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Why not gay 'marriage' in Canada?

The "gay" marriage issue is currently the number one social topic today. The main plea from proponents to lawmakers is for them to legalize marriage between same genders. "Gays" and lesbians say they want to have the same legal matrimonial privileges that heterosexuals have. In leaps and bounds, they are getting through to lawmakers; a case in point is in the United States, where recently same-sex marriage was made "legal" in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. There, the heterosexual marriage arena is already cumbered; an over-50% divorce rate has had a grave impact on society as a whole. To add to an already overburdened institution will inevitably make matters worse, especially given the homosexual's history, relational issues, and proclivities towards violence which we will discuss in detail in this article.

Homosexual history

Secular and religious circles throughout the world have always considered homosexuality unacceptable. However, in Canada, "gays" and "gay" proponents are advocating for equal rights in the political arena. They make the argument that they have been suppressed, and therefore much sympathy has been given to them, and many changes affecting "gay" rights have resulted. Hence, the same-sex marriage issue eventually unfolded. In Canada, eight courts in out of ten provinces, and in one out of two territories, have ruled already that Same Sex Marriage must be introduced. The federal government introduced an SSM bill (Bill C-38) on February 1, 2005, for which it intends to get expedited approval.

Public health considerations

While the debate is about "rights," not "lifestyle," we must not silence the facts and ignore any consequential issues. According to the research, despite the knowledge of AIDS risk, homosexuals continue, time after time, to indulge in unsafe sex practices. Moreover, homosexuals represent the highest incidence of sexually transmitted disease cases (STDs) in the world. (i)

The Talking Sex Project, conducted in Canada, found there was no impact of education on the knowledge of HIV risk through anal sex. (ii) "Gay" men will engage in unprotected anal intercourse time and time again, despite the consequences. In a nation-wide study in Canada, of 4,803 men recruited from gay-identified sources, 23% reported., at least one episode of unprotected anal intercourse. (iii) In an earlier study entitled Men's Survey 91 tabulating the findings of 500 men from 35 cities in Canada, 62% of the respondents admitted participating in anal intercourse in the three months prior to the survey completion. The proportion of those who "never" used a condom was 12.2% for insertive anal intercourse, and 11.5% for receptive anal intercourse; given the risk of AIDS in the population (e.g., gays who go to public baths) those figures represent a significant risk factor in Canada. For example, high proportions of unprotected anal intercourse were found in many Canadian cities: Toronto (73.3%), Vancouver (56.3%), and Montreal (57.1%). (iv)

Like "gay" men, lesbians are at great risk for AIDS, STDs, and other health concerns as well, since their sexuality is characterized by rapid sexual fluidity of orientation. Lesbians generally do not seek conventional healthcare and therefore are a greater health risk than other people. (v)

There are many other things to consider as well. For example, over one third of homosexuals are substance abusers. Furthermore, they are more likely to suffer from gender identify confusion. They are also more likely to have mental health conditions such as eating disorders, personality disorders, paranoia, depression, and anxiety. In results from 186 self-identified women in Toronto who completed surveys that were compared to Canada's General Health Surveys, the comparisons found that lesbians drank more than heterosexuals and also had a higher incidence of mental health problems. (vi)


Let's look at "gay" relationships in more detail, beyond what you will read in the popular media. Compared to heterosexual men, "gay" men report a shorter level of duration in their longest relationship. Fewer heterosexual men have "open" (when either one or both partners are sexually non-exclusive) relationships compared to their "gay" counterparts. Ultimately, "gays" have fewer monogamous relationships. Their partners' sexual exclusivity is not an important factor in their relationships.

The famous study, The Male Couple, conducted by two homosexuals, one a psychologist and the other a psychiatrist, found that of the 156 couples studied, only seven had maintained sexual fidelity. Those couples that had maintained a relationship for more then five years were unable to maintain sexual fidelity. Although the study found that close to a third of the sample lived together longer than ten years, they also found that "the majority of couples ... and all the couples together longer then five years, were not continuously sexually exclusive with each other". (vii)

Other research found that the average length of homosexual relationships was only about two years. Others state that while many gay couples may stay together for a time, they become roommates bound chiefly by companionship and domestic ties, ceasing to be bed partners, and find sex (usually anonymous) outside the relationship. (viii)

Homosexual males and females alternate roles during sexual activity. There are usually no strict masculine or feminine roles, according to research. (ix) This merely shows that the homosexual identity is confused. This imbalance must be very confusing within the dyad (group of two), especially since the chances of being in sync are slim.

