Problematics of the Anti-Gay-Marriage Amendment Arguments
(regarding Indiana SJR07)
SJR07 Claims to be Addressed
- "Traditional Marriage should have preferred status because children
do better when raised by a traditional couple."
- "Homosexuals should be discouraged from living that way because it
produces shorter lifespans, unstable life relationships, poor mental health,
and a tendency toward molestation of minors."
- "Homosexuals Choose to be Homosexual and Can Change"
- Biology of Sexual Orientation
- Ex-gay Ministries, "Cure" and "Choice"
- "Gays are not affected by or entitled to the Constitutional guarantees
of equal protection and religious freedom on the topic of marriage."
- "If Gays and Lesbians are Allowed Equal Access to Civil Marriage, Pastors
and Churches Will Be Forced to Conduct Marriages Against Their Own Religious
- "Gays and Lesbians Are Asking for Special Rights: Evangelical Christians
and Heterosexual Working Families Face Political and Social Oppression, not
- "We Must Keep Marriage As It Has Been For Centuries, Even Thousands
Of Years. Homosexual Marriage Is a Threat to Civilization"
- Position Statements by Professional Licensing Agencies on Children
Raised in Same-Sex Households
- Bibliographic References To Studies That Show The Well-Being Of
Children Raised In Same-Sex Parent Homes.
- Studies Affirming that Gays and Lesbians are No More Likely to Molest
Children than Heterosexuals
- Studies Affirming the Mental Health of Gays and Lesbians
- Various Statistics on Gay Relationships
- Studies Indicating Biological Causation for Homosexuality
- Position Statements and Peer-Reviewed Studies on Change in Sexual
- Studies on Attempted Suicide Rates Among Heterosexual and Homosexual
Adolescents, and Victimization Rates of Gay and Lesbian Adolescents
- Economic Differences Between Heterosexuals and Homosexuals: Hiring
and Firing Data, Wage Differences and Health Insurance Issues
1) "Traditional Marriage should have preferred status because children
do better when raised by a traditional couple."
There is no scientific evidence that being raised in same-sex families harms
children. The claims made by pro-amendment testimony that studies show that
children do best when they are raised by a man and a woman are not based on
studies published in peer-reviewed scientific literature, nor is such testimony
deemed credible by any professional licensing agency for social workers, mental
health workers or health professionals. Each of these agencies, in fact, support
the adoption of children by same-sex parents.1
Studies published in peer-reviewed literature, thus those studies that have
passed through the strictest standards imposed by scientists, show that children
do not suffer on any measurable scale due to being raised by gay or lesbian
parents. Pro-amendment testimony refers vaguely to studies that support their
position. However, no such study exists in the peer-reviewed literature. The
closest types of studies that support their position are those that compare
single-parent homes to two-parent homes, and a single study that compared homes
with a step-parent, with homes containing both biological parents. On the contrary,
over 40 studies have been published from 1980-2005 in peer-reviewed literature
that all affirm that children do equally as well in same-sex homes as in heterosexual
homes.2 This clearly meets the scientific "gold-standard" of study
It is important to point out that even if there were evidence to support the
allegation that children do somewhat worse in same-sex families, it would not
be a sufficient reason to ban same-sex marriage. There is evidence that children
in poor families and poor quality neighborhoods do not fare as well as those
with middle and upper-class parents.3 Some studies suggest that adoptive families
experience more difficulties than biological ones. These studies would not justify
banning marriages or prohibiting adoption where the partners are poor. Further
criticism has been raised on the issue or transracial adoption.4 However court
precedent is that race cannot be a factor in federally funded institutions in
the adoption process. The issue for the court is the best interest of the child--is
the child (and the state) better off in a government facility, or with a family
who can provide individualized attention and care, even if the social and economic
position of the family is not "optimal?"5
2) "Homosexuals should be discouraged from living that way because it
produces shorter lifespans, unstable life relationships, poor mental health,
and a tendency toward molestation of minors."
As with the studies on children raised by same-sex parents, there are no peer-reviewed
studies that demonstrate a difference in the levels of promiscuity, relationship
stability, mental health, or lifespan of the homosexual. Specifically, there
was testimony at the March 14th House hearing by a representative of the Indiana
Family Institute (Ryan McCann) that homosexuals have a dramatically lower lifespan
than heterosexuals. Such statistics are typically quoted from a study published
by Paul Cameron, Chairman of the Family Research Institute. However, Dr. Cameron
has been ejected from the American Psychological Association and the Nebraska
Association for falsification of data. Similarly, he has been censured by the
American Sociological Association for misrepresenting himself as a sociologist,
and misrepresenting the work done by sociologists. Further, in Baker v Wade,
a Federal Court judge is quoted a saying, "Dr. Paul Cameron...has himself
made misrepresentations to this Court. . . . There has been no fraud or misrepresentations
except by Dr. Cameron." 6
In this particular case, however, Mr. McCann (in personal correspondence to
Indiana Equality) made it clear that he was not quoting this statistic from
Paul Cameron. Rather, his assertion that gay men have a shorter lifespan than
heterosexuals comes from a study published by the International Journal of Epidemiology.7
In this study, the authors look at how the overrepresentation of HIV in gay
men and bisexuals in Vancouver has shortened the lifespan of that specific population
compared to heterosexuals in that city. This fact is not in contention. While
it is true that men afflicted with AIDS had (as of the publication date of the
study in 1997) a reduced lifespan compared to those not afflicted with AIDS
the conclusion that Mr. McCann asserts is not valid that "all homosexuals"
have a reduced lifespan. The only claim the authors of this study make is that
the overrepresentation of AIDS in the gay and bisexual male population (making
no reference to lesbians) has caused a decreased lifespan among that very specific
population in Vancouver. They even specify that the results are due only to
differential rates of AIDS and suicide, not from any other source. In addition
to a clear misuse of the author's intent for this study, what Mr. McCann
fails to describe is the worldwide epidemiology of AIDS, in which the vast majority
of people who suffer from this tragic disease is heterosexual (possibly 80%),
when one factors in non-Western nations (UNAIDS statistics, 2001). This differential
rate is continuing to rapidly shift to larger percentages of heterosexuals,
both in the non-Western and Western nations.
Moreover, what Mr. McCann fails to incorporate into his analysis is the literature
that describes the increased rates of poor mental and physical health (especially
rates of STD's) in minority populations in general, not just homosexuals
(CDC STD statistics). The medical community attributes these differential rates
of poor health to reduced access to quality, confidential healthcare due to
socioeconomic factors, not inherently pathological properties of the minorities
themselves (CDC Web site). Further, fear of social or economic reprisals (from
family, insurance companies, their physician) if the homosexual were to "come
out," prevent many gay men, bisexuals and lesbians from seeking counseling
or appropriate preventative medical assistance, thus increasing their vulnerability.
What is important to recognize is that the medical, social work and psychological
communities attribute the problem to heterosexism and oppression of homosexuals,
not inherently pathological states of the homosexual (see the various position
statements by these organizations).
In addition to false claims of shortened lifespan of "all homosexuals,"
the claim is frequently made that homosexuals are sexual predators or are inherently
mentally disordered. However, none of the licensing and professional organizations,
or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, give any credence to studies
showing that homosexuals have a greater incidence of child molestation.8 Similarly,
none of the mental health or social work agencies find any mental health differences
between homosexuals and heterosexuals, and all of the relevant studies in the
peer-reviewed literature support the mental health of the homosexual.9 As stated
by the American Psychoanalytic Association, "Same-gender sexual orientation
cannot be assumed to represent a deficit in personality development or the expression
of psychopathology." Despite testimony to the contrary, the removal of
homosexuality from the DSM as a psychopathology was not simply due to political
pressure from radical gay-rights groups. The decision was based on peer-reviewed
studies and decades of clinical experience with homosexuals.
