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The word curiously absent from the gay marriage debate: children

It is hard to argue the case against gay marriage using the language of metropolitan liberals

By on Monday, 12 March 2012

I had a mild vested interest in listening to Any Questions last Friday evening. After all, it was being broadcast from my old school: Farnborough Hill Convent. Actually, the school is a convent boarding school no longer: it is a Catholic day school for girls “situated in 65 acres of parkland…and is committed to the education of the whole person”, as presenter Jonathan Dimbleby explained to his invisible audience.

The first two questions, on our involvement in Afghanistan and on the Coalition’s lack of vision, did not make me sit up. It was the third question, on the imminent government consultation paper on homosexual “marriage” and the statement of Catholic Archbishop Vincent Nichols about it, that got me concentrating – mainly to hear what panel member, Cristina Odone, former editor of the Herald, had to say in her reply.

(The other panel members, Eric Pickles, Communities Secretary, Emily Thornberry, shadow attorney general and Jonathan Freedland, Guardian columnist, did not exactly fill me with confidence that they would support marriage as it has traditionally been known and understood.)

I confess that although I always enjoy reading Ms Odone’s articles and often agree with her, I was disappointed here. By emphasising that “marriage works” and that it is good for children and good for spouses – “marriage makes people happy” – she unwittingly scored an own goal. All the other panel members predictably jumped in to make the same point that David Cameron has been making of late: if marriage is such a good thing, why don’t we spread the happiness a little wider and extend its benefits to same-sex couples?

Although Odone went on to say that same-sex couples ought to be content with the legal protection that civil partnerships gives them, the damage had been done: her point was completely brushed aside by the other panellists’ enthusiasm for this new idea: Freedland was certain that it would enhance marriage rather than undermine it; Thornberry thought marriage is about love rather than children; and Pickles opined that although civil partner ships were “good”, marriage was “better.” (In hindsight one can see that “civil partnerships” were never going to satisfy their proponents; the phrase has a grey, legalistic, bureaucratic ring to it compared with all the connotations conjured up by the word “marriage.”)

Unfortunately Odone further confused the issue – from a Christian perspective at least – by telling Dimbleby that she disagreed with Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s courageous statement on the subject; marriage wasn’t natural, she said. My heart sank. What she actually meant was that, given human selfishness, it is very difficult for two people of the opposite sex to stay together amicably for life; but what she conveyed to the audience was that the Cardinal was wrong in quoting the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, that marriage is a right which applies to men and women and “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society…”

The only way to counter the metropolitariat, for instance Nick Clegg in the Telegraph on Saturday, saying that “marriage is all about a couple… showing love for each other”, or Matthew D’Ancona in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph, making the deeply non-conservative statement that “The case for gay marriage is… profoundly connected to the preservation and enhancement of inherited institutions”, is to state robustly and with conviction, as Archbishops Nichols and Smith did in their text read out by every parish priest at Mass yesterday, that “the roots of the institution of marriage lie in our nature. Male and female we have been created, and written into our nature is this pattern of complementarity and fertility.”

Their excellent statement, in which the word “children” is mentioned several times, concludes that if the definition of marriage is changed “there would be no recognition of the complementarity of male and female or that marriage is intended for the procreation and education of children.”

My colleague Stuart Reid has pointed out to me an insightful on-line article by Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked, in which he analyses the push towards same-sex marriage: “Its driving force, the reason it has been so speedily and heartily embraced by the political and media classes, is because it is so very useful as a litmus test of liberal, cosmopolitan values. Supporting gay marriage has become a kind of shorthand way of indicating one’s superiority over the hordes, particularly those of a religious or redneck persuasion.”

He is dead right. By accident I happened to listen to ‘The Now Show’ on Radio 4 on Saturday morning. This programme, made up of “comedy sketches and satirical comments”, spent a shameful amount of time falling about laughing at a certain stupid old Scottish cardinal, who dresses up in a frock and biretta and who has such bigoted views on a subject he obviously knows nothing about. The team was hysterical at its own crude jokes. That’s the media classes for you.

