Kelly O'Connell's recent article raises the above question and provides a number of defenses re: traditional marriage. Being that Western society is becoming increasingly irreligious, I won't even touch upon the religious arguments raised by Ms. O'Connell for the simple fact that in today's world, religious arguments are completely lost upon people who have almost no grounding in Biblical history or study. John Sentamu, the archbishop of York, (above) recently presented a balanced, civil and principled argument against gay marriage (without appealing to religion) in which he basically stated redefining marriage to include same-sex couples 'would benefit nobody'...
Of course, if someone should ask, "how will my marriage be affected if couples of the same sex can marry?", the answer is: not at all. But let me put the question another way: what sort of a society would we have if we came to see all family relationships primarily in terms of equal rights? The family is designed to meet the different needs of its different members in different ways. It is the model of the just society that responds intelligently to differences rather than treating everyone the same...
Unless one believes that every difference between the sexes is a mere social construct, the question of equality between the sexes cannot be completely addressed by the paradigm of racial equality. Defining marriage as between a man and a woman is not discriminatory against same-sex couples. What I am pressing for is a kind of social pluralism that does not degenerate into a fancy-free individualism."
Ms. O'Connell meanwhile, cites some statistics in her defense of traditional marriage such as the following...
- 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census)—5 times the average.
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes—32 times the average.
- 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes—20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)
- 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes—14 times the average. (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
- 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes—9 times the average. (National Principals Association Report)
- 70% of youths in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes—9 times the average. (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Sept. 1988)
- 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes—20 times the average. (Fulton Co. Georgia, Texas Dept. of Correction)
"Now, one can assume that a female playing the male role in a lesbian relationship would erase this problem, if such a dynamic exists. But frankly, why would a female attempting to act masculine take the place of a real man? This assumes that the problem with being fatherless is due entirely to there being only half a couple responsible for the children. It also assumes men and women are utterly interchangeable. And yet we know for a fact that men and women, even when undertaking the same tasks, are still radically different (see here).
It also assumes that male and female homosexual couples model male and female behavior effectively, which is crucial since young children learn much by mimicking. In fact, many experts are concerned that gay parenting will be brought in with anodyne claims of its harmlessness, and only after it becomes an institution, will we be told it is harmful but its too late to call it off. But what could possibly be done after it is legally and culturally established as a norm if it is found deleterious? For instance, in dealing with cases which came before a court, one author wrote:
"A systematic analysis of appeals court cases or cases cited in those appeals cases regarding custody of children in which a homosexual parent was involved. Here, 82% of the homosexual vs 18% of the heterosexual parents and 54% of the homosexual’s associates vs 19% of the heterosexuals’ associates were recorded as having poor character in cases involving a homosexual claimant."
When taken as a whole, all of this adds up to criteria in which a reasonable person could say 'Wait a minute, let's put the brakes on this whole 'gay marriage' thing and study the effects of such institutions on a society before rushing forward, pell-mell style, utilizing emotional rather than scientific arguments in this case'. That's if that reasonable person doesn't mind being accussed of hatred for daring lift their head on this subject.