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Gay Marriage

Peter Sprigg

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Peter Sprigg writes how the New York Times has jumped on the gay-marriage bandwagon.

Despite its pleas of impartiality regarding debates on "the legal and religious definition of marriage," the New York Times has now thrown itself behind the radical notion that same-sex unions are the equivalent of genuine marriages.

On Sunday, Aug. 18, the Times announced it will begin running announcements of homosexual partnerships and "commitment ceremonies" on the same page as wedding announcements, changing the page's heading to "Weddings/Celebrations."

Although the Times claims it has merely been persuaded of the "newsworthiness" of these events, the decision comes after more than a year of lobbying by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation [GLAAD] and after "a formal meeting last month" between GLAAD and Times managing editor Gerald Boyd. [To the best of our knowledge, the Times never consulted any clergy, marriage experts, pro-family groups, or other wedding authorities to solicit their opinions on this change]. Thus, when the ink was barely dry on the Times announcement Sunday, GLAAD was already trumpeting its victory [as it did in 1987, when it persuaded the Times to use the sweet-sounding word "gay" instead of the more factual term "homosexual."]

The problem here is that marriage is a fundamental human institution. It predates the New York Times, it predates the United States of America, and it is astonishingly transcultural. Yet no culture at any time or any place in human history has ever treated homosexual relationships as being the equivalent of marriage. Neither gay rights activists nor the New York Times has the right or the power to redefine the institution of marriage.

In a televised debate between myself and Joan Garry of GLAAD, she coyly attempted to distinguish between "weddings" as newsworthy events and "marriage" as a legally recognized institution. But make no mistake about it - all the major pro-homosexual activist groups have now endorsed the goal of gaining the full rights of civil marriage for same-sex couples. "Civil unions" and "domestic partnerships" are merely incremental steps toward this ultimate goal - and newspaper "wedding" announcements for homosexual couples are just one more way of softening the cultural ground for this change.

This also serves the goal of increasing societal acceptance of homosexual behavior and relationships in general, of course. Same-sex "weddings" are particularly useful because they specifically convey the impression that homosexual relationships are just like heterosexual ones.

In truth, however, they are far different in their impact on the health and well-being of the partners and of society. It is well-documented - in fact, it was recently documented by the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association that homosexuals have higher rates of physical disease, mental illness, substance abuse, and, according to some sources, domestic violence as well. There is little evidence that "committed" same-sex unions mitigate those risks significantly, if at all.

Heterosexual marriages, on the other hand, have been shown to benefit the mental and physical health and the productivity both of husbands and wives and of their children.

Many of the health risks common to homosexuals arise directly from the rampant promiscuity, which tends to characterize their relationships. Some have argued that allowing or encouraging homosexuals to enter into long-term unions that are legally recognized would somehow "tame" this behavior. But it must be remembered that the gay rights movement is an integral part of a larger sexual liberation movement in our culture that says anybody should be able to have sex with anybody or anything they want to at any time, as long as it is consenting.

It's naive and utterly illogical to think this movement will now culminate in a return to faithfulness and monogamy because we affirm these counterfeit forms of marriage. For all the attention focused on gay unions, I have never heard a pro-homosexual activist say people should abstain from sex outside of a lifelong civil union or recognized domestic partnership.

The Times also referred to same-sex unions as "a growing and visible trend." Although it may be growing, it remains minuscule. The latest census showed that less than six-tenths of 1 percent of American households are headed by a same-sex couple. There are 90 times as many households headed by married couples. Forgive me for suspecting, though, that more than 1 in 90 of the wedding announcements in the Times will now be for same-sex couples.

A poll in 2000 showed a majority of Americans still believe that "homosexual behavior is morally wrong" and that "allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry would undermine the traditional American family." A majority also believe there should not be "legally sanctioned gay and lesbian marriages." In choosing to promote that agenda in their Style section, the New York Times is simply out of step with America.

This article can be found on the Free Republic website. Reprinted with permission.

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Copyright 2001-2018 OrthodoxyToday.org. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this article is subject to the policy of the individual copyright holder. See OrthodoxyToday.org for details.

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