Monday, June 15, 2009

Harry Jackson Jr. on Same-Sex Marriage


...Knowledgeable pro-traditional marriage advocates understand that the real danger lies with the unintended consequences of gay marriage on the next generation. Redefining marriage, redefines family, the redefinition of family changes the definition of parenting, the definition of parenting changes the dynamics of education.


What will the landscape of America look like if same-sex marriage is legalized across our nation? According to the writings of Dr. Stanley Kurtz, nations who have gone this way see a dramatic increase in out of wedlock births, long-term singleness, and other symptoms of the devaluation of the institution. If the American family loses the presence of its birth dad in the home, there will be several huge consequences.

Consider these statistics. Over half of Americans studied in a survey in 2001 by Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government believe that the high number of single-parent families is a major cause of poverty. Studies also reveal that most Americans believe that welfare programs encourage single-parent families and teenage pregnancy.

Malcolm D. Williams in 1997, used a sample of 1,610 10-13 year-olds in a study. He found that children who learn to share significant ideas with their fathers had fewer behavior problems and developed stronger cognitive abilities than their peers.

Similar results were found in a 1995 study of 254 black adolescents living with both of their biological parents. Ninety-six percent of these boys said their fathers were their role models. In this study, only 44 percent of black adolescents who were not living with their fathers said their fathers were their role models.

The Journal of Family Psychology in 2000 reported a study of 116 African American students ages 10-13. The boys with married parents were found to have much higher levels of self esteem and a better sense of personal power and self-control compared to single-mother homes.

Repeatedly, scholarly studies focused on adolescence show that early onset of puberty in girls is a major problem. It is associated with negative psychological, social, and health problems. Depression, alcohol consumption, and higher teenage pregnancy rates are some of the results. An eight year study of girls and their families showed that a father's presence in the home, with appropriate involvement in his children's lives, contributed to later pubertal timing of the daughters in the seventh grade.

These studies and scores of others suggest what most Americans have always known: that both boys and girls, are deeply affected in both biological and psychological ways by the presence of their fathers....

And from the comments:

What is Marriage For?

The question to ask, in order to provide a solid foundation to all arguments about marriage is this:

What is marriage for?

Is it for adult companionship, pleasure, and convenience? If so, then what we have now -- marriage as a purely optional possibility, lightly entered into, lightly gotten out of, completely divorced from childbearing, and extending as a "right" to any number and/or combination of consenting adults -- is the inevitable result.

If the current situation is not desirable then marriage must have some other purpose than merely as a pleasant possibility to facilitate companionship among adults.

In the traditional understanding of marriage, as practiced by every society humanity has ever produced, marriage is much more -- it is a formal, permantent, legal (and often, but not necessarily, religious), bond between male and female that serves multiple functions.

1. Marriage obligates both biological parents to participate in raising their offspring. This drastically reduces the number of children thrown onto the community to be supported via taxes.

2. Marriage obligates sexual fidelity -- harnessing biological drives and channeling them to productive rather than destructive purposes. This drives down rates of both sexually transmitted disease and the depression and other mental problems which plague the promiscuous as they continually form, destroy, and re-form relationship bonds.

3. As a corollary, by assuring that each child's parentage is known marriage improves the next generation's ability to find suitable, un-related mates and the raising of blood-siblings in the same household makes incestuous attraction unlikely. This is biologically healthy for the human species

4. Marriage ensures mutual support through the difficulties of life and the vicissitudes of fortune. Families and extended families assist each other in a myriad of ways that no other community, however well-intended, can duplicate. Friends may have other obligations. Neighbors may not even know each other. But couples, siblings, cousins, and even in-laws are there for each other because that's how families are.

5. Marriage provides beneficial connections to extended family groups. Few things are rarer and more remarkable than for a mere friend or acquaintance, much less a stranger, to help a young couple with the down payment for a house or a car or to provide other financial support to help set a new adult on his/her own feet. Few things could be more commonplace than for family members to do so.

Many people gain their first, valuable work experience that sets them on a lifetime of productive employment in a family member's business. They might not have taken a chance on a completely inexperienced stranger, but since its a nephew, a cousin, or your sister-in-law's sister-in-law the connection makes a difference. The old saying is true -- you don't just marry your spouse, you marry the family.

So we need to recognize that the formation of these social bonds and connections -- things far removed from mere adult companionship -- is part of what marriage is for. Indeed, in many societies, these literal or figurative tribal connections are more critical for the ordering of society than local, regional, or even national politics.

6.Marriage provides for the orderly transmission of both wealth and culture from one generation to the next. The first through financial support AND education while the parents live and through the inheritance of property after the parents die. The second because despite the efforts of government schools and tax policies that often force mothers into full-time jobs children still learn their values at home.

A child raised by his/her married, biological parents is better off by every measure of success than a child raised in any other living arrangement.

Marriage is not for "two adults in a loving relationship". Marriage is bigger and grander and more ambitious. Marriage is for nothing less than the perpetuation of human civilization.

And the social pathologies that accompany family breakdown -- whether this involves never marrying at all or uncommitted marriages resulting in serial polygamy via too-easy divorce -- prove that we need to recapture the proper understanding of marriage if the US is going to survive in any recognizable form.

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