Dane Skelton

    Dane Skelton is the Pastor of Faith Community Church and the author of Jungle Flight: Spiritual Adventures at the Ends of the Earth, a book of true stories from the ministry of JAARS (formerly Jungle Aviation and Radio Service). His second book, Papua Pilot: Flying the Bible to the Last Lost Peoples, co-authored with the late Paul Westlund, is now available on Amazon.com and Christianbook.com.
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      March 13, 2013
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      Two cases that could forever change the United States are being argued before the Supreme Court this week.  The cases are as follows.

      Windsor v. United States could overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that codifies the traditional, historic definition of marriage as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman.

      Hollingsworth v. Perry could permanently overturn California’s amendment to preserve traditional marriage under Proposition 8.

      With these cases our nation has reached a singular moment in its history. Should the plaintiffs prevail the social contract and the legal landscape that we have taken for granted for the last two hundred and thirty-seven years will forever change. The United States that our children will inherit will be vastly different from the country our parents gave us. We are therefore responsible to face the facts about same sex marriage.

      Much of the case for same sex marriage is built on myth, not facts, an appeal to emotion, not justice. What follows is a list of some of those myths followed by the relevant facts. Some of this is not pleasant reading. But all of us should have the facts before us and consider carefully what we should do about it.

      Myth – Homosexual marriage is just like heterosexual marriage: two people agree to live together in a sexually monogamous relationship.

      Facts – A 2010 study of same-sex couples in San Francisco showed that half are “open,” meaning that marriage partners consent to each other having sex with other people.[1] According to Alan Hildreth, a man who lived as a homosexual until his mid-forties, legalizing homosexual marriage would be condoning “‘open’ lifestyles of almost totally non-monogamous sex, and partner-swapping among marrieds, bi’s and gays that would make the orgies of Hugh Hefner look like a church picnic by comparison. If Americans could know the truth about what goes on with most members of the gay community, they’d be so repulsed they’d never even consider the idea of same-sex ‘marriages.’”[2]

      Myth – Same sex marriage will not affect traditional marriage.

      Facts – A 2010 New York Times article argued just the opposite, saying that same sex marriage could “rewrite the traditional rules of matrimony.” According to the article, homosexual marriage could illustrate for straights that monogamy isn’t necessarily a “central feature” of marriage and that “open relationships” could “point the way for the survival of the institution.” In his book, Virtually Normal, well-known gay political commentator Andrew Sullivan wrote, “Among gay male relationships, the openness of the contract makes it more likely to survive than many heterosexual bonds…There is more likely to be a greater understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman.”[3]

      It is true that some advocates of same sex marriage want their unions to follow the monogamous patterns of traditional marriage. But if Hildreth and Sullivan are to be believed, that isn’t the norm now nor could we reasonably expect it to be in the future.

      Myth – Legalizing same sex marriage won’t affect other laws.

      Facts – Legalizing same sex marriage will radically affect our entire legal system, especially as it pertains to people of religious faith who as a matter of conscience oppose same sex marriage. In a twelve thousand word analysis of this issue legal scholar Thomas M. Messner, who has clerked for Judge William H. Pryor Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and practiced law in Washington, D.C., noted three major threats to religious liberty.

      First, institutions that support the traditional understanding of marriage may be denied access to several types of government benefits, and individuals who work in the public sector may face censorship, disciplinary action, and even loss of employment. Second, those who support the traditional understanding of marriage will be subject to even greater civil liability under nondiscrimination laws that prohibit private discrimination based on sexual orientation, marital status, and gender. Third, the existence of nondiscrimination laws, combined with state administrative policies, can invite private forms of discrimination against religious individuals who believe that marriage involves a man and a woman and foster a climate of contempt for the public expression of their views.[4]

      Myth – It isn't fair to deny homosexual people the right to marry. Therefore, this is the civil rights issue of our day. Opposition to same sex marriage is like opposition to racial intermarriage, the equivalent of racism.

      Facts – The proponents of same sex marriage have an advantage in this debate that is peculiar to American culture: We love the underdog. All that the advocates of same sex marriage need to do is to portray themselves as the victims of injustice, bigotry, and discrimination and half the battle is won. They've been very successful with this strategy.

      There is no denying that gay couples love each other, take care of each other, and need legal means of handling one another's financial, medical, and legal affairs when age or sickness or death necessitates it. I have the authority to do that for my mom. But I obtained that authority through a well-known legal device called “power of attorney.” Anyone can get one for anyone else with the consent of the grantor.

      Same sex marriage, however, is not the civil rights issue of our day.  African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Caucasians and other racial groups differ only in the color of their skin and the content of their character. Male and female are fundamentally different in nature and biology. Through his eloquent references to scripture and through his powerful leadership Martin Luther King Jr. along with others like Jackie Robinson and Rosa Parks convinced America that black sporting events and white sporting events, black restrooms and white restrooms, black water fountains and white water fountains, were fundamentally immoral.  But in spite of attempts to prove the contrary, male and female are not equal on the playing field. Male and female clothing, restrooms, and health care necessities must accommodate our peculiar biology. Males and females are, to this day, divided by their sexual nature. The comparisons to the civil rights movement are false.

      Finally, those most affected by gay marriage, those who have the most to lose, are children.

      Myth – Same sex couples can provide all of the love, nurture and education a child needs to flourish in this world.

      No doubt some children raised by gay couples have done well. But, the exception does not disprove the rule that the best situation for children is a home with a Mom and a Dad who stay together and raise the children.

