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

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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