by Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr.
Is the fight against same-sex marriage primarily one fought between religious groups and the gay community? Are there any issues that a secular society should consider in this fight? We have found at least eight negative sociological outcomes that could occur if same-sex marriage is legalized.
The first impact would most likely affect the number of marriages in the United States. Fewer people would see marriage as the ultimate covenant between two people. The proof of this lies in the state of Massachusetts where only 43 percent of same-sex couples who cohabitate have utilized the state law which grants them marriage rights. Heterosexual couples in Massachusetts are more likely to marry (91 percent) but the degree to which same-sex couples marry devalues the commitment for all couples and the number is likely to decrease. In the Netherlands, only 12 percent of gay couples have chosen marriage; this low number is consistent with other countries that have legalized same-sex marriages.
A second impact that legalizing same-sex marriage would have on our society would be that monogamous and sexually faithful relationships would decrease. Fidelity among same-sex couples in countries that have legalized same-sex marriage is extremely low. Several studies in the Netherlands show shocking figures: homosexual men who have a steady partner have had an average of eight other sexual partners per year; lesbians were found to have more male partners over their lifetime than heterosexual women. This lack of fidelity affects the view of marriage by the society in general, no matter the sexual preference.
Third same-sex marriage would negatively impact the number of couples who would remain married throughout their lives. As the transient nature of homosexual relationships becomes a normative ingredient of a society, all marriages will be impacted. One of the studies mentioned above found that the average male homosexual partnership lasts only a year and a half. This is a direct result of the widespread promiscuity among the homosexual community.
Next, the effect of same-sex marriage could be felt in the area of polygamy. Once society is afforded the opportunity to choose a spouse regardless of sex, the next step is to take the limit off the number of spouses a person may have. In case you think this is an unlikely scenario, one lawsuit has been filed in the courts using the argument we have stated above.
Moving on from marriage, we can readily deduce that the next influence same-sex marriage would have would be on children. More children would grow up without both father and mother to influence their lives. The social sciences are replete with study after study that commands our attention to the positive effect married, biological parents have on their children. Children are more emotionally stable and achieve higher test scores when they are raised by a mother and a father. Creating permanent motherless or fatherless homes dares to suppress the best standards for the next generation. Allowing gay partners to adopt will deny innocent children (who are unable to choose for themselves) the benefit of a home with both a mother and a father.
Another negative impact same-sex marriage would have on our families is that schools would be required to offer information about homosexuality as a choice to students. Sex education classes would purport that homosexual relationships are identical to heterosexual ones. In Massachusetts, a lesbian sex education instructor told her 8th grade students how lesbians use a sex toy to have intercourse. Though this is shocking, more so is the fact that a kindergartener's parent was jailed because he protested against a book that was distributed to his son describing same-sex partners.
Next the impact of same-sex marriage will have a negative impact on the economy. Once same-sex marriage is legalized, all employers, whether they are public or private, will be forced to provide a benefits package for same-sex couples. This will broadly affect every U.S. citizen as our consumer goods and services will increase due to the increase cost of benefits that companies (large or small) will have to bear.
Finally the conscience of each citizen and our religious liberties would come under attack if same-sex marriage became legalized. Once a law has been made, the interpretation of that law is managed by the court system, which has often seen opinion rise over the will of the people. Religious schools, colleges and organizations might face becoming stripped of their tax-exempt status if they do not hire and admit homosexuals. Social workers, psychologists, counselors and other professionals could have their licenses revoked because they have chosen to "discriminate" against homosexuals.
The types of issues we have stated above have already been found to be true in the countries and states in which same-sex marriage has been legalized. If you are as vexed as I am over this issue, make a stand for marriage.
What can you do to stop the legalization of same-sex marriage?
1. Call your congressmen
2. Send this article to five friends
3. Consider sending a contribution to www.stand4marriagedc.com
Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr. is the senior pastor of Hope Christian Church, a 3,000-member congregation in the Washington, D.C., area. He also serves as a regional bishop for the Fellowship of International Churches. Additionally, Bishop Jackson is the founder and president of High Impact Leadership Coalition, which seeks to protect the moral compass of the nation by educating and empowering churches, as well as community and political leaders. He also recently formed the International Communion of Evangelical Churches, a church network that currently oversees more than 1,000 congregations around the world. Bishop Jackson has authored numerous books, including In-laws, Outlaws and the Functional Family; The Warrior's Heart; The Way of the Warrior; High Impact African-American Churches; Personal Faith, Public Policy; and The Truth In Black & White.
Bishop Jackson is the guest editor of the January-February 2012 issue of Ministry Today.