Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

A secular case against gay marriage

Marriage and family

Marriage and family

Note: this post has a twin! Its companion post on a secular case against abortion rights is here.

Roxeanne de Luca challenged socially conservative bloggers to write a non-religious case against same-sex marriage, so here’s mine.

I can’t possible cover everything, but I will make three arguments.

  1. Same-sex marriage is bad for children
  2. Same-sex marriage is bad for civil society and business
  3. Same-sex marriage is bad for public health

Let’s look at these in order.

1. SSM is bad for children

Traditional marriage is beneficial for children for 4 reasons:

  • traditional marriages last longer than same-sex unions
  • traditional marriages are more peaceful than same-sex unions
  • traditional marriages offer children male and female influences
  • traditional marriages model life-long love between men and women

Space permits me to only discuss the first two, using this paper from the Family Research Council, which cites data from mainstream sources like the Department of Justice, peer-reviewed studies, etc.

That research paper compares same-sex couples and heterosexual married couples, in the following ways:

  • relationship duration
  • monogamy vs. promiscuity
  • relationship commitment
  • number of children being raised
  • health risks
  • rates of intimate partner violence

It turns out that same-sex unions are not as good for children as traditional marriage, on those measures.

Relationship duration

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

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.

There is a lot more evidence cited in the research paper. Read the whole thing.

Consider this article by Dr. Trayce Hansen about which family configuration is best for children. The title is “Same-Sex Marriage: Not in the Best Interest of Children”.

Excerpt:

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)

The rest of the article, with references, is here.

Research from the Heritage Foundation shows that traditional marriage is the safest place for women and children – women and children are much less likely to be the victims of domestic violence or violent crime when they are in a married home. Another Heritage Foundation research paper shows that child poverty is greatly reduced when children grow up in a married home.

So what do we learn from this? The evidence is clear: traditional marriage is better for children than same-sex marriage.

2. SSM is bad for civil society and business

SSM will increase the power of the state to regulate civil society and business. Let me quickly summarize the evidence for this to give you an idea how it would work, using Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse’s testimony to the Rhode Island legislature.

Excerpt:

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

The details of the events she is describing can be found in the references for her speech.

Here are a few more examples of this infringement on civil society and business:

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.

Now consider this article about how the breakdown of marriage changes society and government, written by Dr. Frank Turek.

Excerpt:

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.

Consider this recent Centers for Disease Control study. Life Site News discusses the findings in this article.

Excerpt:

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.

Dr. Trayce Hansen summarizes some of the previously published research on the health care effects of the gay lifestyle.

Excerpt:

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.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we have seen three reasons why we should not legalize same-sex marriage:

  1. Same-sex marriage is bad for children
  2. Same-sex marriage is bad for civil society and business
  3. 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.

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. Here’s another good peer-reviewed paper in the Harvard University Journal of Law and Public Policy. And of course there are the two recent large-scale studies on gay parenting outcomes, and responses to the criticisms of those studies.

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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93 Responses

  1. Stan says:

    Look, you may CALL it a “non-religious case”, but face it. The ONLY reason anyone would be against the concept is if they are a bigoted, hating, homophobe. I mean, sure, there’s all that research and logic and all, but it must REALLY be hate on your part … right?

    [end sarcasm]

    • Ha ha ha! I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad, just stating the facts.

    • Jonathan H says:

      Stan… Respectfully, what do you mean by homophobe? If you mean anyone who disagrees with individuals who pursue intimate and romantic same-sex relationships then you are homophobic-phobic since you disagree with the individual who disagrees with same sex relationships. Now, if you mean phobia in a way that means being scared then I agree that no one should be afraid of any human person(LGBTQ Community) who has just as much value as anyone else. But if that is what you mean by that Wintry is scared of anyone in the LGBTQ community I think there is a misunderstanding as I did not sense any fear in his case.

      Now, Wintry knight can come to a objective conclusion about SSM despite his religious affiliation. To say he cannot and denouncing the evidence he has presented for traditional marriage between one man and one woman then you have committed the Genetic Fallacy. This fallacy means you did not look at the evidence at all but simply dismissed it as in error based on Wintry’s worldview. Any individual in the LGBTQ community can reach a objective conclusion on same sex marriage. Any person who denounces there claims as being error because they are gay is committing the Genetic Fallacy as well. To counter their claims would have to be based on the facts not the person behind it. The best your comments can assert are your own subjective opinion which you are entitled too but that is as far as it goes.

      • Oh he was kidding! He was just being sarcastic and anticipating the response from the other side!

      • Stan says:

        Just for clarification — and Wintery has already said it — I was kidding. My “response” is the response you can expect. “Don’t worry about logic. Forget about studies. Don’t even think about reality. If we want to do it, you are obligated to support us or you are a mean, bigoted person. Opposing what we want to do can only be motivated by hate.” My comment was, in other words, a congratulations to Wintery for reason over stupidity.

        • Katie says:

          As someone who vehemently disagreed with the post, I am not at all tempted to dismiss logic or studies. Logic and studies are the only way we can possibly make decisions about this. If you encounter a single person who supports gay marriage and yet opposes using logic to make policy decisions, let me know. I am confident this is nothing but a straw man.

          So if I fully endorse science and logic, why do I strongly disagree with this post?

          Well, it is drawing a conclusion that does not follow from the premise.

          First, stability is good for children.

          Secondly, gay relationships are less stable.

          Therefore, we should not allow gays to form stable, legally recognized relationships.

          What?

          If gay relationships are less stable, it is because society has humiliated, ostracized, and bullied gays for decades. It is because we deny them the right to a socially acknowledged and stable relationship like anyone else. By insisting (against all evidence) that being gay is a choice, we deny their very right to exist.

          When we stop doing that, gay relationships will become as stable as straight relationships, and children will benefit. This is what has happened in all the other countries which legalized gay marriage.

          So drop the straw men and answer the evidence that supporters of gay marriage actually believe.

          • Thanks for your comment. You make the following assertions:

            If gay relationships are less stable, it is because society has humiliated, ostracized, and bullied gays for decades. It is because we deny them the right to a socially acknowledged and stable relationship like anyone else. By insisting (against all evidence) that being gay is a choice, we deny their very right to exist.

            When we stop doing that, gay relationships will become as stable as straight relationships, and children will benefit. This is what has happened in all the other countries which legalized gay marriage.

            First off, you are just wrong on the choice issue, as studies of identical twins have proved:

            http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2012/01/31/the-genetics-of-same-sex-attraction/

            Second, you need to produce the evidence to substantiate those opinions. Opinions are not facts.

            Moreover, as a test case of your assertions, notice that society has given support to cohabitation. That arrangement is now sanctioned as equal to marriage. But that has not made it as stable as marriage:

            http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713144122.htm

            Quote:

            University of Denver (DU) researchers find that couples who live together before they are engaged have a higher chance of getting divorced than those who wait until they are married to live together, or at least wait until they are engaged. In addition, couples who lived together before engagement and then married, reported a lower satisfaction in their marriages.

