Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Dispelling the Same-Sex Marriage Myths

Feb 19, 2012

The ongoing campaign for same-sex marriage has been characterised by so many falsehoods, lies, half-truths, furphies and myths that I have written no less than two entire books on this. One was a debate book co-authored with a homosexual activist, and the other was a full length discussion of the matter of homosexuality.

The longest chapter in the second book is on same-sex marriage. I encourage all those concerned about this matter to get the book. It is fully documented and referenced, and clearly makes the case against SSM. But here I want to examine five popular myths and objections often raised by the homosexual activists.

These are by no means the only objections, and each new day seems to bring new – if specious and unconvincing – objections, myths and misunderstandings about all this.

Myth One: Discrimination

One complaint often made by homosexuals is that they are being discriminated against under current marriage laws, and they are being denied their rights. But these arguments are as fallacious as they are common. The truth is, no one has the kind of equality that the homosexual activists are clamouring for here. Indeed, homosexuals are no more (and no less) being discriminated against here than are all kinds of other people.

Yes it is true, homosexual couples cannot now legally marry. But neither can a whole lot of other folk. A five-year old boy cannot marry. Three people cannot get married to each other. And I cannot marry, because I am already married. A girl cannot marry her pet goldfish, no matter how much she might love it. A father cannot marry his daughter, regardless of his affection for her. The list is endless.

However, under the law, almost all of us can marry, given certain conditions. If I divorce my current wife, I am then free to marry. The five-year-old could wait for around a dozen years, and then he will be free to marry. The threesome can decide to give one the boot, and then get married (provided they are an opposite sex pair), and so on.

And a homosexual too can marry. There is no law saying a homosexual cannot marry, if he decides to find a woman and settle down (or if a lesbian finds a man and seeks marriage). But it is nonsense for a person to eschew male-female relationships in favor of same-sex ones, and then complain of discrimination.

Myth Two: Homophobia

One of the most common objections is of course no objection at all; it is just a case of name calling. Instead of dealing with facts and evidence, and actually making a cogent argument, the homosexual activists will usually just resort to ad hominem attacks, verbal abuse, and mud-slinging.

It is so much easier to hurl abuse than to actually make an argument or deal with an argument. And it is a great conversation stopper of course. Simply throw out the charge of “homophobia” and the activists somehow think they have actually won the debate.

Of course they have done nothing of the sort. They have simply engaged in name calling. There are in fact plenty of sound, intelligent, and evidence-based reasons why we should not legalise SSM. Indeed, I offer eight of them in this recent article:

Fortunately there are some homosexual activists who are honest enough to admit that these lame attacks really do nothing for their cause. As one says:

“I have watched with growing irritation as principled opponents of gay marriage have put up with a stream of abuse for explaining their position. Public figures who try to do so routinely have to contend with the charge that they are bigoted or homophobic. When Fine Gael’s Lucinda Creighton confirmed her opposition to same-sex marriage during the general election campaign, there were calls for Enda Kenny to sack her. David Quinn of the pro-marriage Iona Institute is regularly abused in sometimes extraordinary terms for making similar arguments. They’re not the only ones. The reflex response from many gay marriage advocates is to paint all dissent as prejudice, as if the only reason for defending marriage as it has existed to date is some variety of bigotry or psychological imbalance….

“Surely it’s time to have a proper conversation about gay marriage, a conversation where people are no longer made to feel that if they do not offer knee-jerk support to it, they will be branded anti-gay. Only then will the essence and the real reason for supporting traditional marriage be allowed to come to the fore again. The best interests of the children of the nation must always come first.”

Myth Three: The race card

Another way the activists seek to deceive the public is to use faulty analogies. For example, many advocates of SSM will raise the issue of racial segregation and policies which prevented people of different races from marrying (anti- miscegenation laws). They claim that just as we now have renounced such discriminatory laws regarding marriage between the races, so too we should stop the restriction on same-sex marriage.

But there is simply no comparison between racist laws and defending heterosexual marriage. Even black activists have rejected such a disingenuous analogy. For example, Jesse Jackson told a group of Harvard Law School students in 2004 that “gays were never called three-fifths human in the Constitution, and they did not require the Voting Rights Act to have the right to vote.”

