Thu 23rd Oct 2014 | Last updated: Wed 22nd Oct 2014 at 18:57pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Comment & Blogs

The evidence is coming in. As the CDF predicted, allowing children to be adopted by ‘parents’ in gay unions is not in their best interests

A peer-reviewed study in a respectable journal has been conducted by a US academic who was accused by gay activists of misconduct, then vindicated

By on Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The CDF has said: 'The absence of sexual complementarity in [same-sex] unions creates obstacles in the normal development of children'

The CDF has said: 'The absence of sexual complementarity in [same-sex] unions creates obstacles in the normal development of children'

Earlier this year, in Faith magazine, I asked this question: “Are ‘gay rights’ now the most prominent defining issue delineating — at least in Europe and the US — the gulf between the Catholic Church and the modern world?” This was a rhetorical question inviting the answer, yes: and in the months that followed, I have, it seems to me, been proved right. Related issue after related issue has arisen in public life, in Parliament and in the courts of law, both national and international: here in the United Kingdom, both North and South of the border, the debate has centred on the issue of gay marriage: so I don’t apologise for returning to the subject yet again, so soon after writing about Nick Clegg’s accusation that those opposed to it are bigots.

It is one of those questions that currently seems more and more to be proving, a secularist would say, how out of touch Catholics are with the modern world. To which we would reply, well, not out of touch at all: but certainly, in many ways, and not for the first time, diametrically opposed to contemporary values — though we are hardly alone this time: as I write, the Coalition for Marriage petition against gay marriage has reached a total of 600,783 signatures and by the time this is in print, that total will be considerably higher — you can check its current level and sign the petition while you are about it if you haven’t already done so. I am not sure, but I think that this is the highest ever total for an online petition, and is many, many times the total of the equivalent pro-gay marriage petition, which exists but which keeps a very low profile for that reason.

We will be proved right, in the end, as we were over eugenics in the last century: Hitler dramatically proved us right, and eugenics suddenly went underground. But for most of the first half of the century, only Catholics opposed it: Chesterton was the only major writer who wrote against it, nearly all the rest were enthusiastic supporters. But the trouble with waiting for history to prove us right is that there have to be so many walking wounded — or worse —first.

As I wrote in this column in 2010 about the enforced closure of our adoption agencies: “We are currently passing through a kind of cultural blip, in which these things go unchallenged (except, as usual, by the Catholic Church). Our descendants will look back and marvel at our gullibility. But in the meantime, in the name of human rights, of liberation from “outworn shibboleths” (remember them?) there will be many human casualties. “Oh Liberty,” in the famous words of Madame Roland as she mounted the scaffold, “what crimes are committed in thy name!”

Why is the Catholic Church against, not only gay marriage but all gay unions? It is worthwhile to remind ourselves why. It was spelled out by the CDF, in a document turgidly entitled “Consideration regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons”: the title indicates that the document was published (2003) before most countries had actually done it. “Legal recognition of homosexual unions,” it said, “would obscure certain basic moral values and cause a devaluation of the institution of marriage”. And one of the main effects of this devaluation would, said the CDF, be in its effects on the children adopted by those contracting such unions. The reasons for this are simple enough:

“As experience has shown, the absence of sexual complementarity in these unions creates obstacles in the normal development of children who would be placed in the care of such persons. They would be deprived of the experience of either fatherhood or motherhood. Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development. This is gravely immoral and in open contradiction to the principle, recognized also in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, that the best interests of the child, as the weaker and more vulnerable party, are to be the paramount consideration in every case.”

Pretty bigoted stuff, Nick Clegg would undoubtedly say: but what, Mr Clegg, if the CDF has got it right? The trouble, as I have already suggested, with waiting for history to prove us right is that there have to be so many casualties first. But already, the evidence that the CDF has indeed got it right is beginning to come in, from the USA: though those registering the evidence are of course going though the fires of calumny from gay activists, including accusations of academic dishonesty (why is it we can’t call them bigots?). As the Baptist Press reports: “The University of Texas at Austin has cleared sociology professor Mark Regnerus of academic misconduct after he was excoriated by some in the media over a study showing that parents’ homosexual relationships can have negative effects on children.

