Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why Same-Sex Marriage Is A Bad Idea

We need to be clear - opposing same-sex marriage does not = "hate" of persons who have a same-sex attraction. Nor is it "homophobic", mean, discriminatory, etc. In fact, if you believe same-sex marriage is not good for someone and say nothing about it, that isn't love at all. Love compels us to seek out what is good for the other.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says (emphasis added):
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
I write this post in the spirit of respect, compassion and sensitivity for persons with same-sex attraction. I do so out of love - because I believe same-sex marriage is bad for them and for society. Every person I know is a sinner and yet they still deserve to be loved and treated fairly, because they are human beings who share the same dignity.

NOTE: You are free to disagree, but if you put want a comment posted below, be careful that you follow our comment rules and engage in a dialogue on the subject, not ad hominem or attacks. They won't make the cut.

Is it unfair, unjust, discriminatory and homophobic to oppose marriages of two men or two women? Many today would say it is. Yet - treating different things differently is not discrimination.

So, WHAT IS MARRIAGE? The answer helps us understand what is going on.

A monogamous, lifelong, faithful, loving union between one man and one woman - till death = the traditional definition of marriage. Marriage is meant to instill true self-giving love and a marriage between a man/woman is the best place where love can grow to be total, faithful, fruitful, and free.

Marriage is personal, but not merely private. Marriages are by definition, a part of society. Marriage is also not merely about two people. It is about the others that become bound to them - their children.  The natural way a child is created and brought into the world is through sexual relations between a man and woman. Studies consistently prove the common sense notion that the best place for a child to be raised is in a stable marriage of their mother and father. Thus, the state has a compelling interest in helping marriage become stronger and more stable. Promoting a re-definition of marriage undermines these efforts.

Furthermore, children have the right to have their best interests furthered by our laws and by our society. The government should protect the rights of children to live and flourish.

The family is the fundamental building block of human society. In fact, because of the natural ability to procreate, marriage is the very source of life and even the future of our world. The role of the government is to promote the common good. So, promoting relationships which re-define marriage harms children (the future of our society) and is a failure to promote the common good.

Marriage isn't just about the romance and feelings between two people. There are serious social consequences.

What is the most powerful thing two people can do together? Create another unique, unrepeatable and eternal human being - that is, create a new life! When we step back and reflect on this, it is earth-shattering. Sex is naturally ordered toward the creation of new life and the bonding of two people. When one of these two purposes is intentionally removed, then sex is lowered to something that it was not meant to be. Something without the high and lofty meaning and reality it should have.

Sex matters because it has such amazing power. Homosexual sex is deficient in achieving either goal. By nature, there can be no procreation and because our bodies were designed to compliment the other sex, there can be no true "partnering" between same-sex couples. What sex becomes then is selfish pleasure and using another human person - as it does in any sexual act outside of marriage.

This complimentarity of the sexes also matters in parenting. No two fathers or two mothers can give a child what a mother and father can. Thus, no same-sex union can give a child all they need from both a father and a mother.

We all know that marriage is the glue which has held together communities, cultures, and peoples for generation upon generation. The values that are within a culture are given within the family and that is then taken out into the wider culture to nurture and perpetuate that culture. Traditional marriage is the foundation of the values that govern life in our society and therefore the core social unit of society itself.

Marriage isn't just about self-fulfillment and the promotion of same-sex marriage is an attempt to change what is the essential character of marriage. What are the results? One man, one woman, and their children unite as a family - every bit of evidence shows that families thrive in monogamous and stable homes with two biological parents of opposite sexes who remain married. This means that there is less poverty, crime, strife, etc. in homes where marriages do well. When families suffer the rest of our culture suffers.

Marriage naturally involves a public acceptance of the relationship. It is not an acceptance merely of the relationship itself, but it is a recongition that life is naturally transmitted through this relationship and that through the marital relationships of men and women - society itself not only should recognize this, but support it.

This issue is about all of us. Cultural norms and values are for the greater-good, not just about what feels right. For society to change a basic and fundamental building block of the culture would be cultural suicide.

Notice, I haven't used the Bible or religious teachings to argue against same-sex marriage. This is because the public advocates of same-sex marriage do not care what the Bible says (or will try to twist it to fit their agenda). So, I have avoided the religious arguments and stuck to natural law, logic, and sociological facts.

Notice the fruit of our modern culture's understanding of marriage, family, and sexuality:

  • porn
  • abortion
  • divorce
  • fatherless homes
  • addiction
  • declining morality
  • etc

Do we really believe our modern culture's momentum is leading us to a better place on marriage, family, sex, and society? I have never heard anyone reasonably argue this is the case.

If you want to continue to moral decline, then do nothing. If you want to turn the tide around then start to become more informed on the social consequences of such radical ideas, speak out, vote, and influence others. Don't forget to do it with kindness, love, and courage - covered in prayer.

The burden of proof lies on those who want to change marriage and no argument yet passes muster.

