We expect it from left wing bloggers or the Courant’s Susan Campbell. But Chris Powell? Below is the letter I submitted to the Manchester Journal Inquirer on April 30th, which the JI published yesterday:


Chris Powell should check his facts before defaming the one group that shares his concern for “arresting the breakdown of the family” in Connecticut.

In “Break the vicious cycle: Take the children away” (April 5-6 column), Powell rightly connects the public coddling of unwed motherhood and fatherlessness with the emergence of violent predators — but then adds that “the organization whose name contemplates the problem, the Family Institute of Connecticut, is devoted instead to the irrelevance of disparaging homosexuals.”

FIC has always shared Powell’s concern about reversing family decline. In a Dec. 5, 2005, blog on our Web site, we highlighted a Powell column on the same topic and praised his willingness to see through politicians’ clichés about “more job training programs, more after-school activities,” to the real cause of the problem: childbearing outside of marriage.

FIC’s concern for “arresting the breakdown of the family” took concrete form this year in SB 266, An Act Establishing a Task Force to Study the Causes of Fatherlessness in Connecticut, which would “examine the impact of public policies in promoting fatherhood versus fatherlessness and shall consider how subsidized programs operate to encourage or discourage childbearing outside of marriage.”

Working with Sen. Gary LeBeau — an East Hartford Democrat who disagrees with us on same-sex marriage but shares our concern about fatherlessness — I testified in favor of SB 266. It was subsequently passed by three committees. On April 23 the state Senate — which let the bill die last year — passed it unanimously.

Why the big turnaround in the Senate? It was due in large part to lobbying by the Family Institute of Connecticut Action and hundreds of our members who contacted their legislators at our urging. Instead of disparaging the one group that shares his concern for reversing unwed motherhood and is putting that concern into action, Powell should help us get this task force.

These are just a few of the things Powell should have been able to discover before making his silly accusation.

For instance, he might have been interested in the meeting I had earlier this year with Child Advocate Jeanne Milstein. According to a Nov. 21, 2007, Hartford Courant article, following a series of murders of toddlers — allegedly by their mothers’ boyfriends — Milstein intended to ask the state’s Child Fatality Review Board to probe the issue of whether cohabitation is bad for children.

It will probably not surprise Powell that Milstein told me the Courant misreported her intention. But, again, FIC is the only group I know of that would even follow up on a report that the state’s child advocate was looking into the negative effects of cohabitation on children.

Powell objects to how unwed mothers are “aggressively shielded against any judgment” but “instead are affirmed.”

I know what he means. When the Courant ran a Jan. 28, 2007, story, “Unwed and Unashamed,” promoting local television celebrity — and single mom — Shelly Sindland, FIC was the only group to criticize it, noting on our Web site that “most women do not have the financial and other resources celebrities do to protect themselves and their children from the (negative) statistics associated with single motherhood.”

But, even leaving aside our desire to discourage abortions, returning the social stigma to unwed motherhood is an enormously difficult task — and Powell’s own column inadvertently demonstrates why.

FIC has gone to great lengths over the years to make arguments against same-sex marriage — facts about the best interests of children, the societal purposes of marriage, the consequences for religious liberty and parental rights — that have nothing to do with homosexuality. For our efforts, we are rewarded with Powell’s ignorant assertion that FIC is “devoted” to “disparaging homosexuals.”

The charitable assumption is that Powell is misinformed about FIC. Our opponents, on the other hand, deliberately equate any opposition to same-sex marriage with gay-bashing as a way of shouting down disagreement. What the demagogues have done on same-sex marriage they will surely do to efforts to restore a social stigma to out-of-wedlock parenting. After all, look how easy it was to fool Chris Powell.

18 Responses to “Shared Concern for Breakdown of the Family”

  1. on 14 May 2008 at 9:18 amAdam

    I wonder how Mr. Powell ever drew such a conclusion. Perhaps it is because about 90% of your website is dedicated to opposing SSM and other related initiaves

  2. on 14 May 2008 at 9:57 amBob

    The endless cycle:
    “the organization whose name contemplates the problem, the Family Institute of Connecticut, is devoted instead to the irrelevance of disparaging homosexuals.” That is funny. What can one say to “disparage” a particular behavior, that is not already disparaged in the implied act of the behavior itself?

