Tag archives: Homosexuality

Do Pro-Homosexual Policies Promote Economic Growth? In a Word — No.

by Peter Sprigg

May 8, 2014

Activists use a number of arguments in support of the homosexual political agenda (that is, the push for things like a redefinition of marriage to include homosexual couples, or the inclusion of “sexual orientation” as a protected category in civil rights laws). One of the more ridiculous arguments is the claim that such measures would actually improve the economy of a state.

I was in Indiana earlier this year when that state’s legislature was debating a state constitutional amendment, like those already adopted in thirty other states, to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Homosexual activists (and their fellow travelers in some large corporations) asserted that preserving the existing definition of marriage would make it hard to recruit employees. (Legislators ended up trying to have it both ways — passing an amendment but watering it down in a way that prevented it from going to voters for approval this year.)

Then just last week, a group calling itself “Business Leaders for Michigan” endorsed a statewide homosexual rights bill, declaring as part of its “Michigan Turnaround Plan” that the state should “prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation for employment just like we do for race, color, religion, sex, national origin or disability,” in order to “make Michigan an aspirational destination by being a welcoming place to all.”

Fortunately, these claims readily lend themselves to empirical evaluation. The website of Business Leaders for Michigan says right at the top that the group is “dedicated to making Michigan a ‘Top Ten’ state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy.” When interviewed on a local NPR station, Doug Rothwell, the group’s President and CEO, added another goal, declaring, “We want to make sure that we can grow our population. Population growth strongly correlates to economic growth.”

So, you want to be a “Top Ten” state in “jobs,” “personal income,” and “population growth?” Well, it’s easy enough to find data on which states are currently in the “Top Ten” in those areas. Then we can see if there is a correlation between that status and the presence of homosexual rights laws or same-sex “marriage” (or actions to prevent it).

In the following lists, a state which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (as is being proposed in Michigan) is marked with an asterisk (*). A state which issues civil marriage licenses to same-sex couples is in italics. A state whose voters have amended their state constitution to protect the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, on the other hand (as is being proposed in Indiana) appears in bold.

Here is a list of the “10 States With [the] Biggest Rate of Job Growth in 2013,” as projected by Kiplinger in March of 2013:

1. Utah

2. Nevada*

3. Hawaii*

4. South Carolina

5. Colorado*

6. Idaho

7. Florida

8. Texas

9. North Carolina

10. Arizona

Here is a list of the “Top 10 fastest-growing states” in population, as compiled by CBS MoneyWatch on January 18, 2014:

1. North Dakota

2. Utah

3. Colorado*

4. Texas

5. Nevada*

6. South Dakota

7. Florida

8. Arizona

9. Washington*

10. South Carolina

Finally, here is a list of the top ten states in personal income growth from 2012 to 2013, as reported by the Department of Commerce on March 25, 2014:

1. North Dakota

2. Utah

3. Idaho

4. Texas

5. Oregon*

6. Colorado*

7. Oklahoma

8. Washington*

9. Iowa*

10. Nebraska

Nationwide, there are 21 states (42% of the fifty states) which treat “sexual orientation” as a protected category in civil rights laws. Among the fastest growing states in job growth, only three (30%) have such laws; among the fastest growing in population, only three (30% have such laws); and among the fastest growing in personal income, only four (40%) have such laws. Combining these lists, 17 states appear at least once; of these, only six (35%) have protected “sexual orientation.” There is simply no strong correlation between the existence of such laws and economic growth — if anything, the fast-growing states are slightly less likely to have embraced special employment protections for homosexuals.

