Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Texans Over the Top

This image available as bumper sticker here.
Yesterday was the primary election in Texas. And we Texans got the historic opportunity to put Mitt Romney over the top, officially onto the GOP ballot for president. Nice to have the opportunity. 

Another somewhat historic moment of the evening was the relative success of Ted Cruz for Senator, getting into a runoff election with the likely candidate, David Dewhurst. Dewhurst has been Lieutenant Governor since Rick Perry became governor (more than a decade). So his name recognition is off the charts. In addition, he is independently wealthy. If I understand correctly, if he is elected, he will then be the wealthiest US senator—in the range of beyond John Kerry (who has an unknown number of homes, but several times more than Mitt Romney owns). So Dewhurst has not had to rely on fundraising to finance an exorbitant political campaign. He has spun that as “not beholding to any special interest groups,” which is good spin, but implies that no one who isn’t independently wealthy should be elected, and that isn’t exactly the American way.
The voting day tally was Dewhurt 45.86% and Cruz 43.62%. The runoff happens if no candidate reaches 50%, so that in and of itself was a feat. The overall count was lower, because early voting goes on for two weeks in Texas, and the counts are separate and then combined. The trend on election day was much closer than in early voting, which means there is momentum for Cruz. Also, when you consider that those who are voting merely on name recognition—the less informed and less passionate, and presumably less conservative, voters—may not show up for the runoff election, that is an additional plus for Cruz.
There’s a good summary of the situation here.
If you’re into data for fun, here are a couple of sources.
·        Decision 2012 You can get the county results for each state, and also demographic data when they did surveys in various states (not Texas, as it was decided at that point). It’s a good graphic representation of county-by-county results.

·        Real Clear Politics: This is the delegate count, which has been the scorecard up until now to see progress toward the nominee. RCP also has a lot of other polling data, including their daily average of polls. Sometimes you can go deeper and find out who was polled: registered voters means more accuracy than simply adults; likely voters (have voted in recent elections) means more accuracy than registered voters. Interestingly, lately Romney has been doing considerably better in likely voter polls than in registered voter polls; I hope the more accurate polling is more predictive, although this is still very early in the overall campaign (even though we’ve been dealing with this election for more than a year already).

· This is the county site for Harris County, containing Houston and surrounding areas. I expect other counties to provide similar information. There are also archives for past elections, so you can dig into data to your heart’s content. After the immediate results are shown at news sites and in newspapers, what you want to know may disappear without an actual data source like this.
If you’re in Texas, put July 31st on your calendar; that’s the runoff election. There will be just a week of early voting, July 23rd through 27th. Remember that for early voting you can vote at any voting location, but on election day, you must vote at your precinct location. Look that up (at, because it may be that fewer locations will be used.
Between now and then—and on up until the November election—this is the time to get engaged. Commit to candidates, support with money, time, yard signs, etc., where you can. And persuade any persuadable friends to make choices that will support our Constitution and therefore our freedom and prosperity.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day and Voting Day

Memorial Day
Before today’s post, I want to take a moment to thank our servicemen and veterans, and the families of those who have served. This is my first Memorial Day as the mother of a serviceman. Economic Sphere finished basic training two weeks ago, with graduation the day before Social Sphere’s wedding. So we missed seeing his graduation ceremony, and he missed the wedding. He is now transferred to his assignment at the Defense Language Institute. We’re so proud of him.
Mrs. Economic Sphere was able to spend a few days with us this past weekend for the hometown wedding reception. And she had received videos of Economic Sphere’s graduation and training, so we spent Saturday evening watching that. We were able to identify him on the ceremony video, but in the training video I found myself saying many times, “That could be him…. No, probably not.” He’s a tall white guy, but in a battalion there are many tall white guys with shaved heads and identical camo fatigues. Still, it was impressive to see the intense training they go through, and know that he worked hard and got himself fit for service. Each and every soldier goes through this rigorous training; just for that we thank them for their sacrifice. But, of course, that is only the beginning.
While we think about our son every day, I’m still glad there is a day set aside to honor our soldiers for their service. 

Voting Day
The Texas Primary is tomorrow Tuesday, May 29th; two weeks of early voting ended Friday. Usually I like to vote on voting day, but this time I got it done early, on the single weekday when Social Sphere was in town to vote.
In my last post I gave the recommendations on judges that my son Political Sphere and I had come up with after our study. Today I thought I’d fill in a few of the other things on the ballot. Again, this is the Texas GOP Primary.
President: this is settled now, but I have been favoring Mitt Romney for a long time, and I’m glad to add my vote in support of him.
Senator: this is the place held by retiring Kay Bailey Hutchinson. There are nine names on the ballot, but the three most likely are David Dewhurst, Ted Cruz, and Tom Leppert. David Dewhurst has the most name recognition as Lieutenant Governor. He hasn’t been bad in that position, but there have been a few times I felt he was more political than principled, so I was willing to look at the others. I heard Ted Cruz speak at the first tea party rally I attended, a couple of years ago and found him very impressive. I continue to like him. Tom Leppert has a list of endorsers headed by Pastor Jeffress, who attacked Mitt Romney’s church some months back; that was a strong negative for me when the others are already more impressive. So Ted Cruz is my choice. If no candidate gets over 50% of the vote, there will be a runoff of the top two. Runoffs tend to be decided by the most passionate voters, so there is a good chance Cruz could win under those conditions. But if the candidate turns out to be Dewhurst, I will be disappointed but not bereft.
US Representative: We just got redistricted from John Culberson’s district to Ted Poe’s district. Poe is running unopposed, but I like him. He has been particularly strong on border issues.
Railroad Commissioners: This position is actually about handling resources in the state. It is a three-person commission. Two positions are on the ballot. We looked at online information in making our decisions. We are for Christi Craddick and Barry Smitherman.
That’s the end of the statewide races. The rest are local to Harris County or smaller. (Harris County, by the way, is, I believe, the third largest jurisdiction below state level in the US; I think only NYC and LA have more populous single jurisdictions.)
Even though it wasn’t a judge position, I included District Attorney in my last post, because it is important to the judiciary branch. I am for Mike Anderson; you can read reasons here.
County Attorney: this is also related to the judiciary, but I waited until today because the last post was full enough. We chose Leslie Johnson.
Sheriff: I met Carl Pittman and Louis Guthrie at tea party meetings and liked thing about both. Political Sphere and I both liked Louis Guthrie and were leaning toward him. Then there was an ethics question (conflict of interest) that came up, and we were looking into it. In the mean time we got a recommendation for Ruben Monzon from a friend we highly respect, so we looked further at him online information. And our reaction was, “Why didn’t we know about this guy before?” We found him very impressive. I’m afraid Monzon won’t have the name recognition to win, but we are nevertheless hoping he does well enough for a runoff, and we will try to get the word out.
County Tax Assessor-Collector: We are going with incumbent Don Sumners. It is expected here in Harris County that a GOP assessor will help us find the lowest legal taxes we can pay; I like that.
County School Trustee, Position 3, At Large:  I heard Richard Johnson speak at a tea party meeting. I didn’t feel a philosophical connection, but some of that could be my dislike for public education in theory (we homeschooled), so I try to have an open mind. But later information about him implied he has been a liberal activist for some time and is on the GOP ballot as a stealth liberal. I don’t know how to prove that either way. His opponent, Political Sphere heard, got the position after being on city council and term-limited out, as a stepping stone to something else, and then was surprised to find out it wasn’t a paid position, and has mostly failed to attend meetings. There is a movement by the other trustees to force him off the board. We voted for neither. Wolfe may be the lesser bad of the two.
County Commissioner, Precinct 4: These are the local positions under the County Judge (not an actual judge, but an executive position). We went with appointed incumbent Jack Cagle.
Constable, Precinct 5: This is a position under County Sheriff. We were redistricted from precinct 4. Al Florido came to our door (the only candidate who has) and recognized that with five voting adults living at this residence, we were a voting bloc. So he came to get the Spherical Model Voting Bloc (actually, he used our name) on his side. It worked. I met him again just outside the voting place, and also looked at his online info. He won our vote.
Harris County Republican Party Chairman: Jared Woodfill has held this position for more than a decade. He is still fairly young. He’s a lawyer, I believe, and handles this as a volunteer position. Overall I think he’s done a good job, and the party uses online connections better all the time. So I’m willing to keep him. 

