Sunday, 12 May 2013, 08:00 , by C. Gwendolyn Landolt
In March this year, as a visitor from Canada to Malta, I was greatly impressed by your beautiful country, its magnificent harbours and cultural history. It seemed to me that Malta is blessed not only with beauty, but also with a strong and stalwart population.
I was concerned, however, to read an editorial in this newspaper, recommending that Malta legalize same-sex marriage. If this should occur, based on Canada’s experience where same-sex marriage was legalized in 2005, Malta will be profoundly changed.
According to the editorial, legalized same-sex marriage is only fair and reasonable in order to provide equality for same-sex couples. However, this is a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of marriage, since the relationship of same-sex couples differs biologically from that of heterosexual couples.
A same-sex relationship may provide the couple with intimacy and economic support, but this does not constitute a marriage; it is another kind of relationship. This is because it does not make the essential contribution to the public interest that heterosexual marriages make – namely, the procreation of children required for the continuation and survival of society.
Reproduction is a central (but not obligatory) part of the social significance of marriage. This is true even though not every heterosexual couple reproduces. Most do, and those that don’t are still able to provide both a mother and a father to any children they may care for. Couples who do not have children (whether by choice, infertility, or age) have the same type of sexual union as those that continue the human race by giving birth to children.
Same-sex couples, on the other hand, can never reproduce as a natural result of their sexual union, and their relationship deliberately denies either a mother or a father to any child they may acquire either by the use of reproductive materials (obtained necessarily from outside their union) or by adoption. This is an undeniable difference that easily justifies classifying such couples differently under the law.
Marriage laws have always discriminated on the basis of age, marital status and consanguinity (descended from the same ancestor) etc. It would, of course, be wrong to discriminate on the basis of colour because the latter is an immutable characteristic. Homosexuality, however, is a behaviour that is not an immutable characteristic, as evidenced by those former homosexuals and lesbians who now live satisfactory heterosexual lives.
In short, the state has a compelling interest in heterosexual unions it does not have in same-sex unions. This compelling interest to produce future generations is the reason that marriage between a man and a woman has remained a great constant in recorded history, crossing time, religion, culture and ethnic divisions.
Significantly, even though same-sex marriages have been legalized in Canada since 2005, a relatively small percentage of homosexuals and lesbians have actually bothered to marry. It seems, therefore, that it is not so much the legal right to marry that the activists wanted, but rather the cultural change that recognises and accepts their relationships and the ensuing changes it causes to society.
Regrettably, the unravelling of marriage and the uprooting of centuries-old traditional values and family ethics has been the result of legalizing same-sex marriage in Canada. This is evidenced by the following:
1. Children in Canadian schools are now indoctrinated to accept the normalization of homosexuality. This is based on the position that since same-sex marriage is equivalent to opposite-sex marriages, then homosexuality itself is, therefore, also equal to heterosexuality. In these instructions, children are misled by the portrayal of homosexuality in positive terms only, while ignoring the well-documented evidence gathered over the decades of the physical and psychological harm (including reduced life expectancy) caused by their risky sexual activity and lifestyle.
The Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Ontario now require schools, even faith-based ones, to accommodate homosexual student clubs under the name “Gay-Straight Alliances” whose purpose is to promote homosexuality. Similar initiatives are under consideration in the provinces of Manitoba and Nova Scotia. Homosexual activists are invited to the schools to assist with these programmes. Schools in these provinces are now a recruiting tool to increase the acceptance of, and the practice of, homosexuality.
Parents who hold differing social and/or religious views on homosexuality have been placed in a hostile environment by educational authorities and have been prohibited from withdrawing their children from the homosexual indoctrination programmes.
2. Adoption by homosexual couples and foster care is a legal requirement if same-sex marriage is legalized. This means that innocent children are being used as tools of social engineering. Yet, a large body of social research indicates that children flourish best when reared by their biological mothers and fathers in an intact family.
This impartial research indicates that same-sex arrangements are harmful to children, due to the following:
Higher rate of infidelity; increased health problems; reduced life expectancy; higher rate of violence in lesbian and homosexual relationships; higher rate of children raised in homosexual households becoming homosexuals; and a greater risk of parental sexual interference and social or psychological problems for the children.
3. Although clergy are exempt under Canadian law from performing same-sex marriages, there is no similar protection for the use of church facilities, such as parish halls, which are now required to be available for same-sex marriage receptions and other activities.
The legalization of same-sex marriage has led to a serious diminishing of religious liberties affecting such church-run organisations, schools and universities, nursing homes and other housing facilities, hospitals, and adoption and counselling services, which are required to provide services to same-sex couples, contrary to the religious beliefs of those operating such facilities.
4. Despite the fact that religion is a protected constitutional right in Canada, individuals associated with the marriage industry, such as marriage commissioners, limousine drivers, florists, bakers, caterers, disc jockeys, photographers, etc. are required to either participate in same-sex marriage proceedings by providing services to same-sex couples, against their conscience or religious belief, or lose their jobs.
5. Since the walls protecting marriage in Canada as a union between a man and a woman have been breached, pressure has arisen to accommodate other combinations of relationships, such as polygamy, polyandry (more than one husband) and polyamory (several relationships carried on simultaneously with members of either sex).
In 2010, the British Columbia Supreme Court heard arguments on the legality of polygamy. One of the arguments before the court was that since same-sex marriage was legalized because of equality rights, then other combinations of marital arrangements should also be legally accepted.
New Zealand legalized same-sex marriage in March, and a pressure group was formed within a week of its passage with the goal of legalizing group marriages.Homosexuals and lesbians are free to live as they choose, as we live in an age that accepts their practices as never before in history. However, they do not have the right to rewrite marriage for all of society for their own political and social benefit.
6. There has been intense political increase in Canada to recognise other sexual behaviours since same-sex marriages were legalized. For example, a bill is currently before the Canadian Parliament to provide legal recognition and protection for the transgendered who believe they were born with the wrong gender and, as a result, usually seek surgery and hormone treatment to further this illusion. Child pornographers and paedophiles now argue that their sexual inclinations should also be legal.
It is not realistic to assume that the collateral damage caused by the legalization of same-sex marriage will be avoided in Malta. Such legislation inevitably brings in its wake sweeping changes to the fabric of society and family life. Beautiful Malta and its people deserve better.