The Marriage Debate 1: Confusions About ‘Equality’ and ‘Discrimination’

The Supreme Court’s decision to hear arguments about the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8 guarantees that the debate over marriage will be at the forefront of American public life for the foreseeable future.

DOMA defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman for purposes of federal law (it says nothing about what states may or may not define as “marriage”). Prop 8 was a voter-initiated correction of the California Supreme Court’s interpretation of that state’s constitution as containing a “right” to same-sex “marriage.” Irrespective of whether the U.S. Supreme Court takes a narrow approach to these cases, or tries to find a “right” to same-sex “marriage” in the U.S. Constitution that would be binding on all the states, the marriage debate will continue. Indeed, if the court preempts the political process, the marriage debate will likely intensify, just as the right-to-life argument intensified after Roe v. Wade eliminated the abortion laws of every state, 40 years ago this month.
All the more reason, then, to try and clarify some of the issues here.

Laws authorizing same-sex “marriage” have been successfully promoted as the equivalent of civil rights laws that ban racial discrimination. Indeed, that’s a large part of the power of the “marriage equality” movement: it has battened onto the one available public moral reference point for Getting It Right in 21st-century American politics—the civil rights movement of the 1950s and early 1960s. For almost two centuries, equality before the law had been denied to Americans of African descent; that blatant injustice was challenged by a movement of moral persuasion and legal maneuver; the movement was ultimately vindicated by a change of hearts, minds and statutes. If then, on matters of race, why not now, on the question of who can “marry”? That’s the argument; it has considerable emotive power.

question exclamation 2But it’s wrong.

In their recent book, “What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense” (Encounter Books), three Catholic thinkers with Princeton connections—Robert P. George (who holds Woodrow Wilson’s old chair at that eminent university) and two of his former students, Sherif Girgis and Ryan Anderson—argue persuasively, and on grounds of reason, that America can’t arrive at a serious answer to this question—Should government redefine marriage to include same-sex partnerships?—by appealing to equality.

Why not? Because every marriage policy in every polity known to history draws boundaries, excluding some types of relationships from “marriage.” Parents can’t marry their children. Brothers and sisters can’t marry. People beneath a certain age can’t marry. People who are already married can’t marry.

In other words, governments, whether autocratic, aristocratic, monarchical or democratic, have always “discriminated”—i.e., madedistinctions—in their marriage laws. And in that sense, there is no “equality”-issue in marriage law similar to the equality that racial minorities rightly sought, and won, in the civil rights movement.

If marriage law is always going to involve distinctions, the moral (and legal/constitutional) question is whether the distinction inflicts a “discrimination” that is arbitrary or invidious. Or does the distinction inhere in the very nature of marriage and serve a genuine public good?

In 21st-century post-modern culture, it’s hard to make an argument from the “nature” of anything. Try this, though. When the Nov. 2, 2012, issue of Entertainment Weekly refers to “Lincoln” screenwriter Tony Kushner as “the husband of Entertainment Weekly columnist Mark Harris,” aren’t you jarred? Doesn’t something seem, not just unfamiliar, but mistaken? Do you have the same instinctive reaction—Something’s awry here—when reading a London Daily Mail headline from last Oct. 23: “Ellen Degeneres receives comedy award as her gorgeous wife Portia De Rossi looks on”?

For millennia, governments have legally recognized the nature of “marriage” as the stable union of a man and a woman, both because that’s what it is and for good public policy reasons, including the well-being of children and the promotion of family life. Does that recognition involve distinctions? Yes. Does it result in injustice? No.

 

This article was originally published at the Denver Catholic Register and is used with permission.

George Weigel

By

George Weigel is an American author and political and social activist. He currently serves as a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Weigel was the Founding President of the James Madison Foundation.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Montrose/515119983 Dave Montrose

    The last paragraph is unfortunate. The author’s apparent moral certitude regarding this issue would lead the reader to expect that he had come to his conclusions through research and/or prayer. But we are left hanging, because he just gives us a simple “Yes” and “No.” So I’ll fill in the blanks.

