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Allan Carlson Addresses Same-Sex Marriage Symposium, 'What's the Harm,' at BYU Law School

Contact: Larry Jacobs, 513-515-3685 (cell), 815-964-5819, 1-800-461-3113 larry@worldcongress.org

ROCKFORD, Ill., Sept.15 /Christian Newswire/ -- World Congress of Families organizer Dr. Allan Carlson spoke at a symposium – What’s The Harm? How Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Will Harm Society, Families, Adults, Children and Marriage -- at Brigham Young University Law School on Friday, September 15, 2006.

The symposium which continues through Saturday is jointly sponsored by The Marriage and Family Law Project at Brigham University Law School and The Marriage Law Project at the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law

Dr. Carlson spoke on the panel “How Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage May Harm the Stability and Integrity of the Basic Social Institution of Marriage,” from 8:45 to 10:30 am.  Copies of Carlson’s speech can be requested from the Howard Center (call 1-800-461-3113 or visit www.profam.org or www.worldcongress.org or www.familymanifesto.com).  Podcasts, streaming video and conference blog can also be accessed through the BYU Law School site at www.law2byu.edu/marriage_family .

In his address, “Equality or Ideology?: Same-Sex Unions In Scandinavia,” Carlson focused on so-called gay marriage as the end result of four decades of Scandinavian collectivism which has worked to usurp the functions of the autonomous home and socialize all aspects of family life.

Carlson observed: “Granting certain claims to cohabitating gays and lesbians in 1987 and extending ‘registered partnerships’ to the same in 1995 were part of this historic transition – from the family as an autonomous institution focused on the bearing and rearing of children to the ‘new family,’ socialist in form, understood as an ever changing network of relationships dependent on the state. Relative to the autonomous family, the principal harm done by marriage-like ‘registered partnerships’ was to amplify the dissolution of the once vital bond between marriage and procreation.”

Opponents of same-sex marriage and civil unions commonly cite articles by Stanley Kurtz. They marshal statistics which, Kurtz argues, link the introduction of registered partnerships to the deterioration of traditional marital bonds in Scandinavia.  In his new book Gay Marriage:For Better or Worse, William Eskridge responds with an extensive critique of Kurtz’s methodogy and reasoning. Carlson offers an unusual interpretation of this debate. On the one hand, he agrees with Eskridge that Kurtz’s numbers simply do not hold up. (For example, the annual number of traditional marriages in Sweden has climbed nearly 40 percent since the inauguration of registered partnerships in 1995.) On the other hand, Carlson shows how the introduction of registered partnerships in Scandinavia was part of a much broader ideological project designed to alter fundamentally, and weaken, the legal institution of marriage.  Behind this drive is a unique combination of conventional socialism, feminism and neo-Malthusianism which seeks to substitute the state for the family.

Allan Carlson is president of The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, based in Rockford, Il., as well as the founder and organizer of the World Congress of Families -- a gathering of pro-family leaders, intellectuals and activists.  There have been three World Congresses to date – Prague (1997), Geneva (1999) and Mexico City (2004) with World Congress of Families IV scheduled for Warsaw, Poland (May 11-13, 2007).

Dr. Carlson has been a family scholar for almost three decades.  Carlson has two upcoming books: Conjugal America: On the Public Purpose of Marriage (Transaction Publishers) available in October and The Natural Family: A Manifesto (Spence Publishing, co-authored with Paul Mero) due out in January.  He is also the author of many other books, including “Fractured Generations: Crafting Family Policy for the 21st Century,” “The American Way: Family and Community In the Shaping of the American Identity” and “Family Questions: Reflections on the American Social Crisis.”  The Washington Post, Weekly Standard, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and numerous other publications have featured his writings. He has also appeared on PBS News Hour, NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Voice of America, ABC, CBS, and NBC News, MSNBC, CNN, and C-SPAN. For Carlson’s complete bio visit: http://www.profam.org/people/xthc_acc.htm .

To schedule an interview with Dr. Carlson, contact Larry Jacobs at 513-515-3685 (cell). For more information on World Congress of Families IV, visit the Congress website, www.worldcongress.org.