“Regnerus made headlines in June when his study was published in the widely respected journal Social Science Research. According to his findings, children raised by homosexual parents are more likely than those raised by married heterosexual parents to suffer from poor impulse control, depression and suicidal thoughts.

“They are also more likely to require more mental health therapy; identify themselves as homosexual; choose cohabitation; be unfaithful to partners; contract sexually transmitted diseases; be sexually molested; have lower income levels; drink to get drunk; and smoke tobacco and marijuana.”

How many years will it be before such findings are acted on? I fear that despite the academic evidence (this is not the only such study), it will take some years before public opinion supporting gay marriage (in the US, currently, this is a majority: here, I’m not sure, evidence is conflicting) goes into reverse, and even longer before gay couples are no longer allowed to adopt children. This is not the beginning of the end: but as Churchill famously said after El Alamein, it may be the end of the beginning. In the end, the Catholic Church, not for the first time when it has defied the Spirit of the Age, will be proved right. But what a lot of suffering is caused before finally the penny drops when the human race gets it wrong as spectacularly as it has this time.

  • W Oddie

    My name is NOT Bill.

  • Nardia

    That is not true, Chronicle says that the journal will publish the results of the audit and the editor’s response in November. This is not unknown in controversial papers. It is also evident that even-though the auditor is a radical liberal he did not find any problem during the review process.  He just disagree with the results and methodology of the study. It is also clear that it was approved unanimous by 6 reviewers. This is an unusual number, the average is 3.

  • Meena

    I have no idea where you have obtained your information comprised within your third and fourth paragraphs.
    The pure clone status of the implanted neo-zygote remains always totally unchanged during the subsequent gestation. 

  • Meena

    PS: I am not a radical atheist.

  • Meena

    No cloning is carried out in stud farms in the UK, and, so far as I know, anywhere else in the world.

  • Meena

    I am pleased to note the following passage  included in the brief statement, which you cite, made by the AAAS some 10 years ago:

    ” At the same time, we encourage continuing open and inclusive public dialogue, in which the scientific community is an active participant, on the scientific and ethical aspects of human cloning as our understanding of this technology advances.”

    I am also pleased to be able to tell you that the anxiety expressed in the statement about possible dangers is now largely discounted by workers in this field.

    Our understanding of this technology has advanced considerably over the last decade.

    Work does, however, remain to be done, but a safe window for the procedure will open in the fairly near future, and research is continuing to this end.

  • Meena

    I could indeed tell you, although, as a married heterosexual woman with children, I have never myself experienced it.

    Hint:  I would advise no teacher (woman or man) who is haranguing a class of lazy schoolgirls, who persistently fail to spend the necessary time on their homework, to tell them to “pull their thumbs out”. 
    (I also doubt you know of the alchopop bottle usage)

  • Meena

    Since you started your reply to me with insulting, rude and vulgar language I will read read it.

  • Meena

    oops!   I meant to type:   “……I will not read it.”

  • gentlemind

    Regarding same-sex child-rearing. If same-sex adoptions were not legal, a redefinition of the legal institution of marriage would necessitate them. Legalising them allows homosexual partnerships to mimic marriages, thereby imcreasing the likelihood of being able to fool people into redefining the institution.
    I know of no reason why i cannot drive a stolen car to the same standard as those driving their own car. But i do know it is wrong to steal.
    The Regnerus study is not a defence of marriage. If we are reduced to “justifying” marriage according to child-rearing skills, we have missed the point. It is not physically possible for any combination of humans to marry other than one man and one woman. Peer review that ! :)

  • JabbaPapa

    Only insofar as the DNA etc is concerned — many other genetic contents are transferred from mother to fetus in utero, may parts of the mother’s immune system for starters..

  • JabbaPapa

    As previously stated, pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

  • JabbaPapa
  • JabbaPapa

    (translated into English : LALALALALALALALALA I can’t hear you)

  • scary goat

     Ok.  That’s very true. But would you have found it so easy to say” no thanks” if you were 14.  Would you even be sure at that age that you wanted to say no? Specially if you were taught from a young age that it’s “normal”. Of course this scenario could get more complicated with ” what ifs” like a lonely, awkward teen, lacking a father figure, easily preyed upon by an older hero figure, an older boy at school maybe.

