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The Negative Effects of Same-sex Marriages (Updated 9/14/11)

BY CARLOTTA MORROW OCTOBER 13, 2008POSTED IN: FEATURED ARTICLE, HOMOSEXUALITY, MARRIAGE, PROPOSITION 8, TOP POSTS

As the debate continues and more and more people become convinced that to love all people means to accept the aberrant behavior of the homosexual, the need for beneficial information abounds. Real facts regarding the negative effects of same-sex unions and how it affects not only individuals, but communities and even entire cultures becomes sought after, resulting in blogs such as this one whose most popular articles are the result of searches for negative effects of homosexuality.

10 Really Bad Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage


. Argument #1: That same-sex marriage would destroy the institution of marriage. Point by point:

The Scandinavian studies to which the article presumably refers are the work of right-wing author Stanley Kurtz, who attempted to prove that same-sex marriage decreased the rate of heterosexual marriage in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. This work has been discredited; see the last paragraph on this page for a summary explaining why. The often-quoted reference from Romans 1:29-32 omits the following verse, Romans 2:1, which reads "Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things." No credible study has ever found that children are negatively impacted by being raised in a lesbian or gay household.

Argument #2: That if same-sex marriage is legalized, polygamy will follow. Even if this concern had a rational basis, a simpler solution to this problem would be to propose a constitutional amendment banning polygamy--which would be easily ratified--rather than fooling around with an anti-gay constitutional amendment that only one-third of Americans support. Argument #3: That same-sex marriage would make heterosexual divorces too easy. No, seriously. The article actually describes this as an "even greater objective of the homosexual movement" than the legalization of same-sex marriage proper. The article makes no real attempt to explain why this would happen, or how this would happen, but presumably one is expected to accept the statement at face value without giving any real thought to it. Argument #4: That same-sex marriage would require schools to teach tolerance. People who support same-sex marriage also tend to support tolerance education in public schools, but the former isn't essential to the latter. Just ask Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who vetoed a bill legalizing samesex marriage and signed a bill enacting a gay-friendly public school tolerance curriculum in the same month. Argument #5: That same-sex married couples would be able to adopt. Again, this does not require same-sex marriage. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Oregon all specifically permit joint same-sex adoption, and most other states do not specifically prohibit it.

Argument #6: That foster parents would be required to pass sensitivity training. I'm not clear on what possible relationship this would have with same-sex marriage. Again, some states may require such training and some states may not, but the presence or absence of legalized same-sex marriage has nothing to do with the issue. Argument #7: That Social Security can't afford to pay for same-sex couples. In argument #1, the AFA article criticized the low marriage rate. But in order for Social Security to be an issue, lesbian and gay Americans would have to remain single altogether rather than becoming heterosexual. The Religious Right's vision of millions of lesbians and gay Americans converting to heterosexuality and marrying members of the opposite sex would have to be written off entirely in order to produce any economic benefit based on denying same-sex couples the right to marry. And any such benefit would be small-scale anyway. If 4% of the U.S. population identifies as lesbian or gay and half of lesbians and gay men get married, then that's only a 2% increase in the national marriage rate. That won't make or break Social Security. Argument #8: That legal U.S. same-sex marriage would encourage its spread. This is the only argument on the list that doesn't strain credulity. Legal same-sex marriage in the United States probably would encourage other nations to also legalize same-sex marriage. But Canada was really ahead of the curve on this one, and will probably be given most of the credit by historians. Argument #9: That same-sex marriage would make evangelism more difficult. And just what sort of evangelism are we talking about here, exactly? In any event, I find it remarkable that any contemporary Christian would see a social policy they don't like as an obstacle to evangelism. A little less than two millennia ago, Christians were actually being executed by the Roman Empire, and surviving texts do not indicate that they saw this as an impediment to evangelism. Why would a change in marriage law, one that does not even directly impact heterosexual couples, somehow destroy evangelism when several generations of Roman emperors could not? Argument #10: That same-sex marriage would bring about divine retribution. Again, a little perspective is in order. More than 3,000 children die every day of malaria; during the 1990s, an estimated 100 million children died of starvation; AIDS is sweeping the Global South; and the issue that will bring profound divine retribution is a change in marriage law?

