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Beliefs of conservative Christians

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Core beliefs of conservative Christians:

Conservative Christians generally believe in the inerrancy of the Bible; i.e. that the entire Bible is without error, when it deals with spiritual, theological, historical, scientific and other matters. Further, they believe that all of the guidance that one needs to answer the challenges of life are contained in the Bible. This concept of the Bible naturally leads to beliefs which are at variance to the findings of most social and physical scientists. For example, many conservative Christians believe that:

bulletThe Earth and the rest of the universe are less than 10,000 years old.
bulletSpecies of plants, animals and humans were created over a seven day interval.
bulletA major cause of mental illness is demonic infestation.
bulletSpanking is a main technique to discipline children.

Many conservative Christians believe that homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle, an unnatural and deviant behavior, and changeable. In this, they differ from mental health therapists and human sexuality researchers, who look upon homosexuality as a fixed, non-chosen orientation, that is natural and normal for a minority of humans. Conservatives also generally believe that homosexual behavior is hated by God and condemned by the Bible. From these core beliefs, many conclude that:

bulletGranting gays and lesbians the same rights that heterosexuals already enjoy would be dangerous to society.
bulletSame-sex marriage and civil unions represent a profound threat to heterosexual marriages and the institution of the family.
bulletChildren would be harmed if they grew up in gay or lesbians families:
bulletChildren in a gay household would grow up without a mother figure.
bulletChildren in a lesbian household would grow up without a father figure.
bulletChildren are at risk because they are exposed to the "homosexual lifestyle."
bulletChildren are more likely to grow up homosexual.

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Beliefs of "Focus on the Family":

Focus on the Family, a Fundamentalist Christian group in Colorado. They are one of the leading organizations which opposes equal rights for gays and lesbians. In their book on homosexuality, they discuss "Homosexuality and the Family" from an Evangelical Christian perspective. 1 They make a number of assertions:

bulletThe legal and financial costs to society of heterosexual marriage are balanced by "social benefits produced by successful marriages and parenting." Homosexual marriages would bring the same costs to society, but would have no balancing benefits.
bulletThe best parents for raising children consists of a father and a mother.
bulletLegalizing same-sex marriages will weaken the traditional heterosexual marriage.
bulletGranting the right of adoption to homosexuals would be a new right - an act of social experimentation which may injure children.
bulletFlorida and New Hampshire have laws forbidding adoption by homosexuals; Arkansas, Missouri, North Dakota and Virginia have legal precedences which found that gays and lesbians are automatically unfit as parents. California, Minnesota, New York and New Jersey have laws or regulations which permit homosexual adoption.
bulletThey cite two stories as justification for banning gay and lesbian adoptions.
bulletA young woman was subjected to ridicule by homophobic people in the community because she was raised by two same-sex parents.
bulletA second woman who was raised by two lesbian parents felt that, as an adult, she did not know how to relate to a man.
bulletIt is possible to imagine a scenario in which a child would be better off raised by a homosexual couple rather than being raised with an abusive parent or in a series of foster homes.
bulletThere is no evidence to show that gay parents can be as successful in raising children as heterosexual parents.
bulletThe "psychological dynamics at the root of homosexual desire, as well as the medical risks which accompany homosexual behavior" are strong reasons to forbid adoption by gays and lesbians.
bulletAllowing homosexual adoption brings no obvious benefit and exposes children to damage; it should not be allowed.
bulletIn a divorce involving a homosexual parent, the heterosexual parent should generally be granted custody. "...the granting of adoption or custody rights to homosexual parents must...be a last resort."
bulletPlacing children with homosexual foster parents puts them in "potentially harmful environments" They adults may treat the child as a temporary object of pleasure"
bulletLesbians can only become pregnant through artificial insemination or by heterosexual intercourse, which would not be a natural procedure for her.
bulletLesbians desire a sexual partnership with another woman. But that union cannot by itself cause procreation. Pregnancy within a lesbian relationship "while effecting no clear benefit, does have the potential for a great deal of harm."
bulletArtificial insemination of lesbians should not be permitted.

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Beliefs of "Family Research Council":

The Family Research Council is a Fundamentalist Christian organization which "champions [heterosexual] marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society. We shape public debate and formulate public policy that values human life and upholds the institutions of [heterosexual] marriage and the family. Believing that God is the author of life, liberty, and the family, we promote the Judeo-Christian worldview as the basis for a just, free, and stable society." 5 One of their most active causes is to oppose equal rights and protections for gays and lesbians, including the right to marry and adopt.