            The leftist media acknowledges that legitimizing cohabitation has not helped to make cohabitation as stable as marriage:

            http://www.npr.org/2011/08/16/139651077/study-are-cohabiting-parents-bad-for-kids

            http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/opinion/sunday/the-downside-of-cohabiting-before-marriage.html

            I think it’s important to link to research when making a case.

          • David Andrews says:

            “Straw Men”??? Yeah I have heard it all now.

            I agree that homosexuals are entitled to be treated with the same respect and equality that heterosexuals afford each other in terms of humanity.

            However that respect and equality does not extend to homosexual behaviour! There is a difference…behaviour is what we do and that is often not morally nuetral.

            And members of our society have the right to disapprove of such behaviours that they regard as questionable without being labelled, prejudiced, bigotted or homophobic. After all “disapproval” may be a result of conscience or defendable arguement.

            It is worth noting that disapproval does not equate to hate.

            In terms of equality, homosexual behaviour has a completely different set of social outcomes and outputs and can never be compared equal with heterosexuality.

            A sad consequence of gay men having children:

            Ref:

            Sir Elton John says it will be “heartbreaking” when the boy being raised by him and his gay civil partner David Furnish discovers he has no mummy.
            Christian Institute, July, 2012

            The homosexual community is a community identified by their sexual practices alone…..a sexuality that is sterile in terms of reproducing children according to the natural law of nature. It is a sexuality that is not morally nuetral or equal with heterosexuality.

            Gay Marriage is a direct challenge to traditional heterosexual marriage by aligning itself in a manner that would suggest by name association that they are the same. They are not and never can be.

            Unfortunately Gay activists like yourself deliberately seek to confuse political power with victim status. You insist that respect for a person is identical with accepting his or her political claims for equality in all areas of life. Even principled opposition is therefore tantamount to bigotry, homophobia and the equivalent of race-hatred.
            But by deliberately confusing these two sides- the political and the personal- gay activism has created a dangerous monster. The lesser danger is that our very sympathy for the persecute will blind us to the social danger. In the name of a murky, confused “inclusiveness” we will thereby sell our cultural birthright for a mess of political pottage.

            Kind regards
            D.Andrews

          • Tim says:

            Well said.

    • David Andrews says:

      You call it hate…I call it disapproval..and disapproval does not equate to hate.

      When homosexuals label those that disapprove- not of homosexuals themselves- but of homosexual behaviour, then they are quick to label them as some kind of bad person…..that is unfair and is a quick way to bringing discussion and debate to a close……

      I am not a homophobe, but I am entitled to defendable freedom of speech. I do not agree with homosexual behaviour and research so far does not support fully the notion that people are born gay.

      As a social researcher I have come across volumes of research that would challenge the validity of promoting homosexuality in terms of health, sexual promiscuity, indoctrinating children concerning queer sexuality…

      Homosexuality is not in any way equal to heterosexuality, however those in power today blindly strive to apply equality to a minute community (1%) identifiable by their sexual practices alone; a sexuality that carries a completely different set of social outcomes.

      Society expects us to “Tolerate” a variety of circumstances and situations…..however “Tolerance” does not spell approval.

  2. Well done, W.K. Good collection of resources, too. This is a keeper!

  3. SSM is bad for liberty. Think of the entailments of forcing a sexual orientation as a civil right. I don’t even recognize heterosexuality as a constitutional right. And once the identity politics of the lgbt agenda is made law where then do you draw the line? Does NAMBLA have a case as an oppressed group with an alleged immutable orientation?
    God gives us an identity but that does not mean that some can not adopt a false identity then try to make moral arguments about hatred, bigotry, and acceptance.
    Even the secular idea that monogamous life time relationships are a privilege that is granted only to a limited and defined group for eligibility speaks to Marriage not being open to all types of unions.

  4. Neil says:

    Very, very well done. You saved me a lot of time. I’m just going to link to this instead of making my own.

  5. Ryan K. says:

    The most obvious reason is that marriage by definition means a man and a woman. Two people of the same sex is a different type of union than two people of the opposite sex.

    This is so obvious that even a kid can understand it. Two men is different than a man and a woman, so by definition is the type of relationship and union that they will have.

    Saying gay marriage is like saying, “male sorority,” or “woman fraternity.” By definition it just does not work.

    • Aaron says:

      You do realize that woman fraternities exist, right?

      • Chrisitna says:

        Fraternity means “brotherhood”.

        So he is correct that “woman fraternity” is an oxymoron.

        women fraternities are referred to as that instead of sororities, because sororities were traditionally linked to no service – a social conglomaration of women discussing flippery like a female “salon” from the renaissance. Women fraternities are service based (like their male counterparts have always been) and distinguish themselves from the sorority by adopting the same term.

        That doesn’t make Ryan wrong in his statement.

  6. BRAVO!

    Thank you for answering the call.

    One of my friends (Tieki, in fact) went to a so-con seminar and learned about the reasons to not have SSM. As she said, “There’s actually reasons!”. Those aren’t articulated very frequently, or as publicly, and that leads us vulnerable to charges of bigotry.

    What I don’t want to have happen is for us to be behind the 8 ball like “we” were with Roe and abortion. I have this dream of every social conservative being able to articulate a secular, logical argument for their beliefs, so that we aren’t trying to make that argument after things have gone drastically wrong (more wrong than they are now). Face it, once SSM is in, it’ll take a Constitutional Amendment to get it out.

    • I agree. When I wrote this, I had Frank Turek in mind. I want Frank to be able to have a job, not to get fired for his beliefs. That means that we need to have a culture that welcomes his view on marriage. Either we get more people to articulate the reasons for marriage or we are done for. I would especially like to have Protestant evangelicals like myself step up to the plate.

  7. Rumpole says:

    Were you aware that the United Nations just declared that Internet Access is now a Human Right? Extraordinary.

  8. desmognathus says:

    Great job, Wintery!

  9. Jim says:

    Here is my article from two years ago in an attempt to do the same thing:

    http://www.pleaseconvinceme.com/index/Should_Government_Legalize_Same_Sex_Marriage

    I focused on the impact it has on the next generation and developed the acronym KIDS to help communicate the issue…

  10. the reason there are so many arguements in favor of Marriage Without Adjectives (that is, just ordinary man/woman marriage) is that marriage touches so many aspects of human life and society. redefining marriage will change many, many things, including the definition of parenthood itself.
    dr j

  11. John Doe says:

    Oh NOES, Ms. de Luca, the leftists did not really want a sincere and well–reasoned response. In fact, “shut up” they said, and let them make their arguements without serious objection.