Although I have been critical of Christina Odone’s performance on Any Questions, she also has my sympathy. Would I have had the courage to stand out against my metropolitan co-panellists and risk being mocked by them? I don’t know. I rather wish our parish priest had been on last Friday evening’s panel. When introducing the Archbishops’ statement on Sunday, he described the intended legislation as “outrageous”. When I asked his permission to quote him in my blog he said I could add the further remark: “I hold David Cameron and the Coalition in contempt.”

  • Anonymous

    Nature has decreed that around 10% of married heterosexual couples cannot have children.  If gay marriage is legalised perhaps 3% of future marriages would come from same sex couples – taking the “naturally infertile” couple percentage from 10% to 13%. Is that such a big change?

    Setting aside the issue of children these words from the Book of Common Prayer tell us the benefits of marriage, and will apply equally to same-sex couples.

    “It was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication; that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ’s body.

    It was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.”

    Why should those gay people who do not have the gift of continency be unable to live chaste lives with the blessings of marriage?

  • Gaudior

    Actually, while it may not have been mentioned here, the question of children comes up frequently in the debate on same-sex marriage.  As in, “Don’t the children of same-sex parents deserve the same state protection as kids being raised by opposite-sex parents?”  There are an estimated 108,000 queer parents in the UK living with dependent children– shouldn’t their kids be supported by the state, too?

  • Anonymous

    Another word that’s curiously absent is: “adultery”.

    Oh, and “consummated”! 

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    ‘Setting aside the issue of children these words from the Book of Common Prayer’
    Oh. let’s not! And (to avoid additional selective quotation) let’s remember that there is also a theological dimension to this which you omit -the relationship between the male Christ and the female Church:

    ‘DEARLY beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God in the time of man’s innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galilee; and is commended of Saint Paul to be honourable among all men: and therefore is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men’s carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God; duly considering the causes for which Matrimony was ordained.First, It was ordained for the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his holy Name…’

    And given that ‘it was ordained for a remedy against sin’ how can it be there to promote homosexual activity which, I’m sure you’ll agree, is clearly against the Church’s teaching?

  • Jeannine

    I have been thinking about this topic on same-sex marriage for quite a long time: jumping from for-it to against-it & then changing my reasons why I’m against it. It boils down to 1 reason: heterosexual marriage is the best environment for procreating & raising healthy children. 

    Without sounding antagonistic to the pro-homosexual marriage group I only offer two well-referenced articles. 
    http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles/DaileyGayAdopt.php and 
    http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/sexuality/se0226.htm 

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    1) I’ll assume you haven’t just made up that figure -but I’d be curious to know where it comes from.

    2) Two answers on your general point. a) Even if we accepted that same sex couples were a good way to bring up children, the discipline needed for a successful heterosexual parenting relationship (where just one glass of whisky too many can result in conception as opposed to several months of negotiating with a sperm bank and a turkey baster) is different from that required for homosexual partnerships. (So let’s not confuse different institutions.) b) Given the paltry evidence that homosexual parenting isn’t harmful to kids and the awareness of very strong causal mechanisms which would suggest it would be -eg the different approaches to ethical thinking which Carol Gilligan identifies in men and women and the absence of one of these in any same sex partnership- society has a strong reason to promote heterosexual parenting and very little to promote homosexual parenting. (And this ‘very little’ is already covered by the existence of civil partnerships.)