Propositions are mainly a way of putting some ideas into the party platform, so they don’t have the force of propositions on a statewide non-partisan ballot. Still, these are a way of expressing support or disapproval for ideas.
Proposition #1: School Choice. We’re in favor of having education dollars follow the child instead of bureaucracy.
Proposition #2: Repealing Obamacare. We’re absolutely in favor. I would even be in favor of nullification, with creative ways of preventing Texas money from going toward it. But I digress.
Proposition #3: Public Prayer. We are in favor of prohibiting government from restricting the content of public prayer. (This is probably related to the interference with prayers at funerals at the veterans memorial cemetery in Houston.)
Proposition #4: Balanced Budget/Controlling Government Growth. We are of course for controlling the budget. But Political Sphere points out that the way this is written, every major capital project would require exemptions. He experienced a similar law in Arizona and found this approach ineffective. So we are against this proposition.
Proposition #5: Redistricting. The proposition reads, “The Texas Legislature should redraw the court-imposed lines for Congress and State legislative districts in its upcoming session in order to remedy inequities.” This is likely to happen regardless. Political Sphere points out that the reason isn’t merely to remedy inequities; it is to remedy having court-imposed lines when it is the legislature’s job to draw the lines. He therefore disagrees with the wording, not the concept. I agree with him, but I didn’t feel so strongly about it that I was against the proposition; I wanted to vote to support the legislature redrawing the lines. So, either way is fine. 

So, Happy Memorial Day today! Happy Voting Day Tuesday!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Voting for Judges in Texas

In theory I like the idea of being able to vote out a judge who doesn’t do the job well, or fails to grasp the concept of abiding by the written law rather than his/her own arbitrary sensibilities. We do that in Texas. But it has been a rather difficult and confusing process. With the internet, it has become more possible to get information, so if feels a little less like going in to a test without studying. But still, with sometimes dozens of judges on the ballot, it can be daunting.

This time around has been a little better. A number of judges have come to our local tea party meetings, to let us get acquainted with them and ask them questions. And several of them have recognized that we need to be educated on how the court districts are set up. So I thought it would only be fair for me to pass along some of that information. (You can see this in chart form here.)
I recognize that this is local information, but our process may be instructive to all readers.
Working from the top down, Texas has two statewide “supreme” courts, each with nine justices. The one called the Supreme Court is the ultimate word in civil appeals. The one called Court of Criminal Appeals is the ultimate word in criminal appeals. These courts are discretionary—open to interpretation of the law.
The courts of Appeals include 14 districts assigned to areas across Texas, with 80 justices total. This is the court for direct appeal. The justices here are legal analysts.
The next lower level is trial courts. First the District Courts: there are 456, each with one judge: 359 districts contain one county, and 97 contain more than one county. Some are general and some are assigned specific matters, such as juvenile matters or felony criminal matters. Appeals from here go up to the Court of Appeals.
Also appealing directly to the Court of Appeals are the County-Level Courts: Constitutional County Courts (one per county), Statutory County Courts (233 in 87 counties), and Statutory Probate Courts (18 in 10 counties, limited only to probate matters).
The lowest level courts, for local trials and limited jurisdictions, are Justice Courts (817 with one judge each) and Municipal Courts (923 Cities with 1537 judges). Appeals from these courts would go up to the county-level courts.
Our Recommendations
OK, now for what’s on the ballot, and our recommendations. I sat down with my son Political Sphere and his wife. We printed out copies of our sample ballot, from, which is particularly helpful this year, since we got redistricted and haven’t yet received our voter registration cards. We combined what we learned from candidates at tea party meetings, what we could find online (you do a search for the name plus “for judge.”) We added info from the local bar association ratings, and word on a few from some lawyer friends who generally share our views. We took bar ratings with a grain of salt (the bar leans liberal, but sometimes you can learn from the patterns of approval nevertheless). If all else seemed equal, the impression the candidate made in person at a tea party meeting became the deciding factor. Willingness to meet the people was a positive.
Supreme Courts
I’m concerned mainly with GOP judges, since I believe we get better constructionist philosophy on the bench that way. So, on the GOP ballot, there are three Supreme Court Justices up for reelection. Nathan Hecht is the oldest of those running; he is unopposed, and I know of no negatives about him. David Medina is the incumbent (running against John Devine and Joe Pool). Don Willett is also an incumbent (running against Steve Smith). I see no reason not to keep these incumbents.
On the Court of Criminal Appeals, Elsa Alcala and Barbara Hervey are both incumbents running unopposed. It was Elsa Alcala who came to our meeting—mainly just to help us be more informed voters. Sharon Keller has no primary opponent, but has a democrat challenger.
Courts of Appeals
The two appellate court districts in and around Houston are the 1st and 14th districts. No one is facing opposition in the primary, and I don’t know of any specific negatives about any of them, so we’ll give all the GOP candidates our votes. 

