Protect The Divine Institution of Marriage: Yes on CA Prop 8

You will notice in the right hand column of my blog is a “Yes on California Proposition 8” widget. My reasons for supporting this constitutional amendment are both religious and political in nature. From a political perspective, please see my blog post from March 2007 entitled Why I Oppose Gay Marriage: Politically. From a religious perspective, which encompasses the current, future and eternal happiness of men, women and children, I’m sure I could not articulate the position better than in the LDS Church’s official statement on The Divine Institution of Marriage. This is a lengthy document, though, and I would like to highlight some of the more salient parts:

“Marriage is not primarily a contract between individuals to ratify their affections and provide for mutual obligations. Rather, marriage and family are vital instruments for rearing children and teaching them to become responsible adults.”

“Strong families serve as the fundamental institution for transmitting to future generations the moral strengths, traditions, and values that sustain civilization.”

“A husband and a wife do not receive these benefits to elevate them above any other two people…Married couples in almost every culture have been granted special benefits aimed primarily at sustaining their relationship and promoting the environment in which children are reared.”

“Extensive studies have shown that in general a husband and wife united in a loving, committed marriage provide the optimal environment for children to be protected, nurtured, and raised.”

“The complementarity of male and female parenting styles is striking and of enormous importance to a child’s overall development.”

“Gender differences increasingly are dismissed as trivial, irrelevant, or transient, thus undermining God’s purpose in creating both men and women.”

If Proposition 8 is passed, “The institution of marriage will be weakened, resulting in negative consequences for both adults and children. ”

The Church wishes to sustain and defend “the crucial role that traditional marriage has played and must continue to play in American society if children and families are to be protected and moral values propagated.”

“Because this question strikes at the very heart of the family, because it is one of the great moral issues of our time, and because it has the potential for great impact upon the family, the Church is speaking out on this issue, and asking members to get involved.”

“Tolerance as a gospel principle means love and forgiveness of one another, not ‘tolerating’ transgression.”

“Jesus taught that we love and care for one another without condoning transgression.”

“Jesus loved the sinner even while decrying the sin, as evidenced in the case of the woman taken in adultery: treating her kindly, but exhorting her to ‘sin no more.'”

“We can express genuine love and friendship for the homosexual family member or friend without accepting the practice of homosexuality or any re-definition of marriage.”

“Certain states already are challenging the long-held right of religious adoption agencies to follow their religious beliefs and only place children in homes with both a mother and a father. As a result, Catholic Charities in Boston has stopped offering adoption services.”

“Accrediting organizations in some instances are asserting pressure on religious schools and universities to provide married housing for same-sex couples.”

“If same-sex marriage becomes a recognized civil right, there will be substantial conflicts with religious freedom. And in some important areas, religious freedom may be diminished.”

“The experience of the few European countries that already have legalized same-sex marriage suggests that any dilution of the traditional definition of marriage will further erode the already weakened stability of marriages and family generally.”

“Marriage is fundamentally an unselfish act: legally protected because only a male and female together can create new life, and because the rearing of children requires a life-long commitment, which marriage is intended to provide.”

“Societal recognition of same-sex marriage cannot be justified simply on the grounds that it provides self-fulfillment to its partners, for it is not the purpose of government to provide legal protection to every possible way in which individuals may pursue fulfillment.”

“When the state says that same-sex unions are equivalent to heterosexual marriages, the curriculum of public schools will have to support this claim…These developments will create serious clashes between the agenda of the secular school system and the right of parents to teach their children traditional standards of morality.”

“The walls of a home provide a defense against detrimental social influences and the
sometimes overreaching powers of government…The consequences of crossing this line are many and unpredictable, but likely would include an increase in the power and reach of the state toward whatever ends it seeks to pursue.”

“We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.” from The Family:A Proclamation to the World

Why I Oppose Gay Marriage: Politically

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).

  • 70 percent of chronic problem drinkers are either divorced or separated, and only 15 percent are married
  • Unmarried people spend twice as much time as patients in hospitals as their married peers
  • Married people have the lowest morbidity [illness] rates, while the divorced show the highest.
  • A married man with heart disease can be expected to live, on average, four years longer than an unmarried man with a healthy heart.
  • Researchers have consistently found the highest rates of mental disorder among the divorced and separated, the lowest rates among the married and intermediate rates among the single and widowed.
  • A study in 17 industrialized nations with diverse social and institutional frameworks found that married persons have a significantly higher level of happiness than persons who are not married.
  • 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.