What are the Consequences of Redefining Marriage?
Changing the definition of marriage would undermine the very nature that gives marriage its unique status in society. Ultimately, forcing marriage to mean all things will force marriage to mean nothing at all. If marriage becomes just one form of commitment in a spectrum of sexual relationships rather than a preferred monogamous relationship for the sake of children, the line separating sexual relations within and outside of marriage becomes blurred, and so does the public policy argument against out-of-wedlock births or in favor of abstinence.
Decisions about sex, marriage, and childbearing are not merely personal. They have deep social consequences, particularly for children.
Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Hungary, and Iceland have all granted some form of legal recognition to same-sex couples. Same-sex "marriage" has been legal in the Netherlands since 2001, in Belgium since 2003, and in several Canadian provinces since 2003.
The most extensive research we have about the effect of same-sex "marriage" on society comes from the Netherlands.
The Netherlands has seen significant changes since the 1980s in its unwed birth rate. Dutch social scientists have observed a correlation between the campaign for same-sex "marriage" and the increasing disconnect between parenting and marriage.
In an interview published in a Dutch newspaper on July 8, 2004, Dr. J. Van Loon, a leading sociologist of Nottingham Trent University said, "It’s no coincidence both [the introduction of same-sex marriage and the devaluation of marriage] take place at the same time. Supporters of gay marriage often based their argument…on the separation of marriage and the raising of children. It’s difficult to imagine that an intensive media campaign based on the claim that marriage and parenthood are unrelated and that marriage is just one among a number of morally equivalent cohabiting relationships did not have any serious social consequences."
Religious Liberty Threats
"…making gay marriage a legal right will likely impose serious constraints on religious speech, assembly and worship; once gay marriage becomes the law, those who oppose it become outlaws."- A. Picarello, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (click here to read the whole National Law Journal article.)
Foreign precedent seems to point in this direction:
Swedish Pastor Ake Green was sentenced to jail in June of 2004 for one month having been found guilty of offending homosexuals in a sermon under Sweden’s law against incitement.
In April of 2004 it became illegal to publicly express disapproval of homosexual behavior in Canada under an amendment to the hate propaganda laws.
In August of 2003 the Irish Council for Civil Liberties warned that clergy who circulate a Vatican statement opposing gay marriage could face prosecution under Ireland’s incitement-to-hatred legislation.
Changes in Education
If homosexual relationships can be "marriages," homosexuality could be taught as a part of normal family structures. Recently National Public Radio did a feature on changing sex education in Massachusetts. Click here for a complete transcript.
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network has developed a curriculum to be incorporated in the public schools. Here are a few examples of what your child could be reading. Visit their website www.glsen.org for further information.
In Elementary School:
- Daddy’s Roommate: "A young boy discusses his divorced gay father’s new living situation, in which his father and father’s partner share eating, doing chores, playing, loving and living."
- Heather Has Two Mommies and its sequel: "Originally published in 1989, Newman created this simple story of a little girl and her two mothers…" The sequel explores the feelings of a "…child when his two mommies separate and break up the family…"
In Junior High and High School:
- Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology: "A creative resource for queer and questioning youth of every color… religion… [and] gender, [this is a] collection of experiences, ideas, dreams, and fantasies expressed through prose, poetry…" and creative pieces.
- Rainbow Boys: "Three very different high school boys develop crushes, explore friendships, and discover love in this candid debut novel for adult audiences."