On the grounds of history alone homosexual marriage is an oxymoron. Regardless of whether or not one grants marriage a "religious" or "secular" status, nowhere in history is it ever between people of the same sex (see this history of marriage). Marriage has always, in every culture, been heterosexual. It has also always come with the expectation that children would be produced (the only exception to this would be marriages late in life beyond child-bearing age). In fact, when children were not produced it became a problem since this was the ancient way of handling property rights in most of the world. Children were also expected to grow up and care for other members of the family, including aging parents. So progeny was a key component in marriage and the primary reason for marriage (our romantic notion of "love" did not arise until the 14th century troubadours, although it is intrinsic to human nature and seen implicitly much earlier in my opinion).
Religious life and secular life were hardly separated in the ancient world. In fact, the notion of a separation of church and state is very recent in world history. So it is perhaps not fair to say that marriages prior to the Christian era were ever wholly secular, but that is to digress into a more broad and subjective area. The Christian "church" became involved with marriages formally in the 9th century and by the 12th century were more heavily involved. The Council of Trent in 1563 required Catholics to marry in a church and by the 18th century church marriage had become the norm in all European countries. Since North America is of European origin, thus the laws and traditions were too.
It is important to emphasize, again, that there has never in history been anything called same-sex marriage. In fact, homosexuals cannot satisfy the primary historical criterion for marriage, producing children.Why Call it Marriage?
Up to now Canadian and United States law has attempted to be fair with the homosexual agenda without redefining marriage. Civil Unions recognized in Vermont and Canada had similar legislation granting rights to homosexuals. Most major corporations have granted homosexual partners the right to benefits equal to a spouse. Yet these concessions have not been sufficient for the homosexual activists. Why continue to push for "homosexual marriage" instead of a "Civil Union" which is less offensive? There simply is no reason for homosexuals to demand to be called "married" except as a attack on traditional society and religion. Otherwise they would be satisfied with "civil union" rather than "marriage." This attitude betrays their agenda: acceptance as normal as heterosexuals in every aspect of life, and that does and will include the church. Because of the legal protections of the Constitution they will have to apply economic pressure and the power of "political correctness" in order to make the churches submit. If past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior (and it is) then there is no historical reason to believe that the homosexual assault on North American society and religion will be assuaged by a change in legal status (e.g. Canada). The goal of total acceptance is not met by declaring that "homosexual marriage" is "marriage." Once the "legal" component has changed then there is only the "moral" component remaining. It is a traditional "divide and conquer" strategy. Canadians, don't expect this issue to go away, only change focus to the church. All of the energy that has been spent upon the government can now be turned and added to the energy that is already being exerted against the churches. For those of us in the U.S., expect the pressure to be turned up and the battle be more severe.On What Grounds Marriage?
Love: The ambiguous term "love" cannot be used to define marriage. "Love" can extend to multiple wives (polygyny) or husbands (polyandry). In fact, "love" can be extended to people to whom a person is not even married! So laws against adultery and fornication would need to be eliminated. Marriage between brothers and sisters could also be deemed appropriate as could an argument for other incestuous relationships be made. So much for marriages within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity. And there are even "intellectuals" who argue for such other deviant sexuality such as bestiality and pedophilia be normalized. Where do we draw the line? Without moral boundaries there is no way to draw the line. Clearly there are too many people with too many conflicting and contradictory notions for "marriage" to be so broadly defined.
Homosexual marriage challenges all types of societal issues. What is a "parent?" Why should homosexuals be prohibited from adoption? How about the psychological impact on children in the absence of a same sex "parent?" What is the real value of the traditional male-female marriage?Evolution of Society
In one of his movies Groucho Marx proposes to marry two women. One of them replies, "Why Captain, that would be bigamy!" to which Groucho replies, "That would be big of me and big of you, it would be big of all of us!" That, of course, was humor. But such "open-mindedness" is the type of thinking that the homosexual activists want the rest of us to accept. The argument is that society has evolved and the change in the definition of marriage simply reflects that evolution. Words like "progressive" and "enlightened" are bandied about in order to make those who oppose the position appear to be backward and ignorant. The message is that "something is wrong with society" if homosexuals and their marriages are not accepted by everyone with joy. The message that "something is wrong with homosexuals and they need help" is never even considered.