On the marriage issue, the results are more clear-cut — and show the opposite of what the homosexual activists claim. Nationwide, there are 31 states (62% of the fifty states) where voters have amended their state constitutions to prevent the redefinition of marriage. In all but one of those, the amendment fixed the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. (In Hawaii, the amendment reserved to the legislature the power to define marriage, taking the issue out of the hands of judges, but the legislature recently voted to allow “marriages” of same-sex couples.) There are 17 states (34%) that have redefined “marriage” to authorize the issuance of civil marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

But when it comes to the top states in job growth, all ten are states where voters adopted marriage amendments of some type; in only one (10%) are marriage licenses issued to homosexual couples (see note on Hawaii above). Among the top states in population growth, nine (90%) have marriage amendments, while only one (Washington) has redefined marriage. Finally, among the top states in personal income growth, only two (Washington and Iowa) allow same-sex “marriages,” while the other eight (80%) all have marriage amendments. (Iowa never adopted a marriage amendment, but its voters did remove from office three of the state Supreme Court justices who redefined marriage in a court decision). In total only three of the seventeen states on any of these lists (18%) has same-sex “marriage,” while voters in fifteen (88%) took some action to prevent the redefining of marriage. If anything, there appears to be a fairly significant correlation between economic growth and the defense of the natural, one-man-one-woman definition of marriage — not the abandonment of that definition.

It’s time to drop the nonsense about the homosexual agenda promoting economic growth once and for all.

Why Do Courts (and the Media) Ignore Federal Precedent on Marriage?

by Peter Sprigg

January 16, 2014

Advocates for changing the fundamental definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in order to include homosexual relationships have been encouraged by two recent decisions by federal district court judges.

On December 20, Judge Robert J. Shelby ruled that Utah’s state constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman violates the U.S. Constitution. On January 14, Judge Terence C. Kern said the same thing about the Oklahoma marriage amendment.

However, one odd aspect of both rulings is their failure to cite one of the most relevant precedents regarding the constitutionality of state definitions of marriage as a male-female union.

Only two federal appellate courts have ever ruled on the constitutionality of a state law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. One was the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which in 2012 ruled (on narrow grounds specific to California) that California’s marriage amendment “Proposition 8” was unconstitutional.

However, in one of two major decisions on marriage in 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit ruling, on grounds that the proponents of Proposition 8 had lacked proper standing to appeal a district court decision. (Liberal state officials had refused to defend their own constitution at all.)

With the Ninth Circuit’s ruling having been effectively wiped off the books, the only remaining federal appeals court precedent involves a challenge to Nebraska’s marriage amendment. In that case, too, a district court judge, Joseph F. Bataillon, ruled in 2005 that the amendment was unconstitutional.

However, a year later, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit overturned Judge Bataillon’s decision and upheld the Nebraska amendment. This 2006 decision thus remains the highest federal court ruling with a written opinion on state definitions of marriage as one man and one woman.

Yet oddly, neither Judge Shelby in Utah nor Judge Kern in Oklahoma saw fit to even mention this decision. Neither judge’s district is in the Eighth Circuit (both are in the Tenth), so the Bruning case is not binding upon them — but given the relative dearth of such cases that have reached the federal appellate level, it seems odd that it not be mentioned at all.

Below are some excerpts from the opinion, written by Chief Judge James B. Loken:

Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning, 455 F.3d 859 (8th Cir. 2006)

. . .

The State argues that the many laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman and extending a variety of benefits to married couples are rationally related to the government interest in “steering procreation into marriage.” By affording legal recognition and a basket of rights and benefits to married heterosexual couples, such laws “encourage procreation to take place within the socially recognized unit that is best situated for raising children.” The State and its supporting amici cite a host of judicial decisions and secondary authorities recognizing and upholding this rationale. The argument is based in part on the traditional notion that two committed heterosexuals are the optimal partnership for raising children, which modern-day homosexual parents understandably decry. But it is also based on a “responsible procreation” theory that justifies conferring the inducements of marital recognition and benefits on opposite-sex couples, who can otherwise produce children by accident, but not on same-sex couples, who cannot. See Hernandez v. Robles [New York, 2006]; Morrison v. Sadler, [Indiana, 2005]. Whatever our personal views regarding this political and sociological debate, we cannot conclude that the State’s justification “lacks a rational relationship to legitimate state interests.” Romer, 517 U.S. at 632.3