As each of the organizations mentioned above affirm, gay and lesbian relationships
suffer few if any differences than heterosexual relationships, despite severe
impediments to their relationships from social and political structures that
do not support their relationships, and culturally and religiously inspired
rhetoric that teaches that their relationships and feelings are "perverse,
unnatural and mentally ill." Despite these challenges, social science
research shows the following:
- 40-60% of gay men, and 45-80% of lesbians are in a steady relationship 10
- Studies of older gays and lesbians show relationships lasting over 20 years
are not uncommon 11
- In a large sample of couples followed for 18 months the following "break
up" statistics were observed: lesbians=22%, gay=16%, cohabiting heterosexuals=17%,
married heterosexuals=4% 12
- Homosexual and heterosexual couples matched on age, etc, tend not to differ
in levels of love and satisfaction, nor in their scores on other standardized
- No peer-reviewed study shows any credible evidence that homosexuals have
statistically significant rates of promiscuity greater than heterosexual. 14
What these statistics indicate is that gays and lesbians are equally as interested
in initiating and maintaining long-term, stable relationships as heterosexuals.
This desire is made more difficult by the social stigmatization of gays and
lesbians, and the rhetoric that gay and lesbian relationships are inherently
disordered and unstable. Further, since social structures and institutions do
not facilitate gay and lesbian relationships, it much more difficult for gays
and lesbians to maintain stable families. For example, the rate of gay and lesbian
relationship break-ups are about the same as those for co-habiting heterosexuals
(statistic "C" above), each of which are dramatically higher than
married heterosexuals. It is presumed by the professional mental health organizations
that by granting homosexuals marriage rights, and/or social institutions that
facilitate and affirm their relational capacity, the gay and lesbian break-up
statistics would come to mirror the levels of married heterosexuals (APA Council
of Representatives, 2004).
3) "Homosexuals Choose to be Homosexual and Can Change"
Biology of Sexual Orientation
Theories of causation for homosexuality have shifted dramatically in the past
100 years. Early psychologists believed that early childhood trauma caused homosexual
feelings to develop. Specifically, Freud proposed that a weak father and an
overbearing mother caused a person to "stall" in the phallic stage
of childhood development. Subsequent studies have shown there is no association
between any parenting style or early childhood experiences that leads to homosexuality.
According to the American Psychiatric Association
No specific psychosocial or family dynamic cause for homosexuality has been
identified, including histories of childhood sexual abuse. Sexual abuse does
not appear to be more prevalent in children who grow up to identify as gay,
lesbian, or bisexual, than in children who identify as heterosexual. 15
Rather, all of the peer-reviewed literature is converging on the opinion that
sexual orientation has a strongly genetic causation. This is not meant to imply
that sexual orientation is completely determined by genes. It seems there is
a complex interaction between biology and the environment to produce sexual
orientation. In insects, same-gender sexual mating is induced from altering
genes alone, thus indicating a 100% biological causatoin for sexual orientation
in simple species16. For lower mammals, like rats, same-sex mating behaviors will
occur simply by putting a female "smell" on a male rat. "Lesbian"
and "gay" rats, guinea pigs, sheep, zebra finches (just after hatching)
and monkeys can be produced simply by altering prenatal androgen levels (natural
hormones that bathe the fetus in utero) in the mother, in a process called behavioral
defeminization and behavioral demasculinization. It is currently believed that
In vertebrate model systems, a single [prenatal] factor-the steroid hormone
testosterone-accounts for most, and perhaps all, of the known sex differences
in neural structure and behavior. . . . Events triggered by testosterone masculinize
the developing and adult nervous system, [to] promote male behaviors and suppress
female behaviors. 17
In the animal kingdom, same-sex mating, including life-time pairing, is not
uncommon, presumably caused by mechanisms such as these. Hundreds of zoological
studies have found evidence of such pairings in the wild18, including, for example,
the widely publicized "gay" penguins in both the New York and Berlin
In humans, socialization makes the development of sexual orientation much more
complex. However, the prenatal biological process is identical. While, in most
instances, sexual development of the body and the brain occurs without discrepancy,
in some instances prenatal androgen levels change in the middle of this process,
causing a dichotomy in the affected individual. For example, in congenital adrenal
hyperplasia, the early process of physical sexualization takes place as expected
in the female. However, later in development, the adrenal glands begin producing
excess testosterone, causing the brain to become masculinized. Almost half of
this population become homosexual or bisexual.19
It is believed that similar processes are the cause of homosexuality in the
general population. While the pro-amendment testimony is correct, that "there
are no replicated studies proving that homosexuality is caused by biological
factors," there is also no disagreement at this point in the medical,
psychological and biological communities that biology is a crucial dimension
to the process of human homosexuality, just as it is the sole cause of homosexuality
in all lower species. There are no peer-reviewed studies that any longer explore
purely, or even mostly, psychological causes for homosexuality in humans. The
convergence of many decades of research, as well as theory, all point to, by
far, biology as a primary factor in human sexual orientation. While we know
that biological factors do not act as the sole cause of homosexuality, it is
accepted as the primary cause. While many studies support this idea, there are
no current studies that contradict this belief. 20
Ex-gay Ministries, "Cure" and "Choice"
A corollary argument by the pro-amendment group, to the inaccurate belief that
homosexuality is a "lifestyle choice," is the belief that homosexuals
can be "cured" or that they can become heterosexuals. Highly publicized
newspaper ads were taken out by various "Pro-Family" organizations
the summer prior to the 1998 election, claiming that "reparative therapy"
is successfully in helping homosexuals become heterosexuals. Because of this
campaign, ex-gay ministry groups, like Exodus International, that had previously
been low-key and focused on individual ministry, become politicized and psychologized.
These support groups, however, much like similar support groups such as Alcoholics
Anonymous, were never intended to be a political tool or a psychological weapon.
The dynamics of these groups were radically changed for the worse after these
events, if nothing else, because their message was warped into claims that they
never intended to make.
The ex-gay ministries have a history going back to the late 1960's, paralleling
the rise of the homosexual rights movement.21 As parents of homosexuals, and homosexuals
themselves, developed the social realization of the new phenomenon encouraging
homosexuals to embrace and affirm their sexuality, these parents and individuals
wanted counter-cultural groups to help them maintain their ideals of heterosexuality,
despite experiencing "temptations" of homosexual feelings. They
developed ex-gay ministry support groups in several parts of the country to
help them cope with these feelings and act as accountability groups, since acting
on their homosexual feelings were becoming more acceptable to the larger society,
but not so for their personal moral systems.
These ministry support groups were designed, like Alcoholics Anonymous, to
help each other maintain celibacy, not to act as "cures" for homosexuality.
Debates on whether or not homosexuals could become heterosexual threatened to
split the early Exodus International movement. With the preponderance of evidence
showing that no therapy attempted from the previous century, including electroshock
therapy to genitals, aversion therapy where powerful emetic drugs produced projectile
vomiting, behavioral therapy where the client was taught how to have sex with
the opposite gender, and deprivation of food and water, Exodus took the official
position that sexual orientation was not mutable: homosexuals cannot become
Twenty years following the American Psychiatric Association's removal
of homosexuality from its list of psychopathologies, a splinter group formed
who believed that "reparative therapy" would be able to cure homosexuals.
Over the last 15 years this group, NARTH, has produced no evidence that any
kind of therapy can consistently impact sexual orientation. Even one of the
ex-gay ministry directors, a leader in scientific research on sexual orientation
change, points to the scientific literature to show that sexual orientation
cannot be consistently affected (though behavioral change is certainly possible,
where a person is aided in his or her journey toward celibacy).22 Both the peer-reviewed
literature, as well as position statements by each of the professional licensing
agencies for mental health, take strong stands against reparative-type therapies,
given the lack of evidence for efficacy, and the evidence of damage to patients
who have undergone such therapies. 23
While the evidence currently points to a dynamic interaction between nature
and nurture as the cause of homosexuality, there is vanishingly little evidence
that sexual orientation can be changed through therapy. None of the evidence
that does exist meets the standard of scientific reproducibility that the pro-amendment
groups demands for the evidence of biological causation. In both cases, while
evidence is not yet "fact" for either issue (change and biological
causation), the evidence is convergent in both cases against the pro-amendment
group, as well as is the official policy statements by all of the professional
licensing organizations. Similarly, as is clarified by the position statements
referenced above, no professional organization believes that homosexuality is
a "choice", but is an orientation that becomes fixed very early
4) "Gays are not affected by or entitled to the Constitutional guarantees
of equal protection and religious freedom on the topic of marriage."
