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The Heart of the Matter

David Blankenhorn analyzes data from 35 nations and demonstrates that support for marriage is weakest in those countries where support for same-sex marriage is strongest. For example, during the 1990s, Norway, Sweden and Denmark legalized same-sex marriage.  Far from a strengthening of marriage, what has ensued is an unremitting decline in marriage rates, and a surge in cohabitation and out-of-wedlock births. 

 

Not coincidently, the number of polygamous families is increasing in Norway, Canada and, according to the February 1st issue of Bay State Parent, even in Massachusetts.  Polygamy activists are using legalized same-sex marriage as a wedge issue to further their own cause for government endorsement. 

 

'The Heart of the Matter' by Michelle A. Cretella, MD

 

I once believed that sexual orientation was equivalent to race. That was before a former lesbian forced me to acknowledge that there is a difference.  I had suggested that she was either denying her true self, or never was gay to begin with.  "You know Dr. Cretella it's not up to me to convince you that I exist. It is up to you to prove that I don't." Her response led me to review the scientific literature and rethink my beliefs.

 

No one is born gay. All attempts to demonstrate that homosexuality is simply biologically determined have failed to do so. Several experts ranging from "gay gene" researcher Dr. Dean Hamer to the former Director of the Human Genome Project, Dr. Francis Collins, have stated that homosexuality is not hardwired by DNA.

 

However, sexual attractions are also not a conscious choice. Instead, as the American Psychological Association noted in its 2008 statement, sexual attractions – like all human attractions – develop from a combination of environmental factors and biologically influenced traits. There are simply no variables that are by themselves totally predictive.

 

Since sexual attractions are due to a combination of nature and nurture, it is at least theoretically possible to encounter a former lesbian or an ex-gay man.

 

Skin color is hardwired by DNA; race is inborn. It is not theoretically possible to encounter an "ex-Caucasian" or an "ex-African-American."

 

More than 100 studies have documented that homosexuality is not invariably fixed in all people: Some people can and do change. Over time I have developed a collegial relationship with a number of therapists who help clients alter unwanted homosexual attractions and behavior. Diversity includes those who desire change and the providers who honor their right to self-determination.

 

Sexual orientation and race are not the same.

 

Consequently, objecting to same-sex marriage is not bigotry. When proponents of gay marriage falsely equate sexual orientation with skin color, they render defenders of marriage the equivalent of racists and avoid discussing the real

issue: marriage.

 

When it comes to the state and marriage the heart of the matter is children not romance.  The state has no interest in endorsing "loving relationships" except for the fact that when men and women have sex they often make babies. Marriage has always been a public institution with this gender-specific purpose:  to legally bind a man to his biological children and their mother.  The state has a compelling interest in ensuring that men do not abandon their biological children or the women they impregnate. Why? Because this is what best ensures that children grow into contributing members of society.

 

In his January 28th column "Life gets better when a daughter gets married" Bob Kerr sets up the same old tired straw man then knocks it down: "[N]ot once has a married, two-gender couple offered first-hand evidence of damage done to their marital bond by a man marrying a man or a woman a woman." The problem with government endorsed same-sex marriage is not the damage it inflicts upon present heterosexual marriages.  The problem with legalized same-sex marriage is the further erosion of the institution of marriage that inevitably follows.

 

There are several liberal scholars who understand and ardently desire this. By their own admission Judith Stacey, Nan D. Hunter, Maria Bevacqua and David Chambers want the institution of marriage to die, and they champion same-sex marriage as a means to that end. They argue that if marriage is determined by the sexual attractions of adults, then any and all combinations of marital unions are defensible. The coexistence of multiple forms of marriage such as polygamy, polyandry, intergenerational and group marriages will eliminate any meaningful shared public definition of marriage; the institution will weaken and die.

 

This scenario seems to be unfolding. In his book The Future of Marriage David Blankenhorn analyzes data from 35 nations and demonstrates that support for marriage is weakest in those countries where support for same-sex marriage is strongest. For example, during the 1990s, Norway, Sweden and Denmark legalized same-sex marriage.  Far from a strengthening of marriage, what has ensued is an unremitting decline in marriage rates, and a surge in cohabitation and out-of-wedlock births.

 

Not coincidently, the number of polygamous families is increasing in Norway, Canada and, according to the February 1st  issue of Bay State Parent, even in Massachusetts.  Polygamy activists are using legalized same-sex marriage as a wedge issue to further their own cause for government endorsement.

 

Rhode Island has every interest in exclusively promoting traditional marriage.

 

Children fare best physically, emotionally and academically when nurtured by their two biological parents in the context of a loving marriage. Science has long recognized the importance of mothers in child development, and more recently the dire consequences when fathers are absent.  Fatherless families, for example, are associated with higher rates of violence, poverty, delinquency, substance abuse, sexual promiscuity and teen pregnancy.

 

Clearly, the decline of traditional marriage is very expensive in terms of state and federal dollars that must be poured into social programs. If we want to decrease human suffering in general and the suffering of children in particular

- if we want to improve the economic health of our state – we will do all we can to strengthen traditional marriage. Conversely, we will avoid at all cost enacting legislation that radically alters it.

 

Michelle A. Cretella, MD

Advisory board, Rhode Island Chapter of the National Organization for Marriage

 

REFERENCES:

 

My Genes Made Me Do It! (A review of the scientific lit re: homosexuality by Dr.

Neil Whitehead available to read/download and/or purchase here: 

http://www.mygenes.co.nz/ )

 

There are many reports on both Norway & Canada; here are a few:

http://www.norwaypost.no/news/polygamy-on-the-increase-in-norway.html

 

http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/480

 

 

Canada being watched closely by Utah

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/51081832-78/polygamy-law-utah-court.html.csp

 

 

Canadian Paper covering issue

http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Supreme+Court+opens+debate+polygamy/3856195/story.html

 

 

Changing Families from Feb 1 issue of Bay State Parent http://www.baystateparent.com/news/2011-02-01/Feature_Articles/changing_families.html


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