A secular case against same-sex marriage: Wintery Knight

Note: this post has a twin! Its companion post on a secular case against abortion rights is here.

Roxeanne de Luca challenged socially conservative bloggers to write a non-religious case against same-sex marriage, so here’s mine.

I can’t possible cover everything, but I will make three arguments.

  1. Same-sex marriage is bad for children
  2. Same-sex marriage is bad for civil society and business
  3. Same-sex marriage is bad for public health

Let’s look at these in order.

1. SSM is bad for children

Traditional marriage is beneficial for children for 4 reasons:

  • traditional marriages last longer than same-sex unions
  • traditional marriages are more peaceful than same-sex unions
  • traditional marriages offer children male and female influences
  • traditional marriages model life-long love between men and women

Space permits me to only discuss the first two, using this paper from the Family Research Council, which cites data from mainstream sources like the Department of Justice, peer-reviewed studies, etc.

That research paper compares same-sex couples and heterosexual married couples, in the following ways:

  • relationship duration
  • monogamy vs. promiscuity
  • relationship commitment
  • number of children being raised
  • health risks
  • rates of intimate partner violence

It turns out that same-sex unions are not as good for children as traditional marriage, on those measures.

Relationship duration

Claim: about 58% of traditional marriages last longer than 20 years.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2001)

Claim: about 5% of same-sex unions last longer than 20 years.

Source: 2003-2004 Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census

Monogamy vs Promiscuity

Claim: 85% of married women and 75.5% of married men report being faithful to their spouses. For homosexual males, the number is 4.5%

Sources: Laumann, The Social Organization of Sexuality, 216; McWhirter and Mattison, The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop (1984): 252-253; Wiederman, “Extramarital Sex,” 170.

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