THE DEFENSE OF
MARRIAGE ACT:
WHAT THE EXPERTS
HAVE TO SAY


by

Gary L. Bauer

Amid the clamor over action in the House and Senate on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Family Research Council held a briefing recently for Capitol Hill staff.

A national C-SPAN audience heard from a psychiatrist, a legal scholar, a social worker, a former school principal, an adoption specialist and a former homosexual, among others. Their highlighted statements shed light on homosexuality and the need for DOMA.

Jeffrey Satinover, M.D., former Fellow in Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry at Yale: "Two profoundly mistaken ideas have sunk deeply into public sentiment where they exert a powerful influence in the shaping of public policy as it relates to family, sexuality and marriage. 1) Homosexuality is genetic, and that consequently, 2) Homosexuality is unchangeable.

"Neither idea is true, and in fact there is a mountain of scientific evidence to the contrary. The Americans most severely harmed by the propagation of these untruths are the very large number of homosexuals who wish nothing more than to rid themselves of these unwanted impulses and establish quiet marriages and families. The gay and lesbian activism that claims to speak for these many struggling fellow citizens speaks for their interests in no way whatsoever. Completely ignored are the very large number of people who have already succeeded in leaving homosexuality behind."

Hadley Arkes, Professor of Jurisprudence and American Institutions at Amherst: "Every argument for gay marriage is an argument that would support polygamy. The gay activists may not have the remotest interest in promoting polygamy, but ... they have the most profound interest...in discrediting the notion that marriage finds its defining ground in 'nature.' We can count on the fact that there will be someone, somewhere, ready to press this issue by raising a challenge in the court....This [Defense of Marriage] Act is the most delicate and limited measure that the Congress could produce [and] it makes the least intrusion into the domain of State law."

Anthony Falzarano, executive director of Transformation Ministries: "I speak to you today not just as an observer of this movement, but as one of them. I am a former homosexual. I lived that lifestyle from the time I was 17 until I was 26. I entered the gay lifestyle thinking that there really wasn't any choice for me. What I didn't realize is that although I didn't choose to be homosexual, I did not have to be gay. I had a choice. I could change my orientation....four national ex-gay networks are currently ministering to more than 10,000 former homosexuals. Many of us are sick and tired of a lifestyle that initially seems very freeing but eventually puts us in all kinds of bondage and eventually will kill us. I have lost over 35 of my friends and acquaintances to the disease of AIDS and don't want to see one more person become infected...."

Robert Knight, Director of Cultural Studies at Family Research Council: "Most Americans believe in 'live and let live.' But tolerance is not what homosexual activists seek. They are demanding that society elevate homosexuality to the moral level of marriage. When they bring the law into it, they are imposing it on every citizen. If you are a devout Christian, Jew or Muslim, or just believe that homosexuality is wrong, and the law gives homosexuality protected status, then your personal beliefs are now outside civil law. The entire civil rights apparatus can be brought against you. Businessmen will have to subsidize homosexuality or face legal sanction; schoolchildren will have to be taught that homosexuality is equivalent to marital love."

Linda Page, former school principal and education consultant: "Our kids will be bombarded with the propaganda from books such as Heather Has Two Mommies....Same-sex 'marriage' is a result of a destructive, narcissistic way of thinking and of 'value-neutral' curriculums....We have communicated to students that all values are equal. How ludicrous...."

Peter LaBarbera, publisher of The Lambda Report on Homosexuality: "Activists have shamelessly exploited the issue of 'gay youth' suicide to promote pro-homosexuality programs in schools....they routinely claim that homosexual youth make up one third of all youth suicides. This wildly exaggerated figure has its origins in a paper by a San Francisco gay activist which was repudiated by Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan."

Brenda Destro, Adjunct Professor on Marriage and Family at the John Paul II Institute and former consultant for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Adolescent Pregnancy: "Many...(junior and high school) teens and preteens...have one close girlfriend and boys have one close boyfriend. This is an important phase in learning emotional intimacy that is crucial to forming healthy relationships....So what happens to the preteens and teens who receive information about homosexuality and same-sex 'marriages' at the same time that they are bonding with their friends (around the ages of 11-14)...? Confusion can turn to a fear that they may be homosexual, when they are not."

Mary Beth Style, M.S.W., adoption expert: "Obviously, if the states begin to recognize marriage between homosexuals, it will likely become easier for two homosexuals to adopt a child because they will be meeting the marriage requirement.... There is no 'right' to adopt, and to create one would be contrary to the best interests of children, because instead of finding the most appropriate family for a child, the state and its agents would have to ensure that adults are allowed to adopt a child. Since a 'right' is a guarantee, the state would be required to 'guarantee' a child for adoption."

The above testimonies show the logical fallacies of misnaming same-sex unions as "marriage" and the devastating implications for society. Our concern for families, children, and the natural and sacred ties that secure our culture underscore the need for the Defense of Marriage Act.

-- 8/21/96

***

Gary Bauer is president of the Family Research Council, a Washington, D.C.-based research and educational organization. He was undersecretary for education and domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan.

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