The district court rejected the State’s justification as being “at once too broad and too narrow.” But under rational-basis review, “Even if the classification … is to some extent both underinclusive and overinclusive, and hence the line drawn … imperfect, it is nevertheless the rule that … perfection is by no means required.” Vance v. Bradley (1979). Legislatures are permitted to use generalizations so long as “the question is at least debatable.” The package of government benefits and restrictions that accompany the institution of formal marriage serve a variety of other purposes. The legislature — or the people through the initiative process — may rationally choose not to expand in wholesale fashion the groups entitled to those benefits. “We accept such imperfection because it is in turn rationally related to the secondary objective of legislative convenience.” [Vance].

. . .

Appellees argue that § 29 [the marriage amendment] does not rationally advance this purported state interest because “prohibiting protection for gay people’s relationships” does not steer procreation into marriage. This demonstrates, Appellees argue, that § 29’s only purpose is to disadvantage gay people. But the argument disregards the expressed intent of traditional marriage laws — to encourage heterosexual couples to bear and raise children in committed marriage relationships.

. . .

In the nearly one hundred and fifty years since the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted, to our knowledge no Justice of the Supreme Court has suggested that a state statute or constitutional provision codifying the traditional definition of marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause or any other provision of the United States Constitution. Indeed, in Baker v. Nelson (1972), when faced with a Fourteenth Amendment challenge to a decision by the Supreme Court of Minnesota denying a marriage license to a same-sex couple, the United States Supreme Court dismissed “for want of a substantial federal question.” (Emphasis added.)

. . .

We hold that § 29 and other laws limiting the state-recognized institution of marriage to heterosexual couples are rationally related to legitimate state interests and therefore do not violate the Constitution of the United States.

On the intersection between “gayness” and Christian practice

by Family Research Council

October 10, 2013
On a cold morning this past January in Gresham, Oregon, Aaron Klein sat down with two customers at the bakery he owned with his wife, Sweet Cakes by Melissa. The two women, a bride and her mother, were making plans to purchase a wedding cake. Before discussing the details, Klein asked his customers a few standard questions. When would the wedding be? What was the groom’s name? At the second question, there was an awkward hesitation, and the mother explained that this would be a wedding between two brides. Klein politely but firmly told them that because of his and his wife’s Christian beliefs, they would not bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. Without a word, the bride and her mother got up and left.
About ten minutes later, the bride’s mother returned to the bakery and began to debate Klein using biblical references to claim that her daughter was created that way and there was nothing wrong with her marriage. Klein was firm, asserting that he would not be involved in a lesbian wedding. When he refused to back down, the woman left. About two weeks later, Klein received a complaint letter and an official investigation notice from the Oregon Department of Justice.

But the saga is not over. In a recent post for The American Spectator, Claire Healey tells how Aaron and Melissa Klein faced additional harassment for their decision—harassment that eventually led them to close their doors. It is sobering to infer that consistent Christian witness will, at times, collide with the celebration of sexual license.

 

It is also sobering to know that the Kleins are not alone. Family Research Council has partnered with The Liberty Institute, to document hundreds of challenges to religious liberty and practice across the United States. You can review and download that report here: religioushostility.org. Not all of these cases deal with the crossover between Christian witness and sexuality, but it is an especially tumultuous intersection.

But some mainstream Christians and progressive advocates have banded together to proclaim that need be no friction, no disagreement, no critique of homosexual practice. Their premise: Haters gonna hate and we’re “Not All Like That.”

I understand why the “Not All Like That” (NALT) movement is attractive to my peers. It is a rare and difficult sort of person who loves making enemies. I have met them, but I don’t find they make the most loyal friends.

But what if NALT is selling a counterfeit Gospel, spreading a lie that masquerades as love?

