The Shofar is the ancient trumpet which called the people of God to prayer, repentance, sacrifice and war.


Wednesday 30th June 2010 14.00hrs

By Stephen Green

Not satisfied with mere civil partnerships, homosexuals are constantly demanding the right to marry. What could this mean for the institution of marriage? Already some newspapers refer to civil ceremonies as 'weddings', and a pair of lesbians are often called 'brides', in a parody of the purity and loveliness of a real bride..

Does such language degrade true marriage, proper weddings and real brides? And given their renowned promiscuity, how would homosexuals cope with an institution characterised by the intention - at least - of lifelong sexual fidelity? Would they try to change it and in so doing, would they rip all meaning out of it?

At the most basic level, it depends on how many fake marriages there are. There is a certain number of £50 notes in circulation. Every counterfeit note depresses the value of the real ones. In the same way, the counterfeit of marriage which is civil partnership reduces the value of real marriage, and if homosexuals were allowed to marry, it would be devalued further.

As Mollie Ziegler Hemingway put in Christianity Today on 10th May 2010, 'the question that same-sex marriage advocates frequently ask, "How would gay marriage affect your marriage?" is posed rhetorically, as if marriage is a private institution with no social consequences.' Her article went on to defend chastity and fidelity against an onslaught against these Christian virtues contained in an article in The New York Times.

The article, on 'homosexual unions' claimed that these 'could significantly alter marriage norms'. It centred on a new study of homosexual couples in San Francisco . Half of these are "open," meaning that partners consent to each other having sex with other people.

The New York Times article, written by a homosexual, Scott James, said that the prevalence of such relationships could "rewrite the traditional rules of matrimony". It would do this, James argued, by 'showing straight couples that monogamy need not be a "central feature" of marriage and that sexually open relationships might "point the way for the survival of the institution."'

Significantly, nobody in an 'open relationship' agreed to give their full name for the story, worrying that "discussing the subject could undermine the legal fight for same-sex marriage." If it comes out, so to speak, that relationships based on sodomy are intrinsically unfaithful and unstable, then marriage would seem, in the public mind, an inappropriate institution in which to accommodate them.

The Family Research Council (FRC) reviewed some of the evidence of the stability and fidelity of both marriages and homosexual relationships. Taking various census findings and surveys of homosexual life, they showed that, even with all the current pressures to have affairs and divorce, around 60% of couples married in the 60s and 70s had been able to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. Only 5% of homosexual couples had done so. 70% of couples married in the 80s were still together after 10 years, a feat achieved by a mere 14% of gays.

85% of married women and 76.5% of married men reported sexual fidelity in a study by McWhirter and Mattison. Only 4.5% of homosexual men could say the same. Other studies note the staggering levels of promiscuity amongst homosexual men. Bell and Weinberg found the 43% of white male homosexuals had sex with 500 or more partners. Paul Van de Ven et al found the same: '"the modal range for number of sexual partners ever [of homosexuals] was 101-500." In addition, 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent had between 501 and 1,000 partners. A further 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent reported having had more than one thousand lifetime sexual partners.'

McWhirter and Mattison reported that, in a study of 156 males in homosexual relationships lasting from one to thirty-seven years, only seven were monogamous, and 'all couples with a relationship lasting more than five years have incorporated some provision for outside sexual activity in their relationships.' According to McWhirter and Mattison, 'most homosexual men understood sexual relations outside the relationship to be the norm and viewed adopting monogamous standards as an act of oppression.'

Family Research Council say: 'the extremely low rate of sexual fidelity among homosexual men dramatically contrasts with the high rate of fidelity among married heterosexuals.'

The lack of commitment mirrored that found in the San Francisco study cited by Scott James in the New York Times. 'A Canadian study of homosexual men who had been in committed relationships lasting longer than one year found that only 25 percent of those interviewed reported being monogamous. According to study author Barry Adam, "Gay culture allows men to explore different...forms of relationships besides the monogamy coveted by heterosexuals."'

This could explain why civil unions and gay marriages are so unpopular amongst homosexuals. FRC found that a mere 21% of homosexual men and women registered themselves as civil partners in the state of Vermont, compared to 52% of the population in married couple households. Despite a clamour for its introduction and fanfares accompanying civil partnership legislation in Sweden and same-sex 'marriage' in the Netherlands , only 2% of Swedish homosexuals and just under 3% of their Dutch counterparts registered after a year.

FRC based their figures on an assumption that 2.5% of the adult male population and 1.4% of the female are homosexual. Compared to the British National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles funded by the Wellcome Trust, such a percentage seems quite generous, but choosing a high percentage has the effect of making the percentage of homosexuals going into civil partnerships even more embarrassing.

In Britain , according to the Office for National Statistics, 33,956 civil partnerships have been registered since the Civil Partnership Act came into force in December 2005. Slightly more males than females registered, so lesbians were rather keener on the idea. But the adult population (sixteen and over) of the UK was around 41,530,000 in 2001.

Using the FRC assumption, there would be just over a million gays (shorthand for 'homosexual men') and just under 600,000 lesbians in the UK . Those figures mean that only 4.2% of homosexuals have registered for the civil partnerships that we were told they were crying out for. The numbers, say the NSO on their website, 'continue to fall.'

By way of contrast, the Office for National Statistics says that 51% of the adult population are married or remarried, with a further 8% widowed and 10% separated or divorced. So marriage is or has been chosen by 70% of the heterosexual population. (Our figures for civil partnerships do not subtract the numbers dissolving their partnerships.)

Some same-sex marriage advocates, who accept the rampant promiscuity and infidelity amongst homosexuals are unabashed in their claim that giving gays the same privilege would 'transform the institution'. New York University professor Judith Stacey, testifying before Congress against the Defense of Marriage Act, said changing the law to allow same-sex partners to marry would help "supplant the destructive sanctity of the family" and help it assume "varied, creative, and adaptive contours," including "small group marriages." One Michelangelo Signorile wrote that gays should "demand the right to marry not as a way of adhering to society's moral codes but rather to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution."

Others pressing for same-sex marriage hoped that heterosexual marital norms of monogamy and fidelity would be transferred to same-sex unions. But given the internal drive to find new sexual conquests, and the relentless dissatisfaction with the current partner, that hope appears vain.

As psychologist Dr David Reuben said pointedly, homosexuals are 'trying the impossible; trying to solve the puzzle with only half the pieces.'

The enactment in the Western world of civil partnerships and the minuscule take-up by gays and lesbians has reinforced Reuben's view, while the radical idea to transform marriage into a less-than faithful institution is doomed to failure. But that does not alter the fact that every homosexual civil union, let alone gay marriage, cheapens every real marriage. Laughing at 'the gays' and their futile attempts to ape heterosexuality - even at their efforts to redefine marriage - is not enough. Decent people must oppose their whole agenda.