    • Katie says:

      I don’t really identify as a leftist, but as someone who supports gay marriage, I really appreciated the sincere and well-reasoned response. I strongly disagree with it, but it obviously required a lot of thought and effort, and is much appreciated.

      Please stop stereotyping everyone who disagrees with you; the vast majority are reasonable people who welcome sensible, logically grounded challenges.

  12. [...] Roxeanne de Luca challenged socially conservative bloggers to write a non-religious case against same-sex marriage, so here's mine. I can't possible cover everything, but I will make three arguments. 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 Let's look at these in order. 1. SSM is bad for children Traditional marriage is beneficial for children for 4 re … Read More [...]

  13. thatmrgguy says:

    Compelling and articulate article. Thanks for doing the research a lot of us don’t have the time or the inclination to do.

    I linked here from Haemet and have added you to my blogroll.

    Mike G.

  14. [...] points here, but the good news is that the Wintery Knight did a more thorough and masterful job in A secular case against gay marriage.  I highly encourage you to read and bookmark it.  The case against oxymoronic “same-sex [...]

  15. Retha says:

    Great article, Wintery. I was divided about the issue – could see the point in arguments from both sides – until I read this.

  16. I never though of it this way…you make excellent points/FACTS without using religion..think I might REPOST this (on m FB page) if that’s ok with you? Cheers!!

  17. Michael says:

    Excellent stuff, wK!!
    Btw I’ve just set up a blog, and I have added you onto my blogroll. Soon I hope to start blogging through Grudem’s PATTB which you bought me. :)
    Eternally grateful,
    Michael! =D

  18. A most impressive study. I agree, this one is a keeper. Congratulations WK.

  19. Thank you Wintery Knight, When SSM laws were passed by more states, I thought about what impact this was doing to my children and how they will view this issue. SSM goes against everything I was taught and the way I teach my children. I will never teach my children that SSM is good for them, because there is so more things wrong in SSM. They are our future and I want to give them the best opportunity I can.

  20. Daniel Pop says:

    Wintery Knight, do you mind me posting this on my facebook?
    Blessings.

  21. lhf says:

    An important point not raised is the slippery slope. If marriages between 2 men are legalized, why not 3? In the Netherlands, home of the first legalized same sex marriages, a threesome has been permitted to marry (a man and two women – is that polygamy?)

    Let’s take another example. Hypothetically, I have worked all my life, have saved my money and have never married. My sister also has never married, but has not worked steadily and has not saved. At age 65 I retire and I wish to ensure that the survivor benefit of my pension goes to my sister. Can I marry her? If not, why not? Is it not a violation of her and my civil rights not to be able to marry? Should the reason we want to marry be considered? What if we were brother and sister? Children are not a problem because of our ages, so the usual arguments against incest wouldn’t apply.

    What about group marriages? The polyamory and polygamy advocates are already making the same arguments that homosexuals make in favor of allowing them to marry. Why is it not a violationof the civil rights of polygamists to deny them the “right” to marry?

    Can every human desire be transformed into a “civil right?” I have noticed that African Americans oppose same sex marriage at higher rates than whites. They resent the notion that homosexuals are using the language of the civil rights movement, by which they moved from slavery to full participation in American society, to advance a wholly incompatible agenda. It diminishes what has been an outstanding achievement – both for them and for the country as a whole.

    The reason the state is involved in the marriage business is to ensure a legal bond between a father and his biological or legally adopted children. What happens to that bond in group marriages when no one knows which “partner” is the father of her children?

    This issue needs open debate, however, to prevent this, the tactic of the proponents of same sex marriage is to shout down or stigmatize opponents. So the debate never occurs and proponents, with the help I might add of our major media outlets, are making gains. Unfortunately, the sad results will take years to become obvious to those who can’t think ahead to the obvious unintended consequences.

    • completely agree with the “slippery slope” …I have been making this arguement all along with advocates of same-sex marriage…using your same…they conclude those relationships are different, they are “wrong”…therefore, they too are denying rights under their own argument. Where is the line drawn, and if it is their right, than why not the right of anyone else who thinks what they are doing is ok for them.

  22. ogtracy says:

    Wonderful article, WK but I have questions – as usual. In your first point, when arguing that same sex marriage is bad for children based on the rates of violence in homosexual and heterosexual relationships, you said that “Married men and women experience significantly less intimate partner violence than do homosexual men and women.”

    Are you comparing married men and women to *unmarried* homosexuals? If so, how do unmarried relationships between heterosexuals fare in the same regard?

    How do you think the rates of violence between homosexual couples would change if they were married?

    In other words, what part of the violence has to do with their sexual orientation (I hate that word) and what part has to do with their marital status?

    • TerranceH says:

      ogtracy,

      1. From what I can tell, the Family Research Council included statistics from Holland in their study. SS-M is legal in Holland.

      2. See 1.

      3. A contributing factor is the higher rates of mental illness found within the gay community.

      Bailey, J.M. (1999): Commentary: Homosexuality and mental illness. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry. 56, 876-880.

      Herrell, R.; Goldberg, J.; True,W.R.; Ramakrishnan, V.; Lyons, M.; Eisen,S.; Tsuang, M.T. (1999): Sexual orientation and suicidality: a co-twin control study in adult men. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 56, 867-874.

      Sandfort, T.G.M.; de Graaf, R.; Bijl, R.V.; Schnabel (2001): Same-sex sexual behavior and psychiatric disorders. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry. 58, 85-91.

      Valleroy, L. A.; Secura, G.; Mackellor, D.; Behel,S. (2001): High HIV and risk behavior prevalence among 23- to 29- year-old men who have sex with men in 6 U.S. Cities. Poster 211 at 8th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic

      Gonsiorek, J.C. (1991): The empirical basis for the demise of the illness model of homosexuality. In: Homosexuality: Research Implications for Public Policy. (Eds: Gonsiorek,J.; Weinrich, J.D.) Sage, 115-136.

      Some people would dismiss this by claiming stigmatism, but even studies conducted in European nations, where homosexuality is widely accepted, show similar rates of mental illness. It’s disproportionate.

      I should mention that I’ve never taken a stance on the SS-M issue myself. I play Devil’s Advocate sometimes, but truth be told, I simply haven’t decided.

  23. ogtracy says:

    Thanks a lot. This should be of some help.

  24. [...] The secular reasons have to do with cultural morés, psychological  influences on children, keeping the population healthy, providing  familial protection for children, genealogical respect for inheritances,  etc.   Financial reasons also exist. Illegitimacy rates increase  exponentially. (for those who like to think that gay marriage has no  effect on heterosexual marriage customs.)  Statistical  information here [...]

  25. [...] to think that gay marriage has no effect on heterosexual marriage customs, there’s plenty of statistical information to the [...]

  26. Well reasoned W.K.

    I am also working on a secular case against SSM. Health, wealth and well being of the society could be the key to argue against SSM.