SEVEN REASON WHY SAME SEX MARRIAGE ARE BAD


. Gays & lesbians make poor parents. Assertion: The State of Hawaii and court petitioners representing the Roman Catholic Church andThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claimed that gays and lesbians in committed relationships make inferior parents. The best way to assure that children get the best possible upbringing is to require spouses to be of different genders. Rebuttal: All of the witnesses in Baehr v. Miike -- both for the plaintiffs and the defense -- said that, on average, gay and lesbian couples are as loving as are opposite sex couples, and are equally as competent as parents. Since that court hearing, there have been many additional studies of the competency of gay and lesbian parents. Those conducted by groups opposed to same-sex marriage have generally found that homosexual parents are

inferior; those conducted by groups that support same-sex marriage, or which have no preconceived position have generally found that gay and lesbian couples are equal or superior to opposite-sex parents. 8 Children parented by lesbians or gays have been found to be no different from those raised in an opposite-sex household "...on measures of popularity, social adjustment, gender role behavior, gender identity, intelligence, self-concept, emotional problems, interest in marriage and parenting, locus of control, moral development, independence, ego functions, object relations, or self esteem." Also, no significant differences have been observed in regard to "teachers' and parents' evaluations of emotional and social behavior, fears, sleep disturbances, hyperactivity, and conduct differences." 9 It is true that a child in a same-sex household could lack contact with adults of the opposite gender from their parents. However, this can easily be compensated for by intentionally involving other adults of the appropriate gender in family activities. list of studies of gay and lesbian parenting.

2. Children need to be raised by their biological parents: Assertion: Children are better off when raised by their biological parents. In a same-sex marriage, at least one parent would be genetically unrelated to the child. Rebuttal: With a divorce rate approaching 50%, a large minority of children are parented by a genetically-unrelated adult at some time in their lives. This inevitably happens in the case of a step family. If the state is to deny gays and lesbians, on this basis, the right to marry the partner that they love and have made a commitment to, then the state should logically deny divorced persons with children the right to remarry the person that they love. Child adoption is based on the belief that genetically-unrelated adults can love a child as their own, and do a good job raising the child. Millennia of experience has shown that this system works.

3. A child with same-sex parents will be subjected to hate: Assertion: Raising a child in a home with gay or lesbian parents in effect punishes the child, because they would be exposed to homophobia by the public. Hatred directed at the child's parents would spread to the child. Rebuttal: Using the same argument, one could suggest that all inter-racial marriages should be banned and that all individuals of mixed-race ancestry should not be allowed to marry because their children will be of mixed racial ancestry and may experience racism from racial bigots. Other people's racism or homophobia should not be used to deny fundamental human rights to gays, lesbians, inter-racial couples and persons of mixedrace ancestry .

4. Marriage is only feasible if the couple is monogamous; same-sex couples cannot be: Assertion: Because of monogamy, marriage is an stable institution. This is apparently a reference to the state's belief that homosexual couples cannot be monogamous. Rebuttal: It is important to realize that most opposite-sex marriages are not monogamous. The percentage of heterosexual spouses who engage in at least one extra-marital "fling" approaches 50%. The percentage of opposite-sex marriages in which both partners are monogamous is less than 50%. The belief that same-sex partners cannot be monogamous appears to be based on a misuse of statistical data. A "lifestyle" is a way of life that an individual chooses for themselves. Examples are whether to live in the country or city; whether to work for a company or be self employed; whether to be married or remain single, etc. There is a general consensus among gays, lesbians, religious liberals, human sexuality researchers, and therapists that sexual orientation is fixed and not chosen. So, homosexuality itself cannot legitimately be referred to as a "lifestyle" for the simple reason that it is not chosen. However, within the gay and lesbian community, as within the heterosexual community, there do exist two main, identifiable lifestyles: married couples and singles. Various surveys have shown that the average adult single gay man does have many sexual partners per year. However, the average gay or lesbian in a committed relationships have few, if any, sexual experiences other than with their spouse.