    The historical institution of marriage existed as a technicality, mainly to establish social connections between families/tribes and determining land ownership. The reality, though, was that many of these marriages were fronts for the multitudes of adulterous affairs. Our notion of marriage for love is a relatively recent phenomenon. (Or if you want to go Old Testament, the historical “original” definition of marriage was polygamy.)

    There is no evidence that same-sex relationships lead to poorly raised children or bad family life. There are plenty of examples of heterosexual unions leading to poorly raised children and bad family life. So the claim that gay couples are supposedly worse parents, while I’m ashamed to say is frequently used, is completely moot. Maybe if you focused on reforming divorce, then the goal of improving the family would become apparent.

    “Does it result in injustice? No.” I guess injustice is a matter of perception. It’s easy to sit in our comfy majorities and tell minorities to quit whining, but once you’ve actually gotten to know the people whom you are judging, your worldview changes. I had the same views of gay marriage as you when I was younger. But then I actually got to know gay people. In committed relationships. Who love each other. Two friends of mine – lesbians – who have been together for years, are finally getting married next year. They are so happy to finally be treated as the rest of us, and I am happy for them.

    The arguments expressed in this post and in others like it bear striking resemblance to historical arguments made against interracial marriage, segregation, voting rights for women and minorities and even slavery.

  • Josh Miller

    While I am a huge fan of George Weigel, I too, am not persuaded by this article. Appeals to, “that is how all nations have done it in the past,” and “it just doesn’t sound right,” aren’t convincing, especially to a nation that was founded on self-evident truths. However, I think a more compelling argument can be made.

    As I consider this issue, I always start with the question of “why should a government give status or recognition to a relationship between 2 people; whether it be between a man and a woman or 2 homosexual adults.” It seems that since the onset of the contraception era, we have accepted the standard, that a relationship between a man and a woman should be set apart as long as they are “committed to each other/love each other.” I’m not sure why a government should have a special recognition for such a relationship in the first place.

    Let’s take being committed for instance. Does that mean the expectation is for the spouse to provide counsel, emotional support, friendship when things don’t go well for the other? Does it mean to provide financial assistance or material goods for the other when hard times hit? Does it mean to provided inspiration and reinforcement when the other is struggling for academic or career success? I’m not sure what it means. However, I do know that I have multiple friends and family members who I have exactly those relationships with. The government doesn’t need to recognize those relationships, or force my fellow countrymen to do the same. In addition the government has made it clear, that there is no recourse, should one of the spouses violate this standard.

    Does being committed mean that the 2 adults solemnly swear to only share an intimate experience with the other? For the rest of their lives? For the next few months or years? Why should the government have any special distinction for this behavior. It doesn’t seem to affect anyone else but the 2 adults. Again, the government has made it clear, that there is no recourse, should one of the spouses violate this standard.

    But “What About Love?” as the 1970s band, “Heart” so powerfully put it. Shouldn’t our government have a special recognition and distinction for 2 people who love each other. This term, while powerful in our nation, given its association with the Gospel, is seldom used in the Gospel sense. If you mean a lifelong commitment to sacrifice for the betterment of another, even to death, then I think you are getting closer to a relationship that a government should recognize. However, this is very similar to a more energized version of “committed,” which I addressed above. Again there are those in my life, besides my spouse, whom I have this disposition toward. And while I think these relationships make societies better. I don’t see a role for government recognition.

    But, back to Love. If you are talking about lust, physical attraction toward another, which is what most are referring to when they use the word “love,” I direct you to my prior paragraphs. Again, no benefit to society for 2 people who want to “hook-up” on a regular or prolonged basis.

