(‘76 Contributor) The battle over what constitutes a legally sanctioned and socially accepted marriage is deeply dividing several groups across America. It is primarily a contest between those holding a Judeo-Christian worldview and those adhering to a secularist worldview. It is a struggle with divisions along politics, age, race, and gender.
Thirty-two U.S. states have held popular votes on whether or not to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Approximately 65 million Americans (including the recent North Carolina vote) have voted regarding the definition of marriage with over 60% holding the traditional view that marriage should be between one man and one woman. (1)
Here is a documented review of the biblical, physical, sociological, and economic arguments supporting traditional marriage.
The biblical argument
There is a teleological argument, derived from the Bible, that states the nature and purpose of things can be observed in design. This is true with respect to sexuality and reproduction in humanity as well as the animal kingdom. Note that the Bible teaches that His creatures reproduce after their own kind (Genesis 1:24). God created mankind in His own image (Imago Dei) as man and woman (Genesis 1:27). Marriage is part of God’s original order (Genesis 2:18) and that a man will cleave to his female wife (Mark 10:5-9). Men and women manifest physical distinctives which properties are exclusively designed for reproduction. The Bible also teaches that men and women, although created equal, have been given different responsibilities and have soul and spirit distinctives (Genesis 3:16, 1 Corinthians 8, and 1 Peter 3:7).
The distinction between the exogenous (external and physical) differences and the endogenous (internal and non-physical) differences of men and women is corroborated from an unlikely source, the transgendered individual. Transgenders often claim the motivation for their gender change surgery is that they are the “opposite gender inside.” (2) The evidence for physical, emotional, and spiritual differences between men and women is irrefutable. The Bible teaches that it is these very differences that make men and women uniquely and ideally designed for reproduction and child rearing. “An overwhelming body of social science research shows that children do best when raised by their own biological mother and father who are committed to one another in a lifelong marriage. Research specifically on children of homosexuals has major methodological problems, but does show specific differences.” (3)
Humanity is endowed by the Creator with opposite gender attraction which finds expression through love but also reproduction. Current estimates are that only 3% of the human population is homosexual, a significantly small percentage of the population holding a disproportionate impact on public policy. (4)
The physical argument
Offspring, without exception, follow the pattern of their parentage, that is, they are created from their own kind. Opposite genders are required for reproduction and the perpetuation of the species. Homosexuality is a behaviorally determined, not a genetically determined phenomenon. “The research does not show that anyone is born gay, and suggests instead that homosexuality results from a complex mix of developmental factors.” (5) Further, asserting that homosexuality is genetic is self-refuting as, if it were genetic, they could not reproduce themselves because a male and female is required (although atheistic scientists are pursuing bio-engineering, e.g., to mask the male-female requirement for reproduction, in that they would use harvested eggs from female fetuses and artificial wombs, to enable gay parents to simulate the pregnancy experience of heterosexual couples.)
The teleology argument is represented in the male and female physical properties of humanity. Homosexuals will be hard pressed to reproduce biologically and to multiply in the population because of the teleological constraints. All they can do is use behavioral agents to effectuate more homosexuality in the population. This is why secularists attempt to use institutional agents (media indoctrination, public education, judiciary, etc.) to accomplish what they have not been able to achieve at the ballot box. Clearly, this strategy is working as polling indicates that the strongest cohort in support of the homosexual agenda is the youth segment of the population (which is also the most susceptible to the indoctrination of the aforementioned institutions.) The teleological argument of humanity’s design (differing male and female reproductive properties) is, in effect, the evidence for a “straight gene” in stark contrast to the lack of evidence for a “gay gene.” Men can not reproduce themselves. Women can not reproduce themselves. Men and women (sperm and egg) together are required for reproduction. This biological information was designed. Homosexuality is not designed. It is behavioral.
This behavior may be multitudinous in causation. (6) In his 1980 work Overcoming Homosexuality, Robert Kronemeyer stated: “With rare exceptions, homosexuality is neither inherited nor the result of some glandular disturbance or the scrambling of genes or chromosomes. Homosexuals are made, not born ‘that way.’ I firmly believe that homosexuality is a learned response to early painful experiences and that it can be unlearned. For those homosexuals who are unhappy with their life and find effective therapy, it is curable. (7)
Finally, homosexual advocacy groups cite the argument for civil rights as support for their position despite the fact that the civil rights movement was predicated upon physical differences (race and gender) rather than the psychological differences of homosexuality. Many civil rights advocates of the 1960’s have expressed opposition to the idea that homosexuality is a civil rights issue.