The question looms large on our public conversation. For today, I begin by offering a few resources that begin to inform an answer:

Memo to Lackland Air Force Base: No “Air Force Policy” Requires Support for Homosexual “Marriage”

by Peter Sprigg

August 15, 2013

Yet another Bible-believing member of the Air Force has come forward with a report of negative treatment—in this case, merely because he defended another Service member who had expressed opposition to homosexual “marriage.”

Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk told Todd Starnes of Fox News Radio that his openly lesbian commander at Lackland Air Force Base inSan Antonio,Texas had essentially forced him into taking leave rather than completing his assignment. (A Lackland spokesman denied that Monk was punished, insisting to Starnes that he was simply at the end of his assignment.)

Monk was caught in the middle of a situation which involved an instructor who was subjected to an investigation for having told trainees that he opposed homosexual “marriage.” Investigators sought to determine whether the unnamed instructor had slandered homosexuals and created a “hostile work environment.”

Monk’s job was to advise the commander on disciplinary action. According to Monk, however, the commander said from the outset that “we need to lop off the head of this guy.” Monk concluded that the instructor’s remarks were innocuous, and suggested instead that the incident could teach everyone—on both sides of the debate over homosexuality—about “tolerance” and “diversity.”

In the end, the instructor was disciplined with a “letter of counseling” in his official file. The commander, however, demanded to know from Monk “if you can see discrimination if somebody says that they don’t agree with homosexual marriage.” Monk refused to answer because, “As a matter of conscience I could not answer the question the way the commander wanted me to.” Instead, he “said that perhaps it would be best if he went on leave,” and the commander agreed.

Monk said to Starnes, “I’m told that members of the Air Force don’t have freedom of speech. They don’t have the right to say anything that goes against Air Force policy.” However, if the homosexual Air Force officer involved in this case thinks that “Air Force policy” requires rejecting the policy choice of three quarters of the States to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, she should think again.

In fact, she may need to be reminded of what the repeal of the 1993 law on homosexuality in the armed forces actually did and did not require. According to the 2010 report of the Pentagon’s Comprehensive Review Working Group (CRWG) on repeal, repeal was intended to move the military from a negative position on homosexuality to an officially neutral one—but not to one in which sexual orientation would become a protected category.

In fact, the CRWG said explicitly that “we do not [emphasis in the original] recommend that the Department of Defense place sexual orientation alongside race, color, religion, sex, and national origin” with respect to diversity programs, tracking, or Equal Opportunity complaints.

On the other hand, the CRWG noted the fears of some Service members that repeal “might limit their individual freedom of expression and free exercise of religion, or require them to change their personal beliefs about the morality of homosexuality.” The Pentagon sought to assuage those fears by preserving “existing policies regarding individual expression and free exercise of religion,” noting explicitly, “Service members will not be required to change their personal views and religious beliefs.” (Note: the passages on “Moral and Religious Concerns” and on “Equal Opportunity” excerpted above can be found on pages 134-138 of the report.)

The 2010 Congressional vote repealing the 1993 was premised upon these assurances—even though FRCand other pro-family groups warned at the time that they could not be relied upon. We predicted that pro-homosexual activists would demand that only pro-homosexual viewpoints be allowed in the military, and those predictions are now coming true.

If Congress and the Obama administration are unwilling to return to the higher standard of sexual conduct that prevailed until repeal took effect in 2011, they should at least insist that military commanders live up to the promises that were made during the repeal debate of 2010—that “Service members shall be evaluated only on individual merit, fitness, and capability,” and not on their religious convictions.

Download the Family Research Council report, “A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military.”