    The marriage relationship should be set aside, and should have special recognition, if 2 adults are going to enter into a relationship for the purposes of bearing children and the responsibility of raising the next generation. Society, the government, should hold a special place for those who will bear the sacrifice of this task. Not because we want social security or medicare to have a solid tax base, but because we see our nation as good and want to perpetuate it.

    The next question that naturally flows is; homosexual couples can adopt and undergo in vitro fertilization. I will address these shortly, but before we move away from the “government providing a special status to a relationship,” a few follow on points need to be made.

    The natural order, specifically, the physical reality of male and female bodies, cannot be ignored. I do not deny that some men and women lust after others of the same sex. However, I believe that at some point, when discerning the validity of this urge, those who engage in homosexual acts have to pause and ask, “does the design of the human body, does the objective truth of the situation, confirm or cast doubt on the homosexual act?” Is the human body designed for the sexual urge to be acted upon only as source of human pleasure? No, the objective truth of the mater is that the human body is designed for a man and a woman to act on the sexual urge for the purposes of creating and bringing forth a child.

    We all have urges. The urge to eat or drink, perhaps the urge to violence at time, the urge to ….. you name it. However, adults, citizens, shouldn’t have a special recognition or status in our society for acting on their urges. That is what children do. Adults, citizens, free men and women, must show restraint, must be objective, must evaluate the validity of their actions.

    I do not accept the validity of homosexual acts. I I think it is wrong for our government to force me to do so; especially when the objective evidence is so compelling.

    Now, back to the issue of raising children. Notice I did not say “having children.” This lingo has made it’s way into our vernacular, however, it misses something important. Children are not ours to have. We do not own them as we own a car or a house. We do not use them or abuse them as we see fit. They are human beings and worthy of their own dignity. We should not bring them into this world for our own satisfaction or validation. Parents have a duty to raise their children; to objectively decide what is best for their children.

    As our society decides on what this duty entails, a few points need to be made. The movement by the homosexual community to validate their relationships is not because they are convinced of a defect or some injustice in the way children are raised by a man and woman, which only a homosexual couple could remedy. Their argument is that they should be able to “have children,” just as heterosexual couples “have children”; or that the “evidence” shows no difference between children raised by homosexual or heterosexual couples. I think it is foolish to look at a few decades of “research” into children raised by homosexual couples as convincing factor. What we do have is the objective reality of the human body. For millennia, this reality has demanded that man and a woman take part in the creative act. Which, in turn has meant that the vast majority of children, the mast majority of people that have walked this planet, have been raised by a mother and father. It is difficult for me to put that body of evidence up against a few decades of “research” on children raised by homosexual couples.

    Our duty to our children is not to experiment with their upbringing, just so homosexual couples can bring validity to their relationships.

    While I believe many marriages today do not deserve any special recognition, given the propensity of many couples not to have children, I think it is too intrusive for the government to get involved in the specifics of a married couple’s fertility. It is best for the government to recognize marriage between a man and a women because of the potential of having the children and because of the time tested success of a man and a woman raising children. Homosexual couples should not be given a special status or recognition as the homosexual act has no intrinsic or potential value to our society. And although raising children is possible by same-sex couples, justice for our children demands that we make every effort to be objective in regards to their rearing. The millennia of evidence in favor of a mother and father versus a few decades of “research” on homosexual parents…..is there really a choice here?

  • catholicexchange

    Certainly polygamy was practiced in the ancient world, but virtually never among members of the same sex. Furthermore, under under OT laws, marriages were held to high standards–adultery was an offense punishable by stoning, which should adequately demonstrate that the people of the OT, at least, thought of marriage as something far more important than simply as “fronts for the multitudes of adulterous affairs.” The fact is, to whatever degree that various ancient civilizations’ vision of marriage was different than the traditional Judeo-Christian version common in the West, there is far more in common: an understanding that it is ordered to the family, and therefore fit for opposite sexes (and not same sexes), and an understanding that it is in the vital interest of the state to protect it.