Lesbians experience more "fusion" or "embeddedness" within their primary relationships, which occurs more frequently, and with greater intensity the longer the relationship is. The researchers found that each lesbian partner has no solid sense of self. At the same time, there is a problem of competition in the lesbian relationship. The problem occurs when one partner begins to feel that she has become lost in her partner, again a demonstration of "embeddedness". (x)

From these findings and others, it is clear to see that homosexuals are the diametrically opposite of heterosexuals overall. "Gay" man cannot commit to monogamy, and this will be an inevitable problem in the marriage arena. After the "honeymoon period," they will divert to an "open relationship" or tire of that, and seek divorce or just multiply lovers. Lesbians, on the other hand, lack solidity or stability in their relationships.

Domestic violence

For lesbians, domestic violence will be the highlight within the marriage. An already overburdened police force dealing with domestic violence will get more than they can handle.

Aggressive behaviour is legendary in homosexuality. (xi) Earlier research has shown a correlation between violence and homosexuality. (xii) It has estimated that same-sex relational battering occurs in as many as one in three relationships. Lesbians are especially violent in their relationships. In a sample of 279 female college students, lesbians were generally more criminal and violent compared to heterosexual females. (xiii)

In a study of lesbian victims, it was found that physical violence, emotional abuse, and acts of intimidation do occur with sufficient frequency within lesbian relationships. One psychotherapist personally found lesbians to be terrorized in their relationships. Patterns of violent incidents were commonplace in the lesbian relationship. It was also found that the battered lesbian reports that the emotional abuse and consequent diminishment of her sense of self is ultimately more damaging than her physical injuries. (xiv)

One survey of over 100 self-identified lesbians found that 9 out of 10 of them reported either having observed or having been the recipient of some form of aggression, whether physical, verbal, or sexual, in their families of origin. As adults, nearly three-quarters of these women reported experiencing aggressive acts, and over half reported their past relationships as "aggressive". Approximately one-third of those reported the aggression as self-defensive measures, one-third as mutual aggression, and another one-third as both mutual and self-defensive. (xv)


Given their history, "gay" men will not stay in monogamous relationships and therefore are not good candidates for marriage. Lesbians, on the other hand, who may tend to hold onto relationships, will not stop the cycle of violence, which, according to the research, is embedded within them. Therefore, they too are not candidates for marriage. Lawmakers and proponents need to consider these factors when proposing to legalize these marriages. The aftermath will be immense. The courts will be overwhelmed with cases of domestic violence and infidelity. Employers will have to fork out millions of dollars in healthcare costs and other spousal benefits.

Then what?

When "gay" marriage made legal gains, "gays" and lesbians and their proponents rejoiced, but then what? The odds are against them, the research already clearly shows this; but, more sadly, the odds are against society as a whole. The latter will pay a steep price.

Besides the relationship issues of infidelity and instability, some proponents are even advocating for "three-way marriages". Dr. Jack Drescher, a medical doctor who is a gay activist in the American Psychiatric Association, provided a rationale for these relationships: "Our culture tells us that we're supposed to find satisfaction in one person. But, not everyone can find everything they need in one [person]."

Finally, I would like the reader to think about what serious aftermath same-sex marriage could bring on. While doing so, it is important to consider the comments of one writer who says that the comparison between same-sex marriage and bisexual polygamous marriage is strikingly cogent. The point is made that the person who claims legitimacy for same-sex marriage, if he or she is to remain consistent, could also claim legitimacy for bisexual polygamous marriage--thus exposing the fact that the basis of their position is not an affirmation of civil rights, but a nihilistic indifference toward fundamental values. Same-sex marriage proponents are aware of the attendant flood of culturally perverse legal challenges that recognizing same-sex marriage invites. Then on what credibly remaining basis will the Courts strike them down? (xvi) Is this what society needs--a flood of perverse marriage variances?

Biblical perspective

Besides the homosexual's relational issues and propensities towards violence, what is the Biblical perspective to all of this? When God created man and woman, He saw that this coupling was good and He blessed them and told them to be fruitful and to multiply (Genesis 1: 27). The Bible does make a solid distinction when it comes to marriage; 1 Corinthians 7:2 states that a man shall have one wife (female) and a woman, one husband (male). "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh" (Ephesians 5:31). When man fell, perverse sin followed, which defiled God's original intent. Although many want to make everything "permissible," including "gay marriage," it doesn't make it a right (See 1 Cor 6:12). 1 Corinthians 6:18 says we should "flee from sexual immorality...." The good news is that there is victory over sin! The Scriptures say, "For that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God" (1 Cor 6:11).


Defense of Marriage Coalition:

Help for homosexual recovery:


(i) Phelan, J.E., "AIDS: An inveterate epidemic among homosexuals," Social Justice Review, 90, 9-10 (1999) 141-146.

(ii) Myers, T., Tudiver, F.G., Kurtz, R.G., Jackson, E.A., Orr, K.W., Rowe, C.J., & Bullock, S.L., "The talking sex project: Descriptions of the study population and correlates of sexual practices at baseline." Canadian Journal of Public Health, 83, (1992) 47-52.

(iii) Myers, T., Godin, G., Lambert, J., Calzavara, L., Locker, D., "Sexual risk and HIV-testing behaviour by gay and bisexual men in Canada." AIDS-Care--Psychological and Socio--Medical aspects of AIDS/HIV, 8, (1996) 297-309.

(iv) Myers, T., Godin, G., Calzavara, L., Lambert, J., Locker, D, The Canadian survey of gay and bisexual men and HIV infection: Men's survey. Ottawa: Canadian AIDS Society, 1993.

(v) Kenyon, F. E., "Physique and physical health of female homosexuals," Journal of Neurological Neurosurgical Psychiatry, 31, (1968) 487-489.

(vi) Moran, N. (1996) "Lesbian health care needs," Canadian Family Physician, 42, 879-884.

(vii) McWhirter, D. P., & Mattison, A.M., The male couple: How relationships develop (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1984).

(viii) Henslin, J. M., & Sagarin, E. (eds.), The sociology of sex (New York: Schocken Books, 1978).

(ix) Saghir, M.T., & Robins, E., "Male and female homosexuality: Natural history," Comprehensive Psychiatry, 12, (1971) 503-510.

(x) Lindenbaum, J. P., "The shattering of an illusion: The problem of competition in lesbian relationships," In W. R. Dynes (ed.), Lesbianism (New York: Garland, 1992).

(xi) Freud, S., "Some neurotic mechanisms in jealousy, paranoia, and homosexuality," Standard Edition, 18, (1922).

(xii) Kremer, M., & Rifkin, A., "The early development of homosexuality: A study of adolescent lesbians," American Journal of Psychiatry, 126, (1969) 91-96.

(xiii) Ellis, L., Hoffman, H., & Burke, D.M., "Sex, sexual orientation, and criminal and violent behavior," Personal Individual Differences, 11, (1990) 1207-1212.

(xiv) Hammond, N., "Lesbian victims of relationship violence," Women and Therapy, 8, (1989) 89-105.

(xv) Lie, G. Y., "Lesbians in current aggressive relationships: How frequently do they report aggressive past relationships?" Violence and Victims, 6, (1991) 1-50.

(xvi) Valente, R., "Same-sex marriage in perspective," Social Justice Review, 95, 1-2 (2004) 5-6.

James E. Phelan is a Clinical Social Worker, and prolific researcher and writer on issues of human sexuality. He is a member of the Scholars for Social Justice, Catholic Central Union (Verein) of America. He, his wife Patricia, and son live in New Egypt, New Jersey. Scripture quotes were taken from the New International Version
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Author:Phelan, James E.
Publication:Catholic Insight
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:May 1, 2005
Previous Article:March for marriage: April 9, 2005.
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