In the end, whether or not homosexuality is a choice or a biologically induced
tendency is irrelevant. We know that certain forms of alcoholism are rooted
in genetics, and that alcoholics have a dramatically increased chance of destroying
families, as well as harming the welfare of their children. Yet it is unlikely
we will ever see legislation barring alcoholics from marrying. Further, religion
itself is quintessentially a choice. It is a choice that, throughout history,
has been the root cause of the destruction of many communities: the Protestant
Religious Wars of 1560-1715, the Crusades, the "witch" and Jewish
persecutions throughout medieval Europe and colonial America, the Inquisition,
the Roman persecution of the Christians (the Christian "atheists"
refused to believe in the Roman pantheon of gods), Islamic terrorists, Bosnia,
Kurdistan, the Tamil Tigers, Northern Ireland, Kashmir. . .
Whenever exclusionist religious factions have been allowed to take root in
government power structures and supersede democratic principles of equality
under the law, the entire nation suffers. This is precisely what John
Stuart Mills was hoping to avert in On Liberty, when he warned against
the "tyranny of the majority." De Tocqueville took up this refrain in
Democracy in America.
Of all political institutions, the legislature is the one that is most easily
swayed by the will of the majority. The Americans determined that the members
of the legislature should be elected by the people directly, and for a very
brief term, in order to subject them, not only to the general convictions, but
even to the daily passions, of their constituents. . . . The majority in that
country, therefore, exercise a prodigious actual authority, and a power of opinion
which is nearly as great; no obstacles exist which can impede or even retard
its progress, so as to make it heed the complaints of those whom it crushes
upon its path. This state of things is harmful in itself and dangerous for the
future. . . . In my opinion, the main evil of the present democratic institutions
of the United States does not arise, as is often asserted in Europe, from their
weakness, but from their irresistible strength. I am not so much alarmed at
the excessive liberty which reigns in that country as at the inadequate securities
which one finds there against tyranny. 24
De Toqueville and Mill's warnings directly relate to SJR07 on two counts.
First, the Constututional amendment process is being used by the majority to
limit the freedom of a minority group. The limitation is on equal protection
and equality under the law. When the founders of our national heritage began
the rumblings of revolution against Britain, one of the primary issues was taxation
without representation. Though paying equal taxes, gays and lesbians are being
denied the equal protections and rights of marriage.
While the Constitution itself does not explicitly define any "rights
of marriage," the Declaration of Independence guarantees the right to
"Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." It would seem that
banning same-sex marriage contradicts the intent of the Declaration's
"pursuit of happiness" clause. Contrary to the testimony on March
14 to the House by the representative lawyer from the Alliance Defense Fund
the decision to reverse the ban on interracial marriage was not based on the
desire to protect the state's interest in procreation, but in the Fourteenth
These statutes also deprive the Lovings of liberty without due process of law
in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The freedom
to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential
to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. 25
De Toqueville and Mill's warnings are currently in danger of being ignored
by SJR07 on two counts. First, the Constututional amendment process is being
used by the majority to limit the freedom of a minority group. The limitation
is on equal protection and equality under the law. When the founders of our
national heritage began the rumblings of revolution against Britain, one of
the primary issues was taxation without representation. Gays and lesbians are
being denied the fundamental right of marriage.
While the Constitution itself does not explicitly define any "rights
of marriage," but the Declaration of Independence guarantees the right
to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." Given the reasoning
by Justice Earl Warren for the decision to reverse state bans on interracial
marriage, "The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the
vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free
men,"26 it would seem that banning same-sex marriage contradicts the intent
of the Declaration's "pursuit of happiness" clause. Contrary
to the testimony on March 14 to the House by the representative lawyer from
the Alliance Defense Fund that the decision was based on the desire to protect
the state's interest in procreation, Justice Warren roots the decision
in the Fourteenth Amendment.
The question of banning same-sex marriage by the process of a Constitutional
amendment would seem to mirror Colorado's attempt to ban anti-discrimination
laws for gay and lesbian citizens in 1992. The United States Supreme Court invalidated
that state's amendment with the following rationale:
We must conclude that Amendment 2 classifies homosexuals not to further a proper
legislative end but to make them unequal to everyone else. This Colorado cannot
do. A State cannot so deem a class of persons a stranger to its laws. Amendment
2 violates the Equal Protection Clause, and the judgment of the Supreme Court
of Colorado is affirmed. 27
SJR07 seeks to limit the freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution,
in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The authors of this amendment seek to impose upon the Constitution a religious
view that is neither universal today nor likely to be that of the majority tomorrow.
Polls indicate radical differences in the opinions of those under 30 years old
on the issue of same-sex marriage.28 An 2005 ABC/Washington Post poll indicates
that 55% of the population opposes same-sex marriage, while only 38% believe
a Constitutional amendment is appropriate. However, 55% of those under 30 believe
that same-sex marriage should be made legal. A 2004 Harris Poll report indicates
that, while a minority of Americans approve of same-sex marriage (26%), the
number has almost tripled in only eight 8 years (10%).29 In a 2003 Gallup poll,
61% of those under 30 believed that same-sex marriage should be legalized, compared
to 33% of those 30 and older.30 Finally, according to an Indystar/WTHR poll in
2004, while only 19% of all Hoosiers support gay marriage, "nearly two
out of three under the age of 35 support some type of legal recognition."31
What this amendment does is subverts the separation of powers, enacting the
precise fear that de Tocqueville describes. The tyranny of the majority is guiding
Hoosier law, by directing legislators to follow the "daily passions of
their constituents." While today gay marriage is not supported by the
majority of Hoosiers, in the next generation it may. Or the Indiana Supreme
Court may rule, as did the United States Supreme Court on similar issues, that
preventing gays and lesbians from marrying violates the Fourteenth Amendment.
SJR07 seeks to prevent the Supreme Court from protecting the minority of gays
and lesbians from the "daily passions" of majority of citizens,
using as a weapon the very document designed to protect the rights of all Hoosiers.
In addition to the issue of separation of Church and State, another issue looms
even more forebodingly. The protection of civil liberties is the foundation
of the Constitution. It is in the interest of all citizens to promote the equal
protection of all other citizens and not to empower the state to discriminate
constitutionally for or against any class of people. The irony of the position
taken by the Christian-based conservative "pro-family" coalition,
is that the very principle of denying the civil liberties of one group over
another works to endanger the rights of future Christians. The process that
is being enacted into policy with SJR07 is one that affirms the State's
ability to discriminate against classes of people based on their religious and
philosophical views. It would seem that it is in the best interest of all citizens,
including conservative Christians, to affirm the traditional limitation of the
intrusion of the State in matters of morality and religion. The most logical
course of action for conservative Christians to take on this bill is the opposite
of that which many have chosen: rather than fight for the affirmation of the
equal protection for all people, they are choosing to fight to constitutionalize
their religious beliefs, thus undermining the national shared value of civil
liberties and institutional processes that protect them and gays from the "tyranny
of the majority". 32
5) "If Gays and Lesbians are Allowed Equal Access to Civil Marriage,
Pastors and Churches Will Be Forced to Conduct Marriages Against Their Own Religious
The testimony of many "pro-family" groups who oppose the granting
of any "special rights" to gays and lesbians evidences a narrow
view of the existing data, as well as misunderstandings of world events. For
example, as I interviewed multiple participants of Eric Miller's "Advance
America" group at the statehouse rally on March 8th, on why they are so
passionate about this issue, I heard from multiple people about how Canadian
pastors have already been arrested for preaching against homosexuality, and
that they are being forced to hire and marry gay couples. The fear is that these
events will begin to occur here in the United States if homosexuals are granted
rights of protected legal status.