    As far as evidence that same-sex relationships lead to poorly raised children or bad family life, there is a great deal of evidence, carefully gathered and measured by reputable investigators–many articles here at Catholic Exchange have examined those studies. It is impossible to say there is “no evidence”–there’s plenty, even if it’s not conclusive. Maybe take a step back from your own moral certitude and evaluate the existing evidence before passing final judgment on what will surely have a monumental effect on our society, one way or the other.

  • http://JamesTPereira.com/ James T Pereira

    Correction, Dave. Here’s the evidence that same-sex marriage does screw up children… http://www.familystructurestudies.com/outcomes/

  • thebentangle

    James, a consensus always trumps a single study. And the consensus of all the major health and social welfare associations that have any interest in same-sex parenting has been stated in an amicus brief filed jointly by all of them. The amicus brief is in response to the appeal of Judge Walker’s Proposition 8 ruling, and it states,

    “There is no scientific basis for concluding that gay and lesbian parents are any less fit or capable than heterosexual parents, or that their children are any less psychologically healthy and well adjusted. The children of same-sex couples will benefit if their parents are allowed to marry.”

    Here are the signers:

    American Psychological Association
    California Psychological Association
    American Medical Association
    American Psychiatric Association
    National Association of Social Workers
    National Association of Social Workers, CA Chapter
    American Sociological Association
    American Academy of Pediatrics, CA
    American Academy of Pediatrics
    American Psychoanalytic Association
    American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
    American Anthropological Association

  • thebentangle

    See my evidence of the scientific consensus, above, in my response to James Pereira.

  • http://JamesTPereira.com/ James T Pereira

    There are good studies and badly designed studies.

    The current consensus is based on the results of many bad;y designed studies (you can read about that in Regnerus’ study). Regnerus’ study is the first (?) well-designed study investigating this.

    As others attempt to replicate his results or dispute it, we’ll see more data supporting that certain family structures are self-destructive. Regnerus was badly maligned by the LGBT groups because his was the first contrarian data against the Consensus. He has been vindicated by his own university panel.

  • thebentangle

    Josh, you start with the question, “Why should a government give status or recognition to a relationship between two people?” Maybe it would be best to start with the question, “Why should a government DENY a couple the right to marry if they so desire?” The state doesn’t interrogate heterosexual couples about their intentions when they wish to marry. They are presumably adults and they can decide for themselves whether marriage is suitable for them.

    There may be cases where the state has a “compelling interest” in not allowing a certain type of marriage, as, for example, where there incestuous or polygamous relationships. But Judge Walker’s court, considering the Prop 8 case, found that the State of California had no compelling interest in banning same-sex marriage.

    Your ruminations on the “design” of the human body are grounded in pre-scientific models of living organisms. We are not like watches or cars. Our organs and appendanges were not “designed.” They have “uses,” but they do not have “purposes.” We use our bodies in ways that give us pleasure or meaning, and for achieving certain goals such as procreation or battle. Some of us have no interest in either procreation or battle.

    Concerning children: As I pointed out to “James” just a little while ago, the scientific consensus about same-sex parenting is the following:

    “There is no scientific basis for concluding that gay and lesbian parents are any less fit or capable than heterosexual parents, or that their children are any less psychologically healthy and well adjusted. The children of same-sex couples will benefit if their parents are allowed to marry.”

    You may read my comment to him for details.

    Your appeal to tradition (“For millennia…”) is a weak argument. Many behaviors can be justified in this way. I never use the “tradition” argument.

    You assume that homosexuals “just” want validity to their relationships. That is certainly a very desirable goal, but I can assure you, as a homosexual man, that it is not our only one.

    Your final question, “Is there really a choice here?” can be answered in the affirmative. In nine states and about a dozen countries, we have that choice.

