By Tom Quiner

A Quiner’s Diner reader challenged me:

“Who you’re attracted to and how you identify in your gender are not choices, so yes changing your physical sex is most definitely an option.”

The writer, a self-identified Democrat, implies that this is a foundational principle undergirding support for so-called gay marriage.

In fact, it is irrelevant. Let us explore the question, what is right with so-called gay marriage?

Gay marriage humorAs one Democrat stated not all that long ago:

 “I’m a Christian. I do believe that tradition and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”

This person acknowledged the sacramental nature of marriage in the eyes of the Christian world.

He acknowledged that the act of marrying makes the union between a man and a woman holy. His remarks pointedly excluded same-sex relationships from marriage.

Barack Obama, who spoke the words above back in 2004, stuck to his guns throughout his 2008 presidential campaign that the definition of marriage should be between a man and a woman. He changed his mind. Here is his rambling explanation why:

“This is something that, you know, [Michelle and I have] talked about over the years and she, you know, she feels the same way, she feels the same way that I do. And that is that, in the end the values that I care most deeply about and she cares most deeply about is how we treat other people and, you know, I, you know, we are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated…”

So what happened to his convictions? We have several options:

Option One: Mr. Obama was for gay marriage all along and simply said that he was for traditional marriage just to get elected. In other words, he was simply lying.

Option Two: His belief system evolved from one “truth” to another over the past four years, and he now discounts the sacramental nature of traditional marriage.

Option Three: He thinks the political winds are blowing in favor of gay marriage, freeing him to jettison yesterday’s belief system for a new, more popular one today. Opinion polls show growing support for so-called gay marriage. In 2001, only 35% supported it; by 2014, it had grown to 52%.

There may be some truth in all three options.

Whatever, Democrats are certainly comfortable changing their belief system for the sake of political expediency. (See: “The evolution of principle.”) The cornerstone of Mr. Obama’s conversion seems to be his application of the Golden Rule, (“do unto others as you would have them do unto you”) to the issue of gay marriage.

The suggestion here is that gay marriage is all about equality, that it is a civil rights issue. But it obviously isn’t. Societies throughout history have defined marriage as being between a man and a woman as a mechanism to protect children that could be produced from those unions.

Current traditional marriage laws, for the most part, allow anyone to marry as long as they are of legal age. People with same-sex attractions are allowed to marry, as long as it is someone of the opposite gender. By the same token, people with opposite-sex attractions are prevented by law of marrying someone of the same gender. In other words, marriage laws have been applied equally without discrimination.

Nothing prevents people with same-sex attractions from pursuing a relationship with someone of the same gender. They simply couldn’t have it formally declared a marriage by the state. A lifelong pro-gay liberal Democrat wrote a book about marriage called “The Future of Marriage.” Despite his embrace of much of the gay agenda, David Blankenhorn is adamantly against the notion of gay marriage:

“Across history and cultures . . . marriage’s single most fundamental idea is that every child needs a mother and a father. Changing marriage to accommodate same-sex couples would nullify this principle in culture and in law.” 

He says that when people get married simply for the sake of coupling, so to speak, fewer people get married, decreasing the number of heterosexual marriages.

He sites data from Scandinavian countries with a history of gay marriage. The result: more children are born out of wedlock. So what? These kids do worse by about every measurement than kids born into a married family with a mom and a dad.

What’s right with gay marriage? Nothing.

26 Comments

  1. lburleso on April 16, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Here are some questions that I find help people think more deeply about this subject:

    Is it always the case that people are born with same-sex attraction?

    Does the higher incidence of childhood abuse among the same-sex-attracted population affect your view at all?

    How do behavior modification, hormone therapies, and surgery actually change one’s physical gender?

    Do you support any definition of or limits on marriage?

    And finally, what is the nature of marriage?

    For a deeper exploration, I strongly recommend “Why Homosexual Unions Are Not Marriages”, available for free at:
    http://www.catholic.com/sites/default/files/why_homosexual_unions_are_not_marriages.pdf

    • quinersdiner on April 16, 2015 at 10:44 am

      Great questions, Lee. Thanks for sharing them.

