UCSB Anscombe Society held its inaugural lecture Tuesday night at Buchanan Hall, hosting former George Mason University economics professor and Ruth Institute president and founder Jennifer Roback Morse to present arguments against same-sex marriage in a talk titled “Same-Sex Marriage: Why Not?”
Anscombe Society aims to define marriage as “the exclusive, monogamous union of a man and a woman and its role as an institution which is necessary for the healthy family, and thus for a healthy society” and promotes traditional family values. Morse argued against same-sex marriage by outlining values of heterosexual unions. Prior to the talk, members of the queer community chanted inside the lecture hall to protest the ideas to be presented by Morse.
According to Morse, non-traditional marriage negatively affects how children connect to parents.
“The marriage debate is really about children; all the other issues you hear about can be handled some other way than re-defining marriage,” Morse said. “If we’re going to re-define marriage, we’re somehow re-defining the institution that attaches one generation to another.”
Morse said forms of “third-party reproduction” like surrogacy are “structural injustices,” because they separate children from their biological parents.
“Kids need and deserve their own parents and same-sex marriage will enshrine into law the opposite. Same-sex marriage will require the law to say that it’s a myth that kids need their own mothers and fathers,” Morse said.
Anscombe Society president and third-year philosophy major Carlos Flores said the debate on same-sex marriage often lacks important arguments favoring heterosexual unions.
“In particular, many who support same-sex marriage seem to have never heard the case for why same-sex marriage ought to not be accepted,” Flores said. “They have accepted straw men which they easily knock down.”
According to Morse, same-sex marriage “victimizes” people in unexpected ways.
“I get that we’re going to have genderless marriage soon, but I just want to say there are going to unanticipated consequences,” Morse said.
Flores said while the talk revealed “worthwhile reasons” to oppose same-sex marriage, he doubts those in favor will change their mind.
“Because people have very strong feelings on the topic of same-sex marriage, often due to personal struggles,” Flores said. “I think it is unrealistic to expect anyone firmly in support of same-sex marriage to change their mind.”
Second-year communication and feminist studies double major Kevin Tang participated in the protest and said Morse’s argument ignores the importance of love in a family unit.
“She cares so much about traditional family structures that I feel she leaves out the most important aspect of a true family, which is love and support, and I believe that our community is a family that provides exactly what her talk lacked,” Tang said.
Fourth-year earth science major Julian Consoli said he opposes same-sex marriage for religious reasons but did not feel Morse presented well-constructed arguments.
“I think the basis for her arguments are in religion, in God — which I actually agree with — but I don’t think she was really able to present those really clearly. I was a little disappointed,” Consoli said.
Consoli also said it is important for “liberal schools” that largely support gay marriage to consider other views.
“I feel like we should hear other people’s opinions, so I think that’s very important so I did appreciate that. Instead of always butting heads, we should be able to come together and discuss these things,” Consoli said. “I think it’s civil of us.”
[Correction: This article originally stated A.S. Queer Commission protested outside the lecture hall where the event took place. Some of the students involved in the protest were members of the queer community, however were not protesting in affiliation with the commission. In addition, the protestors were not escorted out of the event by Community Service Officers (CSOs), but left on their own accord.]