A recent column in a conservative publication shows just how broad the political support base is for protecting one-man, one-woman marriage.
Readers may not be surprised to learn the head of an organization promoting “American values” penned a commentary in the April 2, 2007 Weekly Standard — making a strong case for the relationship between the adoption of “gay marriage” and the erosion of traditional values (i.e., higher rates of divorce, unwed childbearing, nonmarital cohabitation, etc.). The surprise comes when readers learn the author is a self-described liberal Democrat from New York who does NOT otherwise oppose homosexual behavior.
David Blankenhorn is the founder and president of the New York-based Institute for American Values. While he acknowledges in his column that no one can prove “gay marriage” is directly causing social ills in countries that have adopted it like Scandinavia and the Netherlands, he points to statistical data that shows a definite correlation between “gay marriage” and the erosion of the family. He writes:
[The data] yields a clear pattern. Support for marriage as an institution is weakest in those countries with same-sex marriage. Countries with same-sex civil unions show more support, and countries with regional recognition [such as the United States] show still more. By significant margins, support for marriage is highest in countries that extend no legal recognition to same-sex unions.
Certain trends in values and attitudes tend to cluster with each other and with certain trends in behavior. A rise in unwed childbearing goes hand in hand with a weakening of the belief that people who want to have children should get married. High divorce rates are encountered where the belief in marital permanence is low. More one-parent homes are found where the belief that children need both a father and a mother is weaker. A rise in nonmarital cohabitation is linked at least partly to the belief that marriage as an institution is outmoded. The legal endorsement of gay marriage occurs where the belief prevails that marriage itself should be redefined as a private personal relationship. And all of these marriage-weakening attitudes and behaviors are linked. Around the world, the surveys show, these things go together.
Blankenhorn’s observation is a timely one, since his home state of New York is poised to be the first in the nation to pass a state law creating “gay marriage.” Contrary to popular belief, the legislature in Massachusetts never created such a law. Rather, that state’s supreme court told lawmakers to do so, but they never did. The governor took it upon himself to change the marriage contracts without a statute. Therefore, “gay marriages” exist in Massachusetts, but they exist outside the bounds of the law. New York, on the other hand, recently elected a governor who campaigned on a promise to push for a state law allowing homosexuals to marry.
Pro-homosexual Governor Elliot Spitzer is expected to introduce a “gay marriage” bill for New York sometime in April 2007. Undoubtedly, proponents of homosexual “marriage” will be out in full force to pressure legislators to support Governor Spitzer’s efforts to destroy marriage — all the while claiming that no harm will come to the traditional family. However, Blankenhorn knows creating “gay marriage” and strengthening marriage in society are two mutually exclusive objectives. He writes:
As individuals and as a society, we can strive to maintain and strengthen marriage as a primary social institution and society’s best welfare plan for children (some would say for men and women too). Or we can strive to implement same-sex marriage. But unless we are prepared to tear down with one hand what we are building up with the other, we cannot do both.
While statistics proving societies that adopt “gay marriage” simultaneously weaken the traditional family are helpful, this information should merely prove that God knew what He was doing when He created one-man, one-woman marriage. This data should not be considered more authoritative than God’s Word. The words of Jesus are sufficient:
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh. . . What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. -Matthew 10:7-8
Blankenhorn should be congratulated for making an excellent case for the traditional definition of marriage and its obvious benefits for children and society as a whole. However, our government leaders should be ashamed of themselves for doubting God knew what He was doing when He designed the home.
Hopefully, conservative activists and politicians will see Blankenhorn’s logic as a call to do more than simply fight “gay marriage” in order to save and strengthen the family. Meanwhile, maybe Governor Spitzer will reconsider his support for same-sex unions. He’s free to take the opportunity, especially since the advice is coming from another New York liberal.
If all of us don’t make a serious effort to strengthen the traditional definition of the family, generations of children in broken homes may pay the price for our indifference to those forces that would attempt to manipulate God’s blueprint for the home.
(Blankenhorn’s new book, The Future of Marriage, is a detailed look at evidence indicating a link exists between “gay marriage” and the decline of the institution of marriage and therefore families and children.)
Read the full The Weekly Standard article here: