October 22, 2012
By Jacob Combs
Frank Schubert was one of the media masterminds behind the successful campaign to get Proposition 8 passed in California in 2008, and he’s back this year working against marriage equality in all four states that will consider the issue during the November’s election. Schubert’s ads often point to the grave danger that marriage equality poses to the well-being of children (consider, for example, the infamous ‘Princess’ ad from the Prop 8 campaign) and marriage equality opponents have used the scare tactic of this supposed threat to children over and over.
But as ThinkProgress points out, Schubert admitted in a recent interview with radio host Michelangelo Signorile that he cannot defend the arguments his own ad makes about the danger marriage equality poses to children. When asked by Signorile why he doesn’t campaign against adoption rights for same-sex couples and focuses only on marriage rights (following the logic of Schubert’s anti-gay ad to the conclusion that adoption laws allowing same-sex couples to raise children would be as much of a danger to those children as marriage equality), Schubert had difficulty defending himself, as ThinkProgress’s transcript of the exchange shows:
SCHUBERT: I will say that the issue here is not about adoption or whether gay couples love their children or should be able to have children. They have that right. I’m not objecting to it. What I’m objecting to is redefining marriage to accommodate that desire. [...]
SIGNORILE: You keep arguing that children do best in a heterosexual marriage…
SCHUBERT: This is not a controversial statement… I’m saying children do better with a mother and a father…
SIGNORILE: But you have a sister with children — who is a lesbian — and you should be trying to stop her from having children then.
SCHUBERT: I’m not! That’s ridiculous. You’re making a silly argument. Having children, by itself, is not a reason to redefine marriage. It’s just that simple.
This brief exchange undermines the entire contention of Schubert’s ads that allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry harms children and points to the odd semantic specificity of Schubert’s supposed explanation for his anti-gay beliefs. In essentially admitting that adoption for same-sex couples is fine but that the ‘redefinition’ of marriage harms children, Schubert reveals that the concern for children’s well-being upon which his ads are supposedly based cannot possibly be the real reason he focuses on opposing marriage equality.
So what is the real reason, then? It’s probably money. As ThinkProgress notes, Schubert has received almost $3 million for his work with NOM against marriage equality in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, along with an addition $1 million from his work in North Carolina earlier this year. For Frank Schubert, it’s not really about doing what’s best for kids. It’s about following the anti-gay money wherever it goes, and these days, that money is all flowing to oppose marriage equality as a so-called ‘redefinition’ of the institution of marriage.