UPDATE #1 - some are asking for data that supports the statement that children do better in homes with a mom/dad. First of all, there is tons of data on natural marriage of one man and one woman. Stable homes with both a father and mother are best. The long-term data on same-sex parenting is new and much of it is being framed with an agenda in mind. But, nonetheless, here are a few:

  • Married parents:
  • W. Bradford Wilcox, et al., Why Marriage Matters, Second Edition: Twenty Six Conclusions from the Social Sciences, (New York: Institute for American Values, 2005)
  • Paul Amato, “The Impact of Family Formation Change on the Cognitive, Social and Emotional Well-Being of the Next Generation,” in The Future of Children, “Marriage and Child Wellbeing,” Volume 15, Number 2, Fall 2005, (Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton and The Brookings Institution)
  • Ronald P. Rohner and Robert A. Veneziano, “The Importance of Father Love: History and Contemporary Evidence,” Review of General Psychology 5.4 (2001): 382-405
  • Kyle D. Pruett, Fatherneed: Why Father Care is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child, (New York: The Free Press, 2000)
  • Michael Stiffman, et al., “Household Composition and Risk of Fatal Child Maltreatment,” Pediatrics, 109 (2002), 615-621

UPDATE #2 - some say that infertile couples are an exception to the rule just as same-sex couples are. False. Infertile couples prove the point of natural marriage. An infertile couple is naturally oriented toward procreation and something is medically wrong. The reason a same-sex couple cannot procreate is because nature is working correctly.

If you want more on this subject, then I recommend the links and videos below.
**Frequently Asked Questions About The Defense Of Marriage
**Q&A About Marriage And Same-Sex Unions
**The Best Article On Why Same-Sex Marriage Is A Bad Idea
**Why Same-Sex Marriage is NOT a Civil Rights Issue!
**Two Reasons Same-Sex Marriage Is Gaining Ground
**Special Report: Gay Marriage 
**Religion, Reason, and Same-Sex Marriage
**What Marriage Is—And What It Isn't
**Same-Sex Science
**On gay marriage, stop playing the hate card


Lindsay said...

Marcel, where do you get your photos? I'm always on the lookout for good ones, particularly for my Austin Catholic New Media column. I'm most interested in the second one, because I can rarely find a nonwhite example couple.

theresathomas said...

Amazing post! Thank you!

7ba2909c-9662-11e2-a2e9-000bcdcb2996 said...

"Studies consistently prove the common sense notion that the best place for a child to be raised is in a stable marriage of their mother and father."

I am curious about what studies you are referencing here? I would like to see the numbers and the sample groups they are taken from.

The Daily Primitive said...


The American Academy of Pediatrics has found that, "extensive data available from more than 30 years of research reveal that children raised by gay and lesbian parents have demonstrated resilience with regard to social, psychological, and sexual health despite economic and legal disparities and social stigma."


And the association itself has come out with a policy statement in support of same-sex parenting.

Proteios1 said...

More of the same. Still agree. Marriage is one man one woman for life. What I am hearing is about rights. what i am not hearing is about responsibilities. What are ones responsibilities in marriage. No one seems to want to discuss that.

Still I am pleased that the side that wants dialogue. That wants understanding. That is standing up for its beliefs in the face of slander and name calling are the Catholics and fellow supporters. The other side is suppressing dialogue through name calling.

Marcel said...

To counter the Pediatricians (who have a clear agenda and voted this in despite numerous protests from many in their organization) http://www.ruthinstitute.org/ITAF12/faculty/readings/SSParentingHJLPP.pdf

Chris said...

Our mission as catholics is to help bring our brothers & sisters into a loving relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. One cannot be truly in an authentic relationship with Christ if they are living a sinful lifestyle & refuse to "Repent & believe the gospel." Same sex advocates will deny that it is sin. To call it sin is not discriminatory, hateful or berating them. It's speaking the truth. Christ didn't say to the woman caught in adultery, "I understand, its not your fault that you have this condition. I understand that you believe contrary to God's will for your life that if it feels good just go ahead & do it, you will still go to heaven. Its not really sin. I'm about to go be despised, rejected, tortured & nailed to cross & die a horrible death just so you can have the freedom to do whatever it is you want. Do the best you can in your life, as long as you really care about the other person, its OK." What He really said, "Go & sin no more."

Prior to repentance a person is deluded into believing he or she is something that he or she is not. They are alienated from God and ignorant of the things of God. Their mind and heart are blind to their true condition of ignorance and self-centeredness. Without repentance a person cannot know themselves nor can they know God.

Rose G. said...

I am an infertile woman going through medical treatment to try and fix what is going wrong with my body. It always hurts when people use infertile couples as an argument for allowing same-sex marriage. When reading your article, I was moved by this sentence from the Catechism -
"These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition."
I realize that this is talking about people with same-sex attraction, but it could just as easily be written about people who are infertile. Actually, we are all called to unite our cross to Christ's, no matter what that cross is.

Howard said...

To put this in perspective, I challenge you to find sinful behaviors that could not be inserted into the following.

"The number of men and women who have deep-seated tendencies to _______ is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition."

Really, there is nothing particularly special about it. A not-insignificant number are tempted? Who doesn't undergo temptation in one form or another? But we don't condone theft because someone is a kleptomaniac, or violence from men with XYY syndrome.

A bad habit has developed in Catholic thinking that tends to atomize doctrine. Scads of Catholics wring their hands about the death penalty, without apparently ever thinking about exactly how it fits within a general system of justice and mercy. The same thing is displayed here with homosexuality. Of course some people are tempted by it, and of course some succumb to that temptation. The fact of temptation does not make sin OK for them any more than it does for me. Of course the consequences should be proportional to the gravity and the culpability of their sins, not more and not less, just like in every other case.

Frederick Kahrs said...

I would be surprised if you did not know by now that the American Academy of Pediatrics is not a legitimate organization. If not, I can assure you the tiniest bit of research will help you understand that.