Kirsten Andersen

New Mexico groups promote same-sex “marriage” as a benefit to kids, ignoring the evidence

Kirsten Andersen
Kirsten Andersen

SANTA FE, December 13, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As the New Mexico Supreme Court mulls whether to order the state to permit homosexual couples to “marry,” three high-profile organizations have announced their support for same-sex nuptials, a move that garnered praise from homosexual activists.

The New Mexico Pediatric Society, the New Mexico Psychological Association, and the New Mexico chapter of the National Association of Social Workers all endorsed same-sex “marriage” Tuesday, arguing that kids being raised in homosexual unions deserve all the benefits that legal marriage brings to a household.

“Granting marriage equality is the right thing to do for New Mexico’s children and will strengthen and protect families who have lacked legal recognition for too long,” Alexandra Cvijanovich, president of the New Mexico Pediatric Society, said in a statement. “As pediatricians, we see how supportive parents — whether gay or straight — positively impact the development of their children. And there is no question that when their parents can marry, children are more protected legally and socially.”

Patrick Tyrrell of the New Mexico chapter of the National Association of Social Workers said, “The future of our society is entirely dependent on the quality of protective environments families offer our children today.  Marriage equality helps ensure all New Mexican children receive this essential support and care.”

The thrust of both Cvijanovich’s and Tyrrell’s arguments is that marriage is good for kids, so same-sex “marriage” will be good for the children of those involved in the homosexual lifestyle.  But the largest and most comprehensive study to date on the topic of children being raised in same-sex households found that having homosexual parents sets kids up for a host of problems later on.

According to the study, authored by Mark Regnerus, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, children raised in same-sex households actually fared even worse than children raised by single parents when it came to the risk of suicide and unemployment as young adults. 

The study found that 12% of those raised by lesbians and 24% of those raised by homosexual men reported having recently contemplated suicide, compared to only 5% raised by an intact biological family or a single parent. And while 28% of young adults raised by lesbians and 20% of those raised by homosexual men reported being currently unemployed, only 8% raised by an intact biological family and 13% raised by a single parent reported the same.

A shocking 23% of those raised in lesbian homes reported having been molested by adults as children, compared to only 2% of those raised in an intact biological family. Among those raised by homosexual men, the figure was 6%, and among those raised in single-parent households, the number was 10%. Children raised by homosexuals were also much more likely than those raised by their married biological parents to report having been raped.

“To claim that there are few meaningful statistical differences between the different groups evaluated here would be to state something that is empirically inaccurate,” Regnerus wrote of the study’s findings, which provoked significant outrage among advocates of homosexuality.  But other experts have called Regnerus’s study the “gold standard” among studies of its kind, due to its massive sample size and rigorous methodology.

Regnerus himself was so moved by the data that when the U.S. Supreme Court considered the Defense of Marriage/Prop. 8 case last summer, he and several other concerned sociologists filed an amicus brief with the court asking them to leave DOMA/Prop. 8 intact.

“Marriage is the legal means by which children are stably united with their biological mothers and fathers and poised for optimal development,” Regnerus and his colleagues argued. “Opposite-sex parenting allows children to benefit from distinctive maternal and paternal contributions. Given this, safeguarding marriage is a liberty to be accorded to children at least as much as to their parents.”

In recent years, an increasing number of children raised in homosexual households have come forward as young adults to say that their upbringing, no matter how loving, wasn’t all it could have been.  They frequently lament the absence of a father or mother figure in their lives, depending on the sex of the pair who raised them. 

One such person is Robert Oscar Lopez, who was raised by his lesbian mother and her partner from age 2 to 19.  He rejects efforts by groups like the New Mexico Pediatric Society and the New Mexico Psychological Association to promote same-sex “marriage” as a panacea to the ills suffered by children raised in homosexual households.

“I have heard of the supposed ‘consensus’ on the soundness of same-sex parenting from pediatricians and psychologists, but that consensus is frankly bogus,” Lopez wrote in a June article opposing same-sex “marriage.”

“Pediatricians are supposed to make sure kids don’t get ringworm or skip out on vaccinations—nobody I know doubts that same-sex couples are able to tend to such basic childcare needs,” wrote Lopez.  “Psychologists come from the same field that used to have a ‘consensus’ that homosexuality was a mental disorder. Neither field is equipped to answer the deeper existential dilemmas of legally removing fatherhood or motherhood as a human principle, which is what total ‘marriage equality’ would entail.”

Wrote Lopez, “The richest and most successful same-sex couple still cannot provide a child something that the poorest and most struggling spouses can provide: a mom and a dad. … But I am here to say no, having a mom and a dad is a precious value in its own right and not something that can be overridden, even if a gay couple has lots of money, can send a kid to the best schools, and raises the kid to be an Eagle Scout.”

Lopez argues that homosexual parenting is inherently selfish because it requires a biological family to break apart in order to make it possible in the first place.

“It’s disturbingly classist and elitist for gay men to think they can love their children unreservedly after treating their surrogate mother like an incubator, or for lesbians to think they can love their children unconditionally after treating their sperm-donor father like a tube of toothpaste,” wrote Lopez.  “It’s also racist and condescending for same-sex couples to think they can strong-arm adoption centers into giving them orphans by wielding financial or political clout. An orphan in Asia or in an American inner city has been entrusted to adoption authorities to make the best decision for the child’s life, not to meet a market demand for same-sex couples wanting children. Whatever trauma caused them to be orphans shouldn’t be compounded with the stress of being adopted into a same-sex partnership.”

Even some homosexual parents have begun to publicly acknowledge the limitations of their relationships with their children.  In a June article for the New York Times, Frank Ligtvoet, a homosexual in a stable relationship, spoke of the sadness he feels for his adopted daughter, who sometimes calls him “Mommy” in a voice that makes it obvious she knows she’s roleplaying.

“My daughter says ‘Mommy’ in a funny way, in a high-pitched voice,” Ligtvoet explained in the piece. “Although I refer the honors immediately to her birth mom, I am flattered. But saddened as well, because she expresses herself in a voice that is not her own. It is her stuffed-animal voice. She expresses not only love; she also expresses alienation. She can role-play the mother-daughter relationship, but she cannot use her real voice, nor have the real thing.”

Missing from the debate over homosexual parenting, Ligtvoet argues, “is the voice of the adoptee — my daughter’s voice, that is. Her awareness of being a motherless child is not addressed. I don’t want to appropriate our child’s voice, but I want to speak up for her, and her older brother, and I want to acknowledge their feelings.”

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
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Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

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