However, such stories are patently false. There have been no reports of Canadian
pastors arrested for preaching against homosexuality. In fact, the Canadian
Hate Crimes legislation that was recently enacted to give gays and lesbians
protection under existing hate crimes law, specifically exempts religious speech,
or any speech that in good faith is believed to be true.33 So far there has been
one Canadian case, in which Hugh Owens took out a full-page ad with a picture
of two men holding hands, with a large circle with a slash through it over their
picture, followed by several bible verses that condemned such behavior. There
was no clarifying text in the ads to explain Mr. Owens' intent. Mr. Owens
was fined for the ads. A second case, in Sweden, occurred when Ake Green, a
conservative pastor, preached a series of sermons against homosexuality. He
was arrested and sentenced to one month in prison by a lower court. However,
the Supreme Court overturned that conviction, stating that the priority is always
given to freedom of speech.
The legal tradition in the United States is similar to that of the high decision in Sweden--freedom of speech, as long as it does not pose an immediate
decision in Sweden--freedom of speech, as long as it does not pose an immediate
danger to public safety, is always given priority. Churches have always been
allowed to refuse to marry anyone they wanted, for whatever reason. The inclusion
of homosexuals into marriage law or hate crimes legislation has never nor will
ever undermine that right. Small businesses and religious organizations are
always given exceptions in hiring practices when it comes to civil rights laws,
affirmative action laws or other moral issues. There is little to no precedent
in U.S. jurisprudence for overriding these freedoms by the inclusion of minority
groups into protected categories. The fears shared by my interviewees, and the
public rhetoric may be based in real fears, however, they are unjustified fears.
6) "Gays and Lesbians Are Asking for Special Rights: Evangelical Christians
and Heterosexual Working Families Face Political and Social Oppression, not
Two other specific examples of unjustified concerns are the claims that gays
and lesbians are an affluent group who do not need economic protection, and
that gays and lesbians do not need protections against community violence.34 These
claims are frequently followed by anecdotes of economic or physical attacks
on Christians, evidencing a fear of massive cultural shifts in the treatment
of Christians. These claims are not supported by either peer-reviewed literature
or government statistics. The 2003 FBI crime reports list 1,239 attacks on gays
and lesbians, almost double that from a decade ago. However, the same report
lists only 49 attacks on Protestants, down more than 10% from the previous year.
Considering that, at most, "out" gays and lesbians represent 4%
of the population and that "out" Evangelicals are over a third of
the population, it hardly seems credible that Evangelicals represent a threatened
minority and the corollary claim that hate crimes against gays and lesbians
represent spurious anomalies.
Rates of attempted suicide among gay and lesbian adolescents are as much as
three times the rates for heterosexual adolescents. The rates of heterosexual
adolescent suicide attempts range from about 4-15%, depending on gender.35 The
rates for matched homosexual samples are 20-35%, again depending on gender.
All extant peer-reviewed literature confirm this rate.36 Similarly, violence against
gay and lesbian teenagers is dramatically increased over that committed against
heterosexual teenagers. Several studies indicate that victimization rates for
gay and lesbian youth are over seven times more likely to have been threatened
or injured with a weapon, over five times more likely to have had property stolen
or damaged at school, almost four times more likely to require medical treatment
from peer physical abuse, and almost eight times as likely to have missed four
or more days of school because of feeling unsafe.37 Mental health professionals
agree that the increased rates of suicide attempts among gay and lesbian adolescents
is not a sign of increased mental disease, but a symptom if intense social pressure
Economic indicators also evidence discrimination against gays and lesbians.
All of the studies in the peer-reviewed literature show that gay men earn less
than heterosexual men, matched for other racial, age and education. The differences
range from a 16-32% wage penalty for gay and bisexual men. While studies are
mixed about the earning potential of lesbians compared to heterosexual women,
several studies similarly indicate an economic deficit for lesbians.39
Similarly, being honest about one's sexual orientation has a negative
impact on one's ability to be hired. Studies show a 10-15% decrease in
hiring invitation rates for lesbians, and a survey of medical facilities indicated
that over 25% of employers would refuse to hire or promote a known gay and lesbian
person, and almost 20% would fire them. As of 2004, gays and lesbians in 36
out of 50 states can be fired simply for being homosexual,40 and 54% of New Yorkers
report discrimination in housing, employment or public accommodation, and 27%
report being called discriminatory names at work, such as "faggot"
Since homosexual relationships are not legally recognized, most do not qualify
for health benefits from their partners. Studies show that "data from
married and unmarried couples in the Current Population Survey confirm that
people with unmarried partners are two to three times more likely to lack health
insurance than are people in married couple." This puts individuals in
gay and lesbian relationships at permanent and immutable medical disadvantage,
since they do not have the choice to "marry", as do unmarried heterosexual
7) "We Must Keep Marriage As It Has Been For Centuries, Even Thousands
Of Years. Homosexual Marriage Is a Threat to Civilization"
Several proponents of the pro-amendment contingent referred to the idea that
we must "keep marriage the way it has been throughout all civilization,"
presumably meaning that we should keep marriage the way it is currently practiced
in the United States. However, if this is their intent, then they are grossly
unaware of the history of marriage throughout civilization. Monogamy as the
free choice between both the man and the woman, sanctioned and blessed by both
church and state, is a fairly recent development, unique to the Western world.
Defining the family as this marital relationship, and the household of the parents
and children alone, is an even newer development.
Lynn Wardle, the law professor cited by the Morrison v Sadler case as a rationale
for the necessity of protecting the procreation aspects of marriage43 refers to
this tradition as the "conjugal marriage:"
One of those cornerstone principles has, for more than 200 years, been respect
for and special legal protection of the unique institution of conjugal marriage
(the contractual, lifelong union of a man and woman). Some historians call it
"republican marriage" because, in the Founding Era, it was understood
to be the basic social unit necessary to inculcate civic virtue and nurture
the individual and social values essential for the survival of a republican
(representative democracy) form of government.44
The contention by the pro-family groups is that marriage as we know it today
in the United States is the way marriage has always been and it is the way marriage
should remain forever more. Bypassing the question of how marriage should look
forever more, the question of whether marriage has always been this way is a
question of historical fact, one that can be verified or factually refuted.
In this case, it can easily be factually refuted.
Some studies estimate that polygyny (multiple wives) has been the primary form
of marriage in up to 83% of the cultures in history, with only 16% being monogamy.45
Most marriages in history are characterized not in terms of romance and free-choice
as we think of it in the United States, but as economic transactions: the selling
of the daughter to the husband for a dowry or bridewealth.46 Similarly, arranged
marriage characterizes most "marriages" in history. None of these
types of marriage, which are the true representations of "how marriage
has always been," are the types of marriages that the pro-amendment groups
are attempting to re-establish. Rather, what they are calling "marriage
as it always has been," is really an attempt to reinforce the concept
of marriage that they have grown up with and that became idolized and stereotyped
in the media during post World-War II culture in the 1950's. While it
is normal for people to want culture to adhere to the patterns of living with
which one has become comfortable, it is ill-informed to assume, and subsequently
claim, that this particular way of life characterizes all cultures in history.
