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.
That research paper compares same-sex couples and heterosexual married couples, in the following ways:
monogamy vs. promiscuity
number of children being raised
rates of intimate partner violence
It turns out that same-sex unions are not as good for children as traditional marriage, on those measures.
Claim: about 58% of traditional marriages last longer than 20 years.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2001)
Claim: about 5% of same-sex unions last longer than 20 years.
Source: 2003-2004 Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census
Monogamy vs Promiscuity
Claim: 85% of married women and 75.5% of married men report being faithful to their spouses. For homosexual males, the number is 4.5%
Sources: Laumann, The Social Organization of Sexuality, 216; McWhirter and Mattison, The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop (1984): 252-253; Wiederman, “Extramarital Sex,” 170.
Rates of intimate partner violence
Married men and women experience significantly less intimate partner violence than do homosexual men and women.
Sources: “Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence,” U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs: 30; “Intimate Partner Violence,” Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report:11.
Only mother-father families afford children the opportunity to develop relationships with a parent of the same, as well as the opposite sex. Relationships with both sexes early in life make it easier and more comfortable for a child to relate to both sexes later in life. Overall, having a relationship with both a male and female parent increases the likelihood that a child will have successful social and romantic relationships during his or her life.(5)
Moreover, existing research on children reared by homosexuals is not only scientifically flawed and extremely limited (6,7,8) but some of it actually indicates that those children are at increased risk for a variety of negative outcomes.(6) Other studies find that homosexually parented children are more likely to experiment sexually, experience sexual confusion, and engage in homosexual and bisexual behavior themselves.(5,6,9) And for those children who later engage in non-heterosexual behavior, extensive research reveals they are more likely to suffer from psychiatric disorders, abuse alcohol and drugs, (10) attempt suicide, (11) experience domestic violence and sexual assault, (12) and are at increased risk for chronic diseases, AIDS, and shortened life spans.(13,14,15)
It shouldn’t be surprising that studies find children reared by homosexuals are more likely to engage in homosexual behavior themselves (16,9,17) since extensive worldwide research reveals homosexuality is primarily environmentally induced. Specifically, social and/or family factors, as well as permissive environments which affirm homosexuality, play major environmental roles in the development of homosexual behavior.(18,19,20,21)
Far from limiting the power of the state, your version of equality has become a tool for the hostile takeover of civil society by the state. Churches are already under attack for daring to dissent from the new state-imposed Orthodoxy that marriage is whatever the government says it is.7
Parents are losing the right to direct the education of their own children.8 Foster parents in the UK must submit to the state’s views about marriage.9 Reputable adoption agencies have been put out of business.
And the pettiness of some of the complaints brought by same sex couples is simply staggering. Christian bed and breakfast owners have been sued for not allowing unmarried couples to stay in double rooms. They would have gladly rented them separate rooms, but that was not good enough for the thought police.10 Same sex couples have brought legal complaints against wedding photographers, as if there were a constitutional right to have your picture taken by the person of your choice.11
Notice how same-sex marriage impacts businesses, clergy, non-profits, etc. and even leads to polygamy. Once you decide that marriage is not about putting guidelines around sex and producing and nurturing the next generation, but about letting consenting adults do whatever they want, then there are no rules.
The law is a great teacher, and same sex marriage will teach future generations that marriage is not about children but about coupling. When marriage becomes nothing more than coupling, fewer people will get married to have children.
So what? People will still have children, of course, but many more of them out-of wedlock. That’s a disaster for everyone. Children will be hurt because illegitimate parents (there are no illegitimate children)often never form a family, and those that “shack up” break up at a rate two to three times that of married parents.Society will be hurt because illegitimacy starts a chain of negative effects that fall like dominoes—illegitimacy leads to poverty, crime, and higher welfare costs which lead to bigger government, higher taxes, and a slower economy.
Are these just the hysterical cries of an alarmist? No. We can see the connection between same-sex marriage and illegitimacy in Scandinavian countries. Norway, for example, has had de-facto same-sex marriage since the early nineties. In Nordland,the most liberal county of Norway, where they fly “gay” rainbow flags over their churches, out-of-wedlock births have soared—more than 80percent of women giving birth for the first time, and nearly 70 percent of all children, are born out of wedlock! Across all of Norway, illegitimacy rose from 39 percent to 50 percent in the first decade of same-sex marriage.
Anthropologist Stanley Kurtz writes,“When we look at Nordland and Nord-Troendelag — the Vermont and Massachusetts of Norway — we are peering as far as we can into the future of marriage in a world where gay marriage is almost totally accepted. What we see is a place where marriage itself has almost totally disappeared.” He asserts that “Scandinavian gay marriage has driven home the message that marriage itself is outdated, and that virtually any family form, including out-of-wedlock parenthood, is acceptable.” But it’s not just Norway. Blankenhorn reports this same trend in other countries. International surveys show that same-sex marriage and the erosion of traditional marriage tend to go together. Traditional marriage is weakest and illegitimacy strongest wherever same-sex marriage is legal.
You might say, “Correlation doesn’t always indicate causation!” Yes, but often it does. Is there any doubt that liberalizing marriage laws impacts society for the worse? You need look no further than the last 40 years of no-fault divorce laws in the United States (family disintegration destroys lives and now costs taxpayers $112 billion per year!).