  • Josh Miller

    The scientific method is used to understand the truths of the physical world. The scientific method as applied to thoughts, emotions, and human behavior can be used to draw conclusions, but without the same certainty as the physical sciences. It is just as reasonable to make and informed decision on this topic by reflecting on the centuries of recorded human history or the inspired Word of God, as it is to trust the opinion of those with advanced scientific degrees on whether or not the results of their “scientific” experiments reveal any truth in this regard.

    They make a fairly large leap from, “There is no scientific basis for concluding that gay and lesbian parents are any less fit or capable than heterosexual parents, or that their children are any less psychologically healthy and well adjusted.” to “The children of same-sex couples will benefit if their parents are allowed to marry.” It is one thing to make a statement regarding the findings of their “experiments,” it is another to claim that those findings support a right to marriage. They left the “scientific” realm somewhere along the way.

  • Josh Miller

    It is fine if you don’t want to answer the question, ““Why should a government give status or recognition to a relationship between two people?” However, there is no legal status of marriage to DENY to homosexual relationships if there is no logical reason for a government to offer such a status in the first place. You are assuming that the government should acknowledge this “marriage” relationship without first defining what it is and why the government should acknowledge it. Not only that, but you are claiming that, I, as a citizen of this country should be forced to acknowledge the validity of this relationship, without providing any reason or cause.

    I have no support for outlawing homosexual relationships. Involve yourself with whomever you want to, but the point here is the use of law compel citizens to acknowledge the legitimacy of homosexual relationships. As I provided in my last comment, there is amply reason why citizens of this country just see homosexual acts and relationships as nothing more than acting on sexual urges. There is nothing for the state to recognize here. There is no reason for me to acknowledge an elevated status.

    As to your comments about the human body. Are you saying the purpose of the heart is not to pump blood to our organs? The purpose of our eyes, not to see? The purpose of our Kidneys, not to filter substances from our blood and excrete them in the form of urine? These are objective physiologic facts. The purpose of male and female genitalia are to reproduce. Try telling your doctor that you have now decided to “use your kidneys to see.” You may want to “use” your body in this way, it may give you a real sense of pleasure or meaning, but it won’t work.

    You can use your body in any way that you want to, but what you are asking is for your fellow countrymen to agree with the legitimacy of homosexual relationships. You are asking for us to agree with, is that there is a similar worthiness, honor, and respect in using your procreative organs to pleasure yourself and another to that of a man and a woman using their procreative organs for the creation and rearing of children. You can do what you want with your own body, but societies are filled with laws and statutes that limit this use no matter how much pleasure or meaning they give. There needs to be objective reasons, not expert opinions, why homosexual relationships warrant recognition by our legal system and our society.

    You mistake my appeal to the millennia of evidence as an appeal to tradition. I do not put any stock into the argument “we should do it because that is how it has always been done.” However, when a condition has been in place for millennia it should make you pause and ask yourself, do I really know better than the billions of people who have walked the earth prior to me? Are the “scientific” findings of a handful of homosexual studies or the expert opinions of scientists really convincing enough, when compared to these billions? The demands of justice toward our children demand that we should endorse what we know to work and not experiment with our children in the hopes of validating homosexual relationships.

    Expert opinions are, just that…opinions. Legalization of marriage by vote or judicial dictate are statements of fact, not arguments.

    Lastly, You said homosexuals want more than validity to their relationships. If there is more, please elaborate?

  • Matteo Salonia

    There is not a scientific consensus about same-sex parenting.

    Actually, some studies have proved that children raised by same-sex couples have later a higher rate of incarceration, drug abuse, sexual disorders, etc.