  2. Bruce on April 16, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Most people have changed their minds on same-sex marriage. With these kinds of judgmental attitudes, it’s not hard to see why so many are leaving the churches today.

    • quinersdiner on April 16, 2015 at 11:33 am

      It’s interesting, Bruce, that the churches that are losing parishioners by the bucketful are the ones liberalizing the fastest, while the ones retaining traditional Christian teachings on sexuality and Life issues have been the strongest. Go figure. I guess folks prefer to stick with Churches that don’t compromise their teachings based on the whims of the age. Thanks for writing.

    • quinersdiner on April 16, 2015 at 11:46 am

      Bruce, may I ask you a serious question? Do we have a right to make moral judgements?

    • lburleso on April 16, 2015 at 11:49 am

      Gender theory: male and female characteristics are largely malleable social constructs

      “For example, I wonder if so-called gender theory may not also be an expression of frustration and resignation that aims to erase sexual differentiation because [modern culture] no longer knows how to come to terms with it. With gender theory we risk going backward.” – Pope Francis, 15-Apr-2015

      • quinersdiner on April 16, 2015 at 1:14 pm

        That sounds like a conservative thing to say!

  3. Shawn Pavlik on April 16, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    I have given up on this issue. I have 3 or 4 friends who are gay, and I don’t feel like we can continue to discriminate against them. If we continue to try to push this issue politically through the Republican Party, we will forever cease to be a majority party.

    I do believe that at least a disposition towards homosexuality is biological in nature. I believe in a compromise: same-sex unions. It would legally have similar rights and responsibilities to marriage, in areas of health care, taxation, disposition of children in event of death, death benefits, etc. I do not believe churches should be forced to provide services for homosexual unions. Many already do, though.

    In the end, I believe in God’s greatest commandment, to “love one another as you love yourself”. The homosexual men I have known that are married are as committed to their spouse as most heteros that I know. It is admittedly a small sample size.

    • quinersdiner on April 16, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      Although I don’t agree, I thank you for sharing your viewpoint. I will respond from a religious perspective: my Catholic faith states that acting on same-sex desires separates us from Christ, just as adultery or fornication does. Gay marriage deludes people into thinking that acting on these desires is okay, in fact, the moral equivalent of heterosexual marriage. It is not. It is sinful behavior. I wouldn’t talk in this language to a non-Christian, Shawn, because they wouldn’t get it, but you do. I oppose gay marriage as unjust to the spiritual health of our nation.

    • lburleso on April 16, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      I understand this is a Catholic blog, but I don’t believe religious arguments are required to make a case against redefining marriage. Same goes when speaking about abortion.

      Shawn, you used the classic trigger words in your defense: discriminate, biological, and love.

      What type of discrimination are you referring to?

      Do you believe that every case of homosexuality is biological in nature, or are there ever people who have chosen it for other reasons? If chosen, could there ever be cultural shifts that drive people to choose it more often?

      I agree that we should all love one another. In fact, my greatest struggle with love is often with the people closest to me. I express love in different ways to different people as appropriate to my relationship with them, but we use the word “love” in such an interchangeable way. Sometimes love even means that I must make a person uncomfortable (think children). I can love my sister dearly, but to express that sexually would be inappropriate. Ditto with pretty much everyone and everything except my wife. Why is that?

      I also encourage you to read the link I posted below, plus the book “Making Gay OK”, which extends the debate into second- and third-order effects.

  4. Shawn Pavlik on April 16, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Also, regarding the title of this article, I do believe the best situation is for a loving mother and father to adopt children, BUT we have thousands upon thousands in our foster care system who never get adopted. While I think hetero couples should get first priority, I think homosexual couples should be able to adopt as well.

    • quinersdiner on April 16, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      I agree with you up to the last statement. We have heterosexual married couples waiting in line to adopt. I stand by my headline. As usual, great to hear from you, even if we part ways on this issue.

  5. The Gospel of Barney on April 16, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Science does not support it check this out:http://mygenes.co.nz/download.htm

  6. The Gospel of Barney on April 16, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Reblogged this on The Gospel of Barney and commented:
    Always worth reading this blog!