    Thank you so much W.K

    Prayson

  27. Katie says:

    @WinteryKnight:

    It seems that the previous thread is too deeply embedded for me to post on, so I’ll post my reply here.

    I apologize for not including all of the relevant links earlier; I was trying to explain to Stan what supporters of gay marriage do believe, not fully substantiate those beliefs.

    That, with your permission, I’ll do here.

    Homosexuality is genetic:
    I did not choose to be straight. I could not choose to be gay. I doubt you feel any differently.

    There’s also the fact that many species of animals have homosexuality.

    But, of course, peer-reviewed empirical evidence outweighs mere intuitive answers like these. And the evidence appears to indicate that sexuality is a result of many factors, none of which we control: genes, epigenetics, number of older siblings, and exposure to hormones in development.

    Genes and epigenetics: We haven’t yet found the “gay gene”, because, like for many traits, there are probably several. But we’ve determined that they are probably on the X chromosome:

    Camperio-Ciani, A., et al. (2004). Evidence for maternally-inherited factors favouring male homosexuality and promoting female fecundity. Proceedoings of the Royal Society of London, B 271, 2217-2224.

    Bocklandt S, Horvath S, Vilain E, Hamer DH (February 2006). “Extreme skewing of X chromosome inactivation in mothers of homosexual men”. Hum. Genet. 118 (6): 691–4. DOI:10.1007/s00439-005-0119-4. PMID 16369763.

    Camperio Ciani, A. (2009). Genetic factors increase fecundity in female maternal relatives of Bisexual men as in homosexuals. Sexual Medicine, 6, 449-455.

    Camperio Ciani, A. (2012). Factors Associated with Higher Fecundity in Female Maternal Relatives of Homosexual Men. Sexual Medicine. I can’t find links for the others, but this one is available online: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1743-6109/earlyview

    number of older siblings:
    Bocklandt S, Horvath S, Vilain E, Hamer DH (February 2006). “Extreme skewing of X chromosome inactivation in mothers of homosexual men”. Hum. Genet. 118 (6): 691–4. DOI:10.1007/s00439-005-0119-4. PMID 16369763.

    Blanchard R, Klassen P (April 1997). “H-Y antigen and homosexuality in men”. J. Theor. Biol. 185 (3): 373–8. DOI:10.1006/jtbi.1996.0315. PMID 9156085.

    Anthony F. Bogaert & Malvina Skorska (April 2011). “Sexual orientation, fraternal birth order, and the maternal immune hypothesis: a review”. Frontiers in neuroendocrinology 32 (2): 247–254. DOI:10.1016/j.yfrne.2011.02.004. PMID 21315103.

    That second one is a meta-study which examines all of the previous research on the study; I highly recommend you take a look at it.

    hormones in development:
    Wilson, G.D. & Rahman, Q (2005) Born Gay: The Psychobiology of Sex Orientation, Peter Owen, London
    Brodie HK, Gartrell N, Doering C, Rhue T (January 1974). “Plasma testosterone levels in heterosexual and homosexual men”. Am J Psychiatry 131 (1): 82–3. PMID 4808435.
    Garcia-Falgueras, Alicia, & Swaab, Dick F., Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation, in Endocrine Development, vol. 17, pp. 22–35 (2010) (ISSN 1421-7082) (authors are of Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, of Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) (author contact is 2d author) (vol. 17 is Sandro Loche, Marco Cappa, Lucia Ghizzoni, Mohamad Maghnie, & Martin O. Savage, eds., Pediatric Neuroendocrinology).

    Now, let’s discuss those twin studies.

    Firstly, you’re representing these studies as “showing homosexuality is not genetic”. What they actually show is that homosexuality is only partially genetic; that’s consistent with the results above, where factors such as birth order and hormone exposure (yes, even identical twins can be exposed to different hormones) explain the rest of the variation.

    Secondly, the studies looked at whether both twins were openly homosexual; if one twin were openly homosexual and the other was closeted, they would be recorded as “one homosexual and one straight”. In on 10% of cases are both twins openly gay? That’s unsurprising, since by some estimates only 10% of gay men are “out”.

    On your next point, cohabitation is not the same as marriage. It does not have the same social implications as marriage, and it does not carry with it the same responsibility and commitment as marriage. Comparing cohabiting gays to married straights is comparing apples to grenades.

    So let’s do a fair comparison, apples to apples. Are cohabiting gay couples less stable than cohabiting straight couples? I can’t find much.(And, in fact, your link talks about how cohabiting in general is bad). I agree. It is. So let them get married!

    • Wesley Lowe says:

      By that reasoning, Katie, I can just as easily prove that Basketball-Players are born that way.

      Suppose you are motivated to demonstratefor political reasons–that there is a basketball gene that makes people grow up to be basketball players. You would use the same methods that have been used with homosexuality: (1) twin studies; (2) brain dissections; (3) gene “linkage” studies.

      The basic idea in twin studies is to show that the more genetically similar two people are, the more likely it is that they will share the trait you are studying.

      So you identify groups of twins in which at least one is a basketball player. You will probably find that if one identical twin is a basketball player, his twin brother is statistically more likely be one, too. You would need to create groups of different kinds of pairs to make further comparisons–one set of identical twin pairs, one set of nonidentical twin pairs, one set of sibling pairs, etc.

      Using the “concordance rate” (the percentage of pairs in which both twins are basketball players, or both are not), you would calculate a “heritability” rate. The concordance rate would be quite high–just as in the concordance rate for homosexuality.

      Then, you announce to the reporter from Sports Illustrated: “Our research demonstrates that basketball playing is strongly heritable.” (And you would be right. It would be “heritable”–but not directly inherited. Few readers would be aware of the distinction, however.)

      Soon after, the article appears. It says:

      “…New research shows that basketball playing is probably inherited. Basketball players are apparently ‘born that way!’ A number of outside researchers examined the work and found it substantially accurate and wellperformed…”

      But no one (other than the serious scientist) notices the media’s inaccurate reporting.

      In fact, what the majority of respected scientists now believe is that homosexuality is attributable to a combination of psychological, social, and biological factors.

      From the American Psychological Association
      “[M]any scientists share the view that sexual orientation is shaped for most people at an early age through complex interactions of biological, psychological and social factors.”

      From “Gay Brain” Researcher Simon LeVay
      “At this point, the most widely held opinion [on causation of homosexuality] is that multiple factors play a role.”

      From Sociologist Steven Goldberg
      “I know of no one in the field who argues that homosexuality can be explained without reference to environmental factors.”

      There is no evidence that homosexuality is simply “genetic”–and none of the research itself claims there is.

      Only the press and certain researchers do, when speaking in sound bites to the public.

