(AgapePress) - Homosexual activists in the U.S. are fighting ferociously for the legal right to marry, and are equalled in their tenacity only by their pro-family opponents. But when and where they are given the legal right, do homosexuals really want to get married?
Statistics appear to answer in the negative. That is the conclusion reached in a report issued by the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy (iMAPP) and written by the group's president, Maggie Gallagher, and policy director, Joshua K. Baker. The iMAPP policy paper, "Demand for Same-Sex Marriage: Evidence from the United States, Canada, and Europe [PDF]," indicates that immediately following the legalization of same-sex marriage, "the number of same-sex marriages, after an initial burst, appears to [decrease] with each year the legal option is available."
In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage. They were quickly followed by Belgium, Canada, Spain and South Africa. According to Caleb H. Price, research analyst in the Government and Public Policy Division at Focus on the Family, civil unions or other forms of domestic partnerships are allowed in an additional 11 nations.
But Gallagher and Baker found that homosexuals don't seem very enthusiastic about taking part in the institution of marriage. (See "State of the Unions" below) In the Netherlands, for example, only 6.3% of homosexuals in that nation have gotten married. Only 2.1% of the total Dutch population is homosexual.
In contrast, in U.S. states that have some form of same-sex benefits, a majority of heterosexuals are married: California (52%), Connecticut (55%), Massachusetts (52%), New Jersey (54%), Vermont (55%).
Even when they couple, homosexual relationships are relatively short-lived. A study of homosexual couples in Holland found that same-sex unions lasted an average of 18 months and included an average of eight additional sex partners outside the "monogamous" relationship.
Surprisingly, in France, despite the legalization of homosexual civil unions in 1999, a government commission issued its report in January of this year and recommended against legalizing same-sex marriage. The "Parliamentary Report on the Family and the Rights of Children" said the government should "affirm and protect children's rights and the primacy of those rights over adults' aspirations."
After canvassing experts in France, and traveling to Spain, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands and Canada in order to assess the reforms that have occurred in those nations, the commission said that the best interests of children argue against same-sex marriage.
The commission determined that it "is not possible to think about marriage separately from filiation: the two questions are closely connected, in that marriage is organized around the child."
As a result of that determination, the experts on the government panel realized that the right of homosexuals to marry would simultaneously or subsequently also have to include the right to adopt. "A majority of [the commission] does not wish to question the fundamental principles of the law of filiation, which are based on the tripartite unit of 'a father, a mother, a child,' citing the principle of caution," the report said. "For that reason, that majority also, logically, chose to deny access to marriage to same-sex couples."
If so few homosexuals want to get married when they are given the opportunity, why are "gay" and lesbian activists fighting so hard for legalizing same-sex marriage? Probably because homosexual activists are interested in the cultural victory that legalized same-sex marriage would represent, said Price.
"While winning the right to marry may be the 'crown jewel' of the gay-rights movement, what homosexuals really want is for homosexuality to be declared normative, natural and God-ordained," he said. "Their deepest desire is that homosexual behavior would no longer be sin."
State of the Unions
According to research conducted separately by the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy and Focus on the Family, only a small percentage of homosexuals marry, join in a civil union, or take advantage of domestic partner (DP) benefits when it becomes legal to do so. (While a few other nations have legalized some form of homosexual unions, an insufficient time has passed for the respective governments to collect statistics.)
Where same-sex marriage is legal ... % of homosexuals joined
Netherlands ... 6.30
Belgium ... 14.70
Massachusetts ... 10.20
Where civil unions are legal ... % of homosexuals joined
France ... 7.38
Germany ... 0.59
New Zealand ... 0.47
Vermont ... 16.00
Connecticut ... 1.17
Where DP benefits are available ... % of homosexuals joined
New Jersey ... 3.75
California ... 9.40
Tasmania (Australia) ... 0.97
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