How gay marriage harms people
Three reasons that abandoning God’s design for marriage is bad for society.
Even now that same-sex marriage has become widely accepted in many countries, Christians cannot surrender. We must continue to lovingly and graciously stand for the truth. Also, if we want to be effective, we must learn to articulate the reasons why gay marriage not only violates God’s moral standard, but actually harms society. Indeed, a faulty view of marriage will create many victims, as we highlight in response to today’s question.
G.P. from the U.S. asked:
[M]y question is what do you think about gay marriage and adoption?
CMI’s Keaton Halley responds.
We have addressed this topic in a short booklet called Gay Marriage: right or wrong? You might want to pick that up from our webstore to read more details about some of the things that I’ll touch on below. Also, I’ll be drawing on a book called Truth Overruled by Ryan T. Anderson, which I’d recommend if you want another helpful resource.
The debate over same sex marriage is not fundamentally a disagreement about who can get married, but about what marriage is. Is marriage an arbitrary custom that people invented, one which they can define however they please? Or is marriage an institution established by God, well-matched to His design of human beings?
The Bible says that marriage is rooted in God’s creation of mankind (Matthew 19:4–8). In Genesis, we read how God made Eve out of Adam’s own flesh as a helper suited to him, and then the text says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
Throughout Scripture, it is clear that marriage is a lifelong, exclusive covenantal union of two people—a husband and a wife—which forms the foundation for the family. That is, marriage is oriented toward producing and raising children, if God so blesses (Genesis 1:28; Malachi 2:15). God created us male and female to complement one another, and the production of children requires both a man and a woman. So there cannot be any such thing as gay marriage, because marriage requires husband and wife.
The reason, then, that the Bible opposes the homosexual lifestyle is that it violates God’s design for marriage and family. Two people of the same gender do not complement one another as husband and wife do. Their union cannot produce children. And homosexual activity is harmful and destructive to oneself and others. So there are good reasons why the Bible explicitly condemns homosexual relationships. See Does the Bible really forbid homosexual relationships? and What does the Bible really say about homosexuality?
Let me mention just a few of the problems with gay marriage and gay adoption, in particular.
Same-sex marriage debases true marriage, and thereby weakens society
If we abandon the Bible’s teaching on marriage and just make up new definitions as we go, then why couldn’t marriage be redefined in other ways? Why couldn't it be more than two people, for example? Why couldn't it be a temporary rather than a lifelong commitment? There’s a logical slippery slope from same sex marriage to polygamy, temporary marriages, and other corrupt practices, because the same wrong thinking underlies these ideas—that people rather than the Creator have the authority to decide what marriage is. Sadly, once the definition of marriage is separated from the Creator’s design, it becomes so flexible that it begins to lose any significant meaning. Indeed, many homosexual activists have admitted that their real goal is to destroy the institution of marriage altogether. They realize that championing same-sex marriage works toward undermining the norms of marriage (like monogamy, permanence and exclusivity) and ultimately even the very concept of marriage itself.
But healthy societies are built on healthy families. The more we move away from the biblical teaching on marriage, the more we’ll have broken homes, because other arrangements simply do not work as well as God’s design. Logic indicates that the undermining of marriage will lead to an increase in cohabitation, divorce, single parenting, abortion, etc., and various studies help to confirm this. The weakening of marriage will place a burden on society as a whole, because others will have to step in with time, energy, and money to try to repair the damage. They will have to minister to hurting adults and help to raise the children of broken homes, and those children will be more likely to get into trouble, causing further problems. This leads to my next point.
Same-sex marriage harms children
What’s wrong with same-sex couples producing children through a surrogate or adopting children?
The fact that many children require adoption means they are already in a less-than-ideal situation. The ideal is that children would be raised by their own parents. Children long for and tend to be healthier when raised by their biological mother and father.
The next best thing, though, would be for children to be raised by a married, opposite-sex couple, as opposed to a single parent or a same-sex couple. Adoption by a same-sex couple would give children additional difficulties to overcome instead of giving them the best chance for success. This is because same-sex parenting would deny children the ability to have a parent of each gender (both a mom and a dad). This isn’t good, because men and women parent differently. They bring different strengths and weaknesses to the table, so children learn different lessons from mom than they do from dad, and vice versa.
If a same-sex couple brought children into the world through a surrogate, that would be even worse, because they would be creating children with the intention up front of separating them from at least one of their biological parents. Studies show that children do better if they are raised by their actual parents rather than one parent and one step parent, but same-sex parenting necessarily involves a step parent.
In fact, numerous testimonies from people who spent their childhood in a same sex household bear out these truths. For example, Heather Barwick was raised by her mother and her mother's lesbian partner. Although Heather loves them both dearly, she writes about how the lack of a father in her home negatively affected her. She says, “My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost” (Truth Overruled, 2015, p. 170).
According to the champions of same-sex marriage, though, two parents of the same gender should be just as good as having one’s own mother and father. This simply isn’t true. Advocates of same-sex marriage are primarily concerned about the desires of adults, but they largely ignore the fact that, in the process, they trample on the best interests of children.
Same-sex marriage undermines religious freedom
It should not be surprising that, once gay marriage is declared legal, those who oppose it are seen as enemies of the law. This is why, especially since the US Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, those with moral and religious objections to same-sex marriage are increasingly being persecuted for simply following their deeply held religious convictions. See Gay Marriage—a big stick to beat the church with.
Religious adoption agencies are being forced to close if they will not place children into same-sex households. Christian schools are being threatened with loss of funding and accreditation if they do not allow their students to actively engage in homosexual practices. Professionals in the wedding industry and even pizza shops are being forced to participate in same-sex ceremonies, or face financial ruin. Even individuals like former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran and former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich are being hounded out of their careers for simply opposing gay marriage in their private lives. Kim Davis was sent to jail because her convictions would not allow her to sign a same-sex marriage license. And we’ve only seen the beginning of this tidal wave. All of the transgender lunacy we’re now facing is a result of this moral revolution as well.
Clearly, gay marriage advocates want more than the freedom to do as they please. The movement includes many bullies who want to force everyone to either join them or be destroyed. They talk a lot about love, but they don’t really understand it. True love “does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6). Amazingly, in the name of ‘love’, the freedom to think and act like a Christian is being taken away.
Christians, on the other hand, are called to love our enemies. So we must continue to show love even to those who persecute us. We do not return evil for evil, but neither do we capitulate to their demands. "We must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). And, because it violates God’s expressed will, Christians must continue to oppose same-sex marriage.