13 Jan Is Homosexual Marriage a Civil Right?
You’ve heard the arguments. “Homosexuals are an oppressed minority just like racial minorities and women.” “The gay rights movement is the new civil rights movement.” “Homophobia is equivalent to racism and sexism.”
Renditions of this argument are everywhere, particularly in the debate over same-sex marriage. The Washington, D.C. city council passed legislation last month that legalizes same-sex marriage. Traditional marriage supporters began paying for ads on the side of city buses. The ads were very simple: the image of two wedding bands overlaid with the words, “Let the People Vote on Marriage.” That’s it.
The Washington LGBT community went into an uproar. Bloggers and same-sex marriage advocacy groups have condemned the ads as hate speech and some have even demanded that the ads be removed.
Why are they so upset?
The ads are discriminatory, they claim. They attempt to deny an underprivileged minority a basic civil right. From their perspective, it is the same as denying racial minorities or women the right to vote. They claim the whole debate is a pure and simple civil rights matter. Those who oppose same-sex marriage might as well be opposing the abolition of slavery.
Homosexuality is not a civil right
Homosexuality, does not fulfill the criteria required to establish homosexuals as a protected group under civil rights legislation. In order to achieve such protection, the trait that distinguishes a group as a minority must be inherited, innate, or immutable. Social science research indicates homosexuality does not meet any of these criteria.
Below is a brief overview of this research. For a more in-depth review of the essential arguments and research for engaging in a dialogue on homosexual behavior, you can view UFI’s Guide to Family Issues: Sexual Orientation.
Homosexuality is not genetic
There is no conclusive or compelling empirical evidence showing any absolute biological, genetic, or hormonal causation for homosexuality. A small percentage of the population may have a predisposition toward homosexual feelings, but this does not mean such people engage in homosexual behavior as a result of genetic causation. Predisposition toward something does not mean that it is inevitable or that such a predisposition cannot or should not be resisted and overcome.
Homosexuality is not innate
What a person does (behavior) should never be equated with who a person is. No human being can or should be reduced to his or her sexual impulses. Impulses cannot compel behavior or identities without a person’s consent.
Additionally, current evidence suggests that environmental, familial, and personal external influences contribute significantly to the development of homosexual tendencies. Seventy years of therapeutic counseling and case studies show a remarkable consistency concerning the origins of the homosexual impulse as an uncompleted gender identity seeking after its own sex to replace what was not fully developed in childhood.
Homosexuality is changeable
Reputable studies and decades of successful treatment show that homosexual behavior can be changed. Thousands of former homosexuals testify to this possibility. According to Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality (PATH), a coalition of organizations committed to helping those wanting to change same-sex attraction, “In more than 50 years of research, including 48 studies . . . there are data and published accounts documenting easily more than 3,000 cases of change from homosexual to heterosexual attraction, identity and functioning.” You can view an overview of those studies here.
Many LGBT advocates cite the decision made by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 1973 to remove homosexuality from its list of disorders as proof that homosexuality is natural and unchangeable. However, the decision to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) was made only after APA leaders and members had endured several years of intense political pressure and disruptive lobbying efforts by militant homosexual activist groups. Even pro-homosexual psychiatric professionals will admit that the APA’s decision was purely political, not scientific.
Homosexuality is defined by behaviors that are destructive to individuals and to society
Homosexuality is defined and distinguished by risky behaviors that are proven to be destructive to individuals and to society. The most serious consequence of the homosexual lifestyle is exposure to HIV/AIDS and other STDs. Evidence indicates that 50 percent of men who have sex with men will eventually become HIV positive or infected with another potentially fatal sexually transmitted disease.
Research also indicates that homosexuality is tied to significant increases in drug and alcohol abuse and mental or emotional health disorders. One study found that men with same-sex partners were 6.5 times as likely as heterosexual men to have attempted suicide, and a separate study demonstrated that homosexuals are almost three times more likely to suffer major depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
Rates of domestic violence are also dramatically higher among same-sex couples, particularly lesbian couples. One survey of over a thousand lesbians found that more than half reported being verbally, emotionally, psychologically, or physically abused by their female partner.
Research shows that there is no reduction in the rate of suicide, mental illness, substance abuse, alcoholism, and domestic violence in areas where homosexuality is more widely accepted, proving that the high rate of emotional trauma in homosexuals is not induced by society, but rather, is the result of deviant sexual behavior that negatively impacts emotional and physical health. The same list of negative consequences attached to any other behavior would inspire broad societal efforts to prevent and discourage that behavior.
Homosexuality is not a civil right. Social science is still on the side of the family.
Our goal at UFI is to make this research and these facts available to you. A great place to access this information is through our Guides to Family Issues. The guides help you break down the arguments and provide all of the evidence necessary to help you share this powerful truth: traditional marriage and strong families promise the best future for individuals, communities, and nations.
Those who support traditional marriage and cannot afford to let this and similar misconceptions take further root in our culture.