Harry R. Jackson, Jr.
Kids need both a mom and a dad!

The current controversy concerning marriage may be one of the biggest distractions in this election season. It is often categorized as a divisive “social issue.” Many Americans realize that the definition of marriage, the controversy about abortion, and America’s support of Israel are huge spiritual and moral issues which will determine the kind of America we will create for the generations that follow us.

Same-sex marriage advocates love to talk about the freedom to love and their own interpretation of “rights.” The truth is that none of us need a legal contract to love - we are all born with that freedom. Marriage is not really about the desires of adults. It should be about endorsing the kind of families that will be the best for kids and supporting those unions with public policies, even though other living arrangements may exist.

The reason that legally defined marriage is important is because of children. It takes a mother and a father to conceive a child, and children have a God-given right to have a relationship with both their biological mother and their biological father. Children also have a God-given right to have both a male role model and a female role model in their homes. There are certainly times when tragedy takes a parent from a child, but what about the much more frequent times when adults put their own fleeting desires ahead of the God-given rights of their children? Desires change, as the breakups of both heterosexual and homosexual relationships testify.

As our nation continues to wrestle with the meaning and precise definition of marriage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered activists consistently dismiss the issue of children. Same-sex marriage advocates insist that children of homosexual couples have the same or better outcomes than children of heterosexual couples. Unfortunately for them these assertions are based more on philosophy than hard science. For example, a 2010 study by Dr. Walter Schumm of Kansas State University confirmed that adult children raised by homosexual couples are (unsurprisingly) two to five times as likely to identify themselves as homosexual as children of heterosexuals. But the nation is divided as to whether that is an important outcome or not.

More specifically, whenever the topic of children reared by gay parents is raised: the assertion is made that there are no special problems or disadvantages because of their parents’ choices of “partners.” But this image (if remotely true) represents a tiny, disproportionately wealthy fraction of the gay population. Most of the scientists who have researched the children of such families admit as much.

Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.