District Courts
In Harris County, the numbering system for the district courts isn’t related to location. When a new court is needed because of population, the next number is added. And it’s hard to know from the number what the court is used for. There are so  many, I’ll only list those that have primary opposition. 

·         11th Judicial District: Bruce Bain
·         61st Judicial District: Jeff Hastings (met him several times at tea party meetings)
·         129th Judicial District: Michael Landrum (met him more than once, and he made a good impression)
·         133rd Judicial District: Lamar McCorkle
·         151st Judicial District: Leif Olson (very young, but we had a long conversation, good future)
·         152nd Judicial District: Allyson Wilkinson (met her)
·         164th Judicial District: Sophia Mafrige (met her)
·         174th Judicial District: Joe Vinas
·         177th Judicial District: Ryan Patrick (very young, haven’t met him, but trusted friends recommended him)
·         179th Judicial District: Kristin Guiney (met her) 

Other County Judges
The District Attorney is a powerful position in a county this size. Unfortunately there has been a lot of dissatisfaction with the current GOP DA. Word is her office is badly run, morale is low, and she has run off some very good prosecutors who were no longer willing to work with her. Her ads claim being strong makes enemies, but from what I’ve heard from multiple reliable sources is that dissatisfaction isn’t about philosophy on toughness with the law, but about her personal inability to do the job. 

Her opponent, MikeAnderson, came to a tea party meeting. He was impressive and reasonable. He is well liked according to bar ratings. He gets the recommendation from several people I know who have worked with him. So, while it’s somewhat drastic to oust an incumbent republican, in this case I feel good about endorsing Anderson, rather than Pat Lykos. 

County Court at Law No 2 is one I know less about, but online research led us to go with Theresa Chang. 

For County Attorney, again, because of online research, we’re going with Leslie Johnson.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Lessons from the Strawberry Fields

While I’m not quite through playing wedding planner, I am back in town, and it’s time for a break with a little economic post. Yesterday I went with my daughter-in-law and granddaughter to a farm about an hour south where we could pick our own strawberries. We did this last year, and I was glad to get back in town before the season was completely over.

We may not have saved huge amounts of money, but we did get the experience, which adds to the flavor, I think.
When non-farmers, like me, take a day doing agriculture tasks, out in the sun, away from electronic media, it becomes evident why there are so many agricultural comparisons in scriptures and various life lessons. These little ideas were occurring to me as I picked 30 pounds of summer sweetness.
·         The low-hanging fruit lures you in to a picking area, but the better berries are up higher and hidden by foliage. (With strawberries, unlike tree fruits, all of it is within reach, but the fruit that comes in contact with the ground almost always has been nibbled on by some critter. So off the ground is better.)
·         Don’t necessarily go for the deepest red; anything looking ripe for more than a day has probably caught the attention of some critter. Find whatever just became newly ripe.
·         You can fill up your bucket just as easily with plenty of small to medium berries as with larger ones—and the smaller ones are less likely to have been picked over by the critters.
·         The further you go from the end of the row, the less picked over the plants.
·         Just keep picking, and success comes—usually faster than you had anticipated.
·         If you care about quality, don’t pick something not yet ripe; come back another day, or leave it for someone else to pick another day.
·         The growing season is limited; don’t miss the best fruit because you’re too busy right now.
·         Take care of the fruit right away. (I came home and spent more time washing, trimming, and getting them in the freezer than I had spent picking. And now we can enjoy them all summer.)
There’s probably more, but I was thinking how these things relate to opportunities, or maybe entrepreneurial ventures. Some of them probably work as analogies for other life lessons as well. I don’t think I’d want to work out in the hot Texas humidity day after day (there were workers there doing just that), but it was a valuable field trip for us girls.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Tolerance"--You Keep Using that Word...

Back in 2008, a week after the election that included Proposition 8 in California, I wrote a response to a post on an online group; it was a political offshoot of a rather large homeschool group, so that inflammatory conversations would not show up where people are just looking for homeschool information. 

The post I responded to was saying we should mark the anniversary of Matthew Shepherd’s death, and if someone wants to do that, I don’t have a problem. I do have a problem with insisting homosexuals exemplify our collective guilt alongside “slavery, women voting, separation of races”; “We simply must stop wasting our energy trying to legislate people out of existence.” Really? We have ever legislated anyone out of existence, and homosexuals are included in this apparently vast group?   

He added, “As long as the majority of the citizens of this country are willing to legislate against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people there will be people that will take it upon themselves to feel it is their duty to harm these people physically.” Really? Protecting the institution of marriage, which is the basic unit of civilization, causes people to go out and beat up homosexuals? This person not only doesn’t understand evidence, he doesn’t care about it.  

“Dennis,” who always signed his posts with “peace,” did respond to my post, point-by-point accusing me of being a bigoted, uninformed homophobe, simply because I hold the opposite view of his, which he defines as good—but without actually responding to the data with any evidence of his own. That is what we face. So my response isn’t to him; it is to give words to those who know somehow his accusations are wrong but don’t have the data and words to defend themselves. (The political group eventually became unused and irrelevant, but Dennis continued on the regular homeschool group until a few months back, when he started a flame war that was so offensive to so many that he was removed from the group—all the while signing “peace.”)


November 13, 2008
Linda Nuttall

You are assuming, Dennis, that homosexuals are “a people” in the same sense that races are “a people,” a group that is alike because of innate qualities. But there is a huge difference between genetics determining the level of melanin in the skin and the choice to act on various urges. The law is equal toward homosexuals: they can marry someone of the opposite sex, who is not a close relative, who is not already married to another, who is old enough to consent to the contract, who is a human being—the same requirements for marriage that are required of heterosexuals. What they want is a special privilege just for them. They want a new definition of marriage—honor for being in a temporary non-exclusive sexual relationship that cannot produce offspring and offers no benefit to society. Traditional marriage is defined as a permanent contract between a man and a woman requiring exclusivity and faithfulness, designed to protect any offspring by guaranteeing the child will be raised by his/her two parents of separate sexes—clearly a benefit to society. Even when it doesn’t always work out, encouraging it is society’s duty. There must be a preponderance of success to avoid societal decay. 

Marriage pre-dates every state; the state didn’t invent marriage, and therefore cannot simply un-invent or re-invent it into something else. The state can only decide under which conditions to grant a license showing how and when the state will honor the bond. What “same-sex marriage” does is eliminate respect for traditional marriage; it encourages honor for a behavior that deserves no honor, and in essence prevents society from honoring what is in society’s best interest.  

Everywhere “same-sex marriage” has been enforced, it has seriously increased the incidence of out-of-wedlock childbirth and then child abandonment in society as a whole, because it separates the connection between marriage and a commitment to children. Everywhere it has been enforced, people with religious beliefs that disagree have been persecuted and prosecuted for their beliefs. Everywhere it has been enforced, parents have been deprived of the right to decide when and how homosexual relationships will be taught to their children. 