The "evolution" argument assumes that every evolution of society is right. Clearly this is not the case. Serial killers have arisen to heretofore unknown numbers in the United States, gangs have invaded and taken over territory in our inner cities, and the murder rate has risen in the past few decades so that now more than 16,000 murders are committed every year. These are evolutions of society, but no one thinks they are good evolutions.
Furthermore, if we follow a truly Darwinian, evolutionary model for our society then we must admit that there are turns in evolution that do not work out best for the long term health of a society, even if they work for a time. Evolutionists will point to species that did not properly adapt to their environment and so became extinct. So, then, as a society we must determine whether or not every "evolution" of our society is worthy of being allowed to continue. Even then it is always possible, and probably inevitable, that we will make the wrong choice. So simply because some societies (only 3) have accepted homosexuality does not mean that they have decided wisely or should be viewed as trend-setters for other societies. It is not a measure of "correctness" but a measure of the political power homosexual groups have been able to muster. Homosexual marriage brings nothing positive to society and, in fact, only further breaks it down. Thus, it is a detriment.
The problem with the evolutionary model is the problem with all secular/humanistic models, there is no absolute truth to guide them, only survival. Human beings are left to their own devices. It is inherently amoral and truly anything goes. There is no protection of a minority against the majority (an argument used by the homosexual advocates) in fact there is no right or wrong, only survival. Do we, then, want to submit our society to the whims of such a system? The answer to that is clearly a resounding no.
One of the arguments put forth by homosexual activists today is that ancient societies understood homosexuality differently than we do. This argument deserves some attention because it addresses a fundamental question about biblical interpretation: how do we bridge the culture gap from the first century to the 21st century?
In most of the Old and New Testaments people are not judged by their thoughts but by their actions. Yes, it is said that God knows the "heart" (the inward thoughts and motives) of the individual, and yes, Jesus does tell us that our thoughts (such as lustful and murderous thoughts) are sinful. These are things that are between us and God and we must be self-policing in this respect. What concerns the Apostle Paul and others in the New Testament is the actions that people take. What defined a homosexual in Paul's mind? A person who has sexual relations with another person of the same sex.
Strong "boundary lines" of moral behavior existed in Paul's day. His Judaism taught that homosexuality was wrong just as it taught that adultery, fornication, incest, and bestiality were wrong. But a person was only guilty of a moral breech when that person committed the offense. It was never a question as to whether or not the adulterers, fornicators, incestuous, or bestial persons were "in love" or "committed" to each other. Yet this is the argument that homosexual activists wish to make. They say, "The ancient society didn't know of committed, loving homosexual relationships and so the Bible doesn't address the issue of modern homosexuality." The truth of the matter is that in such moral sins there was never an interest in such things, it was simply a breach of law. People engaging in homosexuality had crossed the line of morality into immorality. So there is no reason for Paul (or any other writer) to address the question of the emotional or commitment level of the adulterer, fornicators, the incestuous, the bestial, or the homosexual. Such arguments prove to be empty.
Below are some quotes from Antonin Scalia's dissenting opinion. The full text of the opinion can be found at the Supreme Court website. Scalia's dissent represents the basic position and concerns which I hold. It is a deeply troubling thing when courts engage in activism.
State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers' validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today's decision; the Court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding. . . . . The impossibility of distinguishing homosexuality from other traditional "morals" offenses is precisely why Bowers rejected the rational-basis challenge. "The law," it said, "is constantly based on notions of morality, and if all laws representing essentially moral choices are to be invalidated under the Due Process Clause, the courts will be very busy indeed." (p. 36)
Footnote 2: "While the Court does not overrule Bowers' holding that homosexual sodomy is not a 'fundamental right,' . . . ."
