03/26/2013 02:54 pm ET Updated May 26, 2013

Brian S. Brown -- A Crusader Spreading Unhappiness Around the World

The New York Times describes Brian S. Brown as "the nation's leading opponent of same-sex marriage", who is spreading his message around the world. He is the father of eight, and I can envision his children asking him: "Daddy, what did you do with your life?", and his answer: "I devoted myself to making certain that millions of people around the world were kept from being happy. I prevented people who love each other from getting married, and thus was able to keep them from acquiring the rights, benefits and happiness enjoyed by married couples." What a proud legacy for one's children!

I admire people who cling to principle and fight for what they believe is right. I can understand those who are pro-life, because, at least there is some argument to be made that another life is involved. But this crusade against gay marriage and why someone would devote themselves to it mystifies me. Suppose a gay or lesbian couple lives together as a married couple and has adopted children as many do. Do they become a threat to society because they have a ceremony or a piece of paper that makes them legally married? Is that somehow the tipping point? Is that the end of society or the world as we know it?

About half of all marriages end in divorce. Would anyone think of advancing a constitutional amendment to ban divorces? There are serious adverse consequences from divorce; there are none from same-sex marriage. Divorce brings emotional and psychological problems for children, economic burdens, struggles over visitation, custody and property and sometimes even violence. Lives are disrupted. Court battles frequently ensue. Certainly divorce does far more to harm the tradition of marriage and the family than same-sex marriage. What happens when gay and lesbian couples marry? Nothing. Mr. Brown posits that a "serious push to normalize pedophilia" may follow. Dire predictions and unfounded fears seem to be the only arguments proffered. If Mr. Brown had been around when they were considering a woman's right to vote, I suspect he would be leading this chorus:

1. "Women would be corrupted by politics and chivalry would die out."
2. "If women became involved in politics, they would stop marrying, having children, and the human race would die out."
3. "Women are emotional creatures and incapable of making sound political decisions."
Diane Atkinson, Votes For Women (1998)

The reality of this crusade is that it harms people; it protects no one. On the other hand, denying the right for same-sex couples to marry causes great harm -- emotionally and practically. The legal arguments are about to take place, but in reality it is just another instance in a long history of causing harm and hurt in the name of religion. To spend one's life hurting people in the name of Christianity hardly seems Christian. Opponents convert when members of their families pop out of the closet, but it shouldn't take a personal relationship to support fairness, equality and kindness.