Why are young people pro-life, but also favor marriage re-definition?

My friend John Burger asked that very question to marriage defender Ryan Anderson.

Here’s what he said:

ryan-andersonI think it’s largely that they haven’t had the argument made to them. Forty years ago, you wouldn’t have had as high numbers among the younger generation identifying as pro-life. Forty years ago, they were telling us that pro-lifers were on the wrong side of history, that all young people were in favor of abortion and that forty years from now, it would just be geriatrics and the Pope who would be the last pro-lifers on earth.

But the pro-life movement launched, and they started making arguments, they started hosting rallies, they started the organizations, they wrote the books and articles, they came up with the campaigns, they came up with the political institutions, the cultural institutions, the crisis pregnancy centers, the educational initiatives — a whole array of things in the areas of policy, law, culture, and education. And now, the younger generation is more pro-life than their parents.

All that took work, and it’s work that’s just beginning to take place in the marriage issue. We don’t have nearly as many pro-marriage think tanks, pro-marriage political organizations, pro-marriage educational institutes as we do for pro-life. It’s great that we have it on the pro-life side; we just need to replicate it on the marriage side. But it’s very hard if you’re a young person. Everything you see on TV, such as Fox’s Glee, or what’s happening at your public school or what your friends are saying — everything you’re hearing in the popular culture is that you’re a bigot if you believe marriage is between a man and a woman, and there’s very little that tells you the opposite. We have not done a good enough job in communicating, even to our own people inside of the Church, inside the cultural institutions that should be sympathetic to the argument for marriage.

Read the rest of this great interview over at Aleteia.



  • Andrew

    A little late here, but anyway here’s what I have to say. I am gay. I am openly and unapologetically gay, because contrary to what a lot of people may believe, I can not change this. I am also pro-life. My stance doesn’t come from a religious point of view, rather just a moral one (yes believe it or not, gay people have moral compasses too). I don’t understand how people can equate my sexual orientation with the monstrous act of abortion. I have seen images of aborted foetus’s and honestly they made me sick to my stomach. It is not a question to me that pro life is pro murder. I am reluctant to admit my pro-life stance because I typically hold Liberal points of views and I’m not oblivious to the fact that a vast majority of pro-lifers are also anti-gay… but ultimately my opinion has been formed and I’m pro-life.

  • TCL

    I’ll throw my hat in! As a young Catholic lady, it took me some time to understand the Church’s teaching on this. It started to make more sense when I learned about contraception. Which means I learned more about the nature of man and woman, history, philosophy, science, etc. The more I reflect on the issue of marriage redefinition, the more I’m convinced that we must address the contraceptive mentality; starting with Christians. In many ways its much harder to address than abortion. It’s one of the deepest running assumptions currently held in the states, in my opinion. Sadly, there’s been a lot of confusion, division, and disobedience over this issue.

    • Caro

      It’s not about being against the two same sex couple, it is about what marriage is and how it must be defined. If two sisters who love each other very much want to get married, should that be allowed? What about a 12 year old and 30 year old who feel very much in love? Why should the law stop them from being able to love each each other and gain the benefits of a “married couple”? It’s not about love, it is simply about the financial benefits. It is about how come they can and I can’t. Marriage has always been protected by society because it guarantees the future of a society and our society is headed towards a fuzzy future. No babies is no future generation.

  • jimbob

    The reality is that young people today see terms like “pro-marriage” and “protecting marriage” as anti-gay code words. No valid argument has been made that supports the claim marriage has to be protected from those who wish to allow gay people to marry. Visit the Facebook pages of the National Organization for Marriage and inevitably anti-gay hatred shows itself in comments of those who support the organization. I consider myself to be a strong supporter of marriage. My parents raised 9 children and were married for 49 years before my father’s passing. My 6 surviving sisters are all married and are raising my many dear nieces and nephews. Next month, I will attend the civil gay marriage of 2 friends of mine, one of whom is not a US citizen but who will now be able to apply for residency. My friends have been together for over 16 years. Residency for the non-US citizen will allow this couple to move to the US to be closer to the aging (and very Catholic) parents of my American friend. I could not be happier for them. Their civil marriage will taken nothing away from the marriages of my sisters. I consider myself to be very pro-marriage. I am not anti-marriage equality.

  • MorganB

    Why isn’t it more simple? The youths can be pro procreation.

  • pchristle

    The liberal media is the primary institution indoctrinating the young into favoring homosexual marriage. For example, here in Indiana, every AP story about the proposed state constitutional amendment that simply defines marriage as what it really is, calls the amendment a “ban on gay marriage.” This is a lie. The amendment bans nothing; it merely defines what real marriage has always been. Nonetheless, the lie is repeated ad infinitum, and I suspect that most readers of AP stories don’t even realize that it is a lie but react emoti0nally to the notion that something is being “banned.”

    • Joshua Mercer

      Very true. The media, though, has always been biased against pro-lifers, too. That’s why the pro-life movement realized that it needed to grow and get its own message out — instead of relying on a hostile media. That’s again why we need a stronger and bigger marriage movement.

    • Andrew

      I don’t believe this, simply because I have known I am gay for a very long time, and it can go as far back as when I was 6 or 7. I have always only ever been physically and emotionally attracted towards members of the same sex, and I have known this since before I even discovered there were others who felt the same way. When I was 6 or 7 of course I didn’t understand what my feelings meant, and it didn’t even occur to me that it’s a possibility that I was gay because I have always grown up seeing nothing other than heterosexual couples and their marriages and happiness being promoted as not only the norm but the only acceptable form of sexuality. Liberals are not making children gay, they are just trying to make the world a more bearable place for people who are already gay to live in. This whole “gay agenda” conspiracy is really irritating. I am not going to deny that there is a gay agenda, it’s just not this dark, sinister, immoral form of indoctrination… it’s just an agenda to try and make the world more accepting.



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