This week the people who claim to be asking for “tolerance” demonstrated their refusal to give it. Yesterday Scott Eckern lost his post as Artistic Director of the California Music Theater, driven out after 25 years, because he voted “Yes” on Proposition 8 (along with more than half of California voters) and gave a $1000 donation to support that cause. According to the Sacramento Bee, “when Tony Award-winner Marc Shaiman, the composer of ‘Hairspray,’ read of Eckern’s donation last week, he urged artists and theater workers across the country to boycott the theater.” He wrote “that he wouldn’t allow his work to be done at California Musical Theater, and theater workers across the country have followed his lead… 

“Susan Egan, star of ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ and ‘Cabaret,’ followed with a similar email. Theater professionals flooded CMT’s offices over the weekend with phone calls and emails decrying Eckern’s actions.” What was his action that was so egregious that he should be driven from his profession? Supporting an idea these “tolerance”-seekers disagreed with. 

There was an unauthorized demonstration against a Latter-day Saint temple in Los Angeles two days after the vote last week, requiring LAPD, along with SWAT teams, to protect private property, just because it was owned by a religion that strongly supports traditional marriage—along with the majority of voters, and a wide coalition of churches and demographic groups. The Church has always made it clear that it is important to love and support homosexuals and never attack or hate; but it is also a right and responsibility to stand up for traditional marriage, which is the basic unit of civilization. These beliefs are not tolerated by opponents, who ironically shriek obscenities at their opponents while saying they are only asking for tolerance. 

It might interest you to know that homosexual-on-homosexual violence is so prevalent that a majority of homosexuals experience it, and yet almost nothing is being done to prevent it. Heterosexual-on-homosexual violence as a hate crime (because of prejudice) is so rare that barely a handful of cases can be found annually, and they are prosecuted as they should be. 

If the sacrifice you’re asking from heterosexuals is to re-create the world so we have to raise our children without an understanding of the importance of sexual purity before marriage and complete fidelity within marriage, and have the laws of the country denounce what we would like to teach them—if that is the sacrifice you are asking us to make, I’m not willing.  

At some point it would be nice if the people asking us for tolerance would be willing to experiment: total purity before marriage and complete fidelity after. They’ve been unable and unwilling to do it anywhere they’ve had the opportunity. Doesn’t look to me like they’re willing to make even a small sacrifice of personal self-control. 

You’re asking us to allow a religious belief—that sex outside of a committed marriage, and particularly unnatural sexual behaviors that cannot produce offspring, should be honored as God-approved—you’re asking that this religious belief be forced down our throats, against our will. It is no wonder that people who value marriage and family have stood up in heavy majorities in 30 states to pass state constitutional amendments, and to pass legislation defining marriage in an additional 14 states, to prevent activist judges from forcing this religious belief upon us. 

I recognize that people disagree on the issue. But I am willing to allow the majority to be allowed to say what they believe in a free society, rather than have it forced on them by unelected judges.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Loving and Logical

The following post was previously published only on my personal Facebook page, and was meant mainly for my Latter-day Saint friends. It was in response to a talk given at the LDS General Conference in October 2010 by President of the Twelve Apostles, Boyd K. Packer. I heard him speak and thought his comments were both loving and logical, and they coincided with what I have studied on the subject. So I was surprised by the uproar that happened that following week. I wrote this in defense of Elder Packer, in hopes of providing the line of reasoning I see in his words as well as in my own views on the subject. I hope it can benefit readers here as well. (For official statements on the LDS Church's stand on this and other topics, the best source is the Newsroom at, under topics.)

