Same-sex marriage activists want to define marriage as simply a private relationship between two, loving, committed parties. Sounds reasonable. If I had homosexual desires and decided to act on them, I might want the same thing.
However, marriage is much more than the private relationship of two people in a marriage. Marriage is a social institution that provides society with the very foundation of civilization—the procreating family unit. There would be no stability for children and, therefore, no community without marriage.
In fact, marriage is the oldest and most basic of the three foundational institutions of Western civilization (the other two are government and the church). It is the most basic of the three because without children there would be no need for a government or a church, and no government or church can parent like a mom and a dad.
The benefits of natural marriage cannot be overstated. It benefits the married couple, their children, our economy, and the nation as a whole. In fact, natural marriage serves as a kind of national immune system. When our marriages are strong, our nation is strong and our social problems are few. When our marriages are weak, so is our nation.
The Benefits of Natural Marriage
Lengthens life spans of men and women.6
Civilizes men and focuses them on productive pursuits. Unmarried men cause society much more trouble than married men. (How many married men do you know who rove neighborhoods in street gangs?)
Protects women, who often give up or postpone their careers to have children, from being abandoned and harmed economically by uncommitted men.
Protects mothers from violent crime. Mothers who have never been married are more than twice as likely to suffer from violent crime as mothers who have married.7
Lowers welfare costs to society.8
Encourages an adequate replacement birth rate, resulting in enough productive young people to contribute to society and provide social security to the elderly. The United States’ birth rate is about 2.1 per couple—any lower and the nation cannot sustain itself without immigration.
Children’s Benefits from being Raised in a Natural Marriage Family
- Seven times less likely to live in poverty9
- Six times less likely to commit suicide10
- Less than half as likely to commit crime11
- Less than half as likely to become pregnant out of wedlock12
- Develop better academically and socially13
- Healthier physically and emotionally when they reach adulthood14
These positive results of marriage are not new to our twenty-first century culture. Since virtually the dawn of humanity, marriage has been the bedrock of human social structure. In fact, British anthropologist J.D. Unwin studied eighty-six civilized and uncivilized cultures spanning five thousand years and found that the most prosperous cultures were those that maintained a strong marriage ethic. Every civilization that abandoned this ethic, including the Roman, Babylonian, and Sumerian empires, experienced demise soon after liberalizing their sexual practices.15 A civilized and productive society will not long endure if its adults abandon their children and one another in order to pursue sexual desires outside of natural marriage.
Imagine a society where increasing numbers of individuals have no stable family and must therefore fend for themselves. Without the natural family—which provides people with their most basic needs—social chaos will soon follow. In fact, virtually every social problem we have can be traced back to a problem with the family. If you don’t think so, just take a look at the cost of broken homes to America. If we restate the findings listed above in a different way, we can better comprehend the impact of fatherlessness.
First, children from fatherless homes are:
Seven times more likely to live in poverty
Six times more likely to commit suicide
More than twice as likely to commit crime
More than twice as likely to become pregnant out of wedlock
Worse off academically and socially
Worse off physically and emotionally when they reach adulthood
Second, children from fatherless homes account for:
60 percent of America’s rapists
63 percent of America’s youth suicides
70 percent of America’s long-term prison inmates
70 percent of America’s reform school attendees
71 percent of America’s teenage pregnancies
71 percent of America’s high school dropouts
72 percent of America’s adolescent murderers
85 percent of America’s youth prisoners
85 percent of America’s youth with behavioral disorders
90 percent of America’s runaways16
One problem with same-sex marriage is that it would increase the number of children without fathers. We’ll see how later.
The importance of marriage is further evident when one considers that men and women can do almost everything alone—we can eat, breathe, think, move, etc. without anyone else. The singular exception is procreation. The sexes need one another to procreate. That should tell us that men and women were intended to procreate and parent together. In fact, without the procreative union of a man and a woman (and forgive me for stating the obvious), no one would exist, including homosexuals. Procreation alone should tell us about the supreme importance of marriage.
Some will say, “But some marriages do not produce children.” Yes, but we are not talking about the singular exceptions, we are talking about marriage as an institution. While some marriages don’t produce children, those that do are the building blocks of civilization. If there is any institution that’s designed for the good of children and society, it is natural marriage. In other words, marriage of a man and a woman is fundamentally about the production and good of children and the civilization of society. That holds true even if some individual marriages don’t do so. All books are designed for reading, even if some of them are never read.
