During my MBA program, I had two good friends, Barbara and Christina, with whom I liked to partner for the many group projects we had to do. After I had known them for about a year, they felt comfortable telling me that they were gay. I had never suspected this, but it changed nothing in our friendship. They were very glad to realize that I still considered them good friends after I learned their sexual orientation. For me, it was something I didn’t even have to think about; we continued to work together on many projects and to this day I considered them good friends.
Now, if Barbara and Christina someday read this posting, I hope they still consider me a friend; I think they will. We never talked about politics, so I’m not sure my friends knew where I stood the subject of my post today: gay marriage. Specifically, I want to talk about why I am opposed to gay marriage, or in other words, why I think marriage should only be between a man and a woman. I don’t want to talk about the because-it-is-my-religious-belief reasons why (even though it is my religious belief, see The Family: A Proclamation to the World ) but I want to analyze why it is harmful to individuals and society, and why, politically, I oppose it.
Research shows that traditional marriage (a mother and a father) is best for the healthy development of children. Dr. A. Dean Byrd of the University of Utah says, “children ordinarily develop best and develop most fully when they are reared by both a mother and a father and are able to experience regular family interaction with both genders’ parenting techniques during their childhood.” see Dual-Gender Parenting: Optimal Child Rearing. Also see the following article on Why Children Need Father-Love and Mother-Love. Research also shows that the majority of prisoners, juvenile detention inmates, high school dropouts, pregnant teenagers, adolescent murderers, and rapists all come from fatherless homes (Daniels 1998; NFI 1996).
Homosexuals Have a Greater Occurrence of Mental Health Problems. Studies show homosexuals have a substantially greater risk of suffering from a psychiatric problems such as suicide, depression, bulimia, and substance abuse than do heterosexuals, according to Dr N.E. Whitehead.
Research shows that married people live longer, happier, healthier lives, and that that a cohabiting partner cannot replicate these benefits of marriage between a man and a woman. (from Focus on the family, Why Marriage Matters).
People can and do change their sexual orientation. Psychological data demonstrates that psychotherapy can be effective in changing sexual preferences in patients who have a desire to do so. Dr. Robert L. Spitzer said this, “Like most psychiatrists I thought homosexual behavior could be resisted, but sexual orientation could not be changed. I now believe that’s untrue–some people can and do change.” He found that 89% of the men and 95% of the women who had participated in the therapy to change their homosexual orientation reported that they were bothered “slightly” or “not at all” by unwanted homosexual feelings. Spitzer concluded that the changes occurred not just in behavior, but in core features of sexual orientation as well.
Since the beginning of recorded human history, marriage between a man and a woman has been the basis of family life and civilization. Even without the benefit of statistics and research studies, 6,000 years of our forbearers realized the importance of marriage as the best way to raise children and the best foundation for society. Now with the aid of statistics and research studies we know that our forbearers were right all along. And for the sake of all, I hope we continue to fight for this right and good institution of marriage between a man and a woman.