      • Katie says:

        Of course homosexuality is caused by multiple factors! Those factors are genetic, epigenetic, birth order, and hormones in development. Please reread my original article: I repeatedly stated that homosexuality is not purely genetic, but that all of the contributing factors are outside a person’s control.

        By environmental factors, most sociologists and biologists mean factors like hormone exposure in the womb.

        By “multiple factors”, Simon LeVay means the four factors I mention above, plus other, similar factors that haven’t yet been discovered.

        To extend your analogy, it’s as if basketball ability were determined to be 50% genetic, with the other half determined by birth order, X chromosome inactivation, and hormone exposure in developments. Imagine it was demonstrated that every single person with the right cocktail of these characteristics became a professional basketball player. I would then completely agree with the statement “Being a professional basketball player isn’t a choice,” even though it is only 50% genetic!

        That’s exactly what is going on with homosexuality. Kids raised in every possible faith and childhood environment end up gay. That ought to itself be a reductio of the claim that post-birth “social factors’ contribute. Can you present me with a single piece of research that identifies a “social factor” that contributes to the development of homosexuality?

        No, it’s not 100% genetic. But it’s 100% not a choice.

        • Wesley Lowe says:

          “No, it’s not 100% genetic. But it’s 100% not a choice.”

          That makes as much sense as saying that being a basketball player is not a choice. We all have behavioral urges. What we do with them is up to each and every one of us.

          Just ask the thousands of ex gays who can testify to their change.

          http://www.pfox.org

          http://www.peoplecanchange.com

          • Katie says:

            Of course, you can make the choice not to have sex with men even if you are attracted to them. You can’t choose whether to be attracted to them, though.

            The ex-gay movement has no empirical support. Virtually all of the people “treated” with this treatment, which has been condemned by every major psychological and medical associate, either “regress” later or commit suicide. That’s why the APA recognizes the scientific consensus that sexuality can not be changed under any circumstances.

            The few scientists who have claimed the this treatment worked have since relayed that the evidence is overwhelmingly against their position; they all recanted and apologized tot eh gay community for implying that changing sexual orientation worked. Springer, Rober. “Sexual Behavior, Volume 4, #4). http://www.springerlink.com/content/0018m8113517qp1x/

            Of course, anyone who believes the biblical teaching that homosexuality is sinful can choose not to have sex. But please don’t pretend that they chose to deal with that attraction in the first place.

            Or, at the very least, please link to peer-reviewed evidence to support your claim.

        • Sam says:

          How about the hugely disproportionate rate of transvestitism in Thailand compared to neighbouring countries (and anywhere else in the world).

          Or the low rates of homosexuality in the Middle East.

          How about fafafines in Samoan culture.

    • Chrisitna says:

      I am not convinced that homosexuality is genetic – and it would appear scienitific studies are not convinced, either.

      Children go through a gender-crisis at young ages. They haven’t learned their identity yet. The idea that homosexuality can be genetic or that we should be “tolerant” and accepting of it has led to a lot of confusion by many parents on how to deal with toddler sons who want to play with dolls, wear dresses, and refer to themselves as princesses because they don’t want to “shut out” their child.

      As a result, they aren’t being effective at teaching their children openly about gender differences – even biologically pointing out the fact to their child that they have the anatomy of a certain gender.

      Further more, parents are confused by the attempt to not shut their children out of areas that have generally been dominated by the opposite gender and end up passively directing them into a behavior (not just a hobby) that is not appropriate for a child.

      Bottom line is, all this homo-acceptance is causing issues in parenting that never existed before. So its a little hard to tell if this is really genetic or simply learned (or accepted) behavior while still trying to figure out what being a boy (or girl) is all about.

  28. Wesley Lowe says:

    Katie,

    Strange that you would mention the American Psychological Association, because as of 2009, they no longer contend that homosexuality is innate or genetic:

    “There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors.”

    I never said that it was easy to quit a vice. People struggle with violent impulses or with urges to smoke and drink all their lives. But to declare that people have no choices concerning them has no scientific basis.

    Sexual attraction is a psychological issue and the fact of the matter is that gays seem more prone to commit suicide no matter what the circumstances. For instance, according to Youth Risk Behavior: In 2001, gay teens in Massachussetts were almost four times more likely to have attempted suicide (31 percent versus 8 percent). In 2007 — after four years of legalized gay marriage in that state — gay teens were still about four times more likely to attempt suicide than non-gay teens (29 percent versus 6 percent).

    Regardless of whatever urges or temptations one has, there is ALWAYS a choice. ALWAYS!

    • Katie says:

      That doesn’t answer my point: the APA agrees that it is impossible to change your sexual orientation. They haven’t yet identified the “gay gene”, and there’s likely more than one, so they don’t want to take a stand on such a hot-button issue. But the science is completely settled with respect to whether sexual orientation can be changed. It can’t.

      That doesn’t mean there isn’t a choice: you can choose to have sex with people who you aren’t attracted to (the opposite gender), or you can choose not to have sex. Imagine for a second that you were still heterosexual, but you believed heterosexuality to be immoral: you might choose to abstain from sex, or you might go along with morality and have gay sex, but you would still, deep down, be straight. You could not change that.

      Right?

      So yes, you have lots of choices about what behavior to participate in. But saying you have a choice about whether to be gay or straight is like saying you have a choice about whether to grow up into a man or a woman. It’s simply false. If you wouldn’t tell a little girl “Well, society might say it’s okay for you to grow up into a woman, but I disagree. It’s immoral, and you can be a man if you try hard enough. You may have to struggle to overcome being a woman, just like addicts struggle to overcome their addiction, but you can do it! You can grow into a man if you pray enough! You always have a choice!” then don’t tell the same thing to gay people.

      You have still failed to link to any peer-reviewed evidence that changing sexual orientation works – can I again request that you do so?

      • Wesley Lowe says:

        I have already referred you to sites that record the storeis of ex gays who testify to their change. To imply that they are liars suggests that you and the APA have the power to read minds. I know from experience that sexual oreintation can change for an individual over time. I, myself, had same sex attraction as a teenager but no longer have them now that I am an adult. Are you going to call me a liar, now?

        The fact of the matter is that the APA was bullied into removing homosexuality as a mental disorder by militant activists and now claim that the APA based their decision on new scientific discoveries. This is false.

        In Chapter 4 of “Diagnostic Politics: Homosexuality and the American Psychiatric Association,” author Dr. Ronald Bayer writes that the first attack by homosexual activists against the APA began in 1970 when the APA held its convention in San Francisco. Homosexual activists decided to disrupt the conference by interrupting speakers and shouting down and ridiculing psychiatrists who viewed homosexuality as a mental disorder. In 1971, homosexual activist Frank Kameny worked with the Gay Liberation Front collective to demonstrate against the APA’s convention. At the 1971 conference, Kameny grabbed the microphone and yelled, “Psychiatry is the enemy incarnate. Psychiatry has waged a relentless war of extermination against us. You may take this as a declaration of war against you.” Homosexuals forged APA credentials and gained access to exhibit areas in the conference. They threatened anyone who claimed that homosexuals needed to be cured.

