What’s Brewing: Texas clings to ‘homosexual conduct’ law as gay marriage goes mainstream

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. Mainstream media outlets around Texas finally noticed this weekend that eight years after it was declared unconstitutional, Texas’ “homosexual conduct” law is still on the books. And guess what, it’s going to remain on the books: “In this particular session, I’d be hesitant to do any changing,” said Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, adding that the law probably “better reflects the views of a lot of citizens” as it is. Read our previous post here.

2. In El Paso, where police recently threatened to enforce the homosexual conduct law, conservatives are fed up with the city’s progressive tilt: What some might call the council’s “progressive” agenda, Pastor Tom Brown calls “radical leftist.” Brown is part of a group that recruited a slate of four candidates — including his wife, Sonia Brown — to run for the City Council. The immediate cause of the group’s creation was its opposition to health benefits for the gay and unmarried partners of city employees. But Brown said it also is concerned with what he sees as government “intrusion.” “We’re getting into where government is conducting our private lives,” Brown said.

3. Meanwhile, in other parts of the U.S., same-sex marriage is no longer such a divisive political issue, according to The Boston Globe. And even one Southern Baptist leader says it’s time to prepare for defeat: “I think it’s clear that something like same-sex marriage is going to become normalized, legalized, and recognized in the culture,’’ said evangelical leader Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., in radio remarks after Obama announced he would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act. “It’s time for Christians to start thinking about how we’re going to deal with that.’’

—  John Wright

Southern Baptist leader says divorce rates, not gay marriage, should be primary concern

Albert Mohler

R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

Last week Mohler wrote on his website, “When the Christian right was organized in the 1970s and galvanized in the 1980s, the issues of abortion and homosexuality were front and center. Where was divorce?”

He calls divorce a “tragedy that affects far more families than the more ‘hot button’ issues” such as same-sex marriage. While LGBT groups have been wondering for years how marriage equality affects anyone else at all, it is amazing for someone who is so prominent in the religious right to admit that anything else might be more important. For the first time, there is an admission that maybe they should be watching what they do before criticizing everyone else.

Mohler even admitted that evangelical Christians divorce at a higher rate than the rest of the general population. However, he didn’t go so far as to admit that the lowest divorce rate is among gays and lesbians who have married.

In fact, the lowest divorce rate is in Massachusetts. Other states with low divorce rates are Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and New York — the states that allow same-sex marriage or recognize marriages performed elsewhere.

The states with the highest divorce rates are all red. Nevada, famous for honoring the sanctity of marriage with its drive-thru wedding chapels, also tops the list for drive-thru divorces. The rest of the states topping the divorce list are all in the Bible Belt.

Texas tops the list of states with the highest number of residents who’ve been married three or more times.

Mohler said, “Our credibility on the issue of marriage is significantly discounted by our acceptance of divorce. To our shame, the culture war is not the only place that an honest confrontation with the divorce culture is missing.”

I doubt anything will happen as a result of Mohler’s self-reflective column, though. It’s so much easier to bully others.

—  David Taffet