Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous. Hebrews 13:4 (AMP)
Mark Regnerus’s report today that lesbian couples’ children turn out worse than straight couples ignited a firestorm, drawing cheers on the social right and denunciations from the gay rights movement.
The study was the latest in a series that have made Regnerus, an associate professor of sociology at UT Austin and married father of three, a darling of the right: His other findings tout the benefits of early marriage and the costs of “hookup culture.”
Regnerus’s most recent study, published this month in the journal Social Science Research, found that the children of parents who had ever had a same-sex relationship differed in important ways from kids of married, straight parents. Those whose moms ever had a relationship with another woman, especially, were significantly more likely to be unemployed as adults than children of still-married straight parents; they were also more likely to seek treatment for mental illness, and to report having sex with someone else while married or co-habitating.
“The household instability that the [study] reveals is just too common among same-sex couples to take the social gamble of spending significant political and economic capital to esteem and support this new (but tiny) family form while Americans continue to flee the stable, two-parent biological married model, the far more common and accomplished workhorse of the American household, and still — according to the data, at least — the safest place for a kid.” Mark added.
Critics of the study were quick to downplay the findings of the study.
Gary J. Gates, author of The Gay and Lesbian Atlas and Williams Distinguished Scholar at UCLA Law School, criticized Regnerus’s comparison between children of intact heterosexual families and children whose parents had at some point had a same-sex relationship — the latter group, he noted, had experienced divorce, step-parent arrangements, and foster care, all of which are known to affect children’s lives no matter what the sexual orientation of their parents.
Although Gary was very vocal concerning the studies findings he did notice one obvious fact; broken homes make for broken children. This has long been the argument for supporting strong, stable families. Stable households make for a stable society which is why for centuries marriage was regarded in high esteem. Societies have long known that a stable family makes for stable communities which makes for a stable, civil society.
In fact even Mark’s critics had to admit as much. I am sure that Gary Gates did not mean to make a case for marriage but that is exactly what he did do when he said: “All he’s shown us is that family instability isn’t good for kids.”
I could not have said it any better. Let’s talk about the kids shall we? Where do children come from? The relationship between a man and a woman produces offspring. Children are not produced without a father and a mother. Yes it is true that science has found a way to fertilize a woman’s egg without the need for a sexual encounter but it does not nullify the egg must be fertilized with male sperm. Therefore to produce children you need a MAN and a WOMAN, and since CHILDREN are the scope of this study and the protection of children is the intent of civil laws in regards to family, reason should have us conclude that the union that produced offspring should be guarded and honored to protect the offspring.
This of course is not the goal of proponents of same-sex marriage. Such proponents would like to make the case that the only criteria for which to base a marriage is the affections of the people who wish to marry. If marriage was simply the legal joining of two people then there would be no argument. Any two people regardless of sex could enter into marriage. Since this type of union can not biologically produce offspring there would be no need for legislation to protect children of such unions. I would argue there really would be no need for MARRIAGE then.
Mark acknowledges there’s a “subtext” to his work: the belief that “the project of profound, radical expressive individualism […] is a poor one for human flourishing.”
We are all constrained by social phenomena, he said, and that’s not a bad thing — “constraints can produce much good in our lives, whether we like the constraints or not. Liberty run amok can create extraordinary personal disaster.”
In other words if we are all permitted in a civil society to only pursue our own interests without restraint, civil society would downgrade into chaos. The freedoms afforded by a structured civil society would erode as a result of the chaos of unrestrained personal pursuits. This chaos would then have to be strictly controlled by rigid laws or the society would eventually destroy itself. Recognizing marriage between a man and a woman for the benefit of protecting the progeny is good civil policy. it is clear, easy to understand, and without ambiguity. By contrast calling any relationship a marriage causes a great deal of confusion, ambiguity, civil unrest, and is bad public policy.
This is the way I see it. What say you?
- New study finds that children do best in traditional mother-father families (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
- Study of Gay Parenting Draws Criticism (abcnews.go.com)
- Our Children Bear the Burden of Our Sinfulness (eagleviews.org)