The assault on marriage and family

That the institutions of marriage and family are under threat today is a no-brainer. All the indications point clearly to the fact that that the natural family and the covenant of marriage are both being stretched to breaking point. Many sources of attack could be mentioned, but the activities of the homosexual lobby deserve special mention.

Certainly the gay activists have been very busy—and successful—lately in redefining and undermining the traditional understanding of marriage and family. And many people in the general community see nothing particularly problematic in this. However, before we totally capitulate in this area, a closer look is needed to see if this is indeed the direction we want to be heading in.

Gay marriage

Perhaps the most disconcerting item on the gay agenda is the desire to equate same-sex relationships with normal marriage and family life. In this the gay lobby has been quite successful. For example, during the 1994 International Year of the Family, the Government refused to even attempt to define what it meant by the term ‘family’ for fear of offending the homosexual lobby. Indeed, a Labor Federal Cabinet decided to include homosexual couples in its definition of families for the purpose of future census-taking by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. And in New South Wales it has now been decided that gay couples are to be recognized as ‘family’.1

Of course the Orwellian attempt to equate same-sex relationships with traditional marriage is doomed from the outset. Homosexual marriage is simply an oxymoron. However, with de facto relationships now on a near par with marriage relationships, the gay lobby feels it can make a strong case for equating same-sex relationships with heterosexual marriage. Indeed, we have managed to strip away the inherent uniqueness of marriage by redefining it and broadening it.

As social commentator Maggie Gallagher puts it,

Over the past thirty years, quietly, and largely unremarked outside a narrow group of specialists, American family law has been rewritten to dilute both the rights and the obligations of marriage, while at the same time placing other relationships, from adulterous liaisons to homosexual partnerships, on a legal par with marriage in some respects. To put it another way, by expanding the definition of marriage to the point of meaninglessness, courts are gradually redefining marriage out of existence.2

The identification of gay relationships with heterosexual marriage is a chief example of this. However, it needs to be pointed out that there has been a long debate amongst homosexuals over the question of gay marriage. Some are in favour; some are opposed; and there are many options in between. As but one example, David McCarthy of the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby puts it this way: “Obviously while there is a lack of unanimity about gay marriage, our human rights must be the same as everyone else’s. If someone wants to get married or doesn’t want to get married, it’s their choice.”3

But even those in favor of gay marriage do not necessarily think in terms of ‘marriage’ as is commonly accepted. One homosexual writer for example, Andrew Sullivan, writes that if homosexual marriage contracts come into force, they would have to be “different”: that is, they would have to allow for “extra-marital outlets” and other major changes.4 Of course, this undermines the very essence of marriage, which is the covenant of life-long sexual faithfulness.

Indeed, monogamy is quite rare in homosexual relationships. Many homosexual commentators have made it clear that if and when they do achieve the right to ‘marry’, they will demand to radically redefine what the term ‘marriage’ means. Several examples can be mentioned here.

Lesbian activist Paula Ettelbrick put it this way:

Being queer is more than setting up house, sleeping with a person of the same gender, and seeking state approval for doing so … Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex, sexuality, and family, and in the process, transforming the very fabric of society … As a lesbian, I am fundamentally different from non-lesbian women … In arguing for the right to legal marriage, lesbians and gay men would be forced to claim that we are just like heterosexual couples, have the same goals and purposes, and vow to structure our lives similarly … We must keep our eyes on the goals of providing true alternatives to marriage and of radically reordering society’s views of reality.5

American homosexual activist Michelangelo Signorile makes similar remarks, urging activists to

fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits and then, once granted, redefine the institution of marriage completely, to demand the right to marry not as a way of adhering to society’s moral codes but rather to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution that as it now stands keeps us down. The most subversive action lesbians and gay men can undertake—and one that would perhaps benefit society—is to transform the notion of ‘family’ entirely.6

And the percentage of homosexuals who actually want marriage rights is very small indeed. In Australia, studies have found that only about one-fifth of homosexuals and lesbians have showed an interest in same-sex marriage.7

But with three nations now going the way of homosexual marriage (The Netherlands, Belgium, and Canada), the issue has taken on new significance. Indeed, with the Ontario Supreme Court declaring that it is a violation of homosexuals’ rights to restrict marriage to heterosexuals, a new emphasis has been made by some in the homosexual community to push for homosexual marriage in Australia.