C.S. Lewis on Homosexuality

by Rob Schwarzwalder

August 12, 2013

C.S. Lewis commented (brilliantly and perceptively) on many things, but his comments on homosexuality have long been neglected. Writing in The National Catholic Register, Mark Shea prints a letter Lewis wrote about this difficult topic to one of the young men he counseled, Sheldon Vanauken. Please note when reading that Lewis abbreviates throughout; as Shea observes, “don’t get bent out of shape by his use of ‘homo.’ Lewis, as you will note, tends to abbreviate lots of words in his personal correspondence (v.=very; wd.=would, etc.)”:

Letter from C. S. Lewis regarding homosexuality, quoted in Sheldon Vanauken’s A Severe Mercy, pp. 146-148, in response to a question about a couple of Christian students of Vanauken who were homosexual and had come to him for advice:
I have seen less than you but more than I wanted of this terrible problem. I will discuss your letter with those whom I think wise in Christ. This is only an interim report. First, to map out the boundaries within which all discussion must go on, I take it for certain that the physical satisfaction of homosexual desires is sin. This leaves the homo. no worse off than any normal person who is, for whatever reason, prevented from marrying. Second, our speculations on the cause of the abnormality are not what matters and we must be content with ignorance. The disciples were not told why (in terms of efficient cause) the man was born blind (Jn. IX 1-3): only the final cause, that the works of God shd. be made manifest in him. This suggests that in homosexuality, as in every other tribulation, those works can be made manifest: i.e. that every disability conceals a vocation, if only we can find it, wh. will ‘turn the necessity to glorious gain.’ Of course, the first step must be to accept any privations wh., if so disabled, we can’t lawfully get. The homo. has to accept sexual abstinence just as the poor man has to forego otherwise lawful pleasures because he wd. be unjust to his wife and children if he took them. That is merely a negative condition. What shd. the positive life of the homo. be? I wish I had a letter wh. a pious male homo., now dead, once wrote to me—but of course it was the sort of letter one takes care to destroy. He believed that his necessity could be turned to spiritual gain: that there were certain kinds of sympathy and understanding, a certain social role which mere men and mere women cd. not give. But it is all horribly vague and long ago. Perhaps any homo. who humbly accepts his cross and puts himself under Divine guidance will, however, be shown the way. I am sure that any attempt to evade it (e.g. by mock or quasi-marriage with a member of one’s own sex even if this does not lead to any carnal act) is the wrong way. Jealousy (this another homo. admitted to me) is far more rampant and deadly among them than among us. And I don’t think little concessions like wearing the clothes of the other sex in private is the right line, either. It is the duties, burdens, the characteristic virtues of the other sex, I suspect, which the patient must try to cultivate. I have mentioned humility because male homos. (I don’t know about women) are rather apt, the moment they find you don’t treat them with horror and contempt, to rush to the opposite pole and start implying that they are somehow superior to the normal type. I wish I could be more definite. All I have really said is that, like all other tribulations, it must be offered to God and His guidance how to use it must be sought.

Defining Marriage—When a Loved One is “Gay”

by Peter Sprigg

March 25, 2013

On March 26 and 27, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases challenging the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In Hollingsworth v. Perry, they will consider the constitutionality of the definition as enshrined in the California state constitution by voters in that state when they adopted “Proposition 8” in 2008 (effectively reversing the decision of the California Supreme Court to impose same-sex “marriage” earlier that year). In Windsor v. United States, they will consider the constitutionality of the same definition of marriage being adopted for all purposes under federal law through the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

In anticipation of those oral arguments, I am running a series of blog posts with questions and answers related to the issue. Today, I look at the suggestion that support for redefining marriage is growing because more people have a loved one—a colleague, friend, or relative—who is openly homosexual. This was recently in the news because of the announcement by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) that he will now support marriage redefinition because his college-age son has said he is gay.

Here, we reprint an op-ed that I wrote last year with Regina Griggs of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays.

How Can I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage When Someone I Love Is Gay?

Regina Griggs and Peter Sprigg

The Christian Post

Monday, November 5, 2012

Voters in 32 out of the 32 states where it has appeared on the ballot have upheld marriage as the union of a woman and a man. Advocates of same-sex marriage are holding out hope that their long losing streak will end on Election Day in Minnesota, Washington, Maryland or Maine.