    Anyway, there are many sociological and psychological studies that show that homosexual men or women have a broken parent relationship. For men, mostly a failed fatherly relationship; for women, mostly a motherly relationship that is broken. Seeking to fulfill the natural desire to bond with that parent leads many into searching out the homosexual lifestyle. Sometimes fathers, who are present in the home, fail to be real men, fail to be good nurturing dad’s, instead they become critical of or ridiculing their sons. Some mothers do the same with daughters and when this same sex bond is broken, they seek out a surrogate bond to try to heal it. This parenting failure is not limited to families with both a mom and a dad.

    Divorce and the subsequent taking of the children away and bestowing the rights of “custody” to the mother, removes the fatherly role model and can lead to breaking of that fatherly bond a boy child needs. The same can happen in situations where the father is granted custody of the children and the girl child may suffer the same fate. Welfare can do the same thing, removing the necessity of a father to fulfill the support role. A single parent mother leans on the government to be the surrogate breadwinner for her children. There is no doubting that broken families create broken social and psychological needs in children. To a great extent this is the cause of the rise of homosexuality in society. That and the media push to falsely portray homosexuality as an acceptable choice, just as valid as a male female relationship.

    Worst of all is the relationship where a mother is living with the boyfriend. Many times, there are children of multiple fathers. The so called fathers however fail to be dads and abandon their offspring leaving the mother helpless. Too often a boyfriend moves in and actually becomes a danger to her children. The boyfriend has no loyalty or love for the woman or her children. At worst, the boyfriend is likened to a male lion from an outside pride, who by dominance ousts or kills the male leader of that pride, moves in, then brutally kills the cubs of the females in that pride in order to sire his own offspring. The once safe confine of society, the family, is now reduced to brutal animalistic behavior. All this can occur in the absence of a loving dedicated mother or father, the nucleus of the family. This also occurs when morality and religion are forcefully removed from society.

    FIC supports the best for what a family is. Just for standing up for the teaching that Judeo Christian faith has encouraged, taught and practiced for centuries, is now seen as disparaging to homosexuals.

    What appears to be the best for a well adjusted child is the presence of a mother and a father. Each child has the example of true masculinity and true femininity in their father and mother. What seems to me to be a major cause in the rise of homosexual behavior is the broken family. Now society seeks to fix the broken family by creating more of what may cause this behavior. I believe will only make it worse. Hence, the endless Cycle.

  3. on 14 May 2008 at 10:21 amDave

    I’m not sure how Adam came to the mistaken conclusion that 90% of the web site is “dedicated to opposing SSM and other related initiatives”. Look at the right hand side of this page, under the heading “Categories”. The blog has 166 articles related to SSM. If you add up all the other categories as well, it sums up to 634 items; although, in fairness to those who were not aware of it, some of the articles are tagged under multiple categories – the actual total of unique articles is 415 items. That’s just 166 / 415, or 40% of the blog articles, related to opposing SSM.

  4. on 14 May 2008 at 4:19 pmTricia


    I agree with much of what you have posted here—I certainly believe that broken families, or DYSFUNCTIONAL families, contribute to the incidence of homosexual relationships.

    Regarding the incidence (or causes) of lesbianism, though—around 4 or 5 years ago my husband and I went to hear Dr. Jeffrey Satinover speak in Norwalk. One of the things he said, which struck me enough to basically remember it, was that research shows that 4 out of 5 (my percentage may be slightly off—can’t find it to quote exactly) lesbians were “sexually forced” by a man. It certainly seems logical to me that that kind of traumatic, violent experience could be a major cause of female/female relationships.

  5. on 15 May 2008 at 6:49 amBob

    No doubt, there are many instances where such sexual abuse is a predominant cause of such behavior. I also have listened to men speak about when they were younger, that another boy or man initiated a same sex encounter, sometimes coerced. This left them with a fear that if such an instance occurred, they wrongly believed that they must be homosexual. Many just accept this premise, falsely resigning themselves ultimately to such a fate.