Loving and Logical President Packer
Linda Nuttall
October 13, 2010 

There are people in the world who think of religion as something less than logical. But, if you allow the premise that God exists, and that we can perceive His influence in our lives, then much of what we do as religious people is purely logical.
Logic is not the same as truth; it is a tool for finding truth. But you have to start with the correct “if” statement, the premise, or you’ll get the wrong “then” statement, the conclusion. It is also possible to draw a wrong conclusion if your conclusion doesn’t logically follow the premise. “If I have two pennies and add four pennies, I have seven pennies,” for example, is mathematically, or logically incorrect. All parts of the argument have to be true.
Let’s look for a moment at the murmurings (and shoutings) that have resulted from President Packer’s conference address, an address that suggested, in what seemed to me the most loving way, we need to choose virtuous thoughts and actions, and through repentance we can be purified in Christ. That’s not controversial doctrine right there. Even outside our Church, I think that message is both accepted and unoffending. Most of the talk referred to more general sins of impurity, such as pornography. He referred to homosexuality and the Church’s stand against same-sex “marriage” only obliquely. These sentences, I’m supposing, are the ones seen as offensive enough to protest:
  • “We teach a standard of moral conduct that will protect us from Satan’s many substitutes or counterfeits for marriage. We must understand that any persuasion to enter into any relationship that is not in harmony with the principles of the gospel must be wrong.”
  • “Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn temptations toward the impure and unnatural. Not so!” [The spoken version used the word tendencies, which was replaced with temptations in the print version, which more closely relates to the next thought, a typical editorial procedure following conference addresses.]
  • “[T]here are those today who not only tolerate but advocate voting to change laws that would legalize immorality, as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God’s laws and nature.”
The opposition that protested in downtown Salt Lake City this week, lobbying for an apostle to change his beliefs based on their pressure, insists that he is wrong on two points: same-sex attraction is genetic, and it is immutable. The “if-then” statement goes like this: “If same-sex attraction is inborn and therefore unchangeable, then a homosexual has no choice but to be homosexual and he/she neither can nor should change.” And furthering that line of logic: “It is only fair, therefore, that homosexual behaviors be accepted as equivalent to heterosexual behaviors—and if you don’t accept this position, you are hateful, unfair, intolerant, bigoted, homophobic (choose your epithet), and you must be made to change your position.”
Logic only leads to truth if you start with true premises and follow through with mathematical accuracy to true conclusions. So first let’s look at the premise: Is same-sex attraction a genetic trait?
The entire human genome has been mapped, and there has been no discovery of a contributing gene. Do we know that there are no genetics involved? Not for certain. Causes seem to be complex, as they are with many other conditions. There could be traits and leanings when combined with certain experiences in certain people that set up particular brain patterns. But that tendency, however caused, does not require a person to choose certain behaviors regardless of his free will. For example, a person with alcoholic tendencies (high cingulate activity in the brain, patterns of behavior that exemplify relieving stress through escapism) can avoid being an alcoholic by never drinking alcohol—or giving it up and never drinking again. Tendency may be predictive of behavior in a general population, but it does not dictate behavior in an individual.
Notice that whenever official Church statements refer to same-sex attraction, there is a distinct difference between the person and the behavior. All humans suffer various temptations. All of us come after the fall of Adam, so we can assume that none of us has gone through life without giving in to temptation and then needing the redemptive power of Christ to recover. Some give in to smaller things, like being annoyed at the driver of a car in our way. Some give in to killing in anger. That’s a pretty wide spectrum. While all sin requires Christ’s redemption, not all sin is equivalent. If a person is angry and has the urge to kill, but then calms down, is horrified at the thought, and turns away from anything that would tempt him to act on the urge, he’s already repenting of the anger, and he’s not guilty of the murder.
Among the sins almost as egregious as murder are those involving the misuse of procreative powers, because the family is the basic unit of civilization (or Zion), and anything that causes decay of the family causes harm to not only the participants but to society as a whole. So, as President Packer repeated, we are carefully directed that sex is only appropriate between a man and woman lawfully married (preferably sealed for eternity). Sex at any other time, with any other person, harms the family, decays society, and is serious sin—it cannot lead to long-term or eternal happiness.
But if a person is tempted to have sex with a person they are dating, for example, and then they catch themselves and decide to wait, have they sinned because the desire was there? No. They may need to repent of behavior that would put them at risk—repent of being a little unwise and risky. That is far easier to repent of than acting on an impulse and committing the graver sin of sex outside of marriage.
So, if a person is attracted to someone of the same sex, but does not act on it, are they guilty of the sin? No. They are as innocent as anyone else keeping the laws of chastity. We do not discriminate against anyone based on what their temptations are.
Nor do we hate them if they sin; we sorrow for the loss of the Spirit they must suffer, and want them to be able to feel Christ’s healing power and return to the arms of His love.
Are we, then, treating people with same-sex attraction different from people with heterosexual attractions? No. There is no discrimination there, regardless of the cause of the same-sex attraction.
Let’s take the next part of the premise: Is homosexuality “immutable”? The mistake here is likely based on belief or misunderstanding instead of fact. If you believe that sexual orientation is equivalent to sex (maleness or femaleness), then you probably believe it is immutable. But, if there is no X or Y chromosome that indicates an additional gender, and the physiological details of the body are not different between homosexuals and heterosexuals, then the difference is one of internal perception—the brain. So the question is, can the brain change?
The past decade or so has brought a great deal of progress on the plasticity (changeableness) of the brain. The keys seem to be developing the appropriate brain exercises and practicing them with frequency, intensity, and duration. There are Downs Syndrome children whose brains have developed to a normal functioning level. There are autistic children who have developed relatively full social and mental functioning. There are children with muscular dystrophy who have developed full (or at least fuller) muscle control. There are people missing a part of their brain as a result of accident, illness, or surgery, who have found new neural pathways so that they can run, walk, and think. There are shy people who have overcome their social fears and awkwardness. There are alcoholics and addicts who have freed themselves from their addictions.
And there are people who have felt same-sex attraction (who lived that lifestyle) numbering in the thousands who have changed to the point of being able to abstain from the behavior—and even those who develop heterosexual attractions and go on to have satisfying marriages with children.
One exception would disprove the assertion that homosexuality is immutable, but there are many.
At the time the APA decided in the early 1970s, under political pressure within and without, to remove homosexuality from an exhaustive list of mental disorders, there were some 700 studies underway to learn more about how to treat people who sought help for what had up until then been seen as a mental disorder. But the policy change meant the studies were discontinued. No more funding was made available. Treatment was discouraged. And after several decades there is severe prejudice against a psychologist who even suggests that there might be some treatment. [See “Of Mice and Mormons," Mike Adams, Townhall Magazine, as well as parts 2-7.]
Despite the dearth of treatment options, many of those seeking help have succeeded at a level comparable to or greater than addiction recovery. So, if change is possible, then the next question is whether change is to be encouraged or discouraged.
Consider: as a portion of the population, homosexuals are a demographic with a high incidence of other disorders: AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, alcoholism, high suicide rate and other mental disorders, as well as high rates of partner abuse. Then there is the basic biological fact that homosexuals cannot reproduce together despite fertility. (These negatives are not lessened in societies with high acceptance of the behavior.)
It is understandable that someone might want to change and not suffer same-sex attraction. And it might be considered a kindness to offer help and support for those who wish to change. It might be considered science to allow studies taking advantage of new brain research that could lead to new and better treatment options rather than to say such research is heretical in the profession. So, it might be a mistake on the part of the activists to claim that anyone suggesting the possibility of change is both wrong and hateful.
Now let’s look at the essence of the Church’s “if/then” statements:
  • If our Heavenly Father loves all His children, then He will not make a way to return to heaven possible only for some and not others.
  • If returning to heaven is possible for all God’s children, then He does not give commandments that are impossible to keep or repent of for a portion of His children.
  • If keeping the commandments is the way to long-lasting happiness for His children, exempting a portion of His children from the happiness-bringing commandments will not bring those children happiness.
One more “if/then” statement: If the Church’s premises are true, then the loving and logical response is to continue to hold ALL God’s children to the same standards. President Packer was so wise to say:
“Regardless of the opposition, we are determined to stay on course. We will hold to the principles and laws and ordinances of the gospel. If they are misunderstood either innocently or willfully, so be it. We cannot change; we will not change the moral standard. We quickly lose our way when we disobey the laws of God. If we do not protect and foster the family, civilization and our liberties must needs perish.”

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Why Protect Marriage

The article below (with a few updates) was printed in the Houston Chronicle in October 2005, just weeks before Texas voted by a 77% majority, to amend the state’s constitution to defend marriage. On the front page of the Sunday Outlook section, the Chronicle often printed opposing views on the same issue. In this case, the PhD expert in favor of “same-sex marriage” offered exactly the arguments refuted below, and nothing new. Incidentally, North Carolina is having this debate in a referendum right now; notice that the headlines frame the debate with the media sharing the point of view of “gay marriage” advocates, probably without noticing the bias.

The original of my piece is archived here.  I also passed this along to friends in California, in August 2008, in their efforts (successful efforts, but still subject to court appeals) to amend their state constitutions that fall, so there may be reprints there in part or full.

Why Texans Will Vote Yes to Protect Marriage—No Matter What You Call Us
Linda Nuttall
October 16, 2005 

In Texas, marriage has always been defined as between one man and one woman. 