No-fault divorce laws began in one state, California, and then spread to rest of the country. Those liberalized divorce laws helped change our attitudes and behaviors about the permanence of marriage. There’s no question that liberalized marriage laws will help change our attitudes and behaviors about the purpose of marriage. The law is a great teacher, and if same-sex marriage advocates have their way, children will be expelled from the lesson on marriage.
So there are financial and social costs to the breakdown of marriage. The more government has to spend to deal with the problems SSM creates, the higher taxes will go, and the less money is left in the hands of working families to accomplish their own plans.
To be fair, I think that sex education and no-fault divorce are worse threats to marriage than same-sex marriage. I would like to see more research to persuade people that chastity before marriage is important, like this research , so that we could see our way clear to push for policies that encourage young people to wait longer before having sex. And I would like to see other measures taken to strengthen marriage from no-fault divorce, such as a shared parenting laws. But SSM is the current topic, so I’ll stick with that here.
3. SSM is bad for public health
Now we come to the sensitive part. We should not be encouraging SSM because it normalizes homosexuality and the homosexual lifestyle is associated with harmful behaviors.
Students who report being gay or bisexual are more likely than heterosexual students to engage in unhealthy risk behaviors such as tobacco use, alcohol and other drug use, sexual risk behaviors, suicidal behaviors, and violence, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The study reported: “the prevalence among gay or lesbian students was higher than the prevalence among heterosexual students for a median of 63.8% of all the risk behaviors measured, and the prevalence among bisexual students was higher than the prevalence among heterosexual students for a median of 76.0% of all the risk behaviors measured.”
Specifically, gay or lesbian students had higher rates for seven of the 10 health risk categories (behaviors that contribute to violence, behaviors related to attempted suicide, tobacco use, alcohol use, other drug use, sexual behaviors, and weight management).
The study also found that only 1.3% of students self-identified as gay or lesbian at the eight sites where they were asked their “sexual identity.” A median of 3.7% said they were bisexual.
Researchers analyzed data from Youth Risk Behavior Surveys conducted during 2001–2009 in seven states and six large urban school districts. These sites collected data on high school students’ sexual identity (heterosexual, gay or lesbian, bisexual, or unsure), sex of sexual contacts (sexual contact with the opposite sex only, with the same sex only, or with both sexes), or both.
The study, “Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health Risk Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9–12 in Selected Sites—Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, United States, 2001–2009,” was published as a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summary.
Non-heterosexual behavior leads to increased risk of psychological and physical disorders
Sadly, the research is also clear that individuals who adopt non-heterosexual lifestyles are more likely to suffer from a host of negative outcomes including psychiatric disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, suicide attempts, domestic violence and sexual assault, and increased risk for chronic diseases, AIDS, and shortened lifespan. Schools should not affirm and thereby encourage young people to adopt lifestyles more likely to lead to such devastation. (To review these specific studies see references 5-10 below).
The footnotes she mentions are in the original article. That article also debunks the “gay gene” myth using identical twin studies, which show that only 10-11% of identical twins have the same sexual orientation.
Consider how society treats the practice of cigarette smoking. Certainly, we don’t want to coerce people into not smoking – we want them to have the choice. But we should definitely not lie to people about the health effects of smoking. It does no good to tell people that dangerous things are not really dangerous. I would rather hurt someone’s feelings gently by telling them the truth than see them suffer real harm after telling them lies.
In conclusion, we have seen three reasons why we should not legalize same-sex marriage:
Same-sex marriage is bad for children
Same-sex marriage is bad for civil society and business
Same-sex marriage is bad for public health
Notice that there are no arguments in this post that require a religious worldview or belief in the inerrancy of the Bible.
I am sure you will all LOVE this lecture delivered by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse at Houston Baptist University. (60 minutes, start listening at 11:15 though!)
what is the purpose of marriage in society?
do children really need a mother and a father?
is each child entitled to a relationship with their 2 bio-parents?
how is the purpose of marriage being re-defined today?
how does same-sex marriage redefine traditional marriage?
should the state be able to determine who counts as a parent?
are mothers and fathers interchangeable?
how did no-fault divorce redefine marriage?
does the government provide an incentive to divorce?
are men interchangeable with women?
where did feminism come from? how did it start?
how does the Marxist worldview view marriage and family?
who do feminists believe should be raising the children?
how Christianity conflicts with Utopian views
what can a Christian university do to turn the tide?
This is a fun lecture to watch, because she’s very articulate, informed, and passionate. She’s an excellent speaker, because she taught economics at Yale University and George Mason University. You can’t help but follow what she’s saying because she keeps your attention. I am also a huge fan of women who are concerned about threats to the marriage, fathers and children. I like when women put marriage first. I like it when women think that fathers are important. I like it when women want to protect children. She’s very funny in this video, as well.
I’ve learned a ton about marriage and economics by listening to Jennifer Roback Morse. I thought she was kind of slacking off lately, but this video more than makes up for it. I like to complain a lot about women today not thinking much about love, marriage and parenting. But Dr. J knows everything about those topics. Everything! I remember chastising her once by e-mail that she had never taken clear sides on no-fault divorce and she MAILED ME a hardcover book of essays where she wrote an essay on that very topic! Naturally she took the pro-marriage, pro-father, pro-children side.