  • John

    There are many and peruasive intellectual arguments for marriage. The problem is, we are no longer an intellectual people. As a society, we have trouble identifying intelligent arguments, let alone understanding them. We are completely emotion-driven, when it comes to policy decisions as a culture. This isn’t to say we shouldn’t continue to make intellectual arguments, and Mr. Weigel’s suggestion at the end that we appeal to emotional “intelligence” may also be worth considering, but prayer is our most powerful weapon.
    John
    servantofcharity.blogspot.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/timothy.brock.184 Timothy Brock

    Matteo, the evidence that Bentangle provided is sound. Again, the consensus always trumps isolated studies, and the consensus is clear. The amicus brief is easily available to anyone who cares to read it. It is no longer possible to credibly claim that there is no scientific consensus about same-sex parenting or that same-sex parenting is bad for children. If I were you, I would just abandon that argument. It’s dead in the water.

  • http://www.facebook.com/timothy.brock.184 Timothy Brock

    Josh, Bentangle is absolutely correct in stating that organs and appendages do not have “purposes.” This is just basic Darwinian evolutionary theory, and it’s the part of the theory that the public at large still doesn’t grasp after all these years. It seems a little counter-intuitive, but our organs were not “designed.” They simply evolved over millions of years. Mutations that enabled the organism to survive long enough to procreate were “adaptive,” and so the genes for those features were passed on. Other mutations were maladaptive, and the organism died before it could pass on its genes. There was absolutely no “purpose” in any of this.

    This is not to say that any organ or appendage can be used for any purpose whatsoever. Obviously, your kidneys cannot be used for vision. But you can stand on your hands (well, maybe not you), you can whistle with your vocal apparatus, you can hang spectacles on your ears and nose, you can play a musical instrument with your hands and fingers. You can also pleasure your lover with any of these appendages (except the kidneys).

  • Josh Miller

    I don’t care whether you think the organs of our body carry out a specific purpose or not. I have still not seen an argument that explains why two adults in our society should receive a special designation or be granted status because they are sexually pleasuring each other on a regular or prolong basis. Man/Woman, Woman/Woman, Man/Man. Please explain to me why the government needs to get involved with this or why other citizens should be forced to recognize these relationships

  • thebentangle

    James, are you telling us that the entire medical and social welfare establishment of this country, Europe, and Canada, with over a million qualified doctors, therapists, and other practitioners, has reached a mistaken consensus about same-sex parenting? And you are basing your conclusion on the Regnerus Study? Read my article on the Regnerus study and then tell me it does not fit the description of it given by the Journal’s own internal auditor. Here: http://thebentangle.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/ten-red-flags-on-the-mark-regnerus-study/

  • Annette

    Competency in parenting is irrelevant to the issue of whether marriage should be redefined from the “the union of a man and woman and any children that come from that union” to “the public recognition of a committed relationship for the private benefit of adults”, to accommodate same sex couples. Bringing it into the debate just confuses the issue. The real question here is what is the public interest in redefining marriage and eliminating from the law the only institution that unites kids to their moms and dads?

    Every child has a fundamental human right to know and, to the extent possible, be cared for by their moms and dads. Marriage is the only institution that promotes that interest. That is the primary public interest in marriage.

  • Matteo Salonia

    Timothy, last time I checked, science never ended debates. Science continually evolves in the understanding of each issue.
    And the most recent research on the subject of same-sex parenting has proved that children raised by same-sex couples suffer from a long list of problems. Moreover, these recent studies are the ONLY ones finally using a broad sample and an adequate control sample to reach their conclusions; so, they are MORE (not less) important than previous studies which were often done with a control group whose characteristics simply did not fit with the sample.

    Every child has the right to grow up in the best possible environment. Every child needs one father and one mother.

  • Peter Nyikos

    Timothy, you are making hay out of a trivial semantical point. Change the word “purpose” to “biological function” and your point evaporates. The biological function of the complementary sexual organs is reproduction.

    You might try to argue for a psychological function as well, but then
    you are outside the bounds of basic Darwinian evolutionary theory, which is agnostic on the question of whether these (often, but not always — think of rape) pleasurable feelings are “adaptive” or whether they are “epiphenomena”, accidental outcomes of actions that are determined by motions of atoms, ions and molecules, and thus having no influence on what the body actually does.