        Kameny was then permitted to be part of a panel of psychiatrists who were to discuss homosexuality. The effort to remove homosexuality as a mental disorder from the DSM was the result of power politics, threats, and intimidation, not scientific discoveries.

        Your assertions are part of numerous homosexual urban legends that have infiltrated every aspect of our culture. Looking at the bigger picture, one can conclude that the claims of many psychological and medical associates are based more on political correctness influenced by the cash and support of wealthy special interest groups than any actual medical and psychological science.

        • Katie says:

          There’s a lot of mudslinging, bad science, and political pressure on both sides of the debate. But are you still holding a grudge over something that happened in 1970s? Scientific research has moved on, and, however distasteful the tactics of the LGBT community, the research has overwhelmingly vindicated their position – check out all the articles I linked to in my initial post.

          I invite you again to link to any “actual medical and psychological science” that supports your point.

          With respect to the “ex-gay” community, numerous journal articles have provided reasons to believe that self-assessments aren’t a reliable way of understanding sexuality. People are often pressured by their community, their faith, confirmation bias, and the format of surveys to identify as a sexuality that doesn’t truly represent them. That said, you have the right to identify as whatever sexuality you would like- be that ex-gay, gay, straight, transgender, or anything else. I have no right to challenge your self-assessment. I respect you no matter how you identify yourself, and I’d prefer not to debate this further – I think discussion of the peer-reviewed research in this area can easy slide into personal attacks.

          So I’ll conclude our discussion by saying I’m glad you are happy with your sexual identity, and I will fight to protect your right to marry the person you love. I have no right to tell you that your sexuality isn’t “real” or that it is a “disorder”, whatever the evidence says.

          Thanks for the fascinating discussion.

          • Wesley Lowe says:

            I’m sorry, Katie, but what went on during the seventies is still going on today. Only now the homosexual lobby is more aggressive in suppressing any scientific and/or psychological studies that conflict with their dogma.

            Take the Regnerus study for example, the new study on same-sex parenting by University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus, which finds that young-adult children of parents who have had same-sex relationships are more likely to suffer from a range of emotional and social problems. The study was incidentally reviewed by three major family sociologists, Paul Amato, Cynthia Osbourne, and David Eggebeen.

            Now, it is being viciously smeared by the media and a board of inquiry is being put together to investigate allegations of academic misconduct — brought not by a fellow academic, but by a gay-activist blogger. Several sociologists have come to Regnerus’s defense, saying it’s unprecedented for a highly respected, tenured professor to be investigated on such charges because a blogger didn’t like the study’s findings.

            True, the Regnerus study confounds the prevailing sense of homosexual parenting touted by the mainstream media. However, several social scientists have pointed out the serious limitations of those studies — including statistically insignificant samples, and participants recruited from ads in gay publications who self-report their children’s outcomes.

            Those studies have been accepted because “their findings are politically correct,” Dr. Byron Johnson, a professor of sociology at Baylor University and co-director for the Institute for Studies of Religion said. “And people say we’re supposed to throw out Regnerus’s study? You don’t throw everything out, but you do have to go back and look at everything. But to say the previous studies trump his, which is what they’re implying, is ridiculous.”

            The same can be said about the supposed “immutability” of homosexuality.

            In an interview with Fox News Studio B where Dr. Keith Ablow admits he hesitates to write about same-sex parenting and related issues because every time he does he gets threats.

            “…it’s such a controversial thing [talking about this issue], I have to tell you I hesitate to write the blog. Because every time I do I get threats — no I get threats, people come, they’re going to come to my office, they’re going to burn down my house, it’s incredible … in this politically correct insane environment, citing data doesn’t seem to be compelling enough, because there’s a lot of hatred.”

            The articles you refer to had been made in an environment of political correctness that is enforced by threats and intimidation, not science.

          • I would like to see if anyone can do a similar large-scale study and replicate or contradict his results. His study is the largest that I know of – the most number of people.

          • Katie says:

            I’m familiar with both the examples you mention – Regnerus’s study and the threats that researchers face. I hope you realize that those who support gay marriage face just as much harassment, intimidation, and hatred. Pro-marriage groups receive death threats. Most of the gay teenagers driven to suicide by their peers every day report harassment, bullying, and death threats as well. Researchers who publish results supporting gay marriage faced a media firestorm as well, up until a few years ago.

            Any one who engages in this behavior is reprehensible, but that doesn’t make the position they support wrong or right.

            With respect to Regnerus’s study, he makes the same mistake as you. He studies family stability, and finds that stable families are better. He also finds that gay families, up until this point, have not been stable. He concludes that gay families are bad.

            What?

            Regnerus’s data clearly shows that the kids who had negative outcomes had trouble because their families were unstable. When pressured after the study came out, he acknowledged that the biggest factor apparent in the data was family stability. The data indicates that the longer a kid’s parents stayed together, the better the outcome (gay or straight), though he notes that we can’t be sure of this result because of the small sample size. As he said when clarifying the study, “The longer the household stay of the two-LMs, the better the kids’ outcomes appear at face value, but a meaningful statistical comparison of those few is just not possible.”

            The most logical conclusion is that we need to encourage gays to form stable relationships by allowing them access to this country’s best legal institution for encouraging family stability: marriage.

            Numerous other scholars immediately asked Regnerus why he didn’t even acknowledge or answer this perspective in his essay. His answer is that “I thought the information we could learn deserved a hearing.” I completely agree, but he should have billed his study as what it was – overwhelming evidence that children need stable families and that divorce and instability are bad – instead of what it wasn’t – a study of whether kids raised with gay parents are less happy and
            successful than kids with straight parents.

            Having read his study, numerous critiques of it, and his responses, I think an academic malpractice investigation is excessive. But he certainly misbilled his study as suggesting gay parenting is bad, a conclusion that was not supported by the data, and I think the controversy reflects some missteps on his part as well. Another misstep was the fact that the study was paid for by anti-gay marriage groups who exaggerated its conclusions in their own press releases. He could have avoided most of the criticism he faced had he accepted funding from multiple sources, including some neutral ones or some ones who supported gay marriages. His decision to rely entirely on groups that were vehemently opposed to gay rights further damaged his legitimacy.

            I completely agree that more studies should be conducted. Perhaps they can be funded by a neutral source, and we can try to look only at what conclusions are actually supported by the data?

      • Tracy says:

        Katie, what evidence has led the APA to say that sexual orientation cannot be changed? You don’t seem to have provided this evidence. You have merely asserted that it exists. If Wesley can point out people who claim to have changed, the response is not to say his evidence is not enough and demand that what he provides be peer reviewed if you have yet to provide any evidence of your own.

