This issue is one of oppression, bigotry and government colluding with religious fundamentalists to withhold equal rights from a sector of its citizens…
Bryan Fischer is one of the big wigs at the American Family Association (AFA). "Along with many other Right Wing Christian groups, [the American Family Association (AFA)] is a hate group, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. On a show he spent most of one segment ranting about all the awful things that will happen to America if the Supreme Court strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act. In particular, he asserted that it would lead to incest, pedophilia, and bestiality.Fischer is clearly not a very good historian….He’s trying to convince us that homosexuality is really bad and destroys empires. This is a testable claim.
- Gay marriage has been legal in Canada for nine years. And you know what? The divorce rate has gone down.
Children of Gays.
- In 1996, Mike Allen and Nancy Burrell published a peer reviewed study on the subject. They found the following: “The results demonstrate no differences on any measures between the heterosexual and homosexual parents regarding parenting styles, emotional adjustment, and sexual orientation of the child(ren). In other words, the data fail to support the continuation of a bias against homosexual parents by any court.” (The full text is available through PsychNet if you’d like to read it. There is a modest fee for membership.)
- In 2006, Gregory Herek replicated the conclusions: “The data indicate that same-sex and heterosexual relationships do not differ in their essential psychosocial dimensions; that a parent’s sexual orientation is unrelated to her or his ability to provide a healthy and nurturing family environment.” (Also available through PsychNet.)
- In 2001, Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblarz discovered something rather startling. While children of gay and lesbian parents don’t “become gay” any more than children of heterosexuals, daughters of lesbian couples do display one very different behavior: They play better with male children and have more gender-neutral views of society. (Isn’t that what we want? For women to choose their own destinies sans gender impositions?) "53 percent (16 out of 30) of the daughters of lesbians aspired to careers such as doctor, lawyer, engineer, and astronaut, compared with only 21 percent (6 of 28) of the daughters of heterosexual mothers."
- Overall, Stacey and Biblarz found that "Lesbigay parents and their children in these studies display no differences from heterosexual counterparts in psychological well-being or cognitive functioning."
Adult Gay Relationships
Failing to prove that children are harmed by having gay parents, many Christian bigots will go on to claim that homosexual relationships are “inherently” less stable, less emotionally fulfilling, and psychologically damaging. This claim is also contradicted by the evidence.
- A 2003 empirical study by Gottman, et al, of the interaction between heterosexual and homosexual couples found that "same-sex couples actually demonstrated more positive (and fewer negative) behaviors during their interactions than did married couples."
- The 2003 study had a small sample, so Roissman, et al, conducted a more thorough and broader series of studies in 2008. They found "individuals in committed same-sex relationships were generally not distinguishable from their committed heterosexual counterparts, with one exception—lesbians were especially effective at working together harmoniously in laboratory observations."
- Empirical evidence for actual levels of infidelity in either heterosexuals or homosexuals is very difficult to come by. Varying cultural and ethnic definitions, self-reporting bias, and social concerns have rendered the body of evidence difficult to interpret. At best. There is no data available for divorce rates among gays — since gay marriage has never been allowed in the U.S. However, it’s important to note that there are no reliable studies linking homosexuality with higher levels of relationship infidelity.
Recent publications have questioned the reality of monogamy as a historical tradition. In The Myth of Monogamy, Barash and Lipton present a compelling (and cross-disciplinary) argument that heterosexual couples have never been paragons of fidelity to begin with. In other words, it appears that lots of people — both gay and straight — cheat. The Roissman study backed up this conclusion with the observation that both gay and straight couples’ relationship satisfaction was based more on non-sexual factors like parental support and modeling. Not sexual orientation.
In short, the arguments from the Christian bigots fail. They do not reflect reality, but rather a religious ideological agenda. There is no evidence that homosexual marriage destroys society. There is no evidence whatsoever that gays are inherently less healthy, happy, or faithful than straights. There is no evidence that children of gays suffer any harm. In fact, there’s reasonable evidence that children of lesbians are more socially accepting and well adjusted — especially girls. Fischer and all the other anti-gay bigots are wrong. They are factually, objectively wrong, and there is no excuse whatsoever for giving their hate any place in even one point of law.