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This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.
by Doug Mainwaring
This article was first posted April 30, 2019, at Life Site News.
LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana, April 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A sociologist said that when it comes to children’s welfare, homosexual “marriage” accomplishes the exact opposite of conjugal marriage, placing children at four times the risk of emotional distress.
Fr. Paul Sullins, a Catholic priest and former sociology professor at the Catholic University of America, made his comments in a presentation on “the impact of same-sex parenting on children” at a “Survivors Summit,” hosted by the Ruth Institute, where Sullins now serves as senior researcher.
“There is a war on marriage today,” began Sullins, quoting Pope Francis. “It’s not a physical war of weapons, but a war of ideas. An ideological colonization that is trying to destroy the family by efforts to redefine the very institution of marriage.”
“This attack on the family is based on a demonic gender ideology that denies the order of creation, expressed in the complementarity of men and women,” he added.
Sullins spoke of the Catholic notion of marriage, which is in harmony with nature.
Marriage is between one man and one woman, who “engage in a natural, conjugal sexual relationship, