The raging debate over homosexual marriage took another interesting turn this week when Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge M. Brooke Murdock struck down Maryland’s state law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The decision, handed down Jan. 20, claimed that Family Law ?2-201 unfairly abridged the fundamental marriage rights of the nine homosexual couples who filed the lawsuit.
Judge Murdock was not satisfied with merely striking down the state statute, however. In her written opinion, the circuit court judge went several steps further by claiming that the prohibition of same-sex marriage in no way “rationally relates to a legitimate state interest.” Murdock also dismissed the notion that same-sex marriage has any negative influence on traditional marriages or the nuclear family, or that “tradition and social values alone” can bolster what she deemed a “discriminatory statutory classification.”
Regrettably, such rationale neglects one of the most critical elements in the emotionally charged debate over same-sex marriage and homosexual behavior in general – public health. As witnessed by Judge Murdock’s decision, the issue of health is often turned aside in favor of arguments that hinge more on politics than fact. The problem with such a trend is obvious – the health ramifications of homosexual behavior should be at the forefront of the public policy debate, not on the periphery.
That is the principle reason conservatives should concentrate on both the cultural consequences of homosexual behavior and the public health ramifications. Such an argument will be a winner every time, especially when the facts are clearly presented.
For those who doubt, consider the evidence:
- Sexually transmitted diseases – Research gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, has found significantly higher rates of rectal gonorrhea, HIV/AIDS and all three strains of Hepatitis among homosexuals. Other studies have likewise linked homosexuality with increased rates of Human Papillomavirus (the leading cause of cervical cancer worldwide), syphilis and anal cancer. Although self-identified homosexuals account for less than 5 percent of the American population, they are the carriers of over 50 percent of HIV/AIDS cases.
- Risky behaviors – Campaigns to foster so-called “safe sex” among homosexuals have done nothing to reduce risky behavior. A 1997 CDC report found that among homosexuals who had unprotected anal intercourse and multiple sexual partners, 68 percent were entirely unaware of the HIV status of their partners.
- Promiscuity – A large percentage of homosexual men have hundreds of sexual partners throughout their lifetime. According to a profile of 2,583 homosexuals published in the Journal of Sex Research, only 2.7 reported having had sexual relations with only one partner, compared to the largest percentage that claimed to have had between 101 and 500 partners over their lifetime. Compare that to the markedly lower promiscuity rates among married heterosexual couples. According to the latest statistics from the CDC, 92 percent of married males and 93 percent of married females reported having had only one sexual partner over the previous twelve months (presumably their spouses).
- Domestic abuse – A survey conducted by the Journal of Social Service Research found that more than half of lesbian respondents reported having been abused by a female partner or lover. Conversely, research has found that married heterosexual women experience the lowest rates of domestic abuse compared to other types of relationships.
- Life span – A 1997 study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found that even under “the most liberal assumptions, gay and bisexual men in this urban center are now experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by all men in Canada in the year 1871.” The same study estimated that homosexual behavior reduces the lifespan of males by eight to 20 years. Comparatively, the CDC has found that male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 to 14.5 years of life, respectively.
These findings are not those of conservative pro-family advocacy groups, but of non-partisan, non-political medical journals and organizations devoted to protecting public health. What conclusion can logically be reached other than that homosexual behavior is both hazardous to the public at large and often deadly to those who practice it?
For those who promote homosexual behavior in the name of love and tolerance, it’s time to take a hard look at the facts surrounding the lifestyle. If someone is suffering from terminal cancer, is hiding the diagnosis and potential treatments of the disease the loving thing to do? Homosexuality is a cancer that affects every area of life – from the psychological to the spiritual – yet the medical facts are commonly swept under the carpet by politically motivated medical organizations and liberalism as a whole.
Those both inside and outside government ranks who truly value human beings created in the image of God will recognize the importance of being candid about the deadly health risks associated with homosexual behavior. Unlike modern interpretations of tolerance, true agape love has the ultimate physical, psychological and spiritual well-being of the individual at heart.
The good news is change is possible, but it starts with honesty. Homosexuality is not a benign lifestyle preference, but a death-sentence made possible by government neglect of public health concerns. Tragically, Judge Murdock’s ruling is another despicable example of a jurisprudence that is eroding the public welfare in the name of tolerance.
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David N. Bass is a 20-year-old Christian homeschool graduate who has written for World Newspaper Publishing and The Point, and is a regular columnist at AmericanDaily.com, IntellectualConservative.com and RenewAmerica.us. While attending college, he interns at a pro-family public-policy organization. Bass currently is working on his first novel.