My article is prompted by several recent articles in The News-Review and the one-sided, glowing characterization of homosexuals in the press in general, on television and in movies. An additional reason is that Mr. Ackerman, the publisher of The News-Review, advocated legalizing homosexual marriages (March 13, 2013). His reason was that marriages in our country are already in a shambles so it can’t do any harm. I disagree.
At the outset, I would like to say my opposition to homosexual behavior and to homosexual marriage is based on a love for my country and my fellow countrymen, including my friends who consider themselves to be gay. I also care about heterosexual couples who engage in sex outside of marriage. Both of these behaviors are unhealthy and a danger to the individuals and to our society.
America was founded not on the founders’ ideas or even on tradition, but on natural law. The Declaration of Independence grounded our rights and duties on “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.” Reasoning from the Laws of Nature it is obvious that men and women fulfill each other’s needs in unique ways. We are complimentary physically and emotionally. Our physical union produces the next generation. Nature dictates that these children require many years of protection and training before they are capable of living independently. For this reason it is logical for governments to encourage and protect heterosexual marriage, to foster lifelong commitments even if, and especially when, the feeling of love wanes. As stated in the U. S. Constitution, one of the reasons our government was established was to “promote the general welfare.” One of the ways it does this is by passing and enforcing laws that protect marriage and our progeny. States currently regulate marriages to this end by limiting marriage between close relatives, placing age limits, requiring waiting periods, etc. This is a matter of society’s self-preservation, not discrimination. Even natural marriages that do not produce children still stand as examples of healthy relationships that are worthy of emulation. Natural marriage is the foundation of society. It should be preserved and solidified, not undermined and redefined.
There are many reasons to discourage homosexual relationships and gay marriages. Two of the most important are the health of the individual and of society. Scientific data point to high rates of physical illnesses among homosexuals caused by unnatural, unhealthy sexual acts. Significantly greater rates of psychological disorders also occur among gays even in The Netherlands, where the behavior is widely accepted. These problems result in significantly shortened average life expectancy. This points as well to the unsuitability of homosexual couples as adoptive parents as does recent research on the outcomes of children raised by homosexuals.
Regarding the health of society, social science supports what we know intuitively: Children raised with both of their biological parents in the home are happier, healthier, perform better in school and go on to live more productive lives. I do not demean the love and dedication that many single parents have for their children nor their hard work to raise them well. There is no reason to believe that intentionally depriving a child of either a mother or a father by allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt will lead to improved outcomes. Studies purporting to show no difference in the outcomes of children raised in homosexual households are flawed. They do not meet the standards of research to which top-quality social science aspires, i.e. large, random, and representative samples observed longitudinally.
Today approximately 3.4 percent of the population identify themselves as LGBT, (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender), according to a 2012 Gallup poll. Legalizing homosexual marriage is just one more public acceptance that will encourage people who struggle with same-sex attractions to follow this unhealthy lifestyle.
Homosexuals are perfectly free to pursue any loving emotional bond that makes them happy. But governments should protect marriage and reserve it for a man and a woman. Access to the privileges of marriage can and should be restricted by our government in order to preserve social order, public health and ensure well adjusted future generations that can perpetuate the American way of life. Not only should the government discourage gay marriage, but the government should preserve financial incentives for natural marriage, discourage single parenthood and make divorce more difficult.
James Q. Wilson, an American political scientist stated, “Marriage is a socially arranged solution for the problem of getting people to stay together and care for children that the mere desire for children, and the sex that makes children possible, does not solve.” Marriage between a woman and a man was instituted by God in the beginning. It formed the bedrock and foundation of every society and nation in history. We should reverse the present trends which are weakening marriage. We cannot remain strong as a nation without strong natural marriages.
Sanford Hillman has been married to his wife, Susan, for 44 years. He is an Oregon State University engineering graduate. He retired to Oregon after a career in the petrochemical industry. He studied homosexual issues for more than 13 years. He can be contacted at RoseburgSanford@gmail.com.