But not every state is as sensible as Texas. So Texas must strengthen its sovereignty against self-important judges, like those in Massachusetts [and now California], who claim that it is irrational to see a difference between heterosexual marriage and “same-sex marriage.” If you notice that traditional marriage produces and protects children, that is irrational. If you notice that traditional marriage insists on longevity and fidelity, that is irrational. These self-important elites don’t tell us why it is irrational to notice such differences; they simply imply, “Trust us; we know more than you do.” 

That is not enough to fool Texans. We know to value families. We know it from good common sense. But the scientific data also backs us up. 

The opposition has very little to say. But they say it loudly, and repeatedly, and are amplified in the media:  They say it is discrimination to prevent “same-sex marriage.” And anyone who refuses to give them what they want is a bigoted homophobe. That is almost the sum total of their arguments.  

They may add a few sub-arguments: 
  • That the arguments against “gay rights” today are the same ones used by the bigots against racial equality in the 60s.
  • That they aren’t changing the definition of marriage; they just want to have a right to marry like others.
  • That all they want is tolerance, to be treated equally—not to force people to change their beliefs.
  • That it is a lie that “same-sex marriage” would in any way lead to other sexual forms.
  • That all they want are legal rights, like hospital visitation, that others get.
Let’s take a look at their arguments. Is the only reason for opposing “same-sex marriage” homophobia? Clearly not. Seeing the value of procreating and raising children to adulthood is not homophobic; it is sensible. Married parents raise children with better outcomes than divorced parents, single parents, unmarried biological parents, same-sex parents, foster parents, group homes, or any other family form. That is not to say children cannot be raised with success in other forms; it is to say the likelihood of success for children is better with an intact two-parent family. If we care about children, society’s next generation, then we want to encourage what is best for children whenever possible. Marriage grants benefits for that purpose. 

What is homophobia anyway?  It means an irrational fear of homosexuality. (There’s that word irrational again.) It means that the nearly 70% of Americans who value marriage as more important than caving in to homosexual activists have a mental disorder in need of treatment. It means that the vast majority of Republicans (about 80%) are mentally ill, as are a solid majority of Democrats (59%). Large majorities of both men and women need counseling for this malady, as do all ethnic groups and believers in all the world’s major religions. 

Or, maybe, the 2% of homosexuals—and the small percentage of elites who feel sorry for them and want to rearrange society for their sake—are the ones who ought to be rethinking their position. 

Like Racial Discrimination
Is homosexuality the same kind of quality as race?  No. Race is simply a genetic difference in the amount of melanin in the skin, based on heredity. No study has yet shown anything hereditary in homosexuality beyond a possibility of tendency, given certain environmental factors, in a small percentage of cases. Alcoholism is more clearly hereditary than homosexuality. But it takes drinking to excess to become an alcoholic, no matter the genetics involved. And, as recovering alcoholics by the millions can tell you, it is possible to stop drinking. 

Homosexuality is a behavioral choice—even when the people involved don’t feel they have control over the choice. It is heretical in the current environment to say so, but homosexuality is not immutable. Many can change. Many have. The people affected exist. Studies documenting them exist. The information is simply not politically correct, so most people don’t get directed to sources for treatment. 

If homosexuality is not inborn and immutable, then the comparison to race is not only incorrect; it is offensive to people who have suffered discrimination based on race. 

About Changing Definition
Marriage is meant to be permanent. Marriage suffered a blow three decades ago with no-fault divorce. This allowed marriages to end for almost any reason, or without a reason. The result has led to an abundance of data showing how children suffer when their parents break up the family. Sometimes divorce is necessary, for the safety of the children, or for the protection of one spouse from the other. But even with good reason, divorce has tragic consequences. We need to turn around to re-strengthen the permanence of marriage, not weaken it. 

How would “same-sex marriage” weaken it? Same-sex relationships are rarely permanent. Some same-sex couples do stay together for long periods, even a decade or two. But they are extremely rare, and almost never include faithfulness—a requirement in the marriage vow.  

Data from The Netherlands, which allows for “same-sex marriage,” shows that “married” homosexuals have an average of eight casual sexual partners per year, and marriages last an average of 18 months [a result that shows up again in “gay marriages” in Massachusetts since judges changed the law there]. Endorsing “same-sex marriage” would mean separating the concept of marriage from both longevity and fidelity. Marriage would lose its meaning. 

We also know from Scandinavian countries that allow homosexual civil unions that the definition of marriage is so diluted that most couples no longer bother to marry. Birth rates are well below replacement levels. Seventy percent of children are born out of wedlock. Child abandonment is strikingly higher than a generation ago. Because of the loss of the meaning of marriage, society there has simply stopped expecting procreation, parenting, and long-term commitment with fidelity. 

But would that happen here?  We have reason to believe it would. Gay rights activists give us no reason to believe otherwise. 

Just Tolerance
If all they want is tolerance (live and let live), then why is it that in every country that allows “same-sex marriage,” citizens are no longer free to speak against it? Whether in print, in private, even in church—simply suggesting that homosexuality might be changeable, or that it might not be as healthy for society as traditional marriage, can lead to prosecution for hate speech.  

Even in the US pro-gay activists are invading the school system, insisting children be indoctrinated with pro-gay propaganda. In California, when parents tried to opt out, they were not allowed. When they held their children out of school, the children were forced to receive the curriculum upon their return. [A parent in Massachusetts was prevented from removing his kindergarten-age child from being indoctrinated with pro-gay propaganda in school. A Bible publisher in Colorado was sued for printing hate speech, because the Bible includes verses denouncing homosexuality.] If tolerance means that we must be subject to politically correct tyranny, then we are willing to be called intolerant. 

Homosexuals are free to work, get an education, contribute to society. Violence against them is rare (except against each other—suffered by a majority of homosexuals). Violence against them is prosecuted according to the law, as it is against any citizen.

So, they have tolerance. What they want is honor for their behavior, even though society receives no benefit from it. 

Slippery Slope
If “same-sex marriage” is allowed because it is just a different sexual orientation, then how do you not allow marriage for the other nearly two dozen sexual orientations? The question isn’t whether homosexuals today want to marry two, three or more persons or even an animal or two; the question is, if “same-sex marriage” becomes legal, then how can those other sexual orientations not also become legal? 

Indeed, as predicted, other sexual forms are suing for recognition using the same logic as homosexuals. And, as predicted, The Netherlands recently married a threesome: a male and two bisexual females. It is too late for homosexuals to insist these other outcomes will not follow; they already do. 

Legal Rights
The legalities same-sex couples want are already available to them. With a trip to a lawyer, they can set up a living will, ask for hospital visitation, jointly own property. They want these things to come automatically, as they do for married couples. They want all of society to change so they don’t have to see a lawyer. That is unreasonable. 

