THE DEFENSE OF
MARRIAGE ACT:
EXPERT TESTIMONY


The following are excerpts from a July 2, 1996 Capitol Hill briefing regarding the Defense of Marriage Act. The briefing was sponsored by the Family Research Council.

RESEARCH

"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. These are: 1) That 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 being 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....Epidemiologists around the country have confirmed that among young gay men there is a significant return to the unsafest of sexual practices in spite of over fifteen years of massively-funded education programs. They have also found that a shocking 30 percent of all currently 20-year-old young men who identify themselves as 'gay' will be either HIV-positive or dead of AIDS by the time they are 30. Yet, as is widely known and confirmed by recent research, many of these young men will spontaneously leave homosexuality behind....With respect to genetics, even those recent studies widely touted as demonstrating the innate, biological and genetically determined nature of homosexuality demonstrate precisely the contrary, and a careful reading of the authors themselves makes this clear." -- Jeffrey B. Satinover, M.D., psychiatrist, former Fellow in Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry at Yale University, and author of Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth.

THE LAW AND MARRIAGE

"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 this much may fairly be said: They have the most profound interest, rooted in the logic of their doctrine, in discrediting the notion that marriage finds its defining ground in 'nature.' Their rhetorical strategy, their public arguments, have all been directed explicitly to the derision of that claim that sexuality in the strictest sense involves the sexuality 'imprinted in our natures.' For that reason, we can count on the fact that there will be someone, somewhere, ready to press this issue by raising a challenge in the court and testing the limits even further. The irony then is that the notion of marriage cannot accommodate couples of the same sex without so altering the cast or character of marriage that it will cease to be that special relation, which seems to be the object of such deep craving now for so many people. Once the notion of marriage is broadened in that way, it will simply not be tenable any longer to hold up marriage, in the laws, as a relation that deserves a special place, a special commendation -- a special effort to sustain and promote it. This Act is the most delicate and limited measure that the Congress could produce on the subject. It treats subjects that are evidently within the reach of the Congress, and it makes the least intrusion into the domain of State law. What other institution could possibly have the authority to clarify the meaning of terms in federal legislation, if not the federal legislature?" -- Hadley Arkes, Professor of Jurisprudence and American Institutions at Amherst College.

REAL RECOVERY

"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 from gay to straight. My healing process was a long and difficult one. However, change is possible. The 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 with this deadly disease. The organized gay community is telling us that AIDS is no longer a gay disease and, although it is spreading into the heterosexual population in this country very quickly, 61 percent of people that are coming down with this deadly disease in the U.S. are homosexual, according to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. America must take a very strong stand against the very highly organized gay community in this country by supporting The Defense of Marriage Act. If we don't say 'no' to the organized gay community now, the United States will suffer the consequences of our complacency. America needs to start helping homosexuals recover from their sexual brokenness. Putting a stamp of approval on a lifestyle by legally recognizing it (and even calling it marriage) is not really helping homosexuals. It's perpetuating a myth and delivering them over to a death-style." -- Anthony Falzarano, former homosexual, executive director of Transformation Ministries.

THE GAY RIGHTS AGENDA

"Most Americans believe in the philosophy of 'live and let live.' They don't want to make the plight of homosexuals any more difficult than it already is. But tolerance is not what homosexual activists are seeking. They are demanding that society elevate homosexuality to the moral level of marriage. When they bring the law into it, they are no longer just minding their own business, but imposing it on every single citizen. If you are a devout Christian, Jew or Muslim, or merely someone who believes homosexuality is immoral and harmful, and the law declares homosexuality a protected status, then your personal beliefs are now outside civil law. This has very serious implications, for if the law declares opposition to homosexuality as bigotry, then the entire power of the civil rights apparatus can be brought against you. Businessmen will have to subsidize homosexuality or face legal sanctions; schoolchildren will have to be taught that homosexuality is the equivalent of marital love; religious people will be told their beliefs are no longer valid, and their independence will be challenged....The Boy Scouts of America are under legal attack in the states which have special rights for 'sexual orientation.' The Scouts, a private group, are being told to abandon their moral code of more than 80 years and to place young boys under homosexual men on camping trips -- or face financial ruin. The attack against the Scouts is really an attack on parents, because parents have the right, in a free nation, to entrust their children to organizations that reflect the parents' most deeply held beliefs. If they cannot do this, then we are living in tyranny." -- Robert H. Knight, director of cultural studies at the Family Research Council.

