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Guest Voice: Hope for Marriage and the History of Homosexuality

  • Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2012 Nov 16

Posted by Jim_Daly Nov 15, 2012

Hope for Marriage and the History of Homosexuality

Glenn T. Stanton

Last week, we saw something unprecedented in American politics. Four states voted in support of the radical redefinition of marriage where men and women, husband and wife, mother and father become merely optional for families. This view of family is quite radical and contrary to how humanity works.

But do these victories mean it’s all over for natural marriage?

Not even close. Here’s why:

We must understand some important realities:

1.) These four states – Washington, Minnesota, Maine and Maryland – are deeply blue, largely liberal states.

2.) The protect-marriage forces were dramatically outspent by the redefinition crowd, at least 4-to-1 in each of these races.

3.) The final vote margin in each was very thin, which was remarkable given the first two points.

These are important facts to keep in mind. 

Natural marriage still has very strong support in our nation, and that can continue if we don’t get discouraged and throw in the towel. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) reports that scientific, nationwide polling conducted on Election Day revealed that 60 percent of all Americans voting across the country that day stated they believe marriage should be protected, remaining a relationship between a man and a woman. This is even a tad higher than the same finding this past September where 57 percent of citizens expressed their support for natural marriage.

One of the growing beliefs fueling the mainstreaming of homosexuality is the assumption that homosexuality is just as natural as heterosexuality, that one is just born that way. Who am I to challenge the insights and wisdom of Lady Gaga, but there is not one shred of scientific evidence that people are simply “born that way.” Even though scientists have furiously been looking for such proof for many decades now, it simply does not exist. It is mere hopeful belief, resting singularly on unchallenged rhetoric and cultural pressure. Repeating something often enough doesn’t make it true.

Here is a fact that all must face: Homosexuality as a personal or social identity is a political construction, no more than 60 or 70 years old by the most liberal measure.

Sound strange? Let me explain.

Sure, same-sex sex has existed since the most ancient of times. But it was simply understood as an actsomething someone did to another person. And in nearly all cultures throughout time, it was taboo to varying degrees. It was there in ancient Greek culture but solely as man on boy or slave. Between men of equal status was understood as shameful. Romantic, emotionally based same-sex relationships were unheard of. Ground-breaking anthropologist, Bronislaw Malinowski in his book, The Sexual Lives of Savages (1929), wrote that “sodomy is repugnant to natives,” explaining it was so disdained that “it would be an insult thus to assume that any sane person would like to commit” the act.

Then at the turn of the last century, same-sex sex became a condition among science-based cultures. One of the first and very liberal sexologists -- Havelock Ellis -- referred to it as “sexual inversion” and later homosexuality. The term “homosexuality” arose around the early 1890s to describe what was exclusively understood as a sexual psycho-pathology – a condition one suffered from or had.

And only a few decades ago in certain developed Western nations did it become an identity -- something someone was.

And this was only after the American Psychiatric Association stopped classifying same-sex attraction as a mental disorder in 1973. Don’t think for a moment that this was done as a result of careful scientific consideration by the association. Instead, they simply folded to stunningly rambunctious and constant protest by homosexual activists.

And this brings us to where we are today with the issue: People are just born that way, so accept it. Social commentator Mark Steyn explains the implications of this social evolution:

One can object to and even criminalize an act; one is obligated to be sympathetic toward a condition; but once it's a fully-fledged 24/7 identity, like being Hispanic or Inuit, anything less than wholehearted acceptance gets you marked down as a bigot.

Our friends at Chick-fil-A and researchers like Professor Mark Regnerus know this all too well. This virulent emotional manipulation is reprehensible, but remarkably effective. Who wants to be branded as a hateful bigot?

Making sure that all people are treated with love, respect and dignity is something we must all be tirelessly committed to and most of those who lead efforts to defend marriage strongly believe and practice this.

But to permanently and radically change the fundamental nature and definition of marriage and family because some cultural elites label you as hatefully prejudiced if you don’t is not something anyone should be bullied into.

NOTE: Glenn T. Stanton is the director for Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs and the author of five books including his latest, The Ring Makes All the Difference.


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