It is (as Bowers recognized) entirely irrelevant whether the laws in our long national tradition criminalizing homosexual sodomy were "directed at homosexual conduct as a distinct matter." Ante, at 7. Whether homosexual sodomy was prohibited by a law targeted at same-sex sexual relations or by a more general law prohibiting both homosexual and heterosexual sodomy, the only relevant point is that it was criminalized—which suffices to establish that homosexual sodomy is not a right "deeply rooted in our Nation's history and tradition." (p. 42)
Realizing that fact, the Court instead says: "[W]e think that our laws and traditions in the past half century are of most relevance here. These references show an emerging awareness that liberty gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex." Ante, at 11 (emphasis added). Apart from the fact that such an "emerging awareness" does not establish a "fundamental right," the statement is factually false. States continue to prosecute all sorts of crimes by adults "in matters pertaining to sex": prostitution, adult incest, adultery, obscenity, and child pornography. Sodomy laws, too, have been enforced "in the past half century," in which there have been 134 reported cases involving prosecutions for consensual, adult, homosexual sodomy. (p. 44)
In any event, an "emerging awareness" is by definition not "deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition[s]," as we have said "fundamental right" status requires. Constitutional entitlements do not spring into existence because some States choose to lessen or eliminate criminal sanctions on certain behavior. Much less do they spring into existence, as the Court seems to believe, because foreign nations decriminalize conduct. . . . .
The Court's discussion of these foreign views (ignoring, of course, the many countries that have retained criminal prohibitions on sodomy) is therefore meaningless dicta. Dangerous dicta, however, since "this Court . . . should not impose foreign moods, fads, or fashions on Americans." Foster v. Florida, 537 U. S. 990, n. (2002) (THOMAS, J., concurring in denial of certiorari).
The Court embraces instead JUSTICE STEVENS' declaration in his Bowers dissent, that "the fact that the governing majority in a State has traditionally viewed a particular practice as immoral is not a sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting the practice," ante, at 17. This effectively decrees the end of all morals legislation. If, as the Court asserts, the promotion of majoritarian sexual morality is not even a legitimate state interest, none of the above-mentioned laws can survive rational-basis review. (p. 45)
JUSTICE O'CONNOR argues that the discrimination in this law which must be justified is not its discrimination with regard to the sex of the partner but its discrimination with regard to the sexual proclivity of the principal actor."While it is true that the law applies only to conduct, the conduct targeted by this law is conduct that is closely correlated with being homosexual. Under such circumstances, Texas' sodomy law is targeted at more than conduct. It is instead directed toward gay persons as a class." Ante, at 5.Of course the same could be said of any law. A law against public nudity targets "the conduct that is closely correlated with being a nudist," and hence "is targeted at more than conduct"; it is "directed toward nudists as a class." But be that as it may. Even if the Texas law does deny equal protection to "homosexuals as a class," that denial still does not need to be justified by anything more than a rational basis, which our cases show is satisfied by the enforcement of traditional notions of sexual morality. (p. 46-47)
This reasoning leaves on pretty shaky grounds state laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples. JUSTICE O'CONNOR seeks to preserve them by the conclusory statement that "preserving the traditional institution of marriage" is a legitimate state interest. Ante, at 7. But "preserving the traditional institution of marriage" is just a kinder way of describing the State's moral disapproval of same-sex couples. Texas's interest in §21.06 could recast in similarly euphemistic terms: "preserving the traditional sexual mores of our society." In the jurisprudence JUSTICE O'CONNOR has seemingly created, judges can validate laws by characterizing them as "preserving the traditions of society" (good); or invalidate them by characterizing them as "expressing moral disapproval" (bad). (p. 47-48)
This case "does not involve" the issue of homosexual marriage only if one entertains the belief that principle and logic have nothing to do with the decisions of this Court. Many will hope that, as the Court comfortingly assures us, this is so. (p. 51)
The homosexual life can be opposed on many levels: religious, historic, and sociological. When researchers look at what the true state of the homosexual life is they find a very distrubing picture. It includes depression, suicide, pedophilia -- all higher than for heterosexuals -- and it discovers that homosexuals have many times more partners on average than do heterosexuals which leads to higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases and significantly shorter lifespans. If you love anyone who is a homosexual, then try to save them from this destructive lifestyle.
Statistics on the sad state of the homosexual lifestyle [this site has a bullet point list with footnotes].
This site has more detailed information, Traditional Values.
How Many People are Homosexual?
These sites examine that question.
In the U.S. and in Canada.
Study finds gay unions brief
By Amy Fagan
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
A recent study on homosexual relationships finds they last 1-1/2 years on average — even as homosexual groups are pushing nationwide to legalize same-sex "marriages."
The study of young Dutch homosexual men by Dr. Maria Xiridou of the Amsterdam Municipal Health Service, published in May in the journal AIDS, mirrors findings of past research.
Among heterosexuals, by contrast, 67 percent of first marriages in the United States last at least 10 years, and researchers report that more than three-quarters of married people say they have been faithful to their vows.