Apartheid and laws banning inter-racial marriage are about keeping races apart. Marriage is about bringing the sexes together. Heterosexual marriage has been around for millennia. Talk of same-sex marriage has been around for a few short decades. Marriage was thus not created to discriminate against anyone, as apartheid was.

Laws banning interracial marriages were unjust, and overturning them did not mean a redefinition of marriage but an affirmation of it. Men and women should be allowed to marry regardless of skin colour, as this does nothing to alter the one man, one woman aspect of marriage. Same-sex marriage however is completely different, and it is a redefinition of marriage.

As one commentator notes, “Same-sex marriage and interracial marriage have nothing in common. There is no difference between a black and a white human being because skin color is morally trivial. There is an enormous difference, however, between a man and a woman. Ethnicity has no bearing on marriage. Sex is fundamental to marriage.”

Even some homosexual activists admit that this is a bad comparison. Says one, “I am uneasy with the frequent equation of the prohibition of same-sex marriage with interracial ones: in the latter case racism prevented marriages that were indistinguishable for any other reason. Same-sex partnerships are as valid and as significant as heterosexual ones, but they are also different, and maybe we should celebrate, not deny the difference.”

Myth Four: Equality

For all the talk about equality and the like, the truth is, there is no law anywhere preventing homosexuals from marrying. Anyone can marry, provided they meet the criteria for marriage. Those who do not meet these criteria are: minors, blood relatives, groups, those already married, and so on. To get married you must meet the qualifications of marriage. The primary qualification of course is to have two people, one from each gender. These restrictions apply equally to everyone, whether heterosexual or homosexual. Thus there is no discrimination here.

When homosexuals try to circumvent these rules or ignore them altogether they are not endeavouring to get equal rights; they are attempting to get special rights. Indeed, what they claim “is a new right; the right to reconfigure the conditions of marriage in such a way as to change its very definition, while denying they are doing any such thing.”

What is really being attempted here is to treat unequal things equally. But a basic purpose of justice is to ensure that equals are treated equally. If equals are being treated unequally, then charges of injustice can be made. But there is no injustice in recognising the obvious differences between a same-sex relationship and a heterosexual relationship.

Sure, homosexuals, as individual human beings, are fully equal to heterosexuals. But while all people are equal, not all relationships are. The many important ways in which these two types of relationships differ have already been discussed by me elsewhere.

And love between homosexuals – or between those in other sorts of relationships – can still continue and flourish without marriage. As one leading Professor of Jurisprudence states, “the most genuine love may subsist between parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, brothers and sisters, and in the nature of things – in the nature of things – nothing in those loves could possibly be diminished as love because they are not attended by penetration or expressed in marriage.”

There have always been various social goods which are denied to different people for various reasons. A driver who cannot meet the obligations of low insurance rates (too young, too inexperienced, too many accidents, etc) will not be eligible to receive those benefits. That is how life operates. If anything, it is a necessary and just discrimination.

All societies, in order to survive, engage in proper acts of discrimination all the time. Just as there can be bad discrimination, so there can be good discrimination. Societies have always discriminated in favour of heterosexual unions and the children they produce because of the overwhelming social good derived from them.

Procreation and the raising of children is such an overwhelmingly important social good, and the mother-father unit cemented by marriage is such an overwhelmingly superior way of ensuring the best outcomes for children – and therefore society, that societies everywhere extend favours and benefits to married couples that they do not to other types of relationships.

Myth Five: Childless heterosexual couples

Activists will often raise the issue of heterosexual couples who do not have children, stating that marriage isn’t just about having children, so they should be included. But marriage is certainly always open to the possibility of children, even though for various reasons not all marriages will result in children. One commentator offers this insight on the relationship of marriage to reproduction: just turn the question around. That is, instead of asking “whether actual reproduction is essential to marriage, ask this: If marriage never had anything to do with reproduction, would there be any reason for the government to be involved in regulating or rewarding it?” Governments do not determine who your best friend should be. But when the possibility of children arises, then governments and societies are greatly concerned.

Or as another commentator puts it, “Marriage’s main purpose is to make sure that any child born has two responsible parents, a mother and a father who are committed to the child and committed to each other. To achieve this goal, it has never been necessary, and it would never be possible, for society to require that each and every married couple bear a child!”

