Two Sides of the Same Coin: the Homosexual “Marriage” Debate and the Divorce Culture

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Reading Archbishop Cordileone’s words on “marriage sanity” made me look at the homosexual marriage debate through new eyes. He says:

Too many children are being hurt by our culture’s strange and increasing inability to appreciate how important it is to bring together mothers and fathers for children in one loving home. … [T]here is that poverty of the spirit in which kids hunger for their missing parent, who often seems absent and disengaged from their lives. We all have a deep instinct for connectedness to where we came from, and we deeply desire it when we do not have it.

Our culture denies the necessity of “mothers and fathers for children in one stable home.” That is something that is not only lacking in a homosexual “marriage,” it’s also lacking in our “divorce culture.” Children of divorce have only one parent around all the time (and sometimes, not even that). Children raised by homosexual couples have only a father or a mother raising them — two men cannot provide the nurturing that a mother would provide; likewise, two women cannot provide the strength that a father provides. Children of divorce hunger for the missing father or mother. Children raised by homosexual couples hunger for whichever parent they’re missing. Children come from a mother and a father. It’s woven into their DNA. Being raised by “two daddies” or “two mommies” isn’t going to erase that — those two individuals are not the ones who created the children. Both of these attacks on marriage hurt the children.


Cordileone continues: “Redefining marriage will mean … changing the basic understanding of marriage from a child-centered institution to one that sees it as a temporary, revocable commitment which prioritizes the romantic happiness of adults over building a loving, lasting family.” Divorce has done that already. Divorce has ripped children from the heart of marriage; marriage is only about the happiness of the couple and if one of them isn’t happy, it can be ended. No one cares about the damage that does to the children. Homosexual “marriage” will remove children from the equation: the “marriage” is centered on the “happiness” of the couple, of their “love,” regardless of whether being raised by “two daddies” or “two mommies” will have lasting detrimental effects on the children.

Cordileone explains how society and history recognize that children need to be raised by a mother and a father:

A society that is careless about getting fathers and mothers together to raise their children in one loving family is causing enormous heartache. …
Why has virtually every known civilization across time and history recognized the need to bring together men and women to make and raise the next generation together? Clearly something important is at stake, or human beings of such different cultures, histories and religions would not come up with the basic idea of marriage as a male-female union over and over again.

He continues with the consequences of denying that the ideal situation in which to raise a child is within a stable marriage, the union of a man and a woman:

When we as a culture abandon that idea and ideal, children suffer, communities suffer, women suffer, and men are dehumanized by being told they aren’t important to the project of family life.
Modern social science evidence generally supports the idea that the ideal for a child is a married mother and father. The scientific study of children raised by two men or two women is in its infancy … several recent studies … are painting a less sanguine portrait that some professional organizations have yet acknowledged about whether two dads can make up for the absence of a mom, or vice versa. …
The job of single mothers is hard precisely because we aren’t as a society raising boys to believe they need to become faithful husbands and fathers, men who care for and protect their children, and the mother of their children, in marriage. And we aren’t raising girls to be the kind of young women with the high standards and the self-worth to expect and appreciate such men, and not to settle for less.
It is simply a natural fact that you need a man and a woman to make a marriage and that a child’s heart longs for the love of both his or her mother and father.

Our culture is already wounded by divorce. Children in our culture are wounded because many of them have been raised by only one parent. Being raised by two “daddies” or two “mommies” is not going to heal that wound. It’s only going to make that wound worse.

It might seem that a boy raised by two “daddies” has two examples of manliness, but he’s not going to learn how to treat women, because he doesn’t have the day-to-day example of how his father treats his mother. Part of being a man is knowing how to treat women, and he doesn’t have that experiential knowledge. He might think it’s okay to objectify and abuse women.

It might seem that a girl raised by two “mommies” has two examples of femininity, but she’s not going to learn how men should treat her, because she doesn’t have the day-to-day example of how her father treats her mother and her. Part of being a woman is knowing how a man should treat her, and she doesn’t have that experiential knowledge. She might think it’s okay to let a man objectify her.

A boy raised by two “mommies” will lack the first-hand example of how to be a man, just as boys raised by single mothers lack that example. (The endless stream of boyfriends won’t give him that example.) A girl raised by two “daddies” won’t learn how to act like a woman, just as girls raised by single fathers miss out on learning that. (An endless stream of girlfriends won’t teach her how to be a woman.)