The sociological and economic argument
There is a substantial body of evidence suggesting that traditional marriage contributes higher value to society than does same sex marriage. Same sex marriage would open the floodgates of new federal entitlements where approximately 1,100 federal benefits would become available to same sex spouses thereby creating additional financial burdens to society. (8) This would come at a time when existing federal entitlement programs face an exigent need for reform due to the magnitude of unfunded liabilities.
Divorce represents a high cost to society with respect to the impact on children. The number one cause of divorce worldwide is sexual infidelity (followed by infertility). (9) Heterosexual couples fare better on both fronts relative to their homosexual counterparts. A study on short-term same-sex registered partnerships in Norway and Sweden found that divorce rates were higher for same-sex couples than opposite-sex marriages, and that unions of lesbians are considerably less stable, or more dynamic, than unions of gay men. (10) The data is incomplete with respect to the US due to the relatively short history of same sex marriages in America. However, a 2001 National Center for Health Statistics study on marriage and divorce statistics reported that 66 percent of first heterosexual marriages last ten years or longer while
The 2003-2004 Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census indicated dramatically different results when surveying the lifestyles of 7,862 homosexuals. Of those involved in a “current relationship,” only 15 percent describe their current relationship as having lasted twelve years or longer, with five percent lasting more than twenty years. (11) Studies also indicate that while three-quarters or more of married couples remain faithful to each other, homosexual couples typically engage in a shocking degree of promiscuity. The same study found that “committed” homosexual couples have an average of eight sexual partners (outside of the relationship) per year. (12) A 2010 New York Times article illustrated that gay marriage is really just cohabitation with documentation. (13)
There exists a slippery slope argument with respect to same sex marriage. Proponents of same sex marriage have begun articulating the merits of a relationship based upon volitional love. That is, if one person loves another, they should be able to enjoy the societal approbation of marriage. The problem with this argument is that a parent who loves their child, a grandparent who loves their grandchild, a man who loves multiple women, or an owner who loves their pet are all prohibited from constitutional marriage in the US. This same prohibition regarding other forms of volitional love has been imposed despite religious objections from both Mormons and Muslims, both of whom have supported polygamy. Once same sex marriage is approved, how can one logically defend against other forms of relational “love” that is equally sincere as same sex couples?
Where do we go from here?
It is clear that a majority of Americans strongly oppose the proposition of same sex marriage when presented at the ballot box. Statistics also show that approximately 3% of the population are homosexual. The afflatus that drives this movement is secular in origin and goes beyond the affected 3% of the population. It arises from those who seek an enlargement of the state, who are opposed to the traditional Judeo-Christian worldview (which has dominated western civilization for centuries) and who are committed to secularizing the institutions that shape our society (the media, education, judiciary, and the political administration of entitlements which increases demand for state sponsored solutions.)
The longer that secular interests exert controlling influence in these institutions, e.g., the government monopoly schools which are dominated by the teacher’s public union, the higher the probability that indoctrinated groups will support the cause of same sex marriage. It is the physical and non-physical properties of one man and one woman, joined together to raise the next generation, that is most likely to produce the abundant culture which we have enjoyed to date. Indifference alone to the arguments of same sex marriage represents no defense against an organized strategy of propagandists with ulterior motives.
The imperative that the individual becomes informed and engaged on this issue is clearly paramount if we are to preserve traditional marriage and the Judeo-Christian way of life which has made America the “shining city on a hill.”
3. Top 10 Myths about Homosexuality. Family Research Council. p.30
5. Top 10 Myths about Homosexuality. Family Research Council. p.4
6. Homosexuality: the use of scientific research in the church’s moral debate. p.53 (Downing Grove,IL IVP Academic) Stanton L. Jones, Mark A. Yarhouse
7. Overcoming Homosexuality p. 7 (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1980) Robert Kronemeyer