Pro-Family Advocate Dr. James Dobson Has Decided to Support Homosexual Marriage-Fiction!

 

Summary of eRumor:

TruthOrFiction.com has had inquiries about whether pro-family advocate Dr. James Dobson of Focus On The Family has altered his long-standing conservative views on marriage and is now in favor of granting controversial domestic partner privileges to homosexual couples.  The questions arise because of Dobson’s support of a “reciprocal-beneficiary contracts” bill being considered by the Colorado legislature.

The Truth:

There is dispute over the proposed Colorado legislation but as far as Dr. James Dobson is concerned, no dispute about his stance on marriage.  Focus on the Family says his support of Colorado Senate Bill 166 does not reflect a change in his long-standing opposition to homosexual  marriage or domestic partnerships.  

The legislation was introduced by Colorado state Senator Shawn Mitchell, who is described as a conservative pro-family Republican.

After Dobson announced his support of Senate Bill 166, Dr. Paul Cameron, president of the Family Research Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado (not to be confused with the Family Research Council in Washington D.C.) called the decision “madness.”  

In a statement released by his office, Cameron said “The…bill is a political compromise that would provide gay and lesbian couples with many of the benefits of marriage without having to be married.”  He refers to is as “marriage-lite.”  He accused Dobson of endorsing gay rights.

In a strong response to Cameron Dobson said, “I don’t know what in the world has gotten into Paul Cameron that made him make a statement like this. I’ve never endorsed any bill granting gay partners legal rights currently reserved for married couples. That is sheer nonsense.” 

There was also an article critical of Dobson posted briefly on the website of conservative commentator and former presidential candidate Alan Keyes.  It was written by a frequent contributor to the site at www.renewamerica.us, Andrew Longman.  After being contacted and told that Dobson was not supporting the homosexual agenda, the article was taken down and apologies posted by both Keyes and Longman.

According to a 2/15/06 article on Focus On The Family’s CitizenLink web site, the Colorado legislation would streamline certain legal relationships that are already allowed under Colorado law such as powers of attorney, decisions about medical care, and administration of property after death.

Dale Schowengerdt, legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund is quoted as saying that Senate Bill 166 does not give benefits based on status, such as homosexuality, which is true of civil unions and domestic partnerships. Homosexual activists don’t like the bill because it doesn’t go far enough to accomplish their goal of homosexual marriage or full domestic partnerships. Schowengerdt adds that several states have similar laws and that, in his view, they actually protect marriage.

Focus on the Family says that Dobson’s support of reciprocal-beneficiary legislation is not new.  Focus supported such a bill in Hawaii in 1997 that helped protect marriage in that state from redefinition.

“All this bill does is say: If you have a need to be in one of these contractual relationships with someone you legally can’t marry, you could do this through a notarized contract filed with the county clerk and — instead of paying thousands of dollars to an attorney for individual contracts — you can have one packaged contract offered to you,” the article explains.

Carrie Gordon Earll, director of issues analysis for Focus on the Family Action, is quoted as saying that the bill does not advance homosexuality.  It helps a lot of people such as parents with a disabled adult child living at home, sisters sharing property, grandparents and grandchildren and many other people who would choose those closest to them to have power to fulfill legal wishes for them.  In other words, anyone who would have normally had to go through a complex and expensive process to define an important legal relationship that is not marriage.

Cameron disagrees and says the bill grants homosexual couples some of the benefits currently reserved for married couples and their families and that Dobson’s endorsement of the bill advances the cause of homosexuals.

Updated 2/16/06

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:


2/15/06:

Dear TruthOrFiction.com:

Is it true that Dr. James Dobson has changed his mind about homosexual marriage?

I heard an interview on the radio with a man who said that Dr. Dobson is now in favor of laws that would help homosexuals.

That’s hard for me to believe.  I hope it’s not true.

[A TruthOrFiction.com reader]