Is it possible for children to thrive in homes without their biological moms and dads? Of course, that’s just the exception rather than the rule. Family structure is the most important factor in a child’s development. A loving mom and dad clearly provide the best structure. More than ten thousand studies show the significant advantages that children experience when raised by committed and loving moms and dads.17
Natural marriage vs. Homosexual Relationships
Unfortunately, homosexual relationships always deny children either their moms or their dads.
Homosexual activists claim, without any evidence, that parents are interchangeable—that two men or two women can do just as good a job in parenting as a man and woman because men and women offer nothing unique to children.18
This raises the following question for those making such an absurd and unsupported assertion: Why do you think that men and women are interchangeable as parents but not as sex partners? I mean, if men and women are really interchangeable, then why not just marry someone of the opposite sex?
Think about the inconsistency here. When it comes to their own personal gratification, homosexual activists clearly recognize the big difference between the sexes. Only when it comes to the more important priority of raising children do homosexual activists say there is no difference between the sexes. Children are just going to have to take a backseat to homosexual sexual desires. Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse sums up the attitude of homosexual activists well. She writes,
“[Homosexual] adults are entitled to have what they want. Children have to take what we give them.”19
People who deny what’s best for kids in order to have the sex they want show that they do not have the best interests of children in mind. This is another reason why homosexual relationships should never be equated to marriage. Marriage means much more than just sexual coupling as all children know.
When we sum this all up, we see that natural marriage: produces children, cares best for children, protects and enhances the lives of adults, and stabilizes society. Doesn’t it make sense to protect it?
As we’ll see in point 3, keeping marriage solely between a man and a woman will help protect natural marriage and children. But first, we need to take a candid look at the effects of homosexual behavior.
Compliments of Correct, not Politically Correct, authored by Frank Turek. For more information, visit www.impactapologetics.com.
6 See Marital status and longevity in the United States population, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16905719. For those not married, having never been married is the strongest predictor of premature mortality.
7 Robert E. Rector, Patrick F. Fagan, and Kirk A. Johnson, “Marriage: Still the Safest Place for Women and Children,” The Heritage Foundation, www.heritage.org/research/family/bg1732.cfm.
8 Patrick F. Fagan et al., “The Positive Effects of Marriage: A Book of Charts,” The Heritage Foundation, http://www.heritage.org/research/features/marriage/index.cfm. Charts 7-8.
9 See Patrick F. Fagan et al., “The Positive Effects of Marriage: A Book of Charts,” The Heritage Foundation, http://www.heritage.org/research/features/marriage/index.cfm.
10 Michael J. McManus, “Why Is It in the Government’s Interest to Save Marriages?” The Heritage Foundation, http://www.heritage.org/research/family/WM80.cfm.
11 Ibid, Fagan, Chart 17.
12 Ibid, Fagan, Chart 29.
13 Ibid, Fagan, Chart 21.
14 Ibid, Fagan, Charts 16-29.
15 Joseph Daniel Unwin, Sex and Culture (London: Oxford University Press, 1934).
16 Most of these fatherless statistics, with references to their original sources, can be found here: http://fathersforlife.org/divorce/chldrndiv.htm.
17 Dr. James Dobson, Marriage Under Fire, (Sisters, Oregon, Multnomah), 2004, pg. 54.
18 Even pro-homosexual researchers admit that homosexual parenting studies are flawed because political views often bias the findings. Contrary to what some studies supposedly found, the sexual behavior of the parents does affect children. See Kelley O. Beaucar, “Homosexual Parenting Studies are Flawed, Report Says,” July 18, 2001. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,29901,00.html. For a personal testimony of someone who grew up in a homosexual household and staunchly opposes it, see Dawn Stefanowicz’s book Out from Under: The Impact of Homosexual Parenting, (Annotation Press, 2007). You can read her moving testimony at http://www.dawnstefanowicz.com.
19 Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Marriage and society and the boundaries of gay adoption, posted online at http://www.jennifer-roback-morse.com/articles/gay_adoption.html.