Sterility is the exception to the rule for heterosexual couples, while it is the norm for homosexual couples. A couple is not required to have babies when getting married, but it remains the generally expected norm. Some couples cannot have children. Some don’t want them. But heterosexuality makes procreation possible, while homosexuality makes it impossible.

The fact that a book can lie unread does not make it anything other than a book. The purpose or function of a book is to be read, but it does not become less than a book if it is not read. Nature’s purpose or function for human sexuality is procreation. The fact that not every sexual act results in procreation does not take away this essential feature.

As one law professor notes, “Homosexual sex is never procreation; male-female sex (even in sterile couples) is always potentially and at least symbolically procreative in kind.” And even some homosexuals themselves realise how important a mother and a father are to children, and therefore oppose same-sex marriage. Let me cite just one here:

“Marriage is vital as a framework within which children can be brought up by a man and woman. Not all marriages, of course, involve child-raising. And there are also, for that matter, same-sex couples already raising children. But the reality is that marriages tend towards child-raising and same-sex partnerships do not.

“I am conscious of this when considering my own circle of friends, quite a few of whom have recently married or will soon do so in the future. Many, if not most or all of them, will raise children. If, however, I or gay friends form civil partnerships, those are much more unlikely to involve raising children. So the question that matters is this: Why should a gay relationship be treated the same way as a marriage, despite this fundamental difference?

“A wealth of research demonstrates the marriage of a man and a woman provides children with the best life outcomes, that children raised in marriages that stay together do best across a whole range of measures. This is certainly not to cast aspersions on other families, but it does underscore the importance of marriage as an institution.

“This is why the demand for gay marriage goes doubly wrong. It is not a demand for marriage to be extended to gay people – it is a demand for marriage to be redefined. The understanding of marriage as an institution that exists and is supported for the sake of strong families changes to an understanding of marriage as merely the end-point of romance.


If these are among the best objections that the activists can raise, then it seems their case for SSM is very weak indeed. None of their objections in any way make the case for destroying the institution of marriage by including homosexual couples.

But these and other myths are continuously being tossed about by the social engineers. Some of the other common objections which I have not mentioned here are simply so lightweight and vacuous, they show that these folks are really scraping the bottom of the barrel to make their case.

These and other myths I deal with at length in my new book Strained Relations: The Challenge of Homosexuality. In that book I fully document the information mentioned above. Indeed, with over 700 footnotes, it is a comprehensive treatment of this and related issues. There are at least three places where you can get the book if you are interested:

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35 Responses to Dispelling the Same-Sex Marriage Myths

  • I think the most important point you make Bill, is that there are several qualifications for marriage, (the “one of each gender” rule is just one of them). Each one of those qualifications is now or soon will be under attack. We must guard all of those qualifications.
    John Bennett

  • Bill, I know this is about ssm. You write: If you divorce your wife, you are fee to marry. That is under the worldly law. Not under God’s law. God calls it ADULTERY, an adulterous relationship.
    Judith Bond

  • In truth, keeping the definition of marriage is just and coherent.
    The ssm proponents conception of marriage is unjust and incoherent.
    Stand and stay strong Gods way for marriage, One man with one woman for Life.
    Judith Bond

  • Spiked Online recently had a good article where Brendan O’Neill got stuck into the interracial marriage issue.
    Lee Herridge

  • Thanks for that Lee.

    This, I take it, is a version of that article. Not bad for an atheist – even he can see through this silliness:

    Many thanks for alerting us to it.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • “Yes it is true, a homosexual cannot now legally marry.”

    Wouldn’t the sentence “a homosexual couple cannot now legally marry” be more accurate? Sorry to be picky, Bill, and I realise the rest of the article does explain it more, but it seems to me there are enough individuals only too ready to get upset as if they are being singled out. I think it is important to make the distinction that the truth in this issue is not directed at any given individual or their identity but a level of recognition of a something that is between them. If ssm never goes anywhere, no human rights of any individual by themselves will be infringed.

    The truth is that every individual in Australia has exactly the same set of rules that apply to them pertaining to marriage as everybody else. That is the very definition of equality.

