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Same-Sex Marriage: Not in Kids' Interest

5/23/2005 - 5:00 AM PST

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Evidence Points to Harmful Effects

OTTAWA, MAY 23, 2005 (Zenit) - Spain and Canada are steadily moving toward the legalization of same-sex "marriage." In past months the bishops' conferences in both countries have issued numerous declarations assailing the attempts to put heterosexual marriage and same-sex unions on the same level.

This opposition, explained the Spanish episcopal conference in a declaration April 21, does not mean that homosexuals should be discriminated against or maltreated. As individuals they have the same rights and dignity as all other persons, the bishops said. Yet, this does not mean that two persons of the same sex have any right to contract matrimony, the episcopal statement cautioned.

Opposition has been equally firm in Canada. "Because the relationship of a man and woman committed in a marriage is the strongest core of the family, and because the family is the most vital unit in society, we run great risks in tinkering with the definition of marriage and the family," explained a note published March 16 by the Canadian bishops' conference.

Of particular concern to the Church, and other groups, is that the proposed laws in Spain and Canada would allow same-sex couples to adopt children.

Adoption, insisted the Spanish bishops in a statement Oct. 1, should be about looking after the good of children, and not "supposed" rights of those who wish to adopt. Two people of the same sex do not constitute an adequate point of reference for adoption, the bishops stated.

Compelling empirical evidence supporting the Church's objection on the issue of adoption was published earlier this month in the United States by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). The organization was founded in 1992 to provide psychological understanding of the cause, treatment and behavior patterns associated with homosexuality.

On May 6 NARTH published a study titled, "Review of Research on Homosexual Parenting, Adoption, and Foster Parenting." The paper was written by George Rekers, professor of neuropsychiatry and behavioral science at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

The study, accompanied by extensive documentation and bibliographical references, was prepared for use in U.S. legal proceedings on the question of whether homosexuals should be allowed to adopt children.

Harmful stresses

Rekers explains that the inherent nature of a household formed by homosexually behaving adults "uniquely endangers foster children by exposing them to a substantial level of harmful stresses that are over and above usual stress levels in heterosexual foster homes."

The professor observes that adopted children are "among the most vulnerable of all citizens," as by the time they arrive at their new home they have already gone through a series of difficulties, often involving separations, neglect, and traumas such as the death of parents. Added to this is the stress of adjusting to a new home and neighborhood.

He then goes on to cite a number of studies that detail how, even when adopted children are placed in favorable family circumstances, they already suffer from substantially higher rates of psychological disorders.

Citing a wide variety of academic studies from countries around the world, Rekers explains that homosexual adults suffer from significantly higher rates of psychological disorders such as suicide, conduct disorder and substance abuse. Living with a parent who suffers from a mental disorder or has problems with drug or alcohol abuse will only trigger further stresses and problems for adopted children, he contends.

"The logical conclusion from these findings would be that heterosexual adults generally have significantly and substantially better health, more energy, and better emotional stamina to devote to foster children," argues Rekers.

Instability

Another factor that militates against homosexuals being given the possibility to adopt children is the well-demonstrated fact that same-sex partner relationships are significantly less stable and more short-lived on the average compared to a marriage of a man and a woman.

For adopted children this will lead to a substantially higher rate of household transitions in foster homes for youngsters placed with a homosexually behaving adult. Foster children have already suffered one or more traumatic transitions, notes Rekers, and more-frequent transitions result in greater psychological harm and psychosocial maladjustment.

Rekers observes that a longitudinal study based on population registers in Norway and Sweden, which included legally registered same-sex partnerships in the latter nation, reported that homosexual male couples were 1.5 times as likely to break up as married ...

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