Increasingly, advocates of same-sex marriage are abandoning legalistic arguments about “equality” and “civil rights,” and appealing to emotion and personal relationships instead. “We (gays and lesbians) are your neighbors, your friends, your co-workers, your classmates and your relatives,” the argument goes. “If you respect and care about us, how can you deny us what we want?” (namely, to have their same-sex relationships affirmed by the state through marriage licenses).

Polls suggest this approach is having an effect. People who know someone who self-identifies as “gay” or “lesbian” are more likely to support the redefinition of marriage than people who do not.

Is this connection a logical one? We argue it is not. How a person feels about their personal relationship with a gay friend, acquaintance, or relative should not dictate their position on the public policy issue of whether to change the definition of marriage.

We are both affiliated with Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), which spreads the truth that it is possible for sexual orientation to change, and defends the civil rights of ex-gays. Note, however, that the title of our organization includes the phrase, “and Gays.” Many of those who look to PFOX for support are parents and/or friends of people who still self-identify as “gay” and engage in homosexual relationships. This is true of us personally as well. One of us (Regina) has an adult child who is openly gay. Peter and his wife have relatives and family friends who are gay as well.

It is a myth that disapproval of homosexual conduct equals “hate” toward homosexuals. If you are a parent, ask yourself – have you ever disagreed with your child? Have you ever disapproved of the behavioral choices she or he has made? The answer is surely “yes.” Those experiences are not inconsistent with sincere love, and can actually be a manifestation of it.

I (Regina) continue to have a warm and loving relationship with my child and gay friends despite the fact that we disagree about whether homosexual relationships should be called “marriages.”

My wife and I (Peter) had guests at our wedding who were divorced and who had children outside of wedlock. I do not approve of those actions any more than I do of homosexual conduct, but that does not interfere with my love for those people.

The myth that disapproval equals rejection stems from the myth that “being gay” is an intrinsic and immutable identity. Yet the decades-long search for a genetic or biological determinant of homosexuality has been a dismal failure.

This is not to say, however, that people “choose to be gay.” Sexual orientation is an umbrella term for a person’s sexual attractions, behavior and self-identification. People do not “choose” to experience homosexual attractions – but they do choose their behavior and self-identification.

Some people with same-sex attractions (SSA) choose to abstain from homosexual sex. Others seek professional help to change their sexual orientation, and many have succeeded. For a loved one to encourage those responses, rather than to affirm homosexual behavior, is just as loving as a parent or friend trying to encourage other choices they believe are in the person’s best interest. Legalization of same-sex marriage would place an official stamp of approval on homosexual relationships, so any person who thinks that such homosexual attractions are changeable and that homosexual behavior is unhealthy will logically oppose this redefinition of marriage – no matter how much they may love a gay person.

However, opposition to the redefinition of marriage need not even rest on disapproval of homosexuality itself. The fundamental reason why marriage is treated as a public institution – and the reason it has always been defined as a male-female union – is the recognition that there is a unique role of heterosexual unions in reproducing the human race, and to keep the mother and father who create a child together to raise that child. Men and women are complementary in a way two persons of the same sex can never be. One need not consider homosexual relationships to be inferior in order to recognize that heterosexual ones are unique in their potential for natural procreation and the well-being of a child. While some same-sex couples raise children, such households are – by design – either motherless or fatherless. This is why even some openly gay people, like Maryland political activist Doug Mainwaring, oppose same-sex marriage.

We at PFOX urge everyone to love their gay friends and relatives unconditionally, and never to cut them out of your life just because they are gay. But personal relationships should not dictate the definition of our most fundamental social institution.