  • Jeannine

    creates the best environment not is the best…

  • Anonymous

    The sexual revolutionaries are winning hands down; they have powerful support from from the elite, society at large is indifferent and not a decent leader in sight to take on the revolutionaries [at least Cardinal O'Brien is trying].
    Archbishop Nichols is almost useless given his ambivalence on homosexual issues and was most unimpressive in his discussion with Ed Stourton Radio 4 Sunday 11/03/12. 
    And he seems to want to ape Maude and Cameron and turn the English Catholic Church into the nice Church. 
    Perhaps I could  paraphrase Maude ‘ The Catholic Church  will always be seen as the nasty Church unless it backs gay civil unions’.
    Having backed gay civil unions, this sad priest is ill equipped to contest homosexual marriage or anything else the revolutionaries come up with. 
    This revolution has a lot of momentum and many more traditional targets to destroy.

  • Anonymous

     Has it ever occurred to you that the reason the sexual revolutionaries are winning is that it is God’s will?

    If you compare the world now to how it was during the heyday of Christendom you will see that there has been tremendous progress. Slavery has been abolished. Citizens have free speech and can criticise their rulers. Writers can publish books critical of those in power and people are free to read them and discuss them. Workers can organise into unions, and there are laws to protect them against exploitation.  Women now have rights and are not regarded as inferior to men, or indeed as their possessions; they can own property and have careers.

    I thank God for all the progress made over the last few centuries and thank Him for not allowing the Church to succeed in its attempts to stop the advancement of human rights. Eventually discrimination against the small minority whom God made to love people of their own sex will be considered to be shameful.

  • Anonymous

    Here in the US the difficulty with a focus on the procreation and education of children as the be-all and end-all definition of a valid marriage is that the states are obliged to take no action to over turn the legal standing of contracts made in another state with different laws.  With enough money, a homosexual couple can find a willing surrogate mother, father a child by her using artificial insemination (no turkey basters involved), ensure the birth takes place in a hospital in a state willing to register both partners in the homosexual couple as the fathers on the birth certificate, then live in another state which has a constitutional prohibition on homosexual marriage and raise the child as their own.

  • Anonymous

    There has been a remarkable silence from the hierarchy about the Holy Father’s comments on cohabitation in his speech to US Bishops:

    > We cannot overlook the serious pastoral problem presented by the widespread practice of cohabitation, often by couples who seem unaware that it is gravely sinful, not to mention damaging to the stability of society.

    Cohabitation is a far more widespread practice than homosexuality and, like divorce and “remarriage”, does far more harm to far more children than the relatively small number of homosexual partnerships could ever do. Why don’t we pay more attention to the problems of cohabitation, divorce and “remarriage”, rather than obsessing about gay “marriage”?

  • Anonymous

    I agree that heterosexual marriage creates the best environment for procreating and raising healthy children. But I can think of instances where I would have preferred to see children cared for by stable and monogamous same sex couples known to me, than by dysfunctional heterosexuals with a string of broken marriages, infidelities and abortions, even if it were only as the lesser of two evils.

  • James

    “Expand Has it ever occurred to you that the reason the sexual revolutionaries are winning is that it is God’s will?”No. Has it ever occured to you that it is not?”If you compare the world now to how it was during the heyday of Christendom you will see that there has been tremendous progress. Slavery has been abolished. Citizens have free speech and can criticise their rulers. Writers can publish books critical of those in power and people are free to read them and discuss them. Workers can organise into unions, and there are laws to protect them against exploitation. Women now have rights and are not regarded as inferior to men, or indeed as their possessions; they can own property and have careers.”A classic logical fallacy. Post hoc ergo propter hoc. As well as being pretty meaningless. Christians were at the forefront of the abolition movement, and Magna Carta was pretty heavy on “rights” smack bang in the middle of, “the heyday of Christendom.” In fact, it was written by the Church.”I thank God for all the progress made over the last few centuries and thank Him for not allowing the Church to succeed in its attempts to stop the advancement of human rights.”Breathtakingly ignorant. The Church has always been at the forefront of advancing human rights. “Eventually discrimination against the small minority whom God made to love people of their own sex will be considered to be shameful.”Meaningless twaddle. God made us to know him, to love him and to serve him in this life, and to be happy with him forever in the next. That’s what my old children’s catechism said if I remember rightly. God commands us to love one another, but he does not command us to use each other as sexual objects as you seem to think.It is not discrimination to deny homosexual couples the right to marry. It is simply not possible.