For example, Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby Co-convener David McCarthy said that gay marriage should be tested here, now that the Ontario ruling has been made. He argues that if an Australia gay couple went to Ontario and got married, or a Canadian married couple moved here, the Australian legal system would be forced to decide on whether that marriage was valid here. (Ontario has no residence requirement for marriages celebrated in the province, unlike Holland and Belgium.8)

And this has now happened. A Melbourne couple went to Toronto, were ‘married’, and have now demanded recognition by Australian lawmakers. While the outcome is pending, it is now only a matter of time before the issue is brought to a head.9

Bear in mind that the Australian Greens and Democrats have already moved to allow amendments to the Marriage Act 1961 to go in their direction. Moreover, in June of 2002, a news item reported that the Marriage Act could easily be reinterpreted by the courts. A top jurist gave confidential legal advice to the then Attorney-General Daryl Williams, saying that the Act was so wide open that courts could easily interpret gay and lesbian unions as legally valid marriages.10

Thus it is quite possible that the Australian Parliament could be bypassed altogether with a Court decision instead clearing the way for gay marriage. Indeed, the courts are already softening things up in this regard. On 11 October 2001, the Family Court of Australia decided that a transsexual could marry.11 That is, a woman who underwent a sex change operation was declared to be legally able to marry another woman, according to the Honourable Justice Chisholm. In February 2003 the full court of the Family Court again decided that the 1999 marriage was valid.12 In doing so, the justices effectively undermined the words of the Marriage Act which state that marriage is the “voluntary union of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others”.13

If homosexual marriage were to be legalized here, it would be one of the final nails in the coffin for heterosexual marriage and family. The truth is that all cultures have recognized marriage, but only of the heterosexual variety. And marriage has always been associated with procreation.14 To strip marriage of its traditional moorings is to effectively destroy it.

Indeed, one must bear in mind the normative and educative function of the law. Whenever something is legalized, it sends out a social signal, saying that this must be an acceptable and even preferable activity. In legalizing same-sex marriage, we will be making a major social statement, and taking a major step forward in social engineering. Even Judge Richard Posner, who in general favours the direction of the sexual revolution, is concerned about homosexual marriage. He writes, “To permit persons of the same sex to marry is to declare, or more precisely, to be understood by many people to be declaring, that homosexual marriage is a desirable, even a noble, condition in which to live.”15

And anthropologists who have studied the historical record have observed previous experiments in redefining sexual norms. They do not always like what they see. For example, a Boston University anthropologist remarks that anthropology “guards a treasure house of examples of what happens when a society institutionalizes other arrangements.” He argues that if a society normalizes male homosexuality through gay marriage, the general results

are predictable on the basis of the ethnography: heterosexual marriage will be weakened; the birth rate will decline; the status of women as mothers will further erode; and young boys will be a much greater target of erotic attention by older males.16

As one Canadian University professor put it, legal attempts to redefine marriage will eradicate a tried and tested good in favor of a risky social experiment. But the new hybrid will not be marriage at all:

Marriage is not merely a union of two persons. It is a gendered union with specific social goods attached. The state—which did not invent marriage and has no authority to re-invent it—rightly takes an interest in marriage on account of these goods: stability of community and property, of human reproduction and the care of children, of cross-gender and cross-generational bonding, etc.

To include same-sex couples in the institution of marriage is simply to substitute “for a gendered phrase (‘one man and one woman’) its genderless one.”17

As William Bennett has written,

Marriage is not an arbitrary construct; it is an ‘honourable estate’ based on the different, complementary nature of men and women—and how they refine, support, encourage and complete one another. To insist that we maintain this traditional understanding of marriage is not an attempt to put others down. It is simply an acknowledgement and celebration of our most precious and important social act. Nor is this view arbitrary or idiosyncratic. It mirrors the accumulated wisdom of millennia and the teaching of every major religion.18

Moreover, the same arguments used for legalizing gay marriage could be used to argue for legalizing incest, polygamy, and any number of other sexual combinations. If a man wanted to have a long-term sexual relationship with his daughter, or if three women wanted to do the same, how could any society argue against it, if it has already overturned the traditional understanding of marriage?