    We all think we wouldn’t…..but are we really so sure? It’s easy to say when we are 40 or 50 and when we were young things were different.  We have our pre-conceived ideas.

    This is one of the snags with all this sexual revolution stuff.  A couple of generations ago, casual sex was frowned upon.  People absorbed those attitudes. Look how the attitude has changed now.  It has become acceptable. 

    Quite recently an elderly bishop in the USA, in trying to defend the Church regarding the abuse scandal, said that in some cases the youngster seduced the priest.  Everyone was outraged by this…..and quite rightly so.  What happens when liberal sexual attitudes are taught to children at an ever younger age?  It takes away the assumption that children are innocent.  It gives credence to obscene remarks like that.

    What about children brought up in a “gay family”?  Not only they are taught that it’s normal, they live with it as normal. I would imagine gender confusion would be almost inevitable. When you change the social norms, things which seem unthinkable in one context may not be so unthinkable. 

    I know that you could wave all sorts of things in front of my face and I wouldn’t take it……but I’m an old goat.  I know what I want and what I don’t want.  I wouldn’t like to guarantee that I would be so sure if I was 14 or 16.

  • scary goat

     Moderator please?  I think PPs question was rhetorical.  We don’t really need these graphic details do we?

  • Meena

    Goodness only knows what you understand by “other genetic contents”. There is no more “genetic content transfer” than when you eat a lettuce leaf.

    No “parts of the mother’s immune system” are transferred. There is simple passive antibody transfer in utero, and in breast milk ingestion.

  • scary goat

     And Meena, am I right in guessing that you would be quite happy for this to  be taught to your children in sex-ed at school? IMHO it’s degrading.

  • Meena

    You believe you have BELLS on your other leg?

    Suddenly everything begins to make sense.

  • Meena

    It pays for many things related to well-being in its broadest sense.

  • Meena

    The NHS pays for many things that are not related to an OBVIOUS illness, but which help the individual experience a more satisfying life.

    These include breast enhancement, wigs, certain (other) plastic surgery, fertility treatments of various kinds……etc.

  • Meena

    The US is ahead of the game (again).
    Although the point is made that “”Cloning is not for standard production.”

    Perhaps the estimate of human cloning in 10 to 15 years should be shortened somewhat?

  • Oconnord

    Implicit racism? Where?

    I’m rarely surprised by comments but that left me agog. I really want to know how my comment was racist. Or even as a disappointing second, how you perceived it to be racist.

  • Meena

    I avoided “graphic details”.

    As for children in schools – well you should see the above-mentioned (and of course hypothetical) schoolgirls who have difficulty catching their breath on hearing this, because of their laughter.
    Not degrading, but hysterically funny.

  • Meena

    Perhaps you have bells in your head too (with the bats).

  • Oconnord

    Age really isn’t the issue as such, excepting that we all become less likely to experiment/try new things with age. I was often subjected to pederasts’ advances when I was in my early teens… but the answer was always no.

    That was despite my parents explaining to me that being gay is normal. In 1980′s Ireland they didn’t know any openly gay people but they were smart enough to have figured it out. They simply explained “sex” and then taught us to respect ourselves and others. It’s a pretty simple concept.. respect yourself and others by not being pressured into doing something you feel isn’t right. 

    It works well in other circumstances too. There is a huge difference between telling a young person that something is acceptable, and thinking that they’ll do it against their natural inclinations. 

  • Oconnord

    “Peer review requires a community of experts in a given (and often narrowly defined) field, who are qualified and able to perform impartial review. Impartial review, especially of work in less narrowly defined or inter-disciplinary fields, may be difficult to accomplish; and the significance (good or bad) of an idea may never be widely appreciated among its contemporaries”
    There are many problems with the term “peer reviewed” but an endorsement by academics at a single university should not be considered as “peer review”.

  • Lewispbuckingham

     There is no evidence that there is such a thing as ‘the gay gene’. In fact it were better none is found because it would be an invitation to eugenically ‘treat’ unborn babies by the process of genetic testing, genetic counselling, and the present exercise of freedom to abort if the parents so wish.

  • Lewispbuckingham

     Of course it is regarded as peer reviewed.THe ongoing validation is achieved by others re crunching the numbers on the meta data, which should be available on line if publically funded,and the experiment repeated by other researchers. This is how science progresses.