  • Anonymous

    The idea that the Church has been at the forefront of advancing human rights is laughable. You mention Magna Carta as if it were a product of the Church, but Pope Innocent III condemned Magna Carta, and told King John that he did not have to keep his oath to uphold it. In the era of Christendom there was no time at all for human rights. The works of philosophers that advocated the idea of rights were put on the Index.

    It was only after the Enlightenment, bitterly opposed by the Church, and the subsequent loss of the Pope’s temporal power, that the Church reversed its teaching on human rights. Surely the fact that the Church has changed its teaching so much over the last two centuries to adopt policies that it used to condemn is a sign that God is behind the liberal tide of history.

  • Anonymous

    “The word curiously absent from the gay marriage debate: children”

    ## Possibly because gay people – especially Catholics – have had to justify their own existence. A side-effect has been that children, for all their undoubted importance, have not been much referred to. 

    “When I asked his permission to quote him in my blog he said I could add
    the further remark: “I hold David Cameron and the Coalition in
    contempt.””

    ## The current PM can be criticised on many grounds – but at least he is trying to make things easier for gay people – & for that, he deserves a lot of credit.  For all sorts of reasons, those who are not gay cannot be expected to understand this; some customary attitudes seem unquestionably right & proper, until they are changed: there was a time when repressing non-Catholics & their worships seemed unquestionably right – until that changed. Now the difficulty is to find people who can understand how that could ever have been right; one even Catholics who deny that the Church ever thought in that way.  In time, it could well happen that Catholics will be unable to believe that the  Church ever objected to gay marriage. Stranger things have happened – as when a segment of Judaism developed into Christianity. Genesis 17 rules out St. Paul’s relaxed attitude to circumcision – as surely as Dignitatis Humanae is made impossible by the earlier Tradition of the Church. If the the Church can grow in understanding , and fidelity,  by one reversal of the past, it cannot have any certainty that it will not grow in understanding, and fidelity, by others. It is in any case not in charg of what happens in its life, because it is not its own, but Christ’s. 

    That something is or is called liberal, does not make it wrong, nor is conservatism always and in all things by definition right. The two words are not guides to intellectual or moral validity. Such an approach looks not at things, but at words. Resorting to labels often indicates an inability or a reluctance to think. For a Church which has been adorned by so many  theologians, that is lamentable beyond words. A Church that does not engage in dialogue, & cannot listen to others even when it it disagrees with them cannot learn & cannot teach, & will end up talking only to itself.

  • Brian A. Cook

     This is a very serious claim.  Very serious indeed.  I have been trying to examine this claim from all angles. 

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    Are you listening to the Church with the appropriate attitude of humble submission? 

  • Anonymous

    1. The argument from Magna Carta is weakened by the unfortunate fact that Innocent III denounced Magna Carta. Which was intelligible, as King John, from whom the barons has extracted it, was his feudal inferior. This is one of those unfortunate episodes when more recent Catholic attitudes to the past do not match older Catholic attitudes – using a past event as evidence of something good about the Church is rather difficult, when this kind of difference in judgement as to what is good or bad crops up. The Church, as something in history, has to cope with the facts of historical change; including changes in moral judgements about incidents in its life. None of the Church’s theological properties prevent this – changes like these are a side-effect of being the Church of the God Who entered history as one of us, as a man. (Yes, I know, you’ll call this “twaddle” – that’s your privilege.)

