You might recall the awful option faced by the title character in “Sophie’s Choice:” Pick one child or the other. It’s not a choice any mother wants to make. No matter what she chooses, her loss is unutterable.
Nor would any child want to make the same choice in reverse: “Mommy or Daddy, Sally. Pick one.”
But that is the ugly position into which same sex marriage plunges children, except that the children themselves do not get to choose. Someone else chooses for them.
No matter what you might think about same sex marriage, we know this: Any child raised under a same sex union faces a tremendous loss—either no Mommy or no Daddy. In a union where two men or two women are involved, that’s always the outcome. When Mommy picks a woman or Daddy picks a man as a life partner, the children always lose something enormously valuable and irreplaceable: a mother or a father.
That loss often has tragic consequences for a child. If, for example, you are raised in a home with no father around, the odds that you will drop out of school, that you will take or sell drugs, that you will go to prison, that you will be poor, and that your children will suffer the same fate you did all skyrocket. That same cycle of hopelessness and crime follows upon the absence of a mother.
When Mommy has sex with another woman, it doesn’t make that other woman a Daddy. Having sex with Mommy doesn’t make you a Daddy any more than drinking milk makes you a calf.
The point here is not remotely homophobic. The point here is not that Mommy and her lover, or Daddy and his, are to be shunned, much less hated. The point here is that mothers and fathers are fundamentally important to the development of children, and therefore to the future of the nation, which depends upon the development and maturation of the next generation. That works best when children have both a father and a mother.
I say so because, according to a recent groundbreaking study by University of Texas scholar Mark Regnerus, we discover this:
Compared to children who were raised in intact homes with both the biological father and mother present to raise them, the children of homosexual parents grow up to:
- Be Much more likely to receive welfare
- Have lower educational attainment
- Report more ongoing “negative impact” from their family of origin
- Be more likely to suffer from depression
- Have been arrested more often
- (If they are female) Have had more sexual partners—both male and female
If they were the children of lesbian mothers, they are:
- More likely to be currently cohabiting
- Almost 4 times more likely to be currently on public assistance
- Less likely to be currently employed full-time
- More than 3 times more likely to be unemployed
- Nearly 4 times more likely to identify as something other than entirely heterosexual
- Three times as likely to have had an affair while married or cohabiting
- An astonishing 10 times more likely to have been “touched sexually by a parent or other adult caregiver.”
- Nearly 4 times as likely to have been “physically forced” to have sex against their will
- More likely to have “attachment” problems related to the ability to depend on others
- Use marijuana more frequently
- Smoke more frequently
- Have more often pled guilty to a non-minor offense
None of these dire statistics seem to have much weight with the same sex marriage crowd. Rather, they argue that marriage equality is rooted in human equality. But that bogus argument does not work. It moves illogically from one kind of equality to another. The equality of all persons does not equal the equality of all lifestyles or all relationships. For example, the mere fact that all persons are created equal does not mean that polygamy or incestual marriage ought therefore to be made legal. You cannot move logically from the equality of persons to the equality of actions, choices, lifestyles, or relationships. It simply does not follow.
Same sex marriage advocates also argue that it is wrong to make value judgment about marriage. Yet they allow themselves to make value judgments about who should get to marry. Here again they fail logically. By insisting that same sex unions ought to be considered marriages on a par with heterosexual marriages, they make a value judgment about marriages, both their own marriages and those of others. If they are against making value judgments about marriage, then they have to stop saying what they say. But of course they won’t. Rather, they press their judgments on others while, at the same time, refusing to permit others to make judgments.
Let me clarify a point often misunderstood: I am not saying that marriages without children are not marriages. I never once said that or meant that. I am saying that marriage and family go usually together. I am talking about a common connection between marriage and family, not a necessary pre-condition for marriage. Marriage and family are simply the usual mechanism of creating and nurturing the next generation. But in the case of a homosexual union, that is naturally impossible. And if you try to grant them by some other means the children nature denies them, then the children are statistically more likely to suffer bad consequences as a result, which is not the case with a heterosexual marriage. Or, put differently, my wife and I have no children as yet. I obviously do not argue that we have no marriage.If we had children, it wouldn’t as likely damage the children involved as would being raised by two men or two women, a situation that entails the significant loss of either mommy or daddy. In short, wise governments and wise citizens do well always to remember that important and basic fact of life and to avoid making laws that undermine the traditional family and traditional family roles, which serve us and our offspring best.
Books mentioned in this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.