Indeed, all boundaries are smashed when we redefine marriage. There are even groups arguing for the right to marry one’s pet! Called ‘petrosexuality’, this new sexuality insists that a person’s love for his or her pet, including sexual relations, should be made official. Thus one Dutch website encourages people to marry their pets.19

As Bennett writes elsewhere, “once marriage has been detached from the natural, complementary teleology of the sexes, it becomes nothing more than what each of us makes of it.”20 Or as another commentator says,

What we are doing by creating this institution to be called ‘gay marriage’ is smashing marriage and replacing it with a whole new set of arrangements that apply to everybody, not just homosexuals, everybody, in which marriage is a unique contract between any two or more adults who want to enter into it and set by any rules. It makes marriage impermanent, and it turns children into commodities.21

And that last point is of utmost importance. It is a crucial question that is usually omitted in this whole debate: What about the children? If we allow homosexual marriage and adoption rights, what will be the effect on children?

Before moving on to the subject of children, let me mention a few words about the complaint often made by gays that they are discriminated against under current marriage laws. As an example, Australian comedian and television personality Julie McCrossin gave an address to the Sydney Institute in July of 1999. Entitled, “Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride: Recognizing Same Sex Relationships”, she spoke of how she and her lesbian partner were denied marriage rights in Australia.

She complained that she was being discriminated against, and made this impassioned statement: “Until we’re able to get married, gay and lesbian couples don’t have equality before the law.”22 Such an argument is common amongst gay rights activists.

However, these arguments are as fallacious as they are common. The truth is, no one has the kind of “equality before law” that the homosexual activists are clamouring for. In this case, for example, homosexuals are no more (and no less) being discriminated against than are all kinds of other people.

It is true that a homosexual cannot now legally marry. But neither can a whole lot of other folk. A five-year old boy cannot marry. Three people cannot get married to each other. And even if an attractive young woman were to fall in love with me and want to marry me (a highly unlikely scenario I might add), she cannot, because I am already married. Moreover, a girl cannot marry her pet goldfish, no matter how much she might love it. A father cannot marry his daughter, regardless of his affection for her. A football team cannot enact group marriage, no matter how close, committed and bonded they are. The list is endless.

However, under the law, almost all of us can marry, given certain conditions. If I should decide to reciprocate the affections of this young woman, I could divorce my current wife and marry her (also an unlikely scenario I must emphasize). The five-year-old could wait for around a dozen years, and then he will be free to marry. The threesome can decide to give one the boot, and then get married (provided they are an opposite sex pair).

And a homosexual too can marry. There is no law saying a homosexual cannot marry, if he decides to find a woman and settle down (or if a lesbian finds a man and seeks marriage). But it is nonsense for a person to eschew male-female relationships in favor of same-sex ones, and then complain of discrimination.

Finally, when marriage is declared to be about the best interests of children, homosexuals will still object. They argue that if you deny marriage for homosexuals because they cannot reproduce, what about all the heterosexual couples who do not have children? ‘Marriage isn’t just about having children, is it?’ they ask.

This sounds like a good argument, but it isn’t really. Marriage is certainly open to the possibility of children, even though for various reasons not all marriages will result in children. One commentator offers this insight on the relationship of marriage to reproduction: just turn the question around. That is, instead of asking “whether actual reproduction is essential to marriage, ask this: If marriage never had anything to do with reproduction, would there be any reason for the government to be involved in regulating or rewarding it?”23 Governments do not determine who your best friend should be. But when the possibility of children arises, then governments and societies are greatly concerned.

Gay adoption rights

A major part of the gay agenda has been that of gay adoption rights. And slowly they are getting what they want. On 10 February 2004 the ACT Government’s controversial parenting bill was passed which allows gay and lesbian couples to adopt children.24 Other states are expected to follow suit. But is it the right direction to be taking?

The desire for people, especially women, to have children is of course normal, but one has to ask if homosexual or lesbian parenting is desirable. Homosexuals may claim that there is no reason why they should not raise children, and that sexual preference has nothing to do with the issue of good parenting. But does the evidence bear this out? Initial research is beginning to show that children do suffer from being raised by same-sex parents. Before turning to this evidence, let me say that, obviously, many traditional families have poor parenting skills. But exceptions do not make the rule. The point is that in most cases, a child will do better with a mother and father, and in most cases, a child will suffer as a result of being raised by same-sex parents.