It is more curious that the pro-family groups are using "the church"
and claiming the long tradition of "church weddings" in defense
of their positions, when in fact, the church has had an ambivalent relationship
with the institution of marriage throughout its history. Wardle refers to marriage
as we currently know it, as having been around for a mere 200 years.47 Prior to
that, the biggest step in the direction of the "conjugal marriage"
as we know it today occurred when Pope Alexander III (1159-89 CE) issued a series
of decretals on marriage, in which the church started to officially endorse
the concept of marriage as we understand it, the free choice of the husband
and wife.48 It wasn't until 1215, during the 4th Lateran Council, that the
church declared marriage a sacrament.49 This arrangement, at least in practice,
preceded the church's decretals, and that marriage in this form "owed
as much to the traditions of the German tribes as to the practices of the Roman
Empire, and it was from the middle of the eight century AD that it emerged in
a recognizable form." 50
Beyond these historical shifts, the church's theology of marriage has
not always been what it is today. The pro-family groups claim that the church
has always believed the family (meaning, marriage as we know it today in the
United States) has been the core of society and of the Gospel, calling on scriptural
metaphors for God as Father and the submission required of the Church "as
a wife submits to her husband." However, the early and medieval church
evidenced a strong ambivalence. While affirming the stabilizing influence of
the institution of marriage, and agreeing that marriage is important to prevent
sexual immorality (1 Co 7.9), they believed that celibacy was the ideal state
for the Christian.
The Council of Trent (1563) provides an archetype for this position: "If
anyone says that the married state excels the state of virginity or celibacy,
and that it is better and happier to be united in matrimony than to remain in
virginity or celibacy, let him be anathema."51 Traditionally, the church
has "viewed the spiritualized household and the nuclear family with suspicion."52
The rationale behind this position is clear: both Jesus and Paul, while affirming
the legitimacy of marriage for the Christian, both unequivocally affirm that
celibacy and dedication of one's life to God is the ideal state for the
Christian. Marriage is the concession for those who cannot keep themselves from
1 Corinthians 7.8-9 (NIV): Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is
good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves,
they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
Matthew 19.10-12 (NIV): The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation
between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry." Jesus replied,
"Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been
given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made
that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of
heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."
The early and medieval church accepted these texts at face value and encouraged
celibacy for all Christians. Thus the position taken by the pro-amendment contingent
is not so much an attempt to maintain marriage as it has always been in history,
or even an attempt to maintain "Biblical" marriage (since, for most
of church history, marriage has been viewed very differently than it is today,
especially as concerns the ideal of celibacy, and the permissibility of divorce),
but an attempt to maintain a modernistic and particularistic form of marriage.
A secondary claim of the pro-family groups is that, even though there may have
been many forms of marriage throughout history, such as polygamy, marriage has
always been between males and females, never between same-sex persons. This
belief is also inaccurate. Native Americans have always accepted Berdache marriages,
relationships between same-sex couples. There are examples of the early Roman
Empire formalizing gay marriage, as seen in the highly publicized (at the time)
marriage between Nero and another man.53 Many references confirm the widespread
nature of male-male unions, as seen, for example, in passages from Juvenal,
Suetonius and Cicero.54
A follow-up claim by the pro-family groups, to counter evidence from early
Roman marriage, is that the acceptance of gay marriage accelerated the moral
decline of the Roman empire that led to its fall and eventual destruction. However,
it was actually "Christian" Rome that eventually fell, not "decadent"
Rome. It isn't until the late 4th century that we start to see the cracks in
Rome's foundations. Constantine converted to Christianity in 312, and shortly
thereafter made Rome a Christian empire. When Rome officially fell in 476, Rome
was thoroughly Christian. Histories of the late roman empire, like Gibbon's
"Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" compare the final 150 years
of Rome to "George III's England, that is, to an age neither notably
licentious nor notably prudish".
Part of this Christianization of Rome occurred with its own ban on gay. Constantine's
sons issued the following edict in 342 "when a man marries [nubit] a man
as he would a woman ... Those infamous persons who are now, or who hereafter
may be, guilty may be subjected to the most exquisite punishment." The
term for marriage used here, "nubit" is the term used specifically
for gay marriages (or at minimum it refers specifically to gay sex). In 390,
Theodosius issued an even stronger edict that required the burning of homosexuals.55
As for the fall of Rome,
Gibbon thought that its Christian rulers alienated Rome's sizable pagan
minority and that Christian otheworldliness turned men from their social and
military duties. Certainly the severity of Theodosius' legislation must
have threatened citizens whose sexual lifestyles were nonconforming. With Rome's
new Christian laws threatening public burning [of Pagan sacrifices], it must
have seemed that her barbarian enemies could hardly do worse.
Considering these facts, one might perhaps argue with more plausibility that
homophobia constituted the fall of the empire [than homosexuality]. 56
Finally, it is worthwhile to mention that even within the church, the unanimity
of heterosexual marriage is questionable. While there are no direct references
in the Judeo-Christian scriptures to same-sex marriage, the early and medieval
church apparently believed such practices were amenable to the Christian faith.
John Boswell, former historian at Yale, attempted to demonstrate this in his
two primary works. In his first he showed that the church did not initiate persecution
and teaching against homosexuality. Rather, cultural prejudice raged against
homosexuals and the church absorbed this bias and incorporated it into church
teaching in the late middle ages.57 In his second major work he provides evidence
of same-sex unions in premodern union, including several early liturgies developed
by the church to bless same-sex unions.58 Additionally, archeologists have discovered
early church burial plots for married couples that contain tombstones naming
same-sex couples from the first and second century. 59
Appendix A: Position Statements by Professional Licensing Agencies on Children
Raised in Same-Sex Households
- American Psychiatric Association, 2002: "Numerous studies over the
last three decades consistently demonstrate that children raised by gay or lesbian
parents exhibit the same level of emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning
as children raised by heterosexual parents. This research indicates that optimal
development for children is based not on the sexual orientation of the parents,
but on stable attachments to committed and nurturing adults. The research also
shows that children who have two parents, regardless of the parents' sexual
orientations, do better than children with only one parent. . . . The American
Psychiatric Association supports initiatives which allow same-sex couples to
adopt and co-parent children and supports all the associated legal rights, benefits,
and responsibilities which arise from such initiatives."
- American Psychoanalytic Association, 2004: "The results of some studies
suggest that lesbian mothers' and gay fathers' parenting skills may be superior
to those of matched heterosexual parents. There is no scientific basis for concluding
that lesbian mothers or gay fathers are unfit parents on the basis of their
sexual orientation. On the contrary, results of research suggest that lesbian
and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive
and healthy environments for their children."
- American Psychological Association, 2005: "Studies comparing groups
of children raised by homosexual and by heterosexual parents find no developmental
differences between the two groups of children in four critical areas: their
intelligence, psychological adjustment, social adjustment, and popularity with
friends. It is also important to realize that a parent's sexual orientation
does not dictate his or her children's. . . . Another myth about homosexuality
is the mistaken belief that gay men have more of a tendency than heterosexual
men to sexually molest children. There is no evidence to suggest that homosexuals
are more likely than heterosexuals to molest children."
- American Academy of Pediatrics, 2002: "A growing body of scientific
literature demonstrates that children who grow up with 1 or 2 gay and/or lesbian
parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning
as do children whose parents are heterosexual. Children's optimal development
seems to be influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions
within the family unit than by the particular structural form it takes."
- National Association of Social Workers, 2005: "In coalition with mental
health and other human services professions, NASW is working to help enact antidiscrimination
legislation at the national, state, and local levels as well. NASW actively
campaigns against laws that allow discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual
people, primarily in immigration, employment, housing, professional credentialing,
licensing, public accommodation, child custody, and the right to marry. NASW
encourages the adoption of laws that recognize inheritance, insurance, same-sex
marriage, child custody, property, and other rights in lesbian, gay, and bisexual
- United States Department of Health and Human Services, National Adoption
Clearing House, 2000: "The studies conclude that children of gay or lesbian
parents are no different than their counterparts raised by heterosexual parents.
. . . The bulk of evidence to date indicates that children raised by gay and
lesbian parents are no more likely to become homosexual than children raised
by heterosexuals. ... There is no legitimate scientific research connecting
homosexuality and pedophilia."
Appendix B: Bibliographic References To Studies That Show The Well-Being Of
Children Raised In Same-Sex Parent Homes.
