If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard one of the following comments, I’d be—well, let’s say I’d have a pocketful of nickels.
“If gays want to marry, what concern is it of mine?”
“For the life of me, I can’t see how gay ‘marriage’ could negatively affect anyone!”
“Heterosexual marriage is protected by denying gays the right to marry?C’mon people!”
And those sentiments are not exclusive to the secular left. Within the religious right, I’ve encountered attitudes ranging from complacence to acceptance concerning same-sex “marriage,” from people who doubted its adverse affect on them, their families, or society at large. Recently those attitudes have been reflected in public surveys.
Although the legalization of same-sex “marriage” has been defeated in every state it has been put to a popular vote, public opposition appears to be waning. According to a recent Pew survey, from 2008 and 2011 the margin between those who “oppose” and those who “favor” legalization narrowed from 12 percentage points to one. It is a testimony to the effectiveness of the homosexual machinery in obfuscating what the gay “marriage” movement is really about.
What it’s not about
Contrary to shopworn talking points, same-sex “marriage” is not about equal protections and benefits. In California, where Proposition 8 was vigorously opposed by the gay community, domestic partnerships already qualified for all the major benefits afforded marriage, including hospital visitation, right to make health care decisions for each other, insurance coverage, survivor pension benefits, and rights pertaining to property, inheritance, and parental privileges.
Same-sex “marriage” is also not about formal recognition and public celebration. If a homosexual couple wants their union solemnized in a public ceremony, there are any number of organizations across the country willing to oblige them. As S. T. Karnick points out,
“The Episcopal Church USA, the Alliance of Baptists, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Unity School of Christianity, the Unitarian Universalists, the Swedenborgian Church of North America, the Quakers, the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, and the United Church of Christ… either explicitly allow the consecration or blessing of same-sex ‘marriages’ or look the other way when individual congregations perform such ceremonies.”
Neither is same-sex “marriage” about lifelong monogamous commitment.Whereas monogamy means emotional and sexual fidelity for heterosexual couples, for homosexual couples, it often means emotional fidelity only. More often than not, as long as partners remainemotionally detached from other partners, and are open and honest about their outside sexual relationships, they are not “cheating.”
Given that 75 percent of homosexual couples are in an open relationship, and the preponderance of same-sex couples who enter a “committed” relationship do so with no expectation of long-term fidelity, the homosexual understanding of marriage reflects a radical departure from the traditional institution.
In actuality, same-sex “marriage” is not even about marriage. So what is it about?
What it is about
The endgame of the same-sex “marriage” movement is the normalization and complete social approval of homosexuality.
Black columnist Shelby Steele puts it this way: “Gay marriage is simply . . . a struggle of already free people for complete social acceptance and the sense of normalcy that follows thereof—a struggle for the eradication of the homosexual stigma. . . . In the gay marriage movement, marriage is more a means than an end, a weapon against stigma.”
As homosexual legal expert Arthur S. Leonard makes plain, the ultimate goal of the gay rights movement is not marriage, but “societal acceptance and support for the reality of lesbian and gay family structures as something to be valued and reinforced, in the same way that society values and reinforces heterosexually-based family structures.”
For that end to be realized, social norms and traditional values have to be dismantled and reshaped according to the moral vision of a fringe collection of people whose entire identity is grounded in their sexual cravings. For starters:
The primary functions of sex must be changed from procreation and the holistic bonding of husband and wife, to sensual gratification and self-actualization.
Marriage as the exclusive union of one man and one woman for as long as both shall live, must give way to “marriage” as an open relationship between any two (or more) persons for as long as all shall love.
The age-old wisdom that biological parents joined in marriage are best suited to protect and provide for children, must yield to the “recognition” that natural parentage is inconsequential.
Additionally, if same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land, the demand for assisted reproductive technology (ART) will increase along with the exploitation of donors and the commodification of their reproductive “goods.” For instance, with the market price of egg donation currently ranging between $4000 and $60,000, more women will be lured to undergo a surgical procedure without serious consideration of the health hazards involved. Among those hazards are bleeding, infection, blood clots, kidney failure, infertility, and even death.
Children produced with the help of a sperm donor, egg donor, or both, will be denied the natural right to be attached to their biological parents. If a surrogate mother is used, a child could be the product of three adults and legally attached to two others. Imagine the identity crisis for children who yearn to know, like all of us, who they are and where they came from.
Homosexual advocates rebuff those concerns as products of bigotry and hate. Parents are interchangeable, they assure us. As long as a child is raised in a loving home, the biological connections, numbers, and genders of parents are unimportant. Children flourish equally (and even better!) in gay and lesbian homes as in traditional homes (think the TV series Modern Family, and the 2010 film The Kids are All Right), they claim, and they have studies to prove it. Really?
Effects on children
Setting aside the research flaws of those studies, which have been competently identified here and here, let’s examine what common sense tells us.
Given the fact that homosexuality affects less than 3 percent of the population, the odds are overwhelming that a child brought into a gay home will be heterosexual. If, as the gay press insists, sexual orientation is an unalterable fact of nature, reason tells us that most (if not all) children raised in a homosexual environment will be immanently vulnerable to sexual confliction and confusion.
The American College of Pediatricsagrees, reporting that children raised in homosexual homes “are morelikely to experience sexual confusion, practice homosexual behavior,and engage in sexual experimentation.” Would we expect anything different?
A lesbian couple cannot credibly teach their heterosexual son or daughter how to understand their sexuality or experience it in a manner consistent with their design. Neither can they model how their children should relate to the opposite sex in courtship, dating and marriage. The same goes for a gay couple.
At best, same-sex relationships can only mimic, in a transmogrified way, a version of intimacy designed for one man and one woman. Even if their children do not experiment with homosexuality, they will be exposed to the pathologies associated with their parents’ lifestyle: higher incidence of mental health disorders, substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, and depression.
Children in homosexual households are also four times as likely to be victims of family breakups. Whereas 66 percent of first-time heterosexual marriages last ten or more years, only 15 percent of same-sex relationships last as long.
Consequently, children in same-sex homes have four times the risk of experiencing the dysfunctions of divorce: namely, domestic violence, poverty, anti-social behaviors, lower scholastic achievement, and sexual abuse. The last item is of considerable concern, given the open nature of same-sex relationships and the fact that, at most, one parent is biologically related. Compared to children in homes with both biological parents, children in single-parent homes with a cohabiting partner have eight times higher risk of neglect and abuse.
Lastly, legalizing same-sex “marriage” will further threaten our religious freedoms. Already anti-discrimination legislation has been used to sue or force individuals and institutions out of business that refused, because of religious conscience, to offer adoption services to same-sex couples, provide fertility treatments to lesbians, promote the virtues of homosexuality to their foster children, and hire homosexual church youth workers. What’s more, hate speech laws have been expanded to include gender identity and sexual orientation, in order to silence criticism, religious or otherwise, of homosexuality.
If same-sex “marriage” becomes law, all persons and organizations, regardless of religious convictions, will be coerced to—how did Arthur Leonard put it?—oh, yes, value and reinforce homosexual family structures, “in the same way that society values and reinforces heterosexually-based family structures.” Or, as someone else once said, “to call evil good and good evil.”
Regis Nicoll is a freelance writer and a BreakPoint Centurion. His "All Things Examined" column appears on BreakPoint every other Friday. Serving as a men’s ministry leader and worldview teacher in his community, Regis publishes a free weekly commentary to stimulate thought on current issues from a Christian perspective. To be placed on this free e-mail distribution list, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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