One person who has spent a lot of time looking into this question is psychologist Dr Joe Nicolosi. He agues that kids raised by homosexuals are traumatized, emotionally and socially.

Children, he argues, are profoundly affected by parental behaviour. For example, children of smokers often become smokers. Says Nicolosi,

Homosexuality is primarily an identity problem, not a sexual problem, and it begins in childhood. The process begins when a child realizes that the world is divided between male and female, and he is not equipped to be identified as male. His father fails to sufficiently encourage male-gender identity. Because he is not fully male-gender-identified, he is not psychologically prepared to feel heterosexual attractions. In order to be attracted to women, a male must feel sufficiently masculine. Faced with this predicament, he goes into a world of fantasy and denies the imperative of being either male or female.25

The lack of a strong father figure seems to be a major factor in those who become homosexuals. Another researcher, Dr Paul Cameron, says the admittedly scant data on the subject confirms Nicolosi’s findings. These studies show that between 8% and 33% of adult respondents raised by homosexuals said they considered themselves homosexual or bisexual, far above the national (US) norm of 2% of the adult population.26

The absence of role models presents other problems. How will a man raised by two men know how to relate to a woman? Or how will a man raised by two women know how to relate to men?

One woman who was raised by lesbians now runs a support and recovery program for those coming out of the homosexual lifestyle and their families. She put it this way:

I realize that homosexuals feel they can give a child love and support that even many straight families can’t provide, but I’ve been there. I know the finger pointing and the shame one carries. For years, you struggle with the thought that you might be a homosexual. People say ‘like mother, like daughter.’ Most of us become promiscuous to prove we’re straight.27

Another woman says this of her upbringing by two homosexuals:

From 40 years of experience, I can tell you that even though my father loved me, his homosexual orientation handicapped my ability to learn to relate to life in a healthy way. My homosexual home stunted my growth as a person and as a woman, not to mention the damaging effect of 16 years of drugs and alcohol abuse on my early childhood development. I spent the first 20 years of my life in a family that nearly destroyed me, and the last 20 years analyzing and being analyzed in order to make sense of it. The bottom line is: I was dearly loved by my father. His love alone was not enough to give me the foundation that I needed to grow into a secure young woman … My father and I have looked back through the past and discussed the issue of homosexual parenting. With great remorse, he agrees the homosexual lifestyle, no matter how conservative, is not healthy for children. My father and I agree: homosexuality and raising healthy children exclude each other.28

Or consider the tragic case of a twelve-year-old Melbourne boy who has run away from home five times. The reason? He refuses to live with his mother and her lesbian partner. The boy’s father has repeatedly been denied custody to the child, and the boy has threatened to kill himself as a result.29

And finally, someone who can speak from experience in this area: A lesbian mother has publicly expressed her regret at bearing three children through artificial insemination. The New Zealand woman, who says she is “now in the process of becoming a heterosexual”, had a stormy relationship with her lesbian lover, which eventually broke down. Her comments are worth noting:

I realize now that I deprived my kids of their right to a father, and I see the hurt in their faces every day … I believe children should have the best opportunities in life. The best way they can have a balanced view of what is normal is with heterosexual parents.30

Children need to see how men and women interact together. A homosexual or lesbian union cannot provide that role model. Children deserve better. But the interests of the child are the last thing being considered in this debate. Indeed, today everyone is demanding rights to do this and that, but very few seem to realize that rights must be balanced by responsibilities. The right to have a child must be balanced by the rights of the child. Children should be given the first priority. The homosexual lobby should not be allowed to use children as a political football in their efforts to seek legitimacy for their lifestyle. If the data is still not all in yet, then for the sake of children, we should not rush headlong into gay adoption and marriage.

However, some will argue that the data is coming in. In the last few years, studies have appeared which claim that children raised in same-sex households suffer no ill effects, and may even do better than children raised in heterosexual families. How are we to assess such studies?