What they really want is the societal approval married couples have. They don’t offer offspring, two-sex parenting to adulthood, permanence, or fidelity. But they want the honor anyway. 

Heterosexuals don’t receive the honor if they shack up but don’t marry. They don’t get it if their relationship is with a person married to someone else, or if it’s to a close relative, or if they want more than one. But homosexuals think they should nevertheless have special recognition. Allowing special recognition of homosexuals would not be fair; preventing “same-sex marriage” is fair. 

Texans, I believe, are sensible and fair. That is why they will vote to protect marriage, no matter how much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth they have to put up with from the vocal minority.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Controversy Still

The article below is the most controversial of the protecting marriage articles I wrote back in 2004 or so. This one was included as a post on, I believe, NewsMax, by columnist Steve Farrell, dated 10-21-2004. However, it is archived here I did not write it with any intention to offend, only to bring clarity to the arguments for protecting marriage. I think most of these things are even more unspeakable today, even though the points remain true. The original footnotes are included for support and additional commentary. I’m not certain, however, that links in the footnotes are still live.

Let me note something about a main point, that homosexual relationships are virtually always unfaithful: nearly all of us know some gay couples that we believe are faithful. It is difficult to believe they are not. As noted in the references, no scientific measures have been able to identify through sociological study any faithfulness beyond five years; most split up within 18 months. And those who remain together simply redefine "fidelity" to mean something emotionally imaginary but physically irrelevant. After multiple failed efforts to scientifically document fidelity among homosexuals (particularly male homosexuals, but females as well), scientific studies simply ceased.
The Gay Marriage Fantasy
By Linda Nuttall
October 21, 2004 

The following fairy tale is to make a point.
Once upon a time there was a handsome young man with high hopes for his future. As he neared the end of his college education, he met and fell in love—with the person he had always dreamed of spending the rest of his life with. They had both kept themselves pure so that when they met, they could commit to each other and then consummate their relationship, knowing that special gift was only for that one special person. 

They were both male, so marriage in the traditional sense was not an option. However, they had several choices for making their commitment. They could make it privately, between the two of them, perhaps with a few close friends and family. They could join a religious community that encouraged them to make their commitment. Or they could go to a place where the laws included their type of relationship in its legal definition of marriage. 

After considering alternatives, and wanting to be truly committed in every way, they moved to The Netherlands. There they lived separately while they established residency, but spent good relationship-building time together after work and on weekends. At the appropriate time they invited friends and family and had a small wedding. 

Eventually they moved back to their home in Middle America. Even though they weren’t afforded the same governmental financial advantages of other married couples, they knew they were committed solely to each other, and that was what was important. 

In time they wanted to start raising a family. They found themselves unable to conceive as a couple, so they turned to adoption. Adoption is always a difficult process, and their case was no exception. But they found that about a third of adoption agencies welcomed their kind of couple as parents. Eventually they were allowed to adopt a baby boy. One of them opted to stay home to raise this child for several years, a choice they never regretted. 

The boy grew and gave them great joy. He was as normal as any other children, even though he was adopted and didn’t physically resemble his two dads. As a youth he kept their family values:  save yourself for that one true relationship, whoever it might be, and then stay together forever. 

They lived a long and happy life. The End.

Yes, it’s a fairy tale. It’s fantasy. It has never happened. Not in the thousands of years of human history that homosexuality has existed. 

But change the couple in the story to a young man and a young woman, and suddenly it seems almost typical. Looking for and finding the one permanent relationship is not the story of every heterosexual couple; it’s getting more rare, with the media trying to convince us it’s impossible. But it is in fact the true experience for a high percentage of traditional marriages, and has been so for thousands of years in hundreds of cultures.  

It was true for me. It was true for most of my high school friends—all with our marriages intact at the time of our 20th reunion. In my experience, raised in a religious community during the 60s and 70s, the “fairy tale” was the rule. When mistakes were made, when divorces happened, those were considered tragedies felt deeply by the individual sufferers and those who cared about them. They were rare. 

The “fairy tale” my friends and I experienced had an additional joy. We bore children. Usually several. Even those few of us who had to resort to adoption took great joy in raising the next generation of children, and passing along the values that gave us what often seems like a very blessed life. For heterosexuals the “fairy tale” can be real because it is the natural, traditional way to form families. 

Homosexual couples can’t live the ideal. It’s not that they lack the ability to remain committed because society has not granted them the honor of marriage; society has not granted them the honor because they lack the ability to stay committed. They lack fidelity—apparently in 100% of relationships.[i]      

Other people have been left without the legal recourse of marriage. That happened to a number of slaves prior to Emancipation in this very country. They responded by appointing their own community leaders and granting them authority to perform ceremonies to tie couples together[ii]—because that is the natural way for families to form, and no man-made law could stop them from forming their families with a commitment. 

If homosexuals were capable of living a life as heterosexuals except with that single gender preference difference, it would not be impossible to find an example. 

Another reason society has not recognized homosexuality as just another family form is  that homosexuals lack the ability to form a family. They cannot procreate—without exception. Society didn’t cause this discrimination; nature did. A mother and father, staying together to raise a child to adulthood, is not only the natural family form, but the best way of blessing the lives of children, women, and men.[iii]  Society has a stake in encouraging this form as much as possible. 

Homosexuality is not a natural equivalent alternative. It is, in every way, a perversion—unnatural and unhealthy.[iv]  The gay marriage issue is not a question of rights vs. discrimination. It is a question of supporting what is not only natural but most beneficial for society (the natural family) vs. encouraging what is logically a behavioral aberration that should be treated rather than honored.[v]  

If society makes the mistake of pretending homosexual relationships are equivalent to marriage, then society says that it does not value procreation, parenting, commitment, or fidelity—behaviors civilization has depended on for its perpetuation.[vi]  And if those things are not part of marriage, then that diminishes marriage to nothing more than honoring, with governmental perquisites, anyone who has a current sexual partner.  

Does honoring homosexual relationships with the title and benefits of marriage harm heterosexual marriage? Yes. It nullifies the very purpose of marriage. It takes away the option of real marriage for everyone.