Same-sex "marriage" has gained new attention since a Supreme Court decision last month struck down state laws against homosexual behavior. Conservative activists say they expect the state Supreme Court in Massachusetts to rule this weekend on whether to recognize homosexual "marriages."
The Dutch study — which focused on transmission of HIV — found that men in homosexual relationships on average have eight partners a year outside those relationships.
Earlier studies also indicated that homosexual men are not monogamous, even when they are involved in long-term relationships.
In "The Male Couple," published in 1984, authors David P. McWhirter and Andrew M. Mattison report that in a study of 156 males in homosexual relationships lasting anywhere from one to 37 years, all couples with relationships more than five years had incorporated some provision for outside sexual activity.
"Fidelity is not defined in terms of sexual behavior but rather by their emotional commitment to each other," the authors said. "Ninety-five percent of the couples have an arrangement whereby the partners may have sexual activity with others."
Such findings show how recognition of same-sex unions would "erode the ideal" of traditional marriage, Pete LaBarbara, senior policy analyst at Concerned Women for America's Culture and Family Institute.
"They're redefining what it means to be monogamous," Mr. LaBarbara said. "It's just preposterous to claim that these relationships even approximate normal, steady relationships."
The Amsterdam study is "proof positive that these relationships ... will never be as stable as a normal heterosexual relationship regardless of what institutions or laws are changed," Mr. LaBarbara said.
But homosexual groups say recent data indicate that homosexual relationships look increasingly like heterosexual marriage.
About 40 percent of homosexual couples had been together in a household for at least five years, compared to roughly 60 percent of married heterosexual couples who had been together at least that long, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data produced for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation.
The HRC analysis found that relationships were shortest for unmarried heterosexual partners living together, only 18 percent of whom had been together in the household for at least five years.
"Anecdotally, there's quite a bit of evidence that as gays and lesbians are becoming more accepted, you're finding greater levels of stability," said Gary Gates, a researcher for the Urban Institute who compiled the data for HRC, which supports same-sex "marriage."
Mr. Gates said 25 percent of male homosexual couples had children in the household and 38 percent of lesbian couples had children in the household, compared with 48 percent of heterosexual married couples. And 66 percent of the male homosexual couples and 68 percent of lesbian couples owned their home, compared with 81 percent of heterosexual married couples. He said these are signs of increasing stability.
David Smith, spokesman for HRC, dismissed the Amsterdam study, saying he personally has been in a monogamous relationship for 10 years and, "most gay people I know have been in relationships many, many years and they're absolutely monogamous."
He said his personal experience is that homosexuals settle down just like heterosexuals.
He also said those throwing out "wild charges" that homosexuals are promiscuous are hypocritical because they will not let same-sex couples have marriage rights, which would provide even more stability under the law.
But Mr. LaBarbara said marriage would not change the promiscuity he called "rampant" among homosexuals. He said on the contrary, same-sex "marriage" would just "erode [marriage] further."
The state of Vermont has allowed civil unions between same-sex couples since 2000, and a study by two University of Vermont psychology professors compared homosexual couples in civil unions with homosexual couples not in unions, and married heterosexual couples.
Among the Vermont findings, the overwhelming majority of women — both lesbians and married heterosexuals — felt it was not acceptable to have sex outside of their primary relationship. However, 79 percent of married men felt sex outside marriage was not OK, compared to 34 percent of homosexual men in committed relationships and 50 percent of homosexual men in civil unions.
But such open relationships — in which homosexual men accept that their partners will have sex with others — are not harmful, said Anne Peplau, a psychology professor at the University of California at Los Angeles.
"There is clear evidence that gay men are less likely to have sexually exclusive relationships than other people — but this is not typically harmful to their relationships because partners agree that it's acceptable," said Miss Peplau. "Many heterosexual men also are non-monogamous, but may be more secretive about their behavior."
However, Peter Sprigg, director of Marriage and Family Studies at the Family Research Council, pointed to a 1997 national survey published in the Journal of Sex Research that found 77 percent of married men and 88 percent of married women had remained faithful to their marriage vows.
According to 2001 data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), 67 percent of first marriages last 10 years, and 50 percent last 20 years. Marriages involving teenagers are more prone to divorce; for marriages in which the bride is at least age 20, about 60 percent last 20 years, according to NCHS data.