Several points can be made. First, there are many studies that have arrived at the opposite conclusion. For example, a study of Australian primary school children from three family types (married heterosexual couples, cohabiting heterosexual couples and homosexual couples) found that in every area of educational endeavour (language; mathematics; social studies; sport; classwork; sociability; popularity; and attitudes to learning), children from married heterosexual couples performed the best, while children from homosexual couples performed the worst. The study concludes with these words: “[M]arried couples seem to offer the best environment for a child’s social and educational development.”31

And a major American study arrived at these conclusions:

Children of homosexuals will

  • be more frequently subjected to parental instability (of residence and sexual partners) and
  • have poorer peer and adult relationships.

Also, as is held to be true of their parents, homosexuals’ children will be more apt to

  • become homosexual,
  • be unstable (have emotional problems and difficulty forming lasting bonds) with reduced interest in natality, and
  • be sexually precocious and promiscuous.32

Second, most of these studies purporting to show that children raised in same-sex households do as well as other children have been roundly criticized for methodological shortcomings. One meta-analysis of 49 such studies found a number of methodological flaws. These include the lack of any proper hypothesis statement, the problem of affirming the null hypothesis, the lack of proper comparison groups, the problem of measurement error and probability, neglect of extraneous variables, and so on.33 On a less technical level, these studies suffer from small sample sizes, lack of a proper control group, inadequacy of self-reporting, and lack of proper timeframe (longitudinal analysis).

Consider self-reporting. Most of these studies simply ask the children how they enjoy their same-sex parents. Not surprisingly, they don’t find any problems. But what child is going to bag his or her parents? Indeed, if that is all they have known, it is even more difficult to criticize it. Thus scientific objective is sorely lacking in these types of studies. And since gay parenting is relatively recent, most children in same-sex households are relatively young. So asking 10-year-olds about their social, mental and psychological wellbeing may not result in very reliable data.

But many of the children in same-sex households originally came from heterosexual families, making measurement more difficult. How much of their wellbeing or lack of it is attributable to heterosexual upbringing, and how much is attributable to homosexual upbringing?

A further problem with many of these studies is the political agenda being promoted. That is, most of these studies are conducted by those who are homosexual or who support the homosexual agenda. To confirm this point, one study examined all the major studies on same-sex marriage and gay parenting published in law review publications in the 1990s.

Only one of the seventy-two pieces published in the nineties unequivocally supports the rule of exclusive heterosexual marriage, while sixty-seven pieces advocate or support same-sex marriage … Likewise, virtually all of the law review literature addressing homosexual parenting advocates the politically progressive position favoring legalization or expansion of legal status, benefits, and privileges for homosexual parenting.34

Interestingly, two American sociologists who are openly supportive of the homosexual agenda have recently admitted that bias is a real factor in these studies. They declare that “heterosexism” has “hampered the intellectual progress in the field”, and show that in these studies the researchers “frequently downplay findings indicating difference regarding children’s gender and sexual preferences and behavior that could stimulate important theoretical questions”. After examining the findings of 21 psychological studies published between 1981 and 1998, they

identified conceptual, methodological, and theoretical limitations in the psychological research on the effects of parental sexual orientation and … challenged the predominant claim that the sexual orientation of parents does not matter at all.

Indeed, they “recognize the political dangers” of pointing out the truth that “children with lesbigay parents are themselves apt to engage in homosexual activity”.35

Thus, the so-called evidence that gay parenting is just as beneficial as heterosexual parenting has been examined and found wanting. The remarks of one group of researchers who reviewed 14 of these gay parenting studies are worth noting. Their “most impressive finding” was that

all of the studies lacked external validity. The conclusion that there are no significant differences in children raised by lesbian mothers versus heterosexual mothers is not supported by the published database.36

Finally, one must recall why adoption laws have been established in the first place. Because young children are so vulnerable, the aim of adoption has been to provide the child in question with a secure, permanent, legal family. The paramount concern in adoption has been the best interests of the child. Thus only the best families have been allowed to adopt, not just ‘good enough’ families. The issue of homosexual fostering is really all about homosexual rights, not the interests and needs of children.