The Council responded to the American Academy of Pediatricians claim that there is "no existing data to support the widely held belief that there are negative outcomes [for children raised by gay parents] "...denying legal status through adoption ... prevents these children from enjoying the psychological and legal security that comes from having two willing, capable, and loving parents." 7,8

Commenting on this report, Ken Connor, president of the Family Research Council said that to: "intentionally deprive a child of either a mother or a father is unconscionable....the sad fact is that promiscuity, domestic violence, and other problems endemic to the homosexual lifestyle make these relationships inherently unstable, and thus unsuitable for the raising of children."

Timothy Dailey, a senior fellow in culture studies at the Council has written an essay "Homosexual parents: placing children at risk." Some of the points made in his essay are:

bulletMany recent studies show that children in gay and lesbian households fare no worse than those brought up in families with two parents of opposite gender. But he believes that much of the research is seriously flawed. It is often done by homosexuals who, he feels, lack objectivity. Often, the sample size is small, no random sampling is used, and the subjects are not anonymous.
bullet"Children raised in traditional families by a mother and father are happier, healthier, and more successful than children raised in non-traditional environments." It is unclear whether his description of a "non-traditional environment" includes both same-sex committed couples and single parents.
bulletGay or lesbians who agree to be studied may be "biased toward emphasizing the positive aspects of their relationships with their children."
bulletThere is a higher rate of sexual activity outside the relationship among committed homosexual couples.
bulletThere is a higher rate of verbal and physical violence by same-sex committed couples than by opposite-sex married couples.
bulletGays and lesbians have a higher rate of depression, substance abuse, and suicide. Dailey did not indicate whether this was a natural result of their sexual orientation, or whether it was caused by public abuse, rejection, violence, and hatred of them because of their sexual orientation.
bulletHomosexuals have a higher rate of STD.  Unfortunately, Dailey did not differentiate between gays and lesbians; gays have a much higher rate of STDs than do heterosexuals; lesbians have a much lower rate.
bulletMale homosexuals have a reduced lifespan relative to male heterosexuals. This could cause many adopted children in same-sex homes to be orphaned at an early age.
bulletDailey quotes a number of studies which show that children raised by gays or lesbians more often engage in homosexual activity themselves.
bullet"Homosexual or lesbian households are no substitute for a family [led by a mother and father]: Children also need both a mother and a father."

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Book against same-sex parenting by The Christian Institute:

The Christian Institute of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK, 3 has published many books on medical ethics, gambling, abortion access, equal rights for gays and lesbians, etc., from a Fundamentalist Christian viewpoint. One of their books, is by Particia Morgan -- a senior research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Civil Society and author of numerous books on marriage and family. It is titled: "Children as Trophies." 4 After reviewing 144 academic papers worldwide on gay-lesbian parenting, she concluded that the American Academy of Pediatricians and many other social workers are wrong. Colin Hart, director of The Christian Institute, said: "The overwhelming evidence is that same-sex parenting is bad for kids.  This book will come as a devastating blow to those who think any combination of adults can make good parents. The research is crystal clear: children need a male and a female role model in a permanent partnership."

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References:

  1. Larry Burtoft, "Setting the Record Straight: What Research Really Says About the Social Consequences of Homosexuality", Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, CO, (1994), pages 74 to 78
  2. "Breaking the ties that bind: The APA's assault on fatherhood," at: http://www.frc.org/get/is99k2.cfm
  3. The Christian Institute's home page is at: http://www.christian.org.uk/
  4. Particia Morgan, "Children as trophies? Examining the evidence on same-sex parenting," The Christian Institute, (2002). The book is not listed at Amazon.com, but can be ordered from the publisher at: http://www.christian.org.uk/childrenastrophies.htm
  5. The Family Research Council's home page is at: http://www.frc.org/
  6. Timothy J. Dailey, "Homosexual Parenting: Placing children at risk," at: http://www.frc.org/get/is01j3.cfm
  7. "AAP says children of same-sex couples deserve two legally recognized parents," American Academy of Pediatrics, News release, 2002-FEB-4, at: http://www.aap.org/advocacy/archives/febsamesex.htm
  8. Ellen C. Perrin, MD, and the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, "Technical Report: Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents," American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrics journal, Vol. 109, #2, 2002-FEB, Pages 341 to 344, at: http://www.aap.org/policy/020008t.html

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Copyright © 1998, 1999 & 2002 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Date of last update: 2002-NOV-6

Author: B.A. Robinson

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