    2. “Christians were at the forefront of the abolition movement” – they were even more prominent as opponents to it, not to mention as slave-owners. Abolitionism in the US was denounced by a Catholic bishop – as I have posted before. OTOH, Catholics used & endorsed the use of torture; of persecution of misbelieving Christians; of the death penalty for heresy. The counter-plea often made, that they did not represent the Church, or were not really Catholics, simply ignores the facts of history, theology & doctrine. It would be convenient if St. Pius V wewre not a Catholic – but it would create a massive problem for the notion that the Church cannot when canonising X or Y. It really is much simpler to accept that, like almost everyone of his time and place, he believed that it was erntirely OK to execute heretics, so that he acted accordingly. If the Church does not believe it is right to execute heretics – then it should not beatify or canonise inquisitors. But it has. No qualms about relativism can alter this.

    So the counter-plea saves the Church’s morals, by sacrificing its visibility, & other qualities of it. The plea represents a failure – one which seems to be very widespread – to appreciate that the Church is not a club of the pure, but a communion of sinners.

  • Oconnord

    To heck with the Magna Carte. I will object until an xbox game is considered a fitting wedding gift. 

    I will even buy a PS3 game, though I won’t get “lendies.”

    I do notice neither the article or the comments give any evidence as to raising children. It’s alluded to that gay marriage will somehow make hetro marriage some how less effective. I think there is no evidence that they can use to prove their point. 

  • AidanCoyle

    On issues related to human sexuality, again and again the Church has demonstrated that it not entitled to be the recipient of an ‘attitude of humble submission’. Why submit humbly to ideas that are so obviously flawed and problematic and that take such little account of credible knowledge from the human sciences? Is not the appropriate stance here once of prophetic challenge? 

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    ‘credible knowledge from the human sciences’
    Always a good phrase to wave around instead of an argument. What ‘credible knowledge’ enables one to derive the conclusion that we ought to introduce same sex ‘marriage’? (And while you’re at this specific issue, perhaps you’d like to explain how in general how ethical conclusions emerge from factual premises in your worldview. I’m sure science has solved that as well, but I seem to have missed it.)

    From a Catholic point of view, ethics is derived from the teleology inherent in our nature. Of course, ‘credible knowledge from the human sciences’ will have proved that wrong, but could you explain where and how?

  • http://ohanlan.com/ Kate O’Hanlan, MD

    It’s all about children!!!
    Our families matter to us as much as your families matter to you. Our children deserve the same protections.
    The National Library of Medicine scientific research publications all confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individual’s ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work, or to contribute to society.
    Sexual orientation and gender identity are like handedness: biological, unchangeable, innocent. We used to think left-handed was evil, as in “sinister” which comes from Latin for “left”, force lefties to use their right hand, even though they never really changed handedness.
    Research reveals variable hormonal levels in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy permanently affect child’s neural circuitry for sexual orientation and gender identity to express on a spectrum between straight and gay, same or opposite gender.
    A little extra testosterone secreted from the adrenals during early pregnancy affects the baby girls’ brains causing nearly half to be lesbian, a tenth to be transgender. Also, a girl twin baby simply sharing the womb with a boy co-twin, in which some of his testosterone from his amniotic fluid gets into her blood, causes about one fifth of girl co-twins to be lesbian. These girls also have the bone structure and physical coordination of boys, so they are good in sports, and thus the stereotype.
    The opposite is also true: a bit less testosterone than usual in a boy’s blood during early pregnancy can make him light in the loafers or transgender. If a boy’s mother has delivered many older brothers before him, which caused her to make blocking antibody to their male proteins, then the youngest brother receives lower levels of testosterone in his blood, resulting in about one fifth of boys with many older brothers being gay. These boys have the physiology and verbal skills and excel in language and visual arts, slightly more like girls, and thus the stereotype.
    Most homosexuals and most heterosexuals will say that they had no choice to be how they are because they were born on the far ends of the spectrum. They firmly claim they were “born that way.” But, some straight and gay folks feel it WAS and IS definitely a choice for them because they were born closer to the middle of the biological spectrum between straight and gay: they are bisexual. Their orientations don’t change from straight to gay, they simply have brain wiring that attracts them to both. All orientation is hard-wired prenatally and none can change it. It is all biological and innocent, and not contagious or changeable.
    Rather than make gay rights a popularity contest, lets ask America’s best experts on family, mental health and children what the research shows is best for American families. From the American Psychological Association: homosexuality is a normal sexual orientation; homosexual relationships are normal relationships.
    The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association have endorsed civil marriage and adoption for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors. Research confirms that the children develop perfectly normally. Even the American Academy of Anthropology has issued a policy statement that says access to civil marriage by same-sex couples will not harm our social order.
    If we are not listening to professional experts on this issue of national family health and welfare, then we are simply voting our religious beliefs or personal bias into state and federal laws, and harming the families of gay and lesbian couples, especially those with children. 

