn’t even exist as a secular institution. Yet, the proposals are extended to encompass the same-sex gamma with no justification.

Unchecked empathy in the courts is the opposite of faithfully enforcing our laws. Unchecked empathy in government is out of context and displaces the Rule of Law. Within government, acts of empathy can lead to favoritism – a destructive and highly destabilizing force – though gracious in other contexts.

The danger signals in public opinion polls

“Any question assumes something about the answer.”

– Richard H. Bube

Poll survey questions on intimate or very private matters are easily construed or worded incorrectly. For instance, ponder the wording in this series of polls, plotted above. The survey time line presents whether people favor or oppose same-sex marriage, as if it were an accepted form of marriage already (quite a construct).

There’s nothing that excites pollsters more than a gradually changing public opinion, a trend. Notice the particular pollster didn’t do much on that issue before the year 2005, but actually took (and reported) another poll in the same year of 2014 (the 19th year). Gallup, another pollster, has a similar report, with similar wording pre-assuming what it is asking (a pleonasm), revealing a bias so great that the surveyor doesn’t even notice the unfair error in wording.

If we are to take this series of polls at face value, evidently a large proportion (about 50 percent) of the sampled “adult” and vocal population already bought into the arguments and favor secular marriage being irrespective of sex. It actually sounds funny, for in a sense it is opposite to what would be expected.

“But, what about consanguineous pairs?” one might ask.

“Huh?” would often be the response.

Well, if people do not understand the jargon and complexity of an issue like the secular marriage license, they’ll start guessing while trying to answer a telephone poll survey on the subject. Note that from 7 to 10 percent answered the survey call, but didn’t agree to answer the biased constructs.

Also note the dichotomy chosen for the survey questions: “opposed” vs. “favor.” One word is fully confrontational and the other merely graciously expressing a leaning – a favoring. Why would such a professional pollster with much to lose show such unapologetic bias? Because they don’t think they have much to lose, of course. They believe their own biased polls, out of empathy and simplistic equivalence. And they still claim the highest professionalism.

Opinion polls are only possible because most Americans respond gladly to the telephone call, still have some sense of pride and generally tell the truth. That was one of the most distinguishing features of Americans for two centuries. It permitted trust to develop and helped businesses flourish. But trustworthiness is a disappearing trait, as shown even by some pollsters who depend on people’s truthfulness.

The same polls can nevertheless be reflecting that more and more young adults are lenient about marriage because they don’t care about marriage licenses, preferring cohabitation to save on the divorce lawyer just in case deep love and “commitment” for a different person blossoms. (What they don’t realize is that the State will still hold them accountable for the care of any offspring.) And for lawyers, the increased three-fold technical complexity in Family Law code is a windfall.

Plotted in its zero to 100 percent context, at a different scale, the same data above would look like this:

devilbiss150429b

This really brings out how the bombardment from the press and other institutions, led secretively by the most hypocritical presidential administration (for another 1.7 years), tried to change the mindset of citizens through misinformation and manipulation, but has merely closed the gap, starting from 2006 – the start of when Republicans were losing control in Congress and the White House. Even the 1996 data should have been a warning sign of the misinformation already being pounded into the ears of the American people by those who believed the cross-gender premise, no longer defended as a hypothesis, but as “truth.”

Empathetic judges

Court judgments overruling voter majorities through manipulation also show there’s a tremendous force from the federal government against keeping licensed marriage as a man-woman institution in the remaining states. Against these forces, some high-level federal judges and state judges with nerves of steel still take a rigorous stand according to the law, though outnumbered.

Nevertheless, by now, the current presidential administration has appointed a host of federal judges who have no respect for exclusively man-woman marriage by the State.

The same-sex marriage rhetorical contradiction

A) If same-sex marriage (as it is called in its circular reasoning) is a fundamental right, then it cannot be legislated. It’s up to the courts.

B) If it can be legislated, then it is not a fundamental right either for a person or for a pair of friends.

Advocates pursue these mutually exclusive notions, indicative of the emotional, irrational drive. In America, a lot can be gained by lawsuits.

This proposed inclusion into secular marriage on the rationale that some same-sex pairs are equivalent in some ways would actually total most everyone as qualifying per the grounds for a marriage license. But, at the same time, it leaves out consanguineous (closely blood related) pairs or certain pairs of minors, also similarly situated for marriage. It all untangles on its own. It is a struggle of empathy for some, at the expense of others.

The rhetoric tries to make us forget this issue is about “the cross-gender premise.” To this end, the rhetoric has been very successful.


John W. DeVilbiss is a geologist (B.S., University of Arizona) and geophysicist (Ph.D., Stanford University). He writes on subjects that touch on the Scientific Method. Widely read on Philosophy of Science, Art, and cultural topics, he has an interest in contemporary social issues trending towards a new balance.

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