  • Oconnord

    Quite the Messiah Complex you got going there. Do you plan to smite the unrighteous any time soon?

  • Lewispbuckingham

     It depends a bit on what is meant by the mother’s genetic material.
    If the ovum of the mother has the nuclear DNA removed and the nuclear DNA of another person inserted in a micro operation, then the then’ fertilised’ ovum would contain the nuclear material of some other person, and the cellular organelles and mitochondrial DNA of the mother.

  • Oconnord

    My point is that once more than one university has “crunched the numbers” and concurred, then it will be peer reviewed. Until there is a consensus amongst academic peers , from various sources, it cannot be claimed as “peer reviewed”. The endorsement from a single source is not a valid claim of peer review. 

  • Oconnord

    Even if the findings of a U.S. study are true, it does not give any indication of facts in Europe or the UK. Even within Europe the experience of a child raised by gay parents would be different country by country. A child raised by gay parents in The Netherlands would experience far more acceptance than a child raised in Italy.

  • Oconnord

    gay parents in Italy .. of course

  • Lewispbuckingham

     Peer review is not restricted by being part of a university. If there are enough peers at an institution then it may be reviewed within that institution.
     Of course it would be better if the reviewers were blinded to the review and selected randomly, but this rarely happens.It may happen that the paper is passed around at the pub,the ‘beer review’, or as apparently happened in a present case hitting the blogsphere, been reviewed by people from the old uni where the paper writer went, this being called the ‘Mates review”. In this case the review is done by people apparently unconnected to the writers of the paper.
     And it is a misconception that reviewers always rework the meta data as part of a review, they may assume that the statistical method and calculations themselves are correct.
     It is here that it is becoming more important that scientists place their metadata online, particularly when publically funded.
     I note without knowing the answer that this is the objection, not only to this study of the oped but also those that claim that women in early pregnancy have no heightened risk if undergoing early abortion.
     The area of climate science is also a grey area as more information comes in.
     But you will notice that all these areas are in the political, polemical part of the human experience, which subverts the role of science to allow the finding of the physical reality.
     I agree though that the more a peer reviewed paper is reviewed by those outside a particular like minded group, the better for the science and the discovery of objective truth that may allow us to make informed decisions about our behaviour.
    Otherwise we may not inform our conscience.

  • JabbaPapa

    These “natural inclinations” of yours are, to put it simply, NOT understood.

    Nobody has been able to discover the cause for homosexuality — in my considered opinion, this is because it most likely has multiple causes.

    I mean yes, it’s a fact that some people are just born that way.

    Others though — well, they may go through a period of uncertainty or experimentation during adolescence or young adulthood, and it is in fact fairly common, a fact that has become persona non grata in the current gay activist political agenda, for people to experiment with homosexuality during that period, only to settle down into heterosexuality in their adult lives.

    I mean cripes, in the 1970s and 1980s it was a *big thing* in that same gay activist lobby that homosexuality was all about freedom of choice and freedom of life style !!!!

    In other words, yes, I have very little doubt that some young people could become homosexuals through peer pressure and social fashions — on the basis of having a weak sexual identity to start with.

    That most people cannot choose their sexuality does not mean that nobody can — to imagine that this is the case is both to ignore the evidence to the contrary, and to unjustifiably generalise one’s personal state of affairs as a universal.

  • JabbaPapa

    Only after you have explained and justified your open scorn for Texan Universities.

  • JabbaPapa

    This does not constitute an answer to nytor’s question.

  • JabbaPapa

    There is no more “genetic content transfer” than when you eat a lettuce leaf.

    In fact, it has been experimentally verified that one’s diet causes genetic changes in one’s offspring — so that if you move to a part of the world where people have a certain kind of diet, that you partake in, then your offspring conceived after you have become used to that diet will be genetically adapted to the digestion and metabolisation of those foodstuffs.

    Second, tell that to any bacteria or viruses on that lettuce leaf — perhaps it might help prevent any diseases you might catch from eating it.


    Fourth, kindly stop pretending that you are some sort of expert in these matters that the real experts do not fully understand themselves.

    Fifth, if you disagree with any of the above : ; and educate yourself !!!