Can a homosexual couple love and nurture a child? Undoubtedly many can. But that is not the issue. As the former vice president of the National Council for Adoption in the US has put it,

providing a nurturing environment is not enough. A homosexual parent cannot provide the parental experience of a parent of the opposite sex, and this is as critical to the child as anything else. When discussing a child’s needs, it is not just a discussion of what a particular parent can provide—it is just as important to consider what a parent cannot provide and, in this case, it is half of a child’s needed parenting experience.37

For many homosexuals, the demand for adoption rights, like the demand for marriage rights, is really about seeking legitimacy and acceptance. That is, these are symbolic demands as much as anything. They are part of the attempt to seek the complete public acceptance and normalization of their lifestyle—something many societies are rightly hesitant about.

For the homosexual rights movement the right to adopt is a symbol—a goal which must be achieved in order to achieve broader victory … Clearly, adoption as a political statement does not take into account a child’s needs at all. And an individual parent, whether heterosexual or homosexual, who is seeking to adopt principally to meet narcissistic needs is also not concerned about the best interest of the child.38

More on gay parenting

Because this issue has been getting considerable media treatment as of late, it is worth devoting more attention to the topic. Indeed, the media has made much of several new studies that purport to show no adverse effects to children raised in same-sex households. One of the newest and most extensive critiques of such studies is that by British sociologist Patricia Morgan. In her 160-page book she does a thorough job of documenting the evidence for the two-parent family, and revealing how studies purporting to show the benefits of being raised in a same-sex family are deeply flawed.39

She begins her analysis by noting a common tactic used by those who support same-sex parenting: the observation that there are so many dysfunctional heterosexual families. But

no amount of decrying or demonstrating the disadvantages of one situation is, in itself, proof of the advantages of another. Deficiencies or condemnations of heterosexual parenting are not, in themselves, valid evidence for the superiority of homosexual parenting.40

Moreover, as she points out, most children who go into government care because of abuse or other problems, come from homes other than where a mum and dad are present, committed by marriage.41 And as politically incorrect as it may be, “the evidence is that around a third of all molestations of children are homosexual molestations, and the same applies to the proportion of paedophiles who are homosexual.”42

The bulk of her book is a review of 144 academic papers on gay parenting. She demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of these studies are quite worthless. They are so poorly done that the ‘results’ prove nothing. The methodological shortcomings include: failure to design the study properly; failure to properly measure the relevant variables; failure to control for extraneous variables; and failure to use proper statistical tests. These and other shortcomings mean that most of the studies and reports are invalid.

Many of the studies, for example, are little more than anecdotal. People offer gushing praise for their lifestyle choice, and report that everything is just fine in the family. Says Morgan, “While anecdotes may illustrate conclusions drawn from well-conducted research, in themselves they prove nothing.”43 Using self-congratulatory testimonials is hardly objective science:

It is astonishing how collections of anecdotes are reverentially accepted by public bodies, academics and research institutes, who would immediately laugh away the use of similar material as ‘evidence’ elsewhere.44

Plenty of other problems are found in the so-called studies. Small sample groups are a frequent drawback. Often just several dozen are featured in a study, making any reliable and informative statistical conclusions almost impossible to achieve.

Another problem is where the samples come from. The truth is, in most cases the study is advertised in a homosexual newspaper, and people with a vested interest (those who want to promote the homosexual agenda) are thereby recruited. Self-selected volunteers with vested interests are hardly scientific sample groups. Proper studies of child development based on randomly selected, representative sample groups seem not to exist.

And that leads to a further problem. Self-reporting is not a basis for an objective, neutral study. What homosexual is going to say he or she is a lousy parent, and what young child raised in a same-sex household is going to badmouth his or her parents? Self-reporting leads to no useful objective evidence.