    • quinersdiner on April 16, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      I appreciate the compliment, Barney. Come again!

  7. Corvus (Corvi) Black on April 16, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    I always enjoy your posts Tom. Even though we are diametrically opposed on nearly every issue ever debated…in the history…of you know…life. I often find nuggets where we agree. For example, I agree with your assessment of Obama’s possible reasons for changing his stance. I also sort of see you as my “go to” source for conservative Catholic viewpoints. My family is all Catholic but SUPER liberal.

    I would like it if you could elaborate on the statistics regarding children born out of wedlock doing “worse.” Since I was born out of wedlock and raised by two women, it’s of interest to me.

    • quinersdiner on April 16, 2015 at 8:24 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, Corvus. Here is some data on the consequence of fatherless homes:

      * 63 percent of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
      * 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
      * 85 percent of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes
      * 80 percent of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes
      * 71 percent of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes
      * 75 percent of all adolescent patients in chemical-abuse centers come from fatherless homes
      * 85 percent of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes

      This is not to say that single mothers can’t provide nurturing homes for their children. So many can and do. These statistics merely reveal that parenting is hard work and produces better outcome, on average, when there is a mom and a dad raising their children together.

      • Corvus (Corvi) Black on April 17, 2015 at 10:19 am

        I suspect these statistics correlate to a larger systemic problem, one that involves socioeconomic depression, a failure in our educational system, and a culture that promote separation of class, culture and ethnicity. In other words, it’s worth looking into which demographics have the most single-parent homes; understanding why that may be the case. Separately, one would have to study two parent homes with hetero couples vs homosexual couples to determine whether gender matters and to what degree.

        • quinersdiner on April 17, 2015 at 10:48 am

          No the, study results correlate to a single factor: absence of a father in the home.

          Regarding your second question, the gold standard of studies (conducted by sociologist Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin) on the difference between children raised by their natural parents vs. gay couples found kids did better with their married, natural parents: “Compared with children raised by their married biological parents (IBF), children of homosexual parents (LM and GF):

          Are much more likely to have received welfare (IBF 17%; LM 69%; GF 57%)
          Have lower educational attainment
          Report less safety and security in their family of origin
          Report more ongoing “negative impact” from their family of origin
          Are more likely to suffer from depression
          Have been arrested more often
          If they are female, have had more sexual partners–both male and female.”

          Corvus, thanks for your interest in the subject and your thoughtful commentary. Please come again.

          • Corvus (Corvi) Black on April 17, 2015 at 12:20 pm

            With respect, that correlation is impossible (regarding single family homes causing those issues over socioeconomic ones.) There is no way to prove causation there because socioeconomic factors are so completely interwoven in those statistics. You’d have to show that the prevalence of single-parent households are evenly dispersed among all socioeconomic levels and that all the issues you listed are too (which of course, we no is not true.) Personally, I believe the only way to reduce the statics you listed are to help the disenfranchised so that we may all live in a more fair and just society. I think then we will really start to see progress.

            I checked out briefly the Regnerus study you mentioned but it turns out it was heavily debunked for a number of reasons, but mainly because there was no control for defining the parameters of the “gay parent.” The children in the study could have been raised by two married gay parents, unmarried gay parents, one parent that once had a homosexual fling, a straight parent with an absent gay parent, so on and so forth… I do think it’s worth studying, however, I just don’t think this study was well thought out.

            My hypothesis is that the perceptions of adult children of gay parents will change as society becomes more tolerant. As the fear of judgment diminishes, a parents sexual preference will matter less and less. Of course, you’ll disagree, but last bit is my best guess.

            It’s always fun digging into these issues with you. I’m grateful that we can disagree in a civilized way. I wish everyone could.



          • quinersdiner on April 17, 2015 at 8:13 pm

            In fact, it was a very credible study. But I know how these things go whenever a study is invoked. One side will say the methodology was great; the other side says that it stunk. Your perspective is unique and i appreciate you sharing it. Thank-you!



  8. SKL on July 4, 2015 at 3:38 am

    I sympathise with you regarding Obama, but one must remember all politicians seem to have short memories and long rhetoric when it comes to chasing voters.

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