    Mark Rabich

  • Thanks Mark

    Yes quite right – your point is well taken so I have made the change. Thanks again

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • This is an excellent 14-minute video rebutting a popular pro-homosexual marriage video. It is well worth watching and sharing widely:

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • It is in part a plain matter of language. Same-sex couples in the UK can enter into a “civil partnership” which has virtually all the legal advantages of marriage. To ask that it be called “marriage” is like asking for men to be allowed to be aunts; same-sex partnerships are linguistically not marriages.
    Richard Sturch

  • Oh, sorry, I saw it was shared above, remove my comment if it is redundant.
    Servaas Hofmeyr, South Africa

  • No problems Servaas

    It is such a good piece that it is worth drawing our attention to it more than once!.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • It is interesting how, as in your myth 5, the people who argue that way use the existence of evil as an argument for their point of view. The fact that heterosexual couples have no children is not a good, but a bad thing. So, they are trying to justify their evil desires by pointing out the existence of other evil. I just read another one of your old articles Bill on abortion and it seems there it is the same. If a mother justifies her abortion by saying that the world is not a good place for the child to be born into, that is an evil thing, the possibility of child abuse or poverty or single parent family etc. God wants us to overcome evil with good, here they are arguing to overcome evil by more evil.
    Even another commentator above said it by making exception for abortion in the case of rape. It is only perfect and sacrificial love that can overcome evil and I pray for those women who have been raped and are pregnant as a result that God would give them supernatural love to accept that child that did not ask to be conceived under such circumstances. It wouldn’t be easy, but I pray it will happen. I have heard a testimony of a family where the mother was raped. They already had 2 children, so it wasn’t just her accepting the child, but the husband and siblings as well. it was a great testimony to God’s redeeming and overcoming love.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  • “Yes it is true, homosexual couples cannot now legally marry.”

    I’m sorry, Mr Muehlenberg, I was under the impression that in certain states of the US and in a number of other countries, gay couples can legally marry (some of these countries have legalized same-sex marriage since the early noughties).
    Perhaps I have inadvertantly slipped through a time warp to 1998 so please may I send you a message from the future:
    Same-sex marriage does not bring the world to an end….

    Jane Newsham

  • Thanks Jane

    But let me call your bluff here. I am of course writing from a country where SSM is not legal – Australia. And in my companion piece to this article I do address the issue of what has happened in other places where it has been legalised (see point 5). As the citizens of those domains well know, it sure has changed everything – for the worse:

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • “Same-sex marriage does not bring the world to an end….” but make no mistake about this Jane – it will certainly contribute to it!
    Steve Davis

  • Yes quite right Steve. See my newest article which makes this very case:

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • But wait, there’s more:
    – gays want to change the opposite gender part of the marriage laws,
    – polyamorists want to change the number involved,
    – pedophiles want to change the age restriction,
    – incest perpetrators probably want to change the “no relatives” bit,
    – then there’s bestiality perps:
    what will we be left with?

    John Bennett

  • Yes quite right John and very well put. I can see myself making a little chart about all this!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • One statistic I would be interested to see in the future is if the rate of homosexuality per population falls, as it becomes more accepted. Part of the attraction of this lifestyle, I feel, is to be a misunderstood outsider. If things keeps going the way they are this rebellious status will no longer exist.
    John Smith

  • Summing up my previous statement, every clause in the Marriage Act is likely to be challenged.
    John Bennett

  • A range of interesting and well researched and informed articles. Well done.

    A minor issue with Ursula Bennett; as I recall the Anglican Book of Common Prayer list three reasons for marriage, only one of which is the nurturing of children. The second is to provide the outlet for the natural affections between men and women, and the third if I remember rightly is to do with the spiritual union between God and the Church.

    Can Ursula please justify why childlessness in marriage is evil, when there are clearly other reasons for it.