The volunteers involved in such ‘research’ “know the purpose of the research and have an interest in the outcome. So have the researchers, who are overwhelmingly sympathetic to the homosexual movement”.45

Another point that can be raised is what the studies actually say. Often the media gives them a spin that is not so accurate. Some of the better studies, for example, are much more qualified and nuanced than the popular press would have us believe. That is, some of the studies really offer a mixed message, and call for further research in the area. And some of the studies actually make admissions that the pro-homosexual side does not want too widely publicized. For example,

many studies actually indicate significant differences between homosexual and heterosexual parenting outcomes for children, particularly the likelihood that children of homosexuals may become involved in homosexual behaviour themselves.46

Also, we know that family behaviour tends to be intergenerational. Thus children of divorce or single motherhood are proportionally far more likely to repeat cycles of divorce and non-marriage than those born to married couples that stay in intact families. Says Morgan, all this “seems even more likely to be the case with homosexual parents and their children.”47

Moreover, surveys of post-adolescent offspring of same-sex parents show large proportions with a homosexual lifestyle. The figures range from 8 to 24 per cent which is four or five times higher than the general population (of British males). Morgan offers the interesting insight that if “it were true that there was any genetic or biological basis or predisposition for homosexuality, a greater frequency among the children of homosexuals would be expected.”48

Speaking of the so-called genetic basis of homosexuality, Morgan points out some other arguments against the thesis. Studies on identical twins show that often one is and one is not homosexual, which belies any genetic basis, since identical (monozygotic) twins have the same genes. Also, we know that homosexuality is not distributed in the population either randomly or uniformly like left-handedness or intelligence.49

Furthermore, research on outcomes for sexually abused young males found that early homosexual contact with an adult was highly related to homosexual outcomes.50 All of which suggests that social and cultural factors are as important as, or more important than, biological factors.

If it is true that children of same-sex couples are more likely to become homosexuals themselves, some might reply, ‘So what?’ The answer is that the welfare of children, not the preferences of adults, should be our major concern. And we know that the homosexual lifestyle is a dangerous, high-risk lifestyle. Homosexuals “suffer disproportionately from a range of morbid conditions compared to heterosexuals, particularly sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhoea, syphilis, hepatitis A and B, anorectal warts and AIDS,” with 70 per cent of the cases of HIV in Britain due to homosexual intercourse.51 (The figure is around 85 per cent in Australia.) And the average lifespan of a homosexual is much shorter than that of a heterosexual.

Also we know that homosexual relationships (especially among men) are less stable and more transient than heterosexual relationships. Homosexuals also tend to be much more promiscuous.

The most ‘stable’ of ‘gay partnerships’ are ones where there is an arrangement between the two to have sex with third parties on the side, while maintaining a permanent living arrangement.52

This all suggests that children living with homosexuals—particularly male homosexuals—are more likely to face high prospects of repeated family disruption, or multiple family transitions and exposure to high stranger levels in the home, compared to those living with heterosexuals.53

In the light of all this, Morgan asks this pointed question. If we tend to not allow children to be adopted into situations where there is obesity, smoking, old age and other factors that may result in shorter life spans, thus leaving vulnerable children at risk of being prematurely orphaned, why do we not also consider homosexuality a similar risk factor?54

Concludes Morgan,

from the perspective of the ‘best interests of the child’, if homosexual activity—like intravenous drug use—is life shortening, and morbidity attracting, then children should be placed with parents who, at very least, will not steer them towards this.55

If the evidence presented above is correct, we should not be talking so cavalierly about gay adoption rights. We should not be treating children as trophies. Indeed, we should not be treating children as guinea pigs in a radical social experiment. The rights of children, not the desires of adults, should be our primary concern.


1 ‘NSW gives new meaning to the concept of family’, The Age, 18 April 1995, p. 7.

2 Maggie Gallagher, The Abolition of Marriage, Regnery Publishing, Washington, 1996, p. 131.

3 Cited in Andrew Milnes, ‘Always a bridesmaid’, MCV, 7 November 2003, p. 1.

4 Andrew Sullivan, Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality, Picador, London, 1996, p. 202.

5 Paula Ettelbrick, ‘Since when is marriage a path to liberation?’, Out/Look, Fall 1989, p. 8.

6 Michelangelo Signorile, ‘Bridal wave’, Out, December-January 1994, p. 161.

7 Sotirios Sarantakos, ‘Same-sex marriage: Which way to go?’, Alternative Law Journal, vol. 24, no. 2, April 1999, p. 82.