  • Peter Nyikos

    Timothy, the “consensus” could be as phony as the “consensus” that abortion has no effect on breast cancer rates. Judging by what Matteo wrote in reply to you, your best bet is to claim that there simply has not been enough time to assess the effects of something that is a lot younger than I am. (And, perhaps, a lot younger than you are.)

    Amicus briefs are notoriously tendentious. Think of the NARAL brief in Roe v. Wade. A more recent example is the ACLU brief in the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover case, with several claims about the testimony of Behe and Minnich that are not only demonstrably false, but were uncritically copied in the Opinion of the Court by a judge who was then falsely lionized by the secular media for his “masterly” handling of the case.

  • Peter Nyikos

    thebentangle, the professional associations named by you are dominated by people uncritically accepting the views of a left-leaning, even left-propagandizing academic elite. If the societies are as oligarchial as the American Mathematical Society, which supposedly represents all research mathematicians in this country, the people who signed on to the “consensus” are a small minority of the actual membership, with disproportionate representation from elitist universities and their products.

  • rosebud

    With English accent; “By George, I think you’ve got it !” All so-called spiritual revelation points to a Parent-Child relationship with our Origin. The christian version of revelation claims that the “Spiritual” became united to the “Physical” through God becoming Incarnate as a human.

  • http://www.facebook.com/timothy.brock.184 Timothy Brock

    Matteo, you write that “the most recent research on the subject of same-sex parenting ‘has proved’ that children raised by same-sex couples suffer from a long list of problems.” Proved? Beyond a shadow of a doubt? I don’t think so. This is why we still need to look at the consensus, not at isolated studies. Which recent studies are you referring to? The Regnerus study?

  • http://www.facebook.com/timothy.brock.184 Timothy Brock

    Peter, we are not talking about an amicus brief from one organization. We are talking about one that was filed and then signed onto by ALL the major health and social welfare organizations in this country. That is a very big difference.

  • http://www.facebook.com/timothy.brock.184 Timothy Brock

    Well, Peter, these conspiratorial theories always kick in when people cannot accept reality. The reality is that same-sex parenting does not cause harm to children, and all the major health and social welfare associations of this country have confirmed that. You, Peter, simply do not have a tiny fraction of the credibility that these organizations do. Who are you, anyway?

  • http://www.facebook.com/timothy.brock.184 Timothy Brock

    Every child has a fundamental right to know and to be cared for by their moms and dads? Oh come on! Are you saying that adoptive parents are somehow violating their rights of their adopted children? You are talking about some sort of ideal world which bears no resemblance to the world in which we actually live.

  • catholicexchange

    The “scientific consensus” you keep referring to only means “a large number of professionals from the medical community have voiced their opinion”–but the opinion isn’t based on any exhaustive research of the subject, because that research hasn’t been done yet by anybody. Their opinions largely proceed simply from a personal desire to see same-sex marriage legalized, not on scientific data. If it was, then they would have to at least acknowledge that there is reliable data that shows same-sex parenting might be harmful–that data exists, and to pretend it doesn’t shows a laughably unscientific approach to the subject.

  • http://www.facebook.com/timothy.brock.184 Timothy Brock

    CatholicExchange: You write that the opinions of the medical community “largely proceed simply from a personal desire to see same-sex marriage legalized.” That is pure speculation on your part, motivated, no doubt, by your personal desire to ban same-sex marriage.

    Of the two founts of opinion here—the Catholic Church and the medical establishment—which one would you suppose is more driven by ideological fervor? Which one is more likely to start with conclusions and then try to assemble data to support them? Which one prides itself on its changelessness and the eternal nature of its teachings?

    You can second-guess the medical community all you want to, but your credentials are working against you. Of all organizations that I would not believe on this issue, the Catholic Church is number one.

  • That Was Then

    One word: children. Marriage is not so much about two people, but the children they produce.

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