THE MYTH OF 'GAY TEEN SUICIDE'

"Homosexual activists have shamelessly exploited the issue of 'gay youth' suicide to promote pro-homosexuality programs in schools, hyping a non-existent 'epidemic' to silence their critics and frame the debate before an emotionally sympathetic public. As (homosexual and former high school teacher Kevin) Jennings recently said, 'In Massachusetts, no one could speak up against our frame and say, "Why yes, I do think students should kill themselves." This allowed us to set the terms of the debate.' (Editor's note: Jennings is now executive director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Teacher's Network, or GLSTN, a 3,000-member organization crusading against "homophophia" in schools.) There are two major problems with Jennings' assertion. Firstly, his claim of a rash of 'gay youth' suicides is baseless, and relies mainly on a thoroughly discredited paper by a homosexual activist. Secondly, even it were true that self-perceived 'homosexuals' are prone to commit suicide in higher numbers than other youth, it does not mean that schools should be confirming young teens in an immoral and dangerous lifestyle. In fact, disproportionate rates of (adult) suicide in even the most 'gay-friendly' areas like San Francisco indicate that this is yet another sad fact of homosexual life, not the fault of society....And yet confirming 'gay youth' in their homosexuality is precisely the goal of GLSTN and countless other homosexual organizations who routinely repeat the claim that homosexual youth make up one-third of all youth suicides. The figure has its origins in a paper San Francisco gay activist Paul Gibson wrote that was part of a Health and Human Services report on youth suicide. Gibson's report, which was repudiated by HHS Secretary Louis Sullivan, made the claim that 'gay youth' made up '30 percent' of all youth suicides by extrapolating from another bogus 'gay' number -- that homosexuals represent 10 percent of the population. David Shaffer, a Columbia University psychiatrist and one of the world's leading specialists on adolescent suicide, said, 'I struggled for a long time over [Gibson's] mathematics, but in the end it seemed more hocus-pocus than math.' Shaffer also wrote that Gibson's and others' claims that gay suicide is common is 'an excellent example of how bad research provides misleading answers that can come home to roost.'" -- Peter LaBarbera, editor and founder of The Lambda Report on Homosexuality.

THE EFFECTS ON SAME-SEX FRIENDSHIPS

"Many...(junior and high school) teens and preteens are entering a phase in their psychosocial development where it is characteristic for girls to have one close girlfriend and boys to 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)...for many children with family or personal problems and no one to turn to for help, there may be confusion. That confusion can turn to a fear that they may be homosexual, when they are not. They may then turn away from their friends and interrupt an important developmental process. In some cases, because of the confusion about this topic, well-meaning but misguided counselors would even have these children believe that they are homosexual, when they are not even sexually mature." -- Brenda Destro, D.S.W., Adjunct Professor for Studies on Marriage and Family at the John Paul II Institute and former social work consultant for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Adolescent Pregnancy and the Institute for Human Resources (IHR).

NO 'RIGHT' TO ADOPT

"Unfortunately, in recent years, some who have attempted to reform adoption laws and policies are not addressing the needs of children, but instead are promoting the cause of adults. Discussions about 'rights to adopt' are clearly not child-centered, but adult-driven....Obviously, if 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 absurdity of that position is obvious." -- Mary Beth Style, M.S.W., former vice president for policy and practice of the National Council for Adoption.

SEX EDUCATION

"Our students have been guinea pigs in Russian roulette with their futures long enough....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. One can only shudder to consider the horrific possibilities which may occur on the sexuality continuum with the perpetuation of such policies....We have communicated to students that all values are equal. How ludicrous..." -- Linda Page, former school principal, education consultant, talk show host and writer.

For full copies of each expert's testimony, contact the Family Research Council at (202) 393-2100.

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