    David Williams

  • Thanks David

    Ursula can answer, but I think she was trying to say this: in her 2nd sentence she is saying it is of course a sad thing when a heterosexual couple cannot have children if they want them. In her 3rd sentence she is saying it is wrong of homosexuals to use that fact to bolster their own misguided case.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • What about these fabulous arguments from the homosexuals?
    1. you are a bigot
    2. you are a homophobe
    3. &*/#@!
    4. you are a secret homosexual

    Anne-Marie Modra

  • Hey exactly right Anne-Marie – I get all four all the time! I love the last one. These guys insist that I am a closet homosexual! Try telling my wife and kids that! These guys are at least great for a good laugh. They certainly are incapable of stringing together a coherent argument.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Regarding number 4 – one wonders why anybody allegedly endorsing a particular way of living would then turn around and claim that accusing someone with living that way is valid as an insult. They’re effectively admitting that they themselves know it is wrong. If it were true, shouldn’t they actually be thrilled??

    Leaving aside that we shouldn’t insult anyway, I’d seriously doubt you’d hear a Christian accuse a non-Christian of being a ‘secret Christian’.

    “Hey there, Richard Dawkins! When you’re by yourself I bet you sing hymns, pray and worship God!”
    Now that’s mud that’ll stick! 😀

    Mark Rabich

  • Yes quite right Mark.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks Bil for explaining what I meant before I got a chance to reply.
    Yes, David, I meant that it was God’s good plan in the beginning for the human race to be procreated through human sexuality expressed in marriage. That doesn’t mean that this is the only good thing that is happening in marriage, of course the unity expressed by husband and wife as you said, reflecting the mystery of Christ and his bride the church. Let me also explain more fully what I mean by evil. To me it is not just something that is obviously bad like death and destruction, but it starts far earlier than that, it is, as I see it the absence of good, any absence of good even in the smallest detail even where it is not yet visible to the human eye or perception.
    Every married couple of course has the “right” to choose not to have children through the practice of abstinence, but children are a blessing and where a blessing is prevented through medical conditions, then to me it is an evil because it is the absence of that intended good potential of being able to have children.
    I hope that makes it clear.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  • Once again, Bill, I’m awed by the clarity and logic of your arguments. The biological illogicality of homosexual behaviour is so self-evident that I find myself bemused by the extraordinary irrational effort being made worldwide to deny this simple fact.
    Dominic Baron, NZ

  • Many thanks indeed Dominic.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • The whole of queer theory or gay ideology is a lie and so one could go on endlessly raising one lie after another about it. But one that is overlooked is that homosexuals talk about their relationships as healthy and nourishing and yet homosexuality is nothing more than a recipe for killing a nation softly – not by invasion or natural disaster but in the oldest manner possible for a nation to die: through no longer producing the next generation.
    When girls in school are taught that the worst thing that happen to them is to become pregnant and raise a family; when abortion, contraception and even sterilisation are going possibly going to become mandatory for children; when indeed voluntary suicide and euthanasia will become a “life choice”; when sexually transmitted diseases are going to cause infertility and an early death; and when marriage itself is going to be redefined that will exclude dirty breeders (those who procreate naturally) and when we see that our Nation’s birth rate has already gone below that from which it can never recover, we must realise that we have produced a culture of death. As a nation we are committing suicide.
    However we know that there is one group in our midst who are able to isolate themselves from the surrounding host nation and continue breeding, thank you very much, and that is Muslims. Marriage strictly between a man and woman will be restored in ten, twenty or thirty years from now but it will not be one that we recognise or would want. It will be Islamic. Bring it on. Bring it on.

    David Skinner, UK

  • Gays often talk about the need to produce a stable cohesive society and yet this amazing article, written by a lesbian in 2009, entitled “My Future Family” really is a window into fragmentation and dualism. It is as Schaeffer used to say; a world where there are only particulars but without any unity.
    This lesbian describes perfectly the disintegration of her personality. She goes to one group of people for close, personal non-sexual relationships. She goes to others for sex and to sate her physical passions and finally she goes to others who clinically and impersonally inseminate her, such as the father of her children. To her this does not qualify as sex. This is merely a mechanical procedure.

    David Skinner, UK

  • Hi Bill, well written as always.

    Just wondering if you’ve got a link for the homosexual person you quoted in Myth 5? That’s a great quote and certainly one that I’ll find useful in future! In fact, as there’s a bit of dialogue between a friends and I on Facebook, the sooner the better!

    Many thanks!

  • Thanks John. Richard Waghorne. See pp. 126-127 of my book for more, plus full reference.

  • Thank you, Bill!

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