Defining Marriage—Children of Same-Sex Couples

by Peter Sprigg

March 23, 2013

On March 26 and 27, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases challenging the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In Hollingsworth v. Perry, they will consider the constitutionality of the definition as enshrined in the California state constitution by voters in that state when they adopted “Proposition 8” in 2008 (effectively reversing the decision of the California Supreme Court to impose same-sex “marriage” earlier that year). In Windsor v. United States, they will consider the constitutionality of the same definition of marriage being adopted for all purposes under federal law through the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

In anticipation of those oral arguments, I am running a series of blog posts with questions and answers related to the issue. Today, we look at the claim that we should redefine marriage to protect the children already being raised by same-sex couples.

Q—How normal is “the new normal” (children being raised by homosexual couples)?

This week there was a flurry of news coverage of a new “Policy Statement” (that’s what it was, by its own labeling—it wasn’t a “study”) from theAmericanAcademy of Pediatrics, which endorsed the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

The impression which advocates for marriage redefinition seek to create in the public’s mind is that children of homosexual parents are essentially in exactly the same position as children of heterosexual parents, and children raised by same-sex couples are in the same position as children raised by married opposite-sex couples, except regarding the gender of the parents.

Yet some data reported in the AAP’s own Policy Statement tend to undermine that message. Consider this quote:

The US 2010 Census reported that 646,464 households included 2 adults of the same gender. These same-gender couples are raising ~115,000 children aged ≤18 years and are living in essentially all counties of theUnited States. When these children are combined with single gay and lesbian parents who are raising children, almost 2 million children are being raised by gay and lesbian parents in the United States.”

If the estimate of 2 million children with “gay and lesbian parents” is correct, then comparing it with the figure of 115,000 being raised by same-sex couples indicates that only 1 in every 17 children of “gay” parents actually lives with a same-sex couple. Thus, the model of “gay parenting” held up by homosexual activists in the marriage debate—that of children being raised in a stable household by a loving and committed same-sex couple—is extraordinarily rare in the real world, even as a fraction of the already small minority of children who have a homosexual parent.

Last summer, University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus published a groundbreaking study of homosexual parents in the journal, Social Science Research. It showed that children of homosexuals suffered disadvantages in numerous areas—both when compared with children raised in an intact biological family, and when compared with other, less stable (but heterosexual) parenting situations. (I summarized its findings and responded to critiques of it in a series of blog posts.)

One of the chief criticisms of his work (and really, one of the only criticisms of any substance) was that many of the 236 subjects he identified—young adults whose parent had a homosexual relationship while they were growing up—had never actually lived with the parent and the parent’s same-sex partner. Therefore, it was argued, the Regnerus findings could not be considered relevant to debates about children being raised by same-sex couples.

The reason for the paucity of children raised by same-sex couples in the Regnerus study was simple—they could hardly be found in a representative, population-based sample. The data-gathering group hired for Regnerus’ New Family Structures Study screened 15,000 young adults—and found only two who had been raised by a same-sex couple from birth to age 18. In both cases, the couple was a lesbian one—they found no one who had been raised by a homosexual male couple from birth.

In other words, what some liberal activists (and Hollywood) like to refer to as “the new normal”—kids being raised by homosexual couples from birth—is not normal at all, even for kids with a parent who has homosexual relationships.

While the ideal—the “new normal”—of the family revisionists is not normal, what about the “old normal?” Advocates for maintaining the definition of marriage as the union of a woman and a man uphold an ideal also—the married couple household in which a child is raised by a mom and dad (and in particular the natural family, wherein a child is born to and raised by his or her own biological mother and father, who are committed to one another in a lifelong marriage).

Revisionists, however, scoff at this ideal, relegating it to the outdated, “Ozzie and Harriett,” “Father Knows Best” world of 1950’s sitcoms. When you consider the high rates of cohabitation, out-of-wedlock births, and divorce, along with singles adopting and “gay parents,” the old-fashioned nuclear family hardly exists any more—or does it?