[i] Consider, for example, the research of McWhirter and Mattison. They interviewed 156 male couples and concluded that in these relationships "fidelity is not defined in terms of sexual behavior, but rather by their emotional commitment to one another" (The Male Couple; David P. McWhirter, M.D., and Andrew M. Mattison, M.S.W., Ph.D.; Prentice-Hall, 1984; p 252, 3). The researchers—a gay couple themselves—reported that two-thirds of the couples began their relationship with the expectation of sexual exclusivity, but that the partners became more permissive with time. They found that all the couples who had been together at least 5 years had incorporated some provision for outside sexual activity in their relationships. In fact, the authors concluded that "the single most important factor that keeps couples together past the ten-year mark is the lack of possessiveness they feel. Many couples learn very early in their relationship that ownership of each other sexually can become the greatest internal threat to their staying together."  See also After the Ball; Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen; Doubleday, 1989. The book acknowledges that "the cheating ratio of 'married' gay males, given enough time, approaches 100%...Many gay lovers, bowing to the inevitable, agree to an 'open relationship,' for which there are as many sets of ground rules as there are couples" (p330). As to whether legal “marriage” leads to fidelity, see e.g., Xiridou, Maria, et al, “The Contribution of Steady and Casual Partnerships to the Incidence of HIV infection among Homosexual Men in Amsterdam,” 1029-1038 AIDS, 17 (7) May 2, 2003. “Those with a steady partner and those without reported having an average of 8 and 22 casual partners per year, respectively.”
[ii] The custom is referred to as “jumping the broom.”

[iii] Assertions concerning the benefits of marriage can be found, along with additional details and references to specific studies, in “Why Marriage Matters: Twenty-One Conclusions from the Social Sciences,” 2002, Institute for American Values, available at . See also Linda J. Waite’s tabulations from the 1987-1988 waves of the National Survey of Families and Households available in Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher, 2000. The Case for Marriage:  Why Married People are Happier, Healthier, and Better-Off Financially (New York:  Doubleday): 155-156. 
[iv] Considering health problems related to homosexuality, see Hogg, R. S., S. A. Strathdee, K. J. Craib, M. V. O’Shaughnessy, J. S. Montaner, and M. T. Schechter, “Modelling the Impact of HIV Disease on Mortality in Gay and Bisexual Men,” International Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 26, 657-661, 1997. “In a major Canadian centre, life expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality were to continue, we estimate that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged 20 years will not reach their 65th birthday.” 
   For mental health problems see, e.g., Theo B. M. Sandfort, De Graaqf, Bilj, and Schable, “Same-Sex Sexual Behavior and Psychiatric Disorders:  Findings from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study,” 85 (Archives of General Psychiatry 85 (January 2001) (“The findings support the assumption that people with same-sex behavior are at greater risk for psychiatric disorders”); Richard Herrell, et al., “Sexual Orientation and Suicidality,” Archives of General Psychiatry 867 (October 1999) (“Same-gender sexual orientation is significantly associated with each of the suicidality measures” and “is unlikely to be due solely to substance abuse or other psychiatric co-morbidity”); David M. Fergusson, et al., “Is Sexual Orientation Related to Mental Health Problems and Suicidality in Young People?” Archives of General Psychiatry 876 (October 1999) (“Findings support recent evidence suggesting that gay, lesbian, and bisexual young people are at increased risk of mental health problems, with these associates being particularly evident for measures of suicidal behavior and multiple disorder.”)  While some may argue that these findings are “caused by society oppression” (J Michael Bailey, “Homosexuality and Mental Illness,” Archives of General Psychiatry 883 and 884 October 1999), this is not the only possible explanation. The survey of findings from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study found a significant greater risk for psychiatric disorders among homosexuals, even though “the Dutch social climate toward homosexuality has long been and remains considerably more tolerant” than most of the world. Sandfort, et al, above, at 89. Other possible explanations include hypotheses that “homosexuality represents a deviation from normal development and is associated with other such deviations that may lead to mental illness,” and that “increased psychopathology among homosexual people is a consequence of lifestyle differences associated with sexual orientation.”  J. Michael Bailey, above, at 884. Also, Sandfort et al., above, at 85-91.  (Youth are four times more likely to suffer major depression, also three times as likely to suffer generalized anxiety disorder, nearly four times as likely to experience conduct disorder, four times as likely to commit suicide, five times as likely to have nicotine dependence, six times as likely to suffer multiple disorders, and over six times as likely to have attempted suicide. Additionally, this research originates in the Netherlands where homosexuality is much more mainstream and accepted.)  Substance abuse is an additional health concern of those in the homosexual lifestyle:  Timothy J. Dailey, “The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality” and associated notes, Family Research Council “The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychologists reports that lesbian women consume alcohol more frequently, and in larger amounts, than heterosexual women. Lesbians were at significantly greater risk than heterosexual women for both binge drinking (19.4 percent compared to 11.7 percent), and for heavy drinking (7 percent compared to 2.7 percent)….Among men, by far the most important risk group consisted of homosexual and bisexual men, who were more than nine times as likely as heterosexual men to have a history of problem drinking.”  
   Domestic violence is an additional health risk for homosexuals: Susan C. Turnell, A Descriptive Analysis of Same-Sex Relationship Violence for a Diverse Sample, 13 Journal of Family Violence, 281 (2000) (finding that 44% of gay men report having experienced physical violence in their relationships, including 14% reporting sexual violence, with 83% reporting emotional abuse. Among lesbians:  55% acknowledge having experienced physical violence, 14% report sexual abuse and 84% report emotional abuse); See also, U.S. Department of Justice Study, Citizen Magazine, (January 2000) (reporting that the U.S. Justice Study found an epidemic of violence between homosexuals:  an annual average of 13,740 male victims of violence by homosexual partners and 16,900 victims by lesbian partners. By contrast, the most recent numbers—1999—for “hate crimes” based on sexual orientation totaled a relatively low 1,558 victims). See also New York Times article “Alleged Murder Is Further Proof of Domestic Violence as Major Health Risk of Homosexuals, Traditional Values Group Says,” available at, quoting Diane Gramley, president of the American Family Association of Northwestern Pennsylvania:  “The truth is that acts of outside aggression against individuals involved in homosexual behavior, while always highly publicized, are rare. The far greater threat of violence to individuals involved in homosexual relationships—a staggering 50,000 percent higher risk, according to research by homosexual activists themselves—is the epidemic of domestic violence such individuals commit against each other.”  See also David Island and Patrick Letellier, Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them, p. 14, “The probability of violence occurring in a gay couple is mathematically double the probability of that in a heterosexual couple…we believe as many as 650,000 gay men may be victims of domestic violence each year in the United States.” 
[v] For a discussion about treatment, consider “Born That Way?  Facts and Fiction about Homosexuality, Factors Beyond Biology,” with associated notes, by A. Dean Byrd, Ph.D., MBA, MPH, Meridian Magazine (online at, Sept. 3, 2004.

[vi] It is interesting to note that countries which have legalized or are considering legalizing same-sex marriage have some of the lowest fertility rates in the world. For instance, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Canada have birthrates that hover around 1.6 children per woman¾well below the replacement fertility rate of 2.1. For national fertility rates, see:
For information concerning the growing disconnect between marriage and procreation, see .