July 7, 2004

The wisest man to walk the planet—someone who shaped Western civilization—explained marriage some 2,000 years ago. Maybe it’s worth knowing what he said.


“Have you not read,” Christ said, “that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’”


Here we have the short answer why marriage is always the union of a man and a woman and never the union of two men or two women. The Creator said so—and He makes the rules. He designed the different but complementary physical, emotional, and mental, characteristics of men and women that are the stuff of which marriages are made. Vive la difference!


For those with ears to hear, God and our nature shout the same message about marriage: “It’s a man and a woman for life.” But for those who dismiss God and nature (not recommended) here are a few more reasons why same-sex marriage is a cultural catastrophe in the making.


First, harm to children. Social science research strongly supports the common-sense observation that children do best when raised by their married mother and father. Twelve family scholars surveyed thousands of studies and reached the conclusion that “Marriage [traditional marriage] is an important social good associated with an impressively broad array of positive outcomes for children and adults alike.” Children raised by their married parents are less likely to experience child poverty, commit suicide, commit crimes, suffer physical or sexual child abuse, or to divorce later in life. 


So when Rosie O’Donnell’s then six-year-old son told her, “I want to have a daddy,” he was pleading not just for what he wants, but for what he needs. Rosie’s response, shared on ABC’s Primetime Thursday, is to tell her son, “If you were to have a daddy you wouldn’t have me as a mommy because I’m the kind of mommy who wants another mommy.” So much for putting children first.


Three decades into America’s epidemic of fatherlessness, we know that depriving children of fathers damages them and their future. Same-sex marriage will rob children of what they need most: the love and nurture of both a mother and a father.


Second, the decline and fall of marriage. Hoover Institution researcher Stanley Kurtz has documented how 10 years of same-sex marriage, or its functional equivalent, civil unions, in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden has led to far fewer marriages and rocketing illegitimacy. Kurtz reports that since legalization of same-sex marriage, 80 percent of firstborn children are born out of wedlock, and 60 percent of children born thereafter are born to unwed parents. That’s bad news for children since unmarried parents are much more likely to split up.

“Marriage in Scandinavia is in deep decline, with children shouldering the burden of rising rates of family dissolution,” writes Kurtz. “And the mainspring of the decline—an increasingly sharp separation between marriage and parenthood—can be linked to gay marriage.”