The answer to that question can also be found in the AAP Policy Statement, which reports, “In 2010, married adults were raising 65.3% of all children in this country.” Even if the Census Bureau (source of this figure) defied the federal Defense of Marriage Act and chose to include some of the 646,464 same-sex couples in this number, it is still clear that the overwhelming majority of these 48 million married couples are of the opposite-sex.

To summarize, only 1 in every 17 children of “gay” parents is living with a same-sex couple. So the “new normal” isn’t normal.

On the other hand, nearly 2 out of every 3 children of heterosexual parents are living with a married couple. The number of children being raised by a married heterosexual couple is more than 400 (four hundred) times higher than the number being raised by a same-sex couple.

The “old normal” is still the norm.

American Academy of Pediatrics Doesn’t Speak for all Pediatricians in Backing Marriage Redefinition

by Peter Sprigg

March 21, 2013

The media has jumped on a new “Policy Statement” issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) which endorses the redefinition of marriage, arguing, “Scientific evidence affirms that children … receive similar parenting whether they are raised by parents of the same or different genders.”

This is a highly misleading claim, especially in light of the research published last year by University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus—the most methodologically-sound research on the subject ever done, using a large and representative population-based sample—which showed children whose parents had a homosexual relationship suffered numerous disadvantages compared with children raised by their married, biological mother and father.

In any case, it is unclear whether the “Policy Statement” accurate represents the views of any more pediatricians than the two lead authors and the six members of the AAP’s “Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health.” It is certain that they do not speak for all pediatricians—as indicated by the press release below, issued today by an alternative group, the American College of Pediatricians:

Traditional Marriage Still the Best for Children

American College of Pediatricians

Gainesville, Florida – March 21, 2013 – “The American College of Pediatricians reaffirms that the intact, functional family consisting of a married (female) mother and (male) father provides the best opportunity for children. The College, therefore, disputes the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) claim that supporting same-sex unions promotes the “well-being of children.” In its newly released statement, “Promoting the Well-Being of Children Whose Parents Are Gay or Lesbian,” the AAP ignores important research on risks to children in favor of the wants of adults.

The College does not support the alteration of this time-honored and proven standard to conform to pressures from “politically correct” groups. No one concerned with the well-being of children can reasonably ignore the evidence for maintaining the current standard, nor can they or we ignore the equally strong evidence that harm to children can result if the current standards are rejected,” says Den Trumbull, MD, President of the American College of Pediatricians. “The AAP ignores generations of evidence of health risks to children in advocating for the legality and legitimacy of same-sex marriage and child-rearing.”

Madonna Still Scouting - for Herself

by Rob Schwarzwalder

March 21, 2013

A woman who has built her career on extravagant self-debasement continues to find ways to demean and coarsen herself.

A few days ago, Madonna appeared at the GLAAD awards dressed in a Cub Scout uniform. With a Scoutmaster’s hat affixed to the back of her head, cowboy-style, she virtually purred with self-satisfaction at yet another few moments on the glistening stage of pop culture.

It should be clear that she was wearing a Cub Scout, not a Boy Scout, uniform. The former is worn by little boys who, by the way, wear caps, not broad-rimmed tan hats. Am I the only person troubled that a woman whose entire career has been premised on the continuous, ever-more graphic sexualization of herself would wear a child’s outfit to make a point about homosexuality? To objectify oneself is certainly an option in our society, however dehumanizing it might be. But is it really necessary to bring children into such an endeavor?

The uniform was, of course, secondary to the singer’s “look at me!” purpose. That she peppered her comments with obscenity and, in her remarks, reduced Scouting to such things as pitching a tent and building a fire says a great deal. Although these and many other practical skills are important to Scouting, building character is the chief goal of the BSA. Sadly, this is an objective concerning which Madonna seems both ignorant and unconcerned.

Rather than anger, Christians should feel pity for an entertainer desperately seeking public affirmation, but avoiding discovery of what it means to live as a person made in the image and likeness of God.

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