2005 Lambert S. Family Journal: Counseling & Therapy for Couples &
Families 13(1): 43-51.
2004 Wainright J. Child Development 75(6): 1886-1898.
2003 . Golombok S. Developmental Psychology 39: 20-33.
2003 Millbank J. Australian Journal of Social Issues 38: 541-600.
2002 Vanfraussen K. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology 20: 237-252.
2002 Golombok S. British Medical Journal 234: 1407-1408.
2002 Anderssen N. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 43(4): 335-351.
2002 Perrin E. Pediatrics 109: 341-344.
2001 Stacey J. American Sociological Review 66: 159-183.
2000 Patterson C. Journal of Marriage and the Family 62: 1052-1069.
1999 Fitzgerald B. Marriage and Family Review 29(1): 57-75.
1999 Tasker F. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 4(2): 153-166.
1998 Binder R. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 26(2):
1998 McNeill K. Psychological Reports 82:59-62.
1998 Parks C. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 68(3): 376-389
1997 Brewaeys A. Human Reproduction 12:1349-59
1997 Brewaeys A. J of Psychosomatic Obs and Gyn 18:1-16
1997 Patterson C. Advances in Clinical Child Psychology 19:235-282.
1997 Tasker F. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage 1997 28 (1-2) 183-202.
1996 Allen M. J of Homosexuality, 32(2):19-35.
1996 Golombok S. Developmental Psychology 32 (1) p3-11.
1996 Patterson C. Journal of Social Issues 52(3): 29-50.
1995 Bailey J. Developmental Psychology 31(1): 124-129.
1995 Flaks D. Developmental Psychology 31(1): 105-114.
1995 Fowler G. Family and Conciliation Courts Review 33(3): 361-376
1995 Tasker F. Am J of Orthopsychiatry 65:203-15.
1995 van-Nijnatten C. Medicine and Law 14(5-6): 359-368.
1995 Victor S. School Psychology Review 24(3): 456-479
1994 McIntyre D. Mediation Quarterly 12(2), winter, 135-149.
1993 Patterson C. , Annual Progress in Child Psychiatry and Child Development
1992 Baggett C. Law and Psychology Review 16: 189-200.
1987 Kirkpatrick M. J of Homosexuality 14:201-11.
1986 Green R. Archives of Sexual Behavior 15:167-184.
1986 Kleber D. Bulletin of the Am Acad of Psychiatry and Law 14(1):81-87
1983 Golombok S. J of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 24:551-572.
1982 Green R. Bulletin of the Am Acad of Psychiatry and Law 10:7-15
1981 Hoeffer B. Am J of Orthopsychiatry 51:536-44.
1981 Kirkpatrick M. Am J of Orthopsychiatry 51:545-551.
1981 Miller J. J of Homosexuality, 7(1):49-56.
1980 Lewis K. Social Work 25:198-203.
Appendix C: Studies Affirming that Gays and Lesbians are No More Likely to Molest
Children than Heterosexuals
2000 Murray JB. Journal of Psychology. 134(2):211-24
1994 Jenny C. Pediatrics. 94(1):41-4
1992 Simon C. J Interpersonal Violence. 7:211-225
1986 Spencer M. Pediatrics 78 (1):133-138
1978 Groth A. LAE Journal (Lambda Alpha Epsilon American Criminal Justice Association)
41 (1): 17-22
1978 Groth A. Archives of Sexual Behavior 7(3): 175-181
1965 Gebhard P. Sex Offenders, New York: Harper and Row
1964 McGeorge J. Medicine, Science and the Law 4:245-53
1962 Revitch E. Diseases of the Nervous System 23:73-78
Appendix D: Studies Affirming the Mental Health of Gays and Lesbians
1989 Falk P. Am Psychologist 44(6):941-947
1988 Pillard R. Psychiatric Annals 18:51-56
1986 Christie D. Psychological Reports 59:1279-1282
1984 Carlson H. Sex Roles 10:457-67
1983 Nurius P. J of Sex Research 19:119-36
1983 LaTorre R. J of Homosexuality 9:87-97
1983 Harry J. Archives of Sexual Behavior 12:1-19
1982 Rand C. J of Homosexuality 8(1):27-39
1980 Meredith R. Professional Psychology 11:174-93
1979 Kingdon. Counseling Psychologist 8(1):44-45
1978 Hart M. J of Clinical Psychiatry 39:604-608
1977 Adelman. Arch of Sex Beh 6(3):193-201
1977 Harris B. Bulletin of the Am Acad of Psychiatry and Law 5:75-89
1976 Oberstone. Psychology of Women Quarterly 1(2):172-86
1975 Clark T. Am J of Psychoanalysis 35:163-68
1975 Conger J. American Psychologist, 32: 408-438.
1974 Turner R. Br J of Psychiatry 125:447-49
1974 Reiss B. J of Homosexuality 1:71-85
1974 Ohlson E. J of Sex Research 10:308-315
1972 Siegelman M. Br J of Psychiatry 120:477-481
1972 Siegelman M. Archives of Sexual Behavior 2:9-25
1972 Horstman W. Homosexuality and Psychopathology (dissertation)
1971 Wilson M. Psychological Reports 28:407-412
1971 Thompson N. J of Abnormal Psychology 78:237-40
1970 Saghir M. Am J of Psychiatry 126:1079-86
1970 Evans R. J of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 34:212-15
1969 Hopkins J. Br J of Psychiatry 115:1433-1436
1965 Braaten L. Genetic Psychology Monographs 71:269-310
1964 Dean R. J of Consulting Psychology 28 483-86
1960 Armon V. Journal of Projective Techniques 24:292-309
1957 Hooker E. J of Projective Techniques 21:18-31
Appendix E: Various Statistics on Gay Relationships
- Number of gays or lesbians in relationships
2002 Faulkner A. 2001 gay/lesbian consumer online census. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse
University, OpusComm Group, and GSociety.
2002 Morris J. Developmental Psychology 16: 144-156
1994 Bradford J. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 62: 228-242
1983 Harry J. Contemporary Families and Alternative Lifestyles, ed by Macklin,
1981 Peplau L. Journal of Homosexuality 6(3):1-19
1979 Spada J. The Spada Report, New American Library Publ
1977 Jay K. in The Gay Report, Summit Books
- Length of gay relationships in older couples
1984 McWhirter D. The Male Couple, Prentice-Hall
1981 Silverstein C. Man to Man: Gay Couples in America, William Morrow Publ.
1980 Raphael S. Alternative Lifestyles 3:207-230, "
- "Break-up" statistics
1983 Blumstein and Schwartz. American Couples: Money, Work, Sex; Morrow Publ.
- Measures of satisfaction of gay and lesbian relationships
2004 Peplau L. The family lives of lesbians and gay men. In A. L. Vangelisti
(Ed.), Handbook of family communication (pp. 233-248). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
2000 Peplau L. The close relationships of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals.
In C. Hendrick & S. S. Hendrick (Eds.), Close relationships: A sourcebook
(pp. 111-123). Thousand Oaks: Sage.
1986 Duffy S. Journal of Homosexuality 12(2):1-24
1986 Kurdek L. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 51:711-720
1982 Peplau L. Journal of Homosexuality 8(2):23-35 (see L Peplau-1991, Homosexuality:
Research Implications for Public Policy, ed by J Gonsiorek).1981 Cardell M Psychology
of Women Quarterly 5:488-94
1979 Dailey D. Journal of Sex Research 15:143-57
Appendix F: Studies Indicating Biological Causation for Homosexuality
The studies indicating biological causation are divided into three groups, all
representing converging data: Neuroscience, Endocrinology and Genetic Research.
Four areas of the brain are different between homosexuals and heterosexuals:
the preoptic area ("sexual dimorphic nucleus"), INAH 3 and suprachiasmatic
nucleus in the hypothalamus, and the anterior commissure. These are areas of
the brain that are different between men and women. These areas of the homosexual
male brain are much closer in structure to that of the heterosexual female,
just as those in the homosexual female are similar to the heterosexual male.