8 Adam Carr, ‘Test gay marriage says lobby,’ B. News, 3 July 2003, p. 3.

9 Farah Farouque, ‘Gay “husbands” to test their marriage in court’, The Age, 4 February 2004, p. 3.

10 Gerard McManus and Simon Kearney, ‘Same-sex laws probe’, Sunday Herald Sun, 30 June 2002, p. 8.

11 Richard Egan, ‘Family court redefines man’, Family Update, vol. 17, no. 6, November-December 2001, p. 1.

12 Ian Munro, ‘Family court ruling tests the meaning of marriage’, The Age, 22 February 2003, p. 3.

13 Commonwealth Government, Marriage Act 1961, sect. 46 (1).

14 The case for this is argued in my research paper, The Historicity and Universality of the Natural Family.

15 Richard Posner, Sex and Reason. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, MA, 1992, p. 312.

16 Peter Wood, ‘Sex and consequences’, The American Conservative, 28 July 2003, p. 10.

17 Douglas Farrow, ‘Culture wars are killing marriage’, National Post (Canada), 7 May 2003.

18 William Bennett, ‘Gay marriage: Not a very good idea’, The Washington Times, 21 May 1996.

19 ‘Marriage for petrosexuals’, B. News, 23 October 2003, p. 4.

20 William Bennett, The Broken Hearth, Doubleday, New York, 2001, p. 115.

21 David Frum, ‘Modern Marriage, Modern Trouble’, in Katherine Anderson, Don Browning and Brian Boyer (eds.), Marriage: Just a Piece of Paper?, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 2002, p. 364.

22 Julie McCrossin, ‘Always a bridesmaid, never a bride: Recognizing same sex relationships’, The Sydney Papers, Winter 1999, p. 145.

23 Peter Sprigg, ‘Questions and answers: What’s wrong with letting same-sex couples legally “marry”?’, Family Research Council, issue no. 256, 17 October 2003.

24 Catherine Naylor, ‘ACT same-sex couples can now adopt’, The Canberra Times, 11 February 2004.

25 Michael Ebert, ‘Joseph Nicolosi, PhD., is the Fugitive’, Focus on the Family Citizen, June 20, 1994, pp. 10-12.

26 Cited in Don Feder, ‘Dangers of Gay Parenting are Underrated’, The Boston Globe, September 27, 1993.

27 Cited in Feder, ibid.

28 Testimony of Suzanne Cook before the Oregon State Senate, April 3, 1997.

29 Kylie Smith, ‘I prefer suicide to lesbian mum’, The Herald Sun, 24 November 2002, p. 6.

30 Pattrick Smellie, ‘Mum no more’, The Australian, 24 January 1995.

31 Sotirios Sarantakos, ‘Children in Three Contexts’, Children Australia, vol. 21, no. 3, 1996, pp. 23-31.

32 Paul Cameron, ‘Homosexual parents testing “common sense”—A literature review emphasizing the Golombok and Tasker longitudinal study of lesbians’ children’, Psychological Reports, 85, 1999, p. 282.

33 Robert Lerner and Althea Nagai, Out of Nothing Comes Nothing: Homosexual and Heterosexual Marriage Not Shown to be Equivalent for Raising Children, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, 2000.

34 Lynn Wardle, ‘The potential impact of homosexual parenting on children’, University of Illinois Law Review, 833, 1997.

35 Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblarz, ‘(How) does the sexual orientation of parents matter?’, American Sociological Review, 66, 2001, pp. 159-183.

36 P. A. Belcastro et al., ‘A review of data based studies addressing the affects of homosexual parenting on children’s sexual and social functioning’, Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 20, 1993, pp. 105-106.

37 Mary Beth Style, ‘Homosexuality and adoption’, in Christopher Wolfe (ed.), Same-Sex Matters, Spence Publishing, Dallas, 2000, p. 116.

38Ibid., p. 114.

39 Patricia Morgan, Children as Trophies? The Christian Institute, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, 2002.

40Ibid., p. 34.

41Ibid., p. 35.

42Ibid., p. 45.

43Ibid., p. 48.

44Ibid., p. 49.

45Ibid., p. 57.

46Ibid., p. 67.

47Ibid., p. 89.

48Ibid., p. 80.

49Ibid., pp. 81-82.

50Ibid., p. 83.

51Ibid., p. 87.

52Ibid., p. 111.

53Ibid., p. 112.

54Ibid., p. 130.

55Ibid., p. 132.

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