        • Katie says:

          Please look at my comment that began this thread, which lists at least a dozen peer-reviewed studies which have demonstrated that sexual orientation is caused by genetic, epigenetic, hormonal, and similar non-controllable factors. I can list more, of course, but this is a good starting point for discussion.

          Suicides by gay students were dramatically higher back when they were told it was a psychiatric disorder. Any gay students who still feel depressed (mostly because society tells them that their sexual orientation is a “disorder”) can be treated for depression. Implying that they can’t be treated because of the redesignation is blatently false. Even if that weren’t true, though, the APA should make its designations based on the evidence (which indicates that homosexuality has nothing in common with other mental illnesses), not on the politics (pressure from anti-gay rights groups or from pro-gay rights groups). As I said, my evidence is above; if you have any you’d like to present, go ahead!

          You write: “When the state gets into the business of telling people that there is only one right way to think and feel about moral issues, then they are claiming authority over our hearts and minds – and that’s bad news for us all.”

          Agreed. Anti-gay marriage people are trying to impose their own way of thinking about moral issues on everyone else, by banning OTHER people from getting married to the people they love. If anyone were forcing you to accept gay marriage, or forcing churches to host gay marriages, or forcing you to get a gay marriage, I would completely agree with you. Good thing that the state is not doing this.

          Let’s agree to disagree: You can believe that being gay is unnatural and immoral. You can tell your children this. You can refuse to attend gay marriages. You can cross the street when you see a gay couple coming. You can even write online about how the millions of happy, healthy gay Americans all suffer from a psychiatric disorder and ought to be “treated” with treatments that are provably ineffective.

          Just don’t try to use the state to enforce this moral position on everyone else, by banning marriages that contradict your personal moral code.

          • Wesley Lowe says:

            Katie,

            Do you have any evidence backing the claim that gay suicides were higher in the past than they are now? I have been searching for graphs that track the gay suicide rate over the decades and I haven’t been able to find any – anymore than I have been able to find any evidence that homosexuality can never be changed other than opinions backed up more by political correctness than by science that prove that all the thousands of ex-gays out there are liars.

            Gay activists have been using bullying and intimidation tactics to get the studies they want for years. That is more obvious now than it ever was. And that has created a stronger foothold for them to force their version of morality on the rest of society.

            Everywhere SS”M” is legal, people of faith have been fired, sued, and ostrasized for being true to their religion. Our children are being indoctrinated in public schools with homosexual dogma, and churches have been threatened with the loss of their tax exempt status. And that’s just the beginning.

            Your views are more based on emotional bias than any amount of logic or science, a bias that blinds you to the threat that SS”M” activists pose to our civil and religious liberties.

          • I think a useful study to do would be to see the difference in suicide rates for homosexuals in countries where it is affirmed and accepted and countries where it is merely tolerated, but disapproved of. It could be that the people feel badly because of the act itself being unhealthy and guilt-inducing. For example, I would expect that there would be a much higher rate of suicide among people who have a gambling addiction.

          • Katie says:

            That would be a fascinating study to have conducted. I can’t find one that does cross-country comparisons, but there’s one that looks at suicide rates in conservative parts of America and liberal parts of America. Students growing up in liberal parts of the country (which are presumably more accepting of homosexuality) are 9% higher in conservative areas and 20% higher if they have an unsupportive family. (The study was by psychologist Mark Hatzenbueler of Columbia University; I can’t find a link that isn’t behind a paywall).

            His data also hints at the tricky issue I was discussing with Mr. Lowe – it shows that gay teens developing psychiatric disorders have jumped sharply in states that pass a gay marriage ban. That implies that these psychiatric disorders are not innate to being gay, but are a result of societal rejection. Of course, this evidence is not definitive. I also can’t find a single comprehensive study of gay suicide rates in states that have legalized gay marriage; this seems like a major failing and I’m amazed people on both sides of the debate aren’t working on it.

            This doesn’t explain all of the variance between gay and straight kids, though. Gay kids are still more likely to commit suicide. Having grown up in what Hatzenbueler would characterize as a “liberal” community, I will testify that at least half of my classmates still openly said that they thought being gay as a disease and that their gay classmates were immoral people and undeserving of rights (even if the kids in question weren’t having sex; just the fact they identified as gay was sufficient to draw this vitriol). Obviously, a comparison with liberal areas of the US is insufficient; we really want a comparison with Sweden, Norway, or other countries which have accepted gay marriage.

            I can’t find any. If you can, and they indicate that gay suicide rates are still significantly higher, I’ll have to reconsider my beliefs. If you can, and they indicate that gay suicide rates fall to the same level as straight suicide rates, will you reconsider yours?

          • Tracy says:

            Unfortunately, I can’t find most of those studies either. I looked at the one you linked to. This is from the abstract.

            Results.  Our analysis showed that both mothers and maternal aunts of homosexual men show increased fecundity compared with corresponding maternal female relatives of heterosexual men. A two-step statistical analysis, which was based on t-tests and multiple logistic regression analysis, showed that mothers and maternal aunts of homosexual men (i) had fewer gynecological disorders; (ii) had fewer complicated pregnancies; (iii) had less interest in having children; (iv) placed less emphasis on romantic love within couples; (v) placed less importance on their social life; (vi) showed reduced family stability; (vii) were more extraverted; and (viii) had divorced or separated from their spouses more frequently.

            Conclusions.  Our findings are based on a small sample and would benefit from a larger replication, however they suggest that if sexually antagonistic genetic factors that induce homosexuality in males exist, the factors might be maintained in the population by contributing to increased fecundity greater reproductive health, extraversion, and a generally relaxed attitude toward family and social values in females of the maternal line of homosexual men.

            That is not a study showing that the gay gene is on the x chromosome. It is a study showing that if there were such a gene, it is maintained in the population because its carriers produce more children.

            All the other studies you listed in that group seem to be saying the same thing.

          • Tracy says:

            That said, you didn’t really answer my question. I asked for links to evidence that homosexual people cannot change and you pointed me to evidence saying that homosexuality is determined by several factors. Do you or the APA have anything that contradicts the claim of those people who say they used to be homosexual and now aren’t?

            I have found something on the issue of what determines homosexuality, but I am yet to read it. You can look at the abstract here:

            http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.02024.x/full

          • Tracy says:

            Correction: The link to the abstract for that study is here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.02024.x/abstract

            The other link leads to the article page, not the abstract.

  29. Wesley Lowe says:

    Katie, I already pointed out that homosexuals are more prone to commit suicide regardless of the circumstances. That is why the APA should never had caved into the bullying and intimidation by gay activists and removed homosexuality as a mental disorder. This has made the gay suicide situation worse since homosexuality can no longer be treated as a psychological disorder. What’s even more reprehensible is that activists use these suicides to promote their political agenda.