  • James H

    Hello? Medieval Europe was the first civilisation on earth that wasn’t built on slave labour. The Pope expressly forbade the Spanish to enslave the natives of South and Central America.

    As soon as Europe started to ‘rediscover lost wisdom’, we had astrology, alchemy, magic and witchcraft with the witch-hunts that went along with it. I’d be fascinated to see a list of philosophers who advocated human rights, who were placed in the Index. If you only bothered to check, you’d probably find they weren’t proscribed for being fun and cuddly, but for promoting neo-pagan woo-woo or anti-church polemics.

    In any case, gay ‘marriage’ isn’t about rights; it’s just a convenient club against the church. It’s being used to reduce religious freedom, not increase it, and as such is on the wrong side of history, by your own analysis. The mere fact that anybody even thinks gay ‘marriage’ is even possible, is a symptom of our terminal decline.

  • theroadmaster

    God commanded the tribes of Israel in the O.T to be “fruitful and multiply”.  In the book of Genesis detailing the  story of Adam and Even in the garden, God Our Creator viewed his creature man as deserving a mate and mutual friend and so He decreed.. “It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helper fit for him( Gen 2:18).  The Bible throughout emphasizes the Natural order of this arrangement which reaches it’s summit in the blessed matrimonial union which is open to procreation.
    You can plead all you want for a “liberal” relaxation of these biblical Ideals which the Catholic Church bases Her vision of marriage upon, but this will never be betrayed by any moves to the contrary.  It is a nonsense to state that the Church has not engaged in “dialogue” when one considers the great encyclicals, talks and sermons produced by our present pope and His Blessed predecessor, John Paul 11 in regards to the Christian view of marriage which deal very effectively with objections to it.  But these realities must not result in any uncharitable words or actions against our brothers or sisters who have to struggle with “same-sex” attraction, as the Love of Christ must be always be displayed to them.

  • James

    Laughable to you maybe, but then you seem to spend every moment on here criticising the Church for anything and everything. The idea of human rights is rooted in Canon Law, predating the enlightenment by centuries.

    The Church does not, “change its teachings.”

    Your sign-off, blithely claiming that “God is behind the liberal tide of history,” merely demonstrates your moral relativism. The popularity of an idea does not make it right.

  • Anonymous

     Slavery was widespread throughout Latin America, with the blessing of the Church until well after the slave trade had been abolished in the British Empire, and during that period the Pope himself kept hundreds of slaves to man the galleys of his fleet.

    Do you imagine that when the Pope had total political control over the Papal States those states were examples to the rest of the world of respect for human rights? In them there was no free speech, no rights for workers, no fair system of justice, no democracy, no rights for women, no liberty as we know it today. The Catholic Church only spoke of human rights from 1891 onwards when it no longer had the power to abuse them.

    The Index contained the works of Hobbes, Locke, Berkley, Pascal, Kant, Hume, Descartes and anyone else who argued for the rights of man. Fortunately the Church was not able to prevent these liberal progressive ideas being established.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OTCKAYXC6V65WVJUPZFYCCUEUU Lee

    You also seem to forget Patrick_Hadley that Babylon and Sodom were oh so great places to be, until that is they met their end for their pestilence and material greed and twisted perversion. Quite unlike Nineveh and I wonder why that is…. hmmmmmm? 

