Saturday, February 25, 2006

A Psycho-Social View of Same-Sex “Marriage”

Any attempt to demonstrate the destructive essence of Same-Sex “marriage”, if based on religious reasoning, will usually be brushed aside by the average American as “Bible thumping” craziness. Even more rejecting is the historical sense of fair play whereby we hold that all citizens must be treated in the same way with equal rights for all. On the face of it to prohibit a certain group of Americans from enjoying the joys and rights of the marriage state---because of non-standard sexual orientation---might seem unfair, un-American and discriminatory. Particularly, this might be true if is one is non-religious or morally/ socially uninterested. I am reminded of the Preacher who said that the trouble with the country is ignorance and apathy. One of his listeners yawned and said of the troubling item, “I don’t know and I don’t care.” Perhaps, our citizens are uninformed about Same Sex Marriage (SSM) or worse perhaps they are indifferent.

Yet, our American society has enacted, currently and historically, some discriminating laws which prohibit a certain class of people from engaging in certain behaviors. We prohibit those under 16 from driving a car. In some states we prohibit a certain class of people from drinking alcoholic liquors—if they are not of a certain age. There is some discrimination going on here—which most Americans accept as fair and correct.

Why does Society do this? By what right does Society pass these kinds of laws?

Tim Leslie, a California congressman, insists that the real case against SSM is social.[1] The origin of society’s right to pass certain kinds of laws focuses on the General Welfare. Certain practices, rather than benefit society, will destroy it. He argues that since Government is obliged to promote the General Welfare, it has the profound duty to protect children from the ill effects of drinking as well as to protect society in general from the dangers associated with youths driving powerful machines on public roads. These are called Prudential Judgments. Along these same lines, the General Welfare dimension can be reasonably applied to the case against SSM.

So, to the social and psychological questions.

Does society derive any benefit from two men (or two women) having sexual pleasure with each other in a kind of “marriage”?

Does society derive any benefit from a man and woman having sexual pleasure with each other in marriage?

If the reason for marriage is primarily for two people to have sex with each other, then there is no difference in the coupling—in terms of Purpose of marriage. Then, indeed government has no need or right to insist that Marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman. Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (D. California) remarks “I don’t see how my marriage is any more moral that the same-sex couples I know.” As Tim Leslie observes this makes sense only if marriage is primarily for companionship and sexual pleasure.

If marriage has a deeper reason more beneficial for society’s good, then Sally’s remark seems somewhat superficial. Indeed, her superficiality is confronted in the street smart talk of my youth in Hell’s Kitchen, New York, where the observation of homosexual coupling was evaluated by the colloquial expression “the parts don’t fit.” One male genital plus one male genital equals nothing. One female genital plus another female genital equals nothing. In these cases, we can say that one plus one does not equal two. What does this imply? The plain truth of history is that the heart of marriage is the begetting and education of children. The happiness of two same-sex attracted persons – as such - does not produce definitive benefit to society. Families with children do!!!!

In the experience of the human race, the family is the very bed-rock of all things. Virtually, everything that happens in society, “for good or ill” can be traced back to family and family life. So, the basic reason for opposition to same sex “marriage” is that it would not only undermine marriage as it exists, it would effectively destroy it. Marriage is very weak in our times but it would be cheapened unbelievably should SSM be legalized. Marriage would become just another choice among others. Marriage would be enormously weakened. We would slither with greater speed down the slippery slope of social distress, confusion and Chaos.

Leslie argues that SSM would mean huge increases in marital infidelity and broken homes obviously inclining children toward all kinds of antisocial behaviors. Apart from the uniformed and apathetic, it is obvious, even from “Gay” sources[2], that only emotional fidelity is usually required, not sexual fidelity. Mary Mendola[3] studied 400 homosexual couples and found a definite distinction between sexual and emotional exclusivity. Leslie opines that this translates “into an almost unfathomable degree of sleeping around.” He reports on an Amsterdam study which found a cheating average of 8 partners annually. He notes that the average active homosexual has between 100 and 500 different partners in a lifetime! He notes a study which showed that 26% of homosexual persons have had 1,000 or more sex partners in a lifetime! On the other hand, most studies of heterosexual marriage stability report that around 75% of husbands are faithful and that 85/90% of wives are likewise. Explanation is patent. Emotional and sexual fidelity are linked.

So, against such a background, does one speak of gays “adopting” unwanted children? Generally, children growing up in a traditional home have problems but of a significantly diminished degree[4] over those who are from an SSM background. They have better emotional health, engage in less risky behaviors, less likely to engage in premarital sex and do better educationally and economically. But one of the most powerful arguments for traditional marriage and the standard is complementarity between the sexes. Regardless of wisecracks from Television comics, Dan Quayle had a point. Mothers have unique emotional gifts for children unlike the unique gifts which fathers have. Tim Leslie refers to a study of character traits by David Popenoe of Rutgers University which basically demonstrates that “…both dimensions (sic: male and female) are critical for an efficient, balanced and human child rearing regime.” The obvious conclusion is that SSM can never contribute to such optimal rearing of children. Leslie also notes that SSM partners are not only more promiscuous, but more prone to physical and mental health problems, die sooner and have short duration of their relationships. Is this a healthy world in which to raise children?

More frightening is his citation from the journal Adolescence which reports that 29% of children adopted by homosexual “parents” have been molested by one of the parents as compared with 0.6% of molested children with heterosexual parents. Being adopted by homosexual parents apparently increases the risk of incest by a factor of about 50.

To bring in the red herring of the menopause marriage in an attempt to justify the SSM movement is illogical. A basic principle of logic is that one does not equate the “particular” with the Universal. Here the anatomical parts “fit” ---something one can value from Nature’s point of view.

Leslie notes, also, that the pro-SSM group fails to take into account the experience of institutions which relaxed strictures against admitting same-sex attracted people. It is almost laughable when one hears how vigorously lobbyists pushed for the admission of gays into the Catholic priesthood on the grounds that the celibacy strictures would aid the Gay to be chaste. In spite of the hype and the sentimentality and pleas for tolerance, the Catholic Church suffered a terrible scandal mainly because of unchaste homosexual priests. Almost 90% of all cases involved homosexual priests. Sadly, we find even now that there is woeful sexual infidelity among homosexual Catholic priests.

Leslie frightens us even more when he quotes activist Michael Signorile who says “that the goal is to fight for same sex marriage…to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution…. the most subversive action lesbians and gay men can undertake… to transform the notion of “family” entirely.”

It is, then essential, that SSM not be declared legal since it would seriously damage our society and culture. Traditional marriage must be upheld as the central piece of our society. Otherwise, Leslie warns us, there will be an unprecedented societal breakdown and disintegration never before seen in our country. It is time for Americans to avoid ignorance and apathy but to become informed and involved.

[1] The Case Against Same-Sex Marriage, Crisis Magazine, 2004
[2] The Male Couple; McWhirter and Mattison 1984
Gay couples must tolerate infidelity for the marriage to survive
[3] The Mendola Report; Only 26% of gay couples believe total commitment is necessary. 1980
[4] The Case for Marriage White and Gallagher, Doubleday, 2000

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