Similarly, cognitive tasks performed by males and females, indicating differences
in lateralization and visuo-spatial aptitude, are paralleled in the differences
between gays and lesbians and how they are similar to their opposite sex, heterosexual
1999 Naeve. Brain and Cognition 41(3): 245-262.
1992 Allen L. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 89: 7199-7202.
1991 LeVay S. Science 253: 1034-37.
1990 Swaab D. Brain Research. 537(1-2):141-8.
1978 Gorski R. Brain Resarch 148 333-346.
While the neuroanatomical studies have been criticized, pointing out that early
childhood and adult behaviors can change brain structure, thus possibly accounting
for the changes in the brains of homosexuals, endocrinological evidence is not
susceptible to such criticisms, since these factors apply only to the prenatal
environment. Several anatomical and physiological features show that changes
in utero androgen levels alter, at a foundational level, the homosexual's
biology. Such factors include fingerprint patterns, handedness (left. vs. right),
finger length, the way the auditory system functions and the way the endocrine
system responds to various hormonal changes. Other replicated factors, such
as birth order and homosexuality (later childbirths have predictable patterns
of androgen levels) also factor well into the androgenization theory of sexual
2000 Lalumiere M. Psychological Bulletin 126: 575-592.
2000 Williams T. Nature. 404(6777):455-6.
1999 Naeve. Brain and Cognition 41(3): 245-262.
1999 Bogaert A. Archives of Sexual Behavior.28(3):213-21.
1998 McFadden. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 95 (March 1998): 2709-13.
1998 Manning J. Human Reproduction. 13(11):3000-4.
1997 Blanchard R. Annual Review of Sex Research. 8:27-67.
1994 Hall J. Behavioral Neuroscience. 108(6):1203-6.
1983 Dorner G. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 12(6):577-82.
Several studies indicate that directly manipulating a single gene in lower species
can cause same-gender mating behavior. Other studies have shown a positive (though
not complete) correlation between certain genes and homosexuality in humans.
Other studies show similar, though again not complete, correlations between
twin studies and homosexuality. Such studies show 48-52% concordance rates between
maternal (monozygotic) twins and 16-22% concordance rates between fraternal
(dizygotic) twins in relation to sexual orientation, dramatically higher than
the general population (2-7%). Rates similar to fraternal twins have been reported
for general siblings.
While the claim has been made that these trends indicate parenting style more
than genetics, such claims do not have explanations for the similarities between
the statistics between the sibling matches. For example, if parenting style
were the primary factor, then fraternal twins and maternal twins would have
similar rates of concordance, since both are raised at the same time, in fairly
identical environmental settings. It has also been claimed that since maternal
identical twins are "genetically identical" there should be a 100%
concordance rate if sexual orientation were truly biological. However, such
claims ignore that while the DNA of such twins are identical, the expression
of those genes is not the same, and is influenced by subtle differences between
the prenatal bath of amniotic fluid between the two twins. For example, despite
the genetic identity between the two, all twins still have anatomical differences
that allow parents, as well as strangers to distinguish between them.
2004 Hershberger S. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 33(5):497-514.
2002 Coolidge F. Behavior Genetics. 32(4):251-7.
2000 Kendler K. American Journal of Psychiatry. 157(11):1843-6.
1999 Bailey J. Behavior Genetics. 29(2):79-86.
1995 Zhang S. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United
States of America. 92(12):5525-29.
1995 Turner W. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 24(2):109-34.
1995 Hu S. Nature Genetics. 11(3):248-56.
1993 Bailey J. Archives of General Psychiatry. 50(3):217-23.
1993 Hamer D. Science 261(1993): 321-27.
1993 Pattatucci A. Behavior Genetics 25:407-420.
1991 Bailey J. Archives of General Psychiatry. 48(12):1089-96.
1988 Pillard R. Human Biology. 70(2):347-65.
Appendix G: Position Statements and Peer-Reviewed Studies on Change in Sexual
American Psychiatric Association
- "Reparative therapy," also known as conversion therapy, is a term
that is used to describe treatment attempts to change a person from a homosexual
orientation to a heterosexual orientation. There is no published scientific
evidence supporting the efficacy of "reparative therapy" as a treatment
to change ones sexual orientation. It is not described in the scientific literature,
nor is it mentioned in the APA's latest comprehensive Task Force Report, Treatments
of Psychiatric Disorders (1989).
- There are a few reports in the literature of efforts to use psychotherapeutic
and counseling techniques to treat persons troubled by their homosexuality who
desire to become heterosexual; however, results have not been conclusive, nor
have they been replicated. There is no evidence that any treatment can change
a homosexual person's deep seated sexual feelings for others of the same sex.
American Psychoanalytic Association:
- Same-gender sexual orientation cannot be assumed to represent a deficit in
personality development or the expression of psychopathology.
- As with any societal prejudice, anti-homosexual bias negatively affects mental
health, contributing to an enduring sense of stigma and pervasive self-criticism
in people of same-gender sexual orientation through the internalization of such
- As in all psychoanalytic treatments, the goal of analysis with homosexual
patients is understanding. Psychoanalytic technique does not encompass purposeful
efforts to "convert" or "repair" an individual's sexual
orientation. Such directed efforts are against fundamental principles of psychoanalytic
treatment and often result in substantial psychological pain by reinforcing
damaging internalized homophobic attitudes.
American Psychological Association:
- Societal ignorance and prejudice about same gender sexual orientation put
some gay, lesbian, bisexual and questioning individuals at risk for presenting
for 'conversion' treatment due to family or social coercion and/or lack of information.
Children and youth experience significant pressure to conform with sexual norms,
particularly from their peers, [and] often lack adequate legal protection from
coercive treatment. Some mental health professionals advocate treatments of
lesbian, gay, and bisexual people based on the premise that homosexuality is
a mental disorder, [though] the ethics, efficacy, benefits, and potential for
harm of therapies that seek to reduce or eliminate same-gender sexual orientation
are under extensive debate in the professional literature and the popular media.
- Therefore be it . . . resolved that the American Psychological Association
opposes portrayals of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth and adults as mentally
ill due to their sexual orientation and supports the dissemination of accurate
information about sexual orientation, and mental health, and appropriate interventions
in order to counteract bias that is based in ignorance or unfounded beliefs
about sexual orientation. 60
Appendix H: Studies on Attempted Suicide Rates Among Heterosexual and Homosexual
Adolescents, and Victimization Rates of Gay and Lesbian Adolescents
2001 Russell S. American Journal of Public Health 91(8):1276-1281
1999 Safren S. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 67 (6): 859-866
1999 Garofalo R. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 153: 487-493
1999 Fergusson D. Archives of General Psychiatry 56 (10): 876-880
1998 Stronski- Huwiler S. Advances in Pediatrics 45: 107-144
1998 Remafedi G French. American Journal of Public Health 88 (1): 57-60
1998 Garofalo R. Pediatrics 101 (5): 895-902
1998 Faulkner A. American Journal of Public Health 88 (2): 262-66
1998 DuRant R. Journal of Pediatrics 133(1): 113-118
1997 McBee S. Journal of Mental Health Counseling 19: 143-155
1997 Jordan K. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services 7(4):17-33
1997 Hershberger S. Journal of Adolescent Research 12 (4): 477-97
1994 Rotheram-Borus M. Journal of Adolescent -Research; 9 (4): 498-508
1994 Proctor C. Social-Work 39 (5): 504-13
1993 Erwin. International Journal of Health Services 23 (3): 437-453
1993 D'Augelli A. Journal of Primary Prevention 13: 245-261
1988 Troiden R. Journal of Adolescent Health Care 9: 105-113
Appendix I: Economic Differences Between Heterosexuals and Homosexuals: Hiring
and Firing Data, Wage Differences and Health Insurance Issues
2004 Ash M. University of Massachusetts Working Paper 2004-13. "Separate
and Unequal: The Effect of Unequal Access to Employment-Based Health Insurance
on Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People"
