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.

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