    I’ve also heard testimony of former homosexual men on a TV show called the Journey Home, who have fulfilled their need for acceptance and love by a male figure, having found a loving relationship with real men who did not expect sexual favors in return for affection and friendship. When men inclined to same sex attraction are accepted and loved for whom they are, when they can bond with men in true fraternal love, without physical intimacy, they receive spiritual intimacy. They then no longer seek the sexual attention from men and are able to heal the wound that caused this disordered pattern in the first place.

  6. on 15 May 2008 at 6:57 amAdam

    I wasn’t referring to the blog, I was referring to the main page. Perhaps 90% was a bit high, but 75% is well within reason. But if you want to talk about the blog, there are 39 posts that have to deal with “Family Life” vs. 166 for SSM. I’m not going to count them up now, but with a quick overview it seems like there is a good amount of overlap between the two subjects.

  7. on 15 May 2008 at 1:42 pmBob

    Lemme take a wild guess. I may be going out on a limb, but here goes. I predict, with respect to pro same sex marriage blogs, 90% of their posts are spent opposing a federal amendment that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman. That is just so unfair!

  8. on 15 May 2008 at 2:26 pmTricia

    Those thoughtlessly rejoicing today (post 4 Calif. Supreme Court judges’ ruling re. SSM) obviously have no “Shared Concern for Breakdown of the Family.”

    Fortunately, though–

    “The challenge for gay rights advocates, however, is not over.”

    Of course I’m referring to the ballot initiative for which over 1.1 million signatures were gathered in California, which should give the VOTERS the opportunity in Nov. to protect Marriage (and children’s rights) as the union of one man and one woman, by putting that commonly understood definition, in *actual words,* in the state Constitution.

  9. on 16 May 2008 at 9:57 amDavid

    “public coddling of unwed motherhood”

    Indeed that is horrifying – they should be publicly flogged and then sent away to a private home for bad girls until they give birth. The child should then be put up for care and perhaps some proper family can raise him/her free of the taint of the mother’s indiscretion. Of course the stigma must be returned, after all it works so well.

    “facts about the best interests of children, the societal purposes of marriage, the consequences for religious liberty and parental rights — that have nothing to do with homosexuality.”

    You are able to actually say that without out a twinge of guilt? Amazing what a totally seared conscience can do. When you are discussing those things in the context of fighting SSM the it has EVERYTHING to do with homosexuality and the blatant judging of homosexuals. Doublespeak perhaps makes you feel better but it won’t alter reality.

    Bob, those are some nice comfy theories about homosexuality the only thing is that the are not applicable to a very large percentage of the gay communities. Your last paragraph of post 5 is quite true until you get to the part about no longer seeking sexual attention from men. I agree that it would have a great impact on the amount of promiscuity and substance abuse among gay men but it will not change the fact that for a small percentage of men and women true emotional, physical and spiritual intimacy will always be found in a person of the same sex. You can stigmatize it, disparage it, come out with multiple theories of the cause, call it sin, you can be as sarcastic, caustic and judgmental as you please,do whatever you want but it will remain a fact.

    Dave, it was on another thread but it fits here also. You said something about false claims of hostility and violence against homosexuals. Can you really be that unaware? Or is it that it doesn’t bother you at all so you call it false. I could fill pages on here of very real cases but I imagine it still would have no impact.

  10. on 16 May 2008 at 11:38 amDave


    We’ve said it before, many times. Disagreement about a particular issue does not imply endorsement of violence. When I speak of the false claims, I am referring to the common technique by LGBT activists to paint their opponents with a broad brush and imply that anyone who opposes their activism is “guilty by association” of endorsing violence. Frequently you bring up this type of argument in your attempt to debate the issue, but it is a red herring. People have a right to voice their opinions, especially since government authority originates in the “consent of the governed”. You and others attempt to play the “guilty by association” card in an attempt to muzzle our freedom of speech.