2004 Capenter C. Contemporary Economic Policy 22(1): 78-94.
2003 Black D. Industrial and Labor Relations Review 56(3): 449-469.
2003 Blandford J. Industrial and Labor Relations Review 56(3): 622-642.
2003 Weichselbaumer D. Labor Economics 10: 629-42.
2002 Berg N. Contemporary Economic Policy, 20(4): 394-414.
2001 Allegretto S. Industrial and Labor Relations Review 54(3): 631-46.
2001 Badgett M. Money, Myths and Change: The Economic Lives of Lesbians and
Gay Men. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
2001 Clain S. Applied Economics 33: 37-47.
2001 Weichselbaumer D. University of Linz, Working Paper No. 0021, Department
of Economics. "Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Hiring"
1998 Klawitter M. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 17(4): 658-86.
1995 Badgett M. Industrial and Labor Relations Review 48(4):726-39
1981 Adam B. Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 18(2): 216-21.
1. see Appendix A for policy statements by these relevant associations
and the US Department of Health and Human Services
2. see Appendix B
3. 2004 Burns B. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent
Psychiatry 43(8): 960-970.
2004 Curtis L. Social Science & Medicine 58(10): 1917-1927.
2004 Gyamfi P. Children & Youth Services Review 26(12): 1129-1139.
2004 Wu S. Child Abuse & Neglect 28(12): 1253-1264.
4. 1996 Curtis C. Families in Society 77(3): 156-165
1996 Smith J. Hypatia 11(2): 1-33
5. Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994: “MEPA is intended to decrease
the length of time children wait to be adopted and to facilitate the identification
and recruitment of foster and adoptive parents to ensure that families
are available for children in need of placement”
6. 106 Federal Rules Decisions 526 (N.D. Texas, 1985), p. 536
7. 1997 Hogg R, et al. International Journal of Epidemiology 26(3): 657-661.
“Modelling the Impact of HIV Disease on Mortality in Gay and Bisexual
8. Relevant quotations are included in Appendix A; in addition, see Appendix
9. See Appendix D for a list of relevant studies
10. See Appendix E.1
11. See Appendix E.2
12. See Appendix E.3
13. See Appendix E.4
14. Two widely accepted books have shown dramatically different rates:
Bell & Weinberg (1981), and Edward Laumann (1994). But “any
fool can write a book.” Without the peer-review process to catch
flaws in methodology or statistical analysis, both of which plague these
books, studies published only in book form are considered spurious. I
point out the flaws in these studies in Sexuality and Culture 2002, 6(4):
109-118. “The Rhetoric of Heterosexist Scientists.”
15. American Psychiatric Association. Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues
FactSheet. Dec. 1992.
16. 1996 Ryner L. Cell 87 (6): 1079-85. “Control of Male Sexual
Behavior and Sexual Orientation in Drosophila by the fruitless Gene.”
17. 2004 Morris J. Nature Neuroscience. 7(10): 1034-9. "Sexual differentiation
of the vertebrate nervous system."
18. 1999 Bagemihl B. Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural
Diversity. Saint Martin’s Press: New York.
19. Carlson N 2005 Foundations of Physiological Psychology. Pearson: Boston.
20. See Appendix F for the studies supporting biological causation of
21. 1998 Worthen F. Conference notes, Exodus International.
22. Rob Goetze, Director for New Directions Ministries, Canada. Presentation
at Exodus International conference, 1998, and Web site: http://www.newdirection.ca/research/index.html.
A summary of his combing of the peer-reviewed literature on this topic,
shows that in the entire history of scientific attempts to change sexual
orientation, with the perhaps hundreds of thousands of people who have
gone through such therapies and ministries, there have only been a documented
45 people who have had a complete change in homosexual orientation, 86
people with behavioral change (meaning they still have only homosexual
feelings, no heterosexual feelings, but are able to perform heterosexual
acts), and 287 people who have achieved partial change in sexual orientation
(meaning, they have experienced some diminishment of homosexual feelings
and some increase in heterosexual feelings).
23. See Appendix G for position statements on attempts to change sexual
24. 1990 De Tocqueville A. Democracy in America I.XV, p. 254-260.
25. 1967 Loving v. Virginia. 388 US 1, 18 L ed 2d 1010, 87 S Ct 1817
27. 1996 Romer v. Evans No. 94-1039, Supreme Court Of The United States,
517 U.S. 620
30. http://www.bpnews.net/photodownload.asp?ID=14195 (the 33% calculation
is a gross approximation based on the ranges of 22%-40% from the other
33. Defense clauses in the Canadian Hate Crimes legislation
- if he establishes that the statements communicated were true;
- if, in good faith, he expressed or attempted to establish by argument
an opinion on a religious subject;
- if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest,
the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable
grounds he believed them to be true; or
- if, in good faith, he intended to point out, for the purpose of removal,
matters producing or tending to produce feelings of hatred toward an identifiable
group in Canada.
34. 1994 American Family Association publication, Homosexuality in America:
Exposing the Myths.
60. 2005 American Psychological Association, “Answers to Your Questions
About Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality.”
35. See Appendix H for studies on rates of attempted suicide in heterosexual
and homosexual adolescents.
36. Only one peer-reviewed study contradicts this finding. Schaffer found
that only 2.5% of his post-mortem study of adolescents who actually committed
suicide were gay, lesbian or bisexual. However, since the study was done
on post-mortem adolescents, it was not possibly to directly ask them their
sexual orientation. The researcher had to rely on the assumption that
the adolescent had shared his or her feelings with a parent, sibling or
friend. In many instances, this assumption is unwarranted, given the amount
of harassment that gay and lesbian youth face at school and knowledge
that many adolescents are kicked out of their homes after “coming
out” to their parents.
(a) 1995 Shaffer, D. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 25, Supplement:
37. 1988 Faulkner (see Appendix H)
38. 1999 Fergusson (see Appendix H)
39. See Appendix I for studies on the economic differences between gays
and lesbians, including hiring/firing practices, wage differences and
health insurance issues.
40. 1994 Schatz, B. American Association of Physicians for Human Rights,
“Anti-gay discrimination in medicine: Results of a national survey
of lesbian, gay, and bisexual physicians.”
41. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force: http://www.thetaskforce.org/theissues/issue.cfm?issueID=18
42. See Appendix I
43. 2005 Morrison v. Sadler, Court of Appeals of Indiana, p. 15.
44. 2004 Wardle L. National Review Online Feb 17. http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/wardle200402170918.asp
45. 1967 Murdock, G. Ethnographic Atlas. U. Pittsburgh Press.
46. 2004 Salamone F. Encyclopedia of Religious Rites, Rituals, and Festivals.
47. 2004 Wardle L.
48. 1994 O'Day R. The Family and Family Relationships. New York: St Martin’s
Press, p. 35.
49. 1994 Boswell J. Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe. New York: Random
House, p. 178.
50. 1994 O’Day, p. 33.
51. Council of Trent, Session XXIV, Canons of the Sacrament of Matrimony,
52. 1994 O’Day, p. 43.
53. 1994 Boswell J. p. 80.
55. 2003 Crompton L. Homosexuality and Civilization. Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, p. 133.
56. 2003 Crompton, p. 151.
57. 1980 Boswell J. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
58. 1994 Boswell J.
59. 1997 Abrahamsen V. Journal of Higher Criticism fall 1997, 4.2: 33-56
1990 D’angelo M. Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion Spring 6.1: 65-86.
Some therapists who undertake so-called conversion therapy report that
they have been able to change their clients' sexual orientation from homosexual
to heterosexual. Close scrutiny of these reports however show several
factors that cast doubt on their claims. For example, many of the claims
come from organizations with an ideological perspective which condemns
homosexuality. Furthermore, their claims are poorly documented. For example,
treatment outcome is not followed and reported overtime as would be the
standard to test the validity of any mental health intervention.”