ONE MAN, ONE WOMAN:
A Catholic's Guide to Defending Marriage
by Dale O'Leary
(Sophia Institute Press, 2007, 309pp, $40.00. Available from Freedom Publishing)
This book seeks to do two things: affirm the traditional understanding of heterosexual marriage, and challenge the homosexual offensive. Of course the two go together. There is probably no greater threat to the institutions of marriage and family than that posed by the militant homosexual lobby.
Dale O'Leary rightly argues that the homosexual assault on marriage and family is part of a much bigger political and ideological onslaught which she terms the 'Sexual Left'. It is a good designation, and refers to a number of malicious fellow travellers: the sexual liberationists, the radical feminists, the pro-abortion crowd, the population control movement, and the homosexual lobby.
Together these various activist groups and social engineers have been causing great harm not just to marriage and family, but to children and religious freedom as well. In this book O'Leary shows just how all these things are under attack, and demonstrates the importance of heterosexual marriage.
As to the issue of homosexuality, O'Leary covers all the bases. She challenges a number of myths that have long been peddled by the homosexual lobby and its supporters. These include the claim that one person in ten is homosexual; that homosexuality is genetically based, so homosexuals cannot change; that all relation- ships are of equal value; that children do just fine raised in same-sex households; and that the Bible does not condemn committed homosexual relationships.
Each of these claims is examined in some detail and found to be without factual basis. Consider the issue of same-sex parenting. Is it really true that family structure makes no difference to the outcome of children? The social science data clearly shows that family structure does matter.
The data is twofold: positively, the data shows how children thrive with two biological opposite-sex parents, and negatively, the data shows the harm done to children when raised in other households, especially same-sex 'families'. Yet a typical homosexual response is to say these negative outcomes are simply due to 'homophobia' in society.
However, as O'Leary points out, even with widespread social acceptance of heterosexual divorce, the pain and negative outcomes for children has not lessened. So why should we assume that 'even in a totally accepting society, permanently and purposefully fatherless and motherless children [in same-sex households] will simply 'adjust'?'
The risks to children raised in same-sex households are many. They are of course put in a situation - deliberately - where they will be deprived of either a biological mother or biological father. The research on the risks of such a situation is by now simply overwhelming and irrefutable.
Children will also be in the care of two adults suffering from gender identity confusion, which is what homosexuality is really all about. People who are same-sex attracted suffer from more emotional, psychological and developmental problems than do heterosexuals, as the research clearly demonstrates, and it is in that less than ideal environment the children must be raised.
Children are also at greater risk of sexual abuse if raised in any other family structure than the two-parent biological family. The very recent case in the UK of homosexual foster parents who sexually abused children in their care is just one of many examples here.
Family structure does matter, in other words, and children should not be the guinea pigs of radical social experimentation. The commodification of children is simply magni- fied in alternative lifestyle households.
O'Leary also spends a large portion of this book looking at the same-sex marriage debate, and the enormous negative consequences which follow from the legal recognition of homosexual marriage. Many problems arise. As just one example, when we legalise same-sex marriage, we open a door which no one can easily shut. The slippery slope sets in big time, in other words.
The growing acceptance of the polyamory movement is just one case in point. 'After all, if same-sex couples have rights, why not those whose preferred family form involves three or more partners?' Indeed, as O'Leary argues, the case for polyamory may in fact be stronger than the case for same-sex marriage: 'In contrast to same-sex marriage, there is historical and cultural precedent for it.' Moreover, unlike 'same- sex marriage, polygamy provides a father and a mother (and then some) for children'.
O'Leary concludes by offering a 12-point strategy for taking on the Sexual Left in general and the same- sex marriage advocates in particular. These include: telling the truth about homosexuality; codifying into law the true nature of heterosexual marriage; informing people of the harm children especially experience because of the agenda of the Sexual Left; and living well our own marriages.
The battle over marriage is far from over, and it is unclear which side will prevail. But for those concerned about protecting marriage and family, this book is an important part of our arsenal, and deserves careful reading.