    Does every homosexual person share in the culpability for Jesse Dirkhising’s murder? Obviously not, and I am sure the vast majority of people – regardless of sexual orientation – would express horror and revulsion about this terrible crime. Why then do you and others attempt to portray events like the Matthew Shepard incident as something else, and exploit them for your own political gain?

    You above all ought to know by now not to employ this type of argument. If I were in Peter’s shoes I would ban you outright from this blog, since you’ve been warned repetitively not to make these defamatory charges. But I suppose it will be up to him to decide.

    Meanwhile, the world wonders what will happen next. Will the voters in California stand for their rights of self-determination being trampled upon by an act of “legal jujitsu” by 4 men in robes? Are the 62 percent of Californians who voted for marriage as the union of husband and wife just a bunch of homophobic bigots? I suppose you must think so. But the voice of the people will not be silenced, and it is they – and not the activist judges – who will ultimately have the last word. As we’ve said all along, let the people decide!

  11. on 17 May 2008 at 6:13 pmStopp Planned Parenthood of Connecticut

    It takes three to make a marriage, God, a man and a woman. Under any circumstaces a woman has a right to give her baby life without the negative social stigma mandatorily attatched to it. Doing God’s will and giving your baby life is first and formost and is how it works by the grace of God.

  12. on 19 May 2008 at 6:24 amBob

    If one considers what is happening to the family to be a “breakdown of the family”, then in California what is happening to the family can be likened to a carjacking.

    What is happening when liberal judges mandate an edict from the bench, it is not legislation, it is judicial carjacking. The occupants of the car are forced at gunpoint (judicial legislation) from their car and the car is stolen from them.

    Judicial legislation is unconstitutional and circumvents the legislative branch, the supposed three co-equal branches of government. The Judicial Bench, has not only hijacked the family, but for years has hijacked the Legislative and the Executive branch of government. These branches are supposed to derive their power from the people, instead, impose a false power and exert it upon the people.

    The hijacked car, being driven by the carjackers is then being sold to another party, not the rightful owners.

    Interestingly, judicial mandates only give us things that mandate death, abortion for one, assisted suicide for another, forced death by starvation as in the Terri Schiavo killing and other wicked examples. The liberal, socialist and homosexual agenda’s must always be forced by the Judicial branch, for no such immoral legislation can ever come from the will of the people.

  13. on 19 May 2008 at 10:11 amPeter

    Chris Powell published a response to my letter over the weekend:

    He argues that FIC’s activity on fatherlessness was “at best, private” while our marriage protection work was public.

    On the fatherhood bill, I testified in favor of it, wrote about it in the Republican-American and was interviewed about it on the Dan Lovallo show. And Powell calls this “private”? He also ignores FIC’s other non-SSM activities mentioned in my letter.

    The real problem for Powell–and other critics in this thread–isn’t that FIC opposes SSM too much…it’s that we oppose it at all.

  14. on 20 May 2008 at 6:17 pmDavid

    “make these defamatory charges”

    You DENIED the violence and hostility against LGBT people, pointing that out is not a defamatory charge, it is reality. I take your word that you don’t support violence but by calling them false you are discounting the fact that it really happens. Pardon me if that looks like, if not condoning it, at least turning your back on it. And I wasn’t even thinking about Matthew Shepard, it’s the cases that don’t get much coverage in the MSM, it’s the cases that are never solved, that are swept under the carpet. That’s what I’m talking about. Your ridiculous reactions every time I mention violence is proof that you just don’t want to see what’s happening. I didn’t paint anyone with a large brush, and I have never, ever said people can’t voice their opinion.