  • Jeannine

    Madam, 

    The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association,  American Psychiatric Association American Academy of Anthropology are all biased towards same-sex marriage, not because of good science but because they have a political agenda to promote. 

    And research does not confirm that children living in a same-sex environment will develop mentally normal at the same rate as those children reared in a normal heterosexual environment. 

    Also, in 1980, Dr Robert Spitzer along with the APA decided to remove homosexuality as a mental disorder from the manual of mental diseases. In 2001 the same Dr Robert Spitzer stated that some homosexual persons can change their sexual orientation to heterosexual if the desire is there to change along with receiving psychotherapy. This implies that it is environmental. I remember both events well.

    We really don’t know when sexual orientation is developed. What you stated in your post is a description of abnormalities that can occur during fetal development.

    I frankly do not want homosexuality to be biological. I would fear for these persons otherwise. There could be some people in authority who would use this hard information to systematically exterminate the homosexual population.

  • Kate O’Hanlan, MD

     Dear Jeannine,
    It is unfair to say that all these organizations are biased. Please do go to their websites to see the ample scientific evidence that they painstakingly used to develop their policy statements.

    Respectfully, you are incorrect about the children, as your comment conflicts with published research. If you read the actual articles, you would see that they are wll written and clear.

    Again, respectfully, Dr. Spitzer has been widely repudiated for his words that go entirely against the published evidence.

    Your unfamiliarity with the published research should preclude you from making such statements about what “we” know. “We” really do know a lot about when sexual orientation and gender identity develop, and it is during the first trimester. Please search the journal “Frontiers in neuroendocrinology” from April ans see that the entire issue is devoted to this. The editors say that “the chapter on environmental and social influences on orientation and gender is not closed, but just empty”.

    It is clear that you have the exact bias you say that you have about not wanting orientation (any, not just homosexual) to be biological. the Pope did not want Galileo to be right about the sun being at the center of the solar system.

    There will never be a way to prevent diversity of orientation or identity, but there are many ways to safeguard the lives of our children, and to welcome them into a world that does not condemn then for an innocent trait that is neither contagious, nor immoral.

  • Jeannine

    Your lack of curiosity is quite interesting.

    Why is it that Dr Robert Spitzer who is well respected in his field has the psychological community agreeing with him back in 1980 & then declares some sort of reversal on his homosexual beliefs after studying it further only to have the same community debunk his ideas? Interesting don’t you think? Maybe it is worth the time & effort to examine both sides to understand the evolution of the same-sex theory debate instead of criticizing those who make legitimate arguments contrary to your ideas?

    Do you understand the process on publishing scientific articles? Do you understand how the judging committee is picked or how articles are picked to be published? It seems that I’ve been around a bit longer than you so I am fully aware of the politics entrenched in these associations of various disciplines.

    As a statistician I am also aware of the lack of quality in the inference statistics used in many of these published observational studies to support their claims.  I offer an article written by Dr Timothy Dailey legitimately questioning these studies. It is well-referenced & he gives statistically interesting arguments to debunk some that are pro-same-sex adoption. Do you think such a compelling article would be accepted in the APA or any other associations that I mentioned previously? And they can even print rebuttals in the same issue to show how off-base Dr Dailey is?

    BTW your little statement on Galileo shows how you so willing accept ideas without further researching or do you stop researching when the “accepted” norms agree with your ideas?

  • Emm11260

    What about the children to be allowed to adopted by same sex people, there,ll go through hell, it won,t be about racism anymore it,ll be protecting the gay couples children. When a child has been adopted,adoption itself is a head full to deal with now your just adding more conflict. Because you all need to get away from your tables and try living in this real life, “mess you,ve already made” stop trying to change our country try making it a better place to live. For once. As you have made this not the best place to live anymore.

  • chrism

    Simply not true. Read for example Jordan ‘Black Over White’ Penquin for the relation between Church an slavery.