When Don Lemon Does Not Understand Ryan Anderson’s Arguments for Marriage

In the above clip, CNN Anchor, Don Lemon, debates Dr. Ryan T. Anderson, Fellow at The Heritage Foundation and author of What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense, over same-sex marriage. However, Lemon does not seem to understand Anderson’s points. Specifically, Lemon does not grasp that 1) same-sex marriage is not illegal, 2) SCOTUS is deciding on redefining marriage, and 3) children do best when with their married parents.

Same-sex marriage is not illegal

Anderson’s point is that two people of the same sex will not be arrested for marrying each other. The “marriage” may not be recognized, but the action is not illegal. Lemon calls the argument semantics because those in an unrecognized marriage do not have the same rights as those actually married.

True, but Anderson’s argument is not based in semantics. Lemon’s claims prove Anderson’s point because a union not recognized as a marriage will not get marital benefits. However, those people will still not be arrested for their “marriage.” Semantics? I am sure drug dealers would love to have the statues of their “businesses”changed from illegal to that of not recognized.

SCOTUS is deciding on whether or not to redefining marriage

Lemon was adamant that the Supreme Court is attempting to legalize marriage, not redefine it. Anderson corrects Lemon by giving the definition of marriage held by the Federal Government and 41 states. Even the CNN article titled, “Supreme Court justices skeptical of redefining marriage,” clearly shows that the issue is about the definition of marriage. The article states:

At the start of arguments he joined other conservatives concerned with the fact that marriage has been defined between a man and a woman for a long time. “This definition has been with us for millennia,” [Justice Anthony Kennedy] said. “And it’s very difficult for the court to say: ‘Oh, well, we know better.'”

Children do best with their married parents

Lemon’s objects that children do best with their married parents, in short, because “not all heterosexual parents are good parents.” The problem with this line of argument is that it can work against Lemon. Anderson can just as easily say that “not all homosexual parents are good parents.” Neither heterosexual nor homosexual relationships are perfect. Again, Lemon does not seem to understand the argument.

Anderson is simply stating the ideal environment in which to raise kids as studies have shown. Whether or not the ideal may be achieved does not mean we should not, as a society, strive for such. One writer stated the issue clearly:

For decades social science has found that there is an optimal family structure for a child’s intellectual, emotional and physical flourishing:  being raised in a home by her biological, married parents.

And finally

Anderson stands as a clear, reasonable voice in defense of marriage. However, if his statements can be so misrepresented, as in the five minute clip above, the fight for marriage will be a long one. It could be that Lemon, as a gay man, was simply too much on the defensive to think clearly. Those of us who are pro-marriage will simply have to press on through this sound-bite world hoping people will see through the misunderstandings and misrepresentations like the ones demonstrated by Lemon in the clip above.

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