    (I am NOT your researcher, and I’m getting tired of your kneejerk rejections on the basis of nothing more cogent than ignorance)

  • JabbaPapa

    I did not mention legs in my post.

    You are delusional.

  • JabbaPapa

    The point being, was that you were WRONG — as usual.

  • JabbaPapa

    I’m not the Messiah, I’m a very naughty boy.

  • JabbaPapa

    Perhaps you have nothing of any real value to contribute to discussions in this forum.

  • Nesbyth

    Yuk Meena. This is nothing to do with Marital consummation.

  • Vitto
  • nytor

    Indeed, gay activists who are keen on the idea of there being a “gay gene” are rather less keen on it being discovered for that reason.

  • whytheworldisending

    “Nobody has been able to discover the cause for homosexuality”

    People falsely believe that they are homosexual when the sexual response is conditioned so as to become associated with the wrong cues. Since the sexual response is intrinsically rewarding it acts as reinforcement for behaviour regardless of whether they are natural and good. The natural attraction for the opposite sex is overidden if such conditioning takes place at an early age – in a similar way to “imprinting” when ducklings follow the first thing they see when they hatch, instead of following thei rmother. In other words, it is caused by children being exposed to homosexual advances before they have any sense of their own sexual natures.

    As the Bible tells us, sin multiplies. Now if nobody knows the cause of homosexuality, it is also true that nobody can discount the above hypothesis as untrue. If it is true, then put simply homosexuality is caused by child abuse at the hands of homosexuals, and gay adoption puts children at serious risk.

    So children might be at risk – who cares? Obviously not those who wish to go ahead without knowing how children will be affected. All 3 party leaders are quite happy to take a chance for political gain. They don’t give as damn.

  • whytheworldisending

    But the idea that in thi scountry the silent majority (who are silent only because the “law” says they have no right to express their view) is being ruled by homosexuals is no lasughing matter.

  • scary goat

    Reply to whytheworld and jabba.
    I tend to agree with Jabba that no-one knows what causes homosexuality and there are probably multiple causes.  I also agree with whytheworld that almost certainly social programming at an early age is at least one of the causes. Someone mentioned earlier that dogs only do what comes natural.  Jabba then pointed out that dogs sometimes do dodgy things too.  From observation I would have thought that dogs are not exclusively homosexual. They will hump anything that moves for the fun of it, but they revert to heterosexual behaviour if a female is available for natural mating purposes. 

    Is it possible that all of us are heterosexual in our nature (the natural mating process) and all of us in our fallen nature (original sin) have a certain capacity for being bi-sexual? Simply an urge for sexual gratification by some means.  Then all sorts of other factors influence our “orientation” some people being more prone than others.  Hormone levels differ within each sexual group, maybe those who are more extremely masculine or feminine would be less inclined to consider same-sex relationships.  Then a whole host of socio-psychological (and religious) issues superimposed on that.  Whether we are brought up to see it as “normal” or not being a factor. And the “duckling effect” being a major issue.  I have seen this “duckling effect” in other contexts.  People raised in a certain way assume that their views are “natural” or that they “thought it out for themselves” because the early social pre-programming has so much become part of their being that they do not recognise it as having been “planted”.  You can see this in differing cultural concepts of morality.  Or it can be observed in atheists coming from a culturally Christian background.

    Is it possible that people genuinely believe that they were “born that way” but possibly it wasn’t so much inborn as somehow pre-programmed in early on, like a trojan? What about the no gender distinction early years education that has been popular?  Could that have in any way contributed?

    Deary me, I am wading into very un-politically-correct stuff here.  My intention is simply to raise questions.  I am not trying to be nasty to anyone or force my views on anyone.  Just wondering, that’s all.

  • NewMeena

    In your second sentence, do you mean to say “…..would be necessary.” ?

    It is perfectly possible for other “combination[s] of humans to marry” other than 1 woman and 1 man.
    For example Yahweh in the Old Testament approved of polygamy – it was then necessary to get the numbers up, to manage the sheep and goats. 

    It is also not a question of “fooling people” about changing the (full) definition of marriage. The redefinition, or whatever you like to call it, will soon be with us. This is a consequence of changed (and still changing) belief and understanding in our society (and not by any means just in our’s).