Should government recognize and legalize same-sex marriage?

Earlier in the week, I posted a case against same-sex marriage that was restricted to non-religious arguments. Here’s an article written by famous Christian apologist J Warner Wallace that does the same thing, but it is  packed with even more evidence than mine!

In his article, he considers the following questions:

  • What is the aim of the same-sex marriage movement?
  • What percentage of people are gay in the United States?
  • What is the role of government?
  • Why should government promote traditional marriage?
  • Are heterosexual and homosexual relationships the same with respect to domestic violence?
  • Are heterosexual and homosexual relationships the same with respect to healthiness?
  • Are heterosexual and homosexual relationships the same with respect to spousal fidelity?
  • Are heterosexual and homosexual relationships the same with respect to stability?
  • Does it matter to children whether their two biological parents raise them or not?

Here’s an excerpt:

It’s clear that that traditional heterosexual two parent family units are far more enduring, monogamous, non-abusive and healthy. On these standards alone, it’s reasonable for us to value and promote traditional two parent marriages as the ‘ideal’ form of family in our culture. But as it turns out, a number of studies confirm that two ‘biological’ parents are actually required if we want to best assure success and well-being in our children.

Many studies come to this conclusion, including studies that are conducted by liberal advocacy groups who also recognize the fact that “children do best when raised by their two married biological parents…” (Mary Parke, “Are Married Parents Really Better for Children?”, Center for Law and Social Policy Policy Brief, May 2003, p.1). This reality is confirmed by a number of additional studies demonstrating that “an extensive body of research tells us that children do best when they grow up with both biological parents…” (Kristin Anderson Moore, et al., “Marriage From a Child’s Perspective: How Does Family Structure Affect Children, and What Can We Do about It?”, Child Trends Research Brief, June 2002, p.1).

We know, for example, that children raised in two biological parent families are far less likely to become sexually active at a young age compared to every other form of family unit, including stepfamilies. (Dawn Upchurch, et al., “Neighborhood and Family Contexts of Adolescent Sexual Activity”, Journal of Marriage and the Family, 61, 1999, 920-930). Children who are not living with both biological parents are 50 to 150% more likely to abuse drugs that kids who are raised in other types of family units, including stepfamilies like those formed in same sex unions. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “The Relationship Between Family Structure and Adolescent Substance Use”, Rockville, MD, National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information, 1996).

In a similar way, studies indicate that “children residing in households with adults unrelated to them were 8 times more likely to die of maltreatment than children in households with 2 biological parents. Risk of maltreatment death was elevated for children residing with step, foster, or adoptive parents.” (Michael Stiffman, et al., “Household Composition and Risk of Fatal Child Maltreatment,” Pediatrics, 109, 2002, pp.615-621). Over and over again, studies confirm the same reality: children do better when raised not only in two parent family units, but in two biological parent family units!

This conclusion is not limited to heterosexual studies. Even those who advocate and support same sex parenting recognize that there are inherent difficulties for children raised n these settings. The homosexual parenting literature continues to recognize this:

“The Lesbian and Gay Parenting Handbook: Creating and Raising Our Families” (April Martin):

“Some children do express an intense longing for the other biological parent, talking about it frequently and emotionally…. Adolescents take particular interest in both their heredity and in gender-specific role models.”

“The Lesbian Parenting Book: A Guide to Creating Families and Raising Children” (D. Merilee Clunis, G. Dorsey Green):

“It is very normal for children to long about and ask for a father…. It is natural to feel defensive when your child longs for a father. We encourage you to remain patient while she asks questions, sorts out information and comes to terms without knowing her father’s identity, or not having her biological father in her life. She needs to do it…. [Artificially Inseminated] children of lesbian parents may grieve never knowing their biological father.”

“Gay Men Choosing Parenthood” (Gerald P. Mallon):

“(The majority of children being raised in gay male households) sometimes verbalized a desire for a mother at one time or another.”

“For Lesbian Parents: Your Guide to Helping Your Family Grow Up Happy, Healthy, and Proud” (Suzanne M. Johnson, Elizabeth O’Connor):

“(Lesbian mothers should ask their daughters) if it’s hard sometimes not having a father. Let her know that you understand that sometimes it is hard.”

Please consider giving this article a read. It is very comprehensive, and cites a huge number of sources. I think that this topic mattered a lot more to the author than it did to me. I grew up in a marriage home and my parents are still married. I only write about the issues of single motherhood, divorce and same-sex marriage because I  have friends in these situations, and because I have read the research. But J Warner Wallace grew up in a single parent home. So he is writing about this topic based on his personal experience.

Further study

For a more academic case against SSM, see this peer-reviewed paper on traditional marriage and same-sex marriage, authored by two guys from Princeton University and one guy from the University of Notredame. One of those guys is the famous Robert P. George. For some simple, practical tips on defending traditional marriage, check out this tip sheet from the National Organization for Marriage.

You can also watch the videos from a formal academic debate on same-sex marriage held at the University of Central Florida, featuring Dr. Michael Brown. Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse also debated same-sex marriage at Columbia University in a formal academic debate. You can see her give a lecture on same-sex marriage at Houston Baptist University here, as well.

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