Without that example, neither boys nor girls know how to form healthy relationships, as is seen in our divorce culture, where “teens from divorced homes are much more likely to engage in … sexual intercourse than are those from intact families.” In fifty years, if America continues down this path, I am sure that similar statistics will start “teens raised by homosexual couples…”

The solution to that wound and to those statistics is healthy marriages. Children want to be raised by a mother and a father. Children who are raised in a happy, healthy marriage with a mother and a father will flourish.

Emily C. Hurt

Emily C. Hurt

Emily C. Hurt is a 2012 graduate of Christendom College with a Bachelor's in Theology. She wrote her Senior Thesis on "Redemptive Suffering in the Theology of the Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen." When she's not job-hunting or reading Fulton Sheen, she writes about the writings of Fulton Sheen, redemptive suffering, and her alma mater at her blog,

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10 thoughts on “Two Sides of the Same Coin: the Homosexual “Marriage” Debate and the Divorce Culture”

  1. Pingback: Two Sides of the Same Coin: the Homosexual “Marriage” Debate and the Divorce Culture - CATHOLIC FEAST - Every day is a Celebration

  2. Hi Emily. Thanks for the excellent article. Maybe, the priests
    in your generation won’t do what so many priests in my generation have done.
    When a professed Catholic chooses to abandon marriage and force a no-fault
    divorce on his spouse and children, the priests remain silent bystanders, teaching “there is nothing wrong with divorce, only remarriage without an
    annulment.” The actual Church teaching and canon law teach that no
    Catholic can even file for a civil divorce without the bishop’s permission
    first and the bishop can have a thing or two to say about whether or not there
    is even a legitimate reason for separation of spouses (c. 1962). In no-fault
    divorce, the courts force children to go back and forth between two households
    even though they don’t want to. The courts, at the request of the abandoner
    force the faithful spouse (if he’s unlucky) to pay child support for his
    children to live where he’s not even allowed to live.

    1. Nobody can “force a no-fault divorce” on anybody. “No-fault” merely describes one way the State might resolve a divorce. The real crime is unilateral divorce. Alas, unilateral divorce as the root cause goes unrecognized because so many people are bamboozled by the misuse of the word “no-fault”.

  3. Could you point me to a study that shows that children raised by gay parents are worse off than children raised by heterosexual parents? Your claims in this article are unfounded and complete conjecture. I would be happy to eat my hat if you could point out some science to back up your article.

    1. Well, there’s this study, and its follow-up. The first was peer-reviewed, and satisfies your request as stated. It was later deemed controversial for supporting the double-plus-ungood-thought that children raised by gay parents are, in fact, worse off (statistically) than those raised by heterosexual parents.

      1. I just new that you would point out some pseudoscience, but I will respond to it anyway.

        The study you have linked asked the people who were interviewed if their parents (who were all straight) ever had a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex. The problem with this is that the “scientist” classified those who responded with a “yes” answer into the category of being raised by a lesbian or gay couple, which, I hope you would agree, is an incorrect assumption to make.

        I would recommend reading this article:

        as it will help you understand why the one you linked wasn’t science.

      2. The problem with using this study is not that it didn’t ask whether families were raised by a lesbian or gay parent (since it did ask whether a lesbian or gay parent lived with the family) but that it did not differentiate between stable lesbian and gay families and unstable ones.
        The study states at the end, “While previous studies suggest that children in planned GLB families seem to fare comparatively well, their actual representativeness among all GLB families in the US may be more modest than research based on convenience samples has presumed.” So I think that instead of arguing that gay people should not have kids, we should be encouraging them to have planned GLB families. If we do not want to do that, we should also make it illegal for straight couples to adopt or get remarried. Otherwise, it’s unjustly targeting gay people.

      3. Of courses it’s psuedoscience. That’s the whole point of sociology. Since the time of Alfred Kinsey, the whole point of the field has been to come up with the most ludicrous thing that can be called “true” in the name of pre-selected statistics and data manipulation.

  4. Also, your point that “but she’s not going to learn how men should treat her, because she doesn’t have the day-to-day example of how her father treats her mother and her. Part of being a woman is knowing how a man should treat her, and she doesn’t have that experiential knowledge. She might think it’s okay to let a man objectify her” is false. Fathers have been accused of raping daughters before. And she can learn how to interact with men by actually interacting with men who are not in her family.

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