    And keep in mind that the pro SS”M” crowd has the mainstream media on their side, so they are better shilded from whatever harshness that are directed at them. In contrast, the main stream media serves as a megaphone for the left to shout down all who dissent. So boths sides are hardly on equal footing.

    I should also point out that everywhere that SS”M” is legal, only about 5% of all gays acctually tie the knot as opposed to over 50% of heterosexuals – after the initial surge of gay marriages, that is. This tells me that this is not so much about gays getting married and establishing stable relationships as it is about recriuting the government to sponser a pro gay ideology and imposing it on the rest of society, complete with ostrasizing and oppressing all who dissent.

    When the state gets into the business of telling people that there is only one right way to think and feel about moral issues, then they are claiming authority over our hearts and minds – and that’s bad news for us all.

  30. Tracy says:

    For those interested, after following Katie’s paper trails (not all of them, sadly) I have come to several conclusions.

    1. There is no consensus on what causes homosexual attractions despite research into different possible explanations
    2. Several genetic, biological and social factors seem to correlate with homosexuality including number of older siblings, maternal fecundity (and marital instability, interest in children, emphasis on social life and romantic love, divorce and separation) as documented in my previous comments
    3. Most people seem to have no sense of choice about who they are sexually attracted to, they just develop that way.
    4. Some people have reported varying degrees of change in their sexual orientation as a result of therapy (which does not agree with Katie’s claim that people cannot change) but this therapy was ineffective for some other people.

    I can now declare that I do not know why people are gay. Not that any of that information changes the fact that legalizing same sex marriage is a bad idea.

  31. Steve says:

    Since gay couples can’t have children, why are you using children to deny the right of a gay couple to get married?

    Or better yet, how does denying a gay couple the right to get married promote responsible procreation or keep more children with their biological parents?

    None of these arguments make any sense.

    Okay, fine, suppose the gay couple has children, wouldn’t we (as society) want to help support those children by giving their parents all the benefits that come with marriage? Or perhaps you think these children are not worth the added support because they come from a ‘non-traditional’ household.

    If you begin to think about it, none of these arguments make any sense at all. The logic simply falls apart. And that’s why these arguments can’t stand up in court because they can’t withstand strict scrutiny.

    • Chrisitna says:

      It furthers the notion that marriage is about who you love instead of a stable environment in which to produce and raise the next generation.

      Hate to break it to you, but marriage for “love” is a bit of a new idea in the grand scheme of things.

      These people already have the right to have sex with whoever they want.

      Our society has already compromised marriage to be about “love” instead of children, hence the erosion marriage is already experiencing.

      I kind of found the stats in Scandanavia rather interesting and telling. Why didn’t you?

  32. [...] also be noted, however, that religion is not the only basis upon which this argument is formed.  Secular arguments use facts about homosexual promiscuity and relationship duration to speak against gay [...]

  33. [...] del artículo por J. Warner Wallace ¿Aprendiste? ¡Compártelo!TwitterFacebookStumbleUponTumblrCorreo [...]

    • Thanks, Scott. We keep debating SSM at the level of feelings in this country. What we need to do is have all the pro-marriage people be aware of evidence like this, and debate from the facts. Undecided people need to see that the facts are all on one side, and the feelings on the other.

  34. NorbertR says:

    As a married atheist of 35 years who co-habitated with his wife before he married her I must be one of the lucky ones. ;-) According to the stats the odds were against us staying together.

    One thing I’ve come to see is that it’s silly to pigeon-hole those for and against SSM. An ex-high profile practising Roman Catholic politician in Australia supports SSM. That shoots down the argument that it’s only the religous who are anti-SSM. I also have read articles by Australian right-wing conservatives making the case for SSM. Another furphy put to bed about conservative’s bigotry. And not all non-religous folk are moral degenerates who are pro-SSM as a default position just to stick it to the Christians. I, for one, wholeheartedly, am against SSM.

    I was undecided initially but as the pro arguments became thicker on the ground I found them acceptable. Then one day I read an article in my national newspaper by a female Christian using a secular reasoning and I started re-evaluating my position. The argument she used had all those used by WK but the one that wobbled me was the statement that the biggest benefit of heterosexual marriage, no matter what the society, was the protection it afforded women and children. Financially, physically and societally. She expended a few paragraphs in explaining this and although it took many months of reflection this was the argument that turned me around. Although I never wanted to be a father, that’s what’s happened and I have no regrets. That’s why I’m anti-SSM. A society that deliberately chooses to “eat” its young is screwed. There are a myriad ways we can do that and if we proceed even though it will take generations for it to come and kick us in the backside and hard, it’s a certainty. I don’t want to go my grave knowing that either my indifference or support helped to bring it about. To that end I’ve written a letter to my local polly stating that I’m anti-SSM. Not much of an activist thing I know but one does what one can. Better to light a candle, right? :-)

  35. Chrisitna says:

    WK –

    I really liked this article. It skimmed over something that I think is hugely relevant, but otherwise, it was a very convincing read.

    My only problem was concerning the reason for traditional marriage. However, my view on it is not very widely accepted. Birth control being a reason for it.

    With traditional marriage being entered into for the reasons of “love”, there’s always going to be the debate on why people aren’t allowed to marry whoever it is they love. Traditional marriage is supposed to be for the raising and nurturing of children – something the majority of Americans have outright rejected already.

    As long as we keep accepting a definition built around love, we’re going to be fighting on weakened ground.

    • I agree with you completely that marriage is not engaged in for love, but to put boundaries on sexuality, to unite male and female natures in a strong bond, and to provide a stable environment in which to raise children. A little planning about who to marry based on what marriage requires is worth a lot more than a lot of feelings and desires.

      • Steve says:

        WK: Are you interested in legislation that would put an end to short term marriages? I’m thinking about the classic Britney Spears marriage, to name just one example.

        Or perhaps legislation describing who the right person is to marry? Clearly you know what a successful marriage ‘requires’ and I’m sure everyone would appreciate the input!

  36. jon says:

    Very well thought out. I am very glad to find supporters of traditional marriage. Your research is very helpful to me in the writing of my government essay. So thank you!

  37. NorbertR says:

    I recently read an article by an Australian Anglican priest that contrary to homosexual claims, it’s not about rights or removing discrimination, it’s about changing the concept of marriage. Once that occurs the concept of parent hood changes, which undermines the legal recognition of motherhood and fatherhood. This affects the whole community, not just homosexuals. Let’s not, he states, pretend this isn’t a slippery slope.

    This is my great fear also.

  38. Love them says:

    Good info wintery knight. it’s not hateful, but loving, when you help people understand behavior that is harmful (physically and psychologically) to themselves and others.

  39. […] effects of SSM on children, civil society and business, and public health.  Check it out here.  For more evidence of the negative consequences of SSM, particularly its menacing impact on […]

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