Terry Caster and his clan are a misunderstood bunch.
The extended family—Caster has eight children, 38 grandkids and a near-infinite number of kinfolk through marriages—have in the past year been criticized in the left-leaning press and targeted for economic annihilation by gay-rights groups. The reason: The Casters, or 13 of them, anyway, collectively donated more money to the Yes on Proposition 8 effort than any other group or individual in San Diego. At last count, Casters both singular (Terry, Barbara, Brian, Candice, Cha Cha—yes, Cha Cha—Christina, Craig, Justin and Nick Caster; Gary Davidson; and Ken and Mechele Kremensky) and plural (the Caster Family Trust) contributed $693,000 in support of the anti-gay-marriage initiative.
That alone would have made Terry and the Gang candidates for progressive pillorying, but ramping up emotions was the fact several of the Caster donors were high-profile targets. Terry is the founder of A-1 Self Storage, a Mission Valley-based company with facilities across the state; Brian is CEO of Caster Family Enterprises, which owns A-1; and Craig Caster is pastor of Family Discipleship Ministry, an El Cajon nonprofit that sells DVD tutorials with titles like “Marriage is a Ministry” and “Parenting is a Ministry.” But it's A-1 that generates the family's real income, which is why, in July, groups like Californians Against Hate and Queers United launched boycotts of the company.
Whether that put any real financial hurt on the Casters is as-yet unknown, but it could be said with reasonable certainty the family hasn't had a change of heart: Their biggest pro-8 contribution, $400,000, came three months after the boycotts were launched.
Nonetheless, anti-Caster blog posts continue to pop up by the dozens, with many asking a single, exasperated question: Just what is it about gay marriage that drives Terry and his brood so bananas?
Perhaps an answer can be found on Pastor Craig's website for his Family Discipleship Ministry, which offers classes, seminars and workshops promoting better family living through Christ. Aside from its openly anti-queer stance (as seen in the essay “A Seven-Point Plan to Protect Christian Youth Against Homosexuality”), a theme that runs throughout the site's content is that wives are, by order of God, subservient to their husbands' needs.
In the workshop section titled “The Husband's Companionship Needs,” Pastor Craig counsels the good wife to hold her husband's needs “2nd only to God in your life, not because he deserves it, but God commands it.”
He later writes: “A contentious wife is unwilling to trust and obey the Lord by affirming her husband's leadership role. Husbands need to be affirmed in their leadership role by their wife—ALWAYS!”
Common “disaffirming practices” of a husband's dominance, Craig writes, includes “[c]orrecting him in front of the children and others,” being “unwilling to serve him in public” and being “unwilling to surrender to him physically.”
Throughout, the pastor asserts that the healthiest families are the ones in which the wife surrenders her will to her husband's—physically, sexually and spiritually.
Now put yourself in the Casters' shoes and imagine how confusing things would get should a family be legally allowed to include two husbands or two wives: Who would be compelled to submit to whom?
From that viewpoint, same-sex marriage would be seen as nothing less than a frontal assault on the God-established status quo. And the Casters, especially the male Casters, like the order of things just the way they are.