      Fact - Doug Mainwaring, a gay man who divorced his wife in order to fulfill his same sex desires, speaks powerfully on the inability of gay marriage to meet the needs of children. In an article he wrote for Public Discourse, Mainwaring explained that after ten years of the gay lifestyle he voluntarily gave it up and moved back in with his ex-wife. Mainwaring is not a Christian. He did not do this because the Bible teaches that male and female is God’s design. He did it for his two adopted sons. Mainwaring writes that, over the course of ten years, he realized that ““creating a family with another man is not completely equal to creating a family with a woman.” He also says that “denying children parents of both genders is an objective evil. Kids need and yearn for both.”

      Mainwaring illustrated his point with a story about watching his typically rowdy teenage son kiss his mother. “With two dads in the house, this little moment of warmth and tenderness would never have occurred. … To be fully formed, children need to be free to generously receive from and express affection to parents of both genders.”

      Mainwaring continues, saying, “Gay and lesbian activists, and more importantly, the progressives urging them on, seek to redefine marriage in order to achieve an ideological agenda that ultimately seeks to undefine families as nothing more than one of an array of equally desirable ‘social units,’ and thus open the door to the increase of government’s role in our lives.” 

       “Genderless marriage is not marriage at all,” he wrote. “It is something else entirely. Marriage is not an elastic term. It is immutable. It offers the very best for children and society.” [1]   

      Many more compelling arguments can be made in support of traditional marriage. Please add your voice to the support of it by contacting your representatives in Washington and asking them to pressure the Supreme Court to keep DOMA and Proposition 8 in place.

      NOTE: A reply to some objections to this article has been posted to the blog under the title "Reply to Kevin Sagan."

      [1]               Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, Same Sex, Different Marriage, Christianity Today Magazine, pg. 52, May 2010 issue.

      [2]               Letter to Breakpoint.

      [3]               Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, Same Sex, Different Marriage, Christianity Today Magazine, pg. 52, May 2010 issue

      [4]               Messner, Thomas M., Same Sex Marriage and the Threat to Religious Liberty. 2008.

      [1] Angela Lu, Gay Father Defends Traditional Marriage, World Magazine online, posted March 14, 2013.


      On Thursday, June 13, 2013, Kevin Sagan said:

      The first two facts basically boil down to "slippery slope to non-monogamy" arguments. And as soon as you find evidence that non-monogamous relationships are, themselves, harmful, I will address those facts (and no, studies that don't control for partners' consent ain't quite gonna cut the mustard, bub). Until then, they are irrelevant at best.

      The third fact is two issues-one, that the government will discriminate against private groups as retribution for their own discriminatory policies, also known as enforcing civil rights-and two, that a climate of contempt may arise for the anti-marriage equality community, also known as the long-since-arisen climate of contempt for homosexuality.

      Fact four doesn't prove anything, all it does is strive to *dis*prove a point commonly used by marriage equality activists to embarrass the opposition. And it does so by saying that men and women are "not equal on the playing field", "in spite of attempts to prove the contrary". I'd like to know more about these failed attempts to prove the equality of the sexes, could you cite your sources on that please?

      Fact five isn't a fact, it's a claim from one man. Unless you're making the rather ironic claim that his homosexuality makes him an authority on child-rearing, his testimony is nearly meaningless. Make your points with studies, not anecdotes, and your points will be worth discussing.

      Well, you seem motivated, so they must be worth discussing :-). I'll try to get back to you on the rest of your comments soon. Thanks for commenting. DTS

      Please see on this blog: Reply to Kevin Sagan dated June 19, 2013 for a full reply to Mr. Sagan.


      On Thursday, June 13, 2013, Ender said:

      I really only have one question:

      Since children need Mom and Dad to become fully formed human beings, does this mean your next issue will be to ban divorce for couples with children? Also, when will you take the stance that children who have one of their parents die need to be removed from their homes and given to a couple, since one parent is obviously insufficient to raise a child, and if a child is not raised perfectly, they will become rapists and murders, or worse, gay?

      Hi Ender,
      From my point of view, comparing gay marriage with straight is a bit apples and oranges, but I do have a couple of comments.

      When you've seen as many divorces, and their ramifications in the lives of children, as I have you would want to ban divorce for couples with children if you could. In fact, it used to be very difficult for couples with kids to divorce, but we've made it too easy. Any couple that really wants to can overcome difficulties in marriage. But it takes a lot of humility, and pride being what it is most folks, given the easy way out, take it.

      My dad died when I was a teenager, so I speak with experience here as well. Life, after the fall of man, is never perfect. Death happens. So too, because of selfishness and sin, does divorce. God's design is a heterosexual, monogamous, two parent, home. The fact that sin brings death into the picture can't be helped. But turning the design on its head can be, and should be. Modifying the design of marriage is like messing the the DNA of civilization. We aren't going to like what we get when all is said and done.

      No child can be raised perfectly by sinful human beings. Many of us turn out wonderfully, even when we are raised in a non-ideal situation. But that doesn't give us license to disregard the design.

      Thanks for commenting,

      On Wednesday, March 27, 2013, Helen said:

      This article is very inaccurate. I understand that people have different opinions, but these are very ignorant statements. These "facts" are just not all correct.

      Hi Helen and Luke, thank you for commenting. I am doing my very best to be accurate, and I do not want to misrepresent anyone that I have quoted or cited. I would appreciate it if you would indicate which statements are incorrect and document for me why they are incorrect. Thanks. DS.

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