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Ten Facts About Same Sex Marriage

by Timothy J. Dailey

The following are ten facts about same sex marriage, gay rights, and common misinformation.

Fact 1 - Homosexual marriage degrades a time-honored institution

Homosexual marriage is an empty pretense that lacks the fundamental sexual complementariness of male and female. And like all counterfeits, it cheapens and degrades the real thing. The destructive effects may not be immediately apparent, but the cumulative damage is inescapable. The eminent Harvard sociologist, Pitirim Sorokin, analyzed cultures spanning several thousand years on several continents, and found that virtually no society has ceased to regulate sexuality within marriage as traditionally defined, and survived.

Fact 2 - Homosexual marriage would radically redefine marriage to include virtually any sexual behavior

Once marriage is no longer confined to a man and a woman, and the sole criterion becomes the presence of "love" and "mutual commitment," it is impossible to exclude virtually any "relationship" between two or more partners of either sex. To those who scoff at concerns that gay marriage could lead to the acceptance of other harmful and widely-rejected sexual behaviors, it should be pointed out that until very recent times the very suggestion that two women or two men could "marry" would have been greeted with scorn. The movement to redefine marriage has already found full expression in what is variously called "polyfidelity" or "polyamory," which seeks to replace traditional marriage with a bewildering array of sexual combinations among various groups of individuals.

Fact 3 - Homosexual marriage is not a civil rights issue

Defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman would not deny homosexuals the basic civil rights accorded other citizens. Nowhere in the Bill of Rights or in any legislation proceeding from it are homosexuals excluded from the rights enjoyed by all citizens--including the right to marry. However, no citizen has the unrestricted right to marry whomever they want. A person cannot marry a child, a close blood relative, two or more spouses, or the husband or wife of another person. Such restrictions are based upon the accumulated wisdom not only of Western civilization but also of societies and cultures around the world for millennia.

Fact 4 - Upholding traditional marriage is not "discrimination"

Discrimination occurs when someone is unjustly denied some benefit or opportunity. But it must first be demonstrated that such persons deserve to be treated equally regarding the point in question. For example, FAA and airline regulations rightly discriminate regarding who is allowed into the cockpit of an airplane. Those who are not trained pilots have no rightful claim to "discrimination" because they are denied the opportunity to fly an airplane.   Similarly, the accumulated wisdom of thousands of years of human history, as expressed in virtually all cultures, has defined marriage as between a man and a woman.   Homosexual activists conveniently avoid the question of whether homosexual relationships merit being granted equality with marriage. Although not strictly comparable, radically altering the definition of marriage can also pose dangers to society in much the same way as permitting unqualified individuals to fly airplanes.

Fact 5 - Any comparison with interracial marriage is phony

Laws against interracial marriage sought to add a requirement to marriage that is not intrinsic to the institution of marriage. Allowing a black man to marry a white woman, or vice versa, does not change the fundamental definition of marriage, which requires a man and a woman. Homosexual marriage, on the other hand, is the radical attempt to discard this most basic requirement for marriage. Those who claim that some churches held interracial marriage to be morally wrong fail to point out that such "moral objection" to interracial marriage stemmed from cultural factors rather than historic and widely-accepted biblical teaching.

Fact 6 - Homosexual marriage would subject children to unstable home environments

Many homosexuals and their sex partners may sincerely believe they can be good parents. But children are not guinea pigs for grand social experiments in redefining marriage, and should not be placed in settings that are unsuitable for raising children.  

  • Transient relationships: While a high percentage of married couples remain married for up to 20 years or longer, with many remaining wedded for life, the vast majority of homosexual relationships are short-lived and transitory. This has nothing to do with alleged "societal oppression." A study in the Netherlands , a gay-tolerant nation that has legalized homosexual marriage, found the average duration of a homosexual relationship to be one and a half years.
  • Serial promiscuity: Studies indicate that while three-quarters or more of married couples remain faithful to each other, homosexual couples typically engage in a shocking degree of promiscuity. The same Dutch study found that "committed" homosexual couples have an average of eight sexual partners (outside of the relationship) per year.   Children should not be placed in unstable households with revolving bedroom doors.

Fact 7 - Homosexual activists have a political agenda: to radically redefine the institution of marriage

Homosexual activists admit that their goal is not simply to make the definition of marriage more "inclusive," but to remake it in their own hedonistic image. Paula Ettelbrick, former legal director of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, states, "Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex, sexuality, and family, and ... transforming the very fabric of society." Homosexual writer and activist Michelangelo Signorile rejects monogamy in favor of "a relationship in which the partners have sex on the outside often ... and discuss their outside sex with each other, or share sex partners."

Fact 8 - If victorious, the homosexual agenda will lead to the persecution of those who object on moral or religious grounds

If homosexual marriage becomes the law of the land, then children in public schools will be taught that homosexuality is a normative lifestyle, and that gay households are just another "variant" style of family.  Those who object may find themselves on the wrong side of the law.  Unbelievable?  This Orwellian situation has occurred in Massachusetts , which legalized homosexual marriage in 2004.  In April 2005, David Parker, the parent of a six-year-old boy, protested to the Lexington elementary school after his son was taught about homosexual "families" in his kindergarten class. 

At a scheduled meeting at the school, when Parker refused to back down from his request that the school honor the Massachusetts parental notification statute, he was arrested for "trespassing," handcuffed, and put in jail overnight.  The next morning Parker was led handcuffed into court for his arraignment, and over the next several months endured two subsequent court appearances before the school district backed down and decided to drop all charges against him.   In 2007, Parker's lawsuit against the Lexington school officials was dismissed by a federal judge who refused to uphold his civil rights and to enforce the Massachusetts parental notification statute.  Parker's shocking story will become commonplace in a society that forces the acceptance of homosexual marriage as normative.

Fact 9 - Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans rejects same-sex marriage

Public opinion remains firmly opposed to the redefinition of marriage. A May 2008 Gallup Poll asked the question: "Do you think marriages between same-sex couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid?" Respondents opposed homosexual marriage by a margin of 56 percent (opposed) to 40 percent (agreeing). Respondents to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll in October 2007 rejected same-sex marriage by the same margins.

Fact 10 - Support for traditional marriage translates into ballot initiatives and laws around the country

Because of strong public support for traditional marriage, same-sex marriage advocates have attempted to circumvent public opinion by redefining marriage through the courts.   Despite some victories, such as in Massachusetts and California where the courts have mandated same-sex marriage, there is a strong national movement to protect traditional marriage. A total of 45 states have instituted protections for traditional marriage either through state constitutional amendments or through laws:

  • 26 states prohibit same-sex marriage in their state constitutions.
  • 19 states currently prohibit same-sex marriage through statute only.

Timothy J. Dailey is Senior Fellow for Policy at Family Research Council