    “their rights of self-determination”

    Which apparently in the eyes of “family” groups is only a right for a select group. The law they declared unconstitutional and every single obscene amendment that has been made to state constitutions, and ever single falsely name defense of marriage law has nothi9ng to do with self-determination, it is the majority determining how a tiny minority of people can live their lives. The “people” voting on the destiny of others is not democracy, it is mob rule and if that is what the US has degraded to then it is a sad day indeed. You asked is everyone who voted for these laws bigoted, in a way, yes indeed they are. Are they all hateful, of course not. Are they naive enough to swallow the bile that flows against SSM, sadly yes, many are. But the day will come when most can see through the nonsense and realize that such laws are against innocent people, not little satans in training and then when “the people” decide what are you going to say? You don’t think that there will be court battle after court battle initiated by anti-gay groups to void pro SSM laws, think again there will be tons more that there are now by those wanting to marry.

    If you watched any of the coverage when the decision was announced and saw the people’s reaction you would have seen that this isn’t about some sex act, it’s not about tearing down an institution, it’s about people wanting to be able to form their own families and have them legally protected. There was tears of happiness, not jeers against heterosexual families, not calls to take away other’s privileges, just relief and joy, that’s called humanity and that’s what you want people to vote against.

  15. on 20 May 2008 at 6:25 pmDavid

    “these defamatory charges”

    Forgot one thing, there is nothing that I have ever said that nearly matches the “defamatory” words that are posted on here about LGBT people and relationships. You declare us unfit to raise children, you make exaggerated if not totally false statements about promiscuity, STDs, substance abuse, infidelity on and on and on, yet you say my statements are defamatory?! You cannot spread such things and then complain when someone says something that you choose to interpret as being a slander or an attack. “He who lives by the sword…”

  16. on 21 May 2008 at 6:49 amPeter

    If I were in Peter’s shoes I would ban you outright from this blog, since you’ve been warned repetitively not to make these defamatory charges. But I suppose it will be up to him to decide.

    I’m coming around to Dave’s view regarding David’s comments, but I’ll hold off on a permanent ban. Instead, we’ll make it one month. David, feel free to chime in again on June 21st and we’ll take it from there.

  17. on 21 May 2008 at 5:06 pmTricia

    I was *almost* feeling sorry for David being “banned” from posting on the FIC blog for a month. Almost, but not quite. Hopefully David will continue to read comments here, and with a more open mind than he has been able to display consistently.

    I sincerely hope that David may find time to have ‘surgically removed,’ if by no other way, the *persecution complex* lens which seems to be permanently attached in front of his eyes.

    He and others seem totally blind to the fact that people can disagree with the notion of SSM, because of motivations having NOTHING to do with “*determining* how a tiny minority of people can live their lives.”

    David, attributing hatred to (most) people who are against redefining marriage is no more justified than saying that God hates those he commands to forsake their sins (which is ALL of us—for we are all flawed human beings). Or, if one does not like the religious reference, it is no more justified than saying that parents who set up rules of behavior for their children HATE those children.

  18. on 24 May 2008 at 1:43 pmDave

    [Note from Peter: Dave’s comment below is in response to a “troll” comment that didn’t make it out of the moderation queue.] 

    This is not a question of banning people simply because of differing points of view. As we’ve said before,

    We know we have some vocal opponents, and yet they’re still welcomed to comment (in a civil manner) on the blog.

    Nevertheless, there are rules and limits. In particular, this specific pattern of accusation (which was repeated across several months at least) crossed the line into becoming a libelous statement regarding our stance towards opponents. Please look on the right-hand side of this page under “Categories” to find the section on our posting rules.

    While we disagree fundamentally with our opponents on certain matters of politics and morality, we do not condone hostility or violence. Neither can we condone those who would use this blog to impute such qualities to us. It’s that simple. Now if you want to discuss the issues, go ahead and make your case persuasively without resorting to defamatory and “ad hominem” tactics. But anyone who’s coming here just to “flame” us needs to understand that beyond a certain point these comments will be rejected and/or banned.

    Here’s a hint. Comments like “you are so extreme, hate-filled, etc.” are examples of insulting, trolling behavior. Really, a textbook case of using an “ad hominem” argument. It’s useful in the sense that it provides an illustration of exactly what we’re talking about.

    As to what “the innate fairness and goodness of people” will ultimately determine, we’re entirely on-board with the idea that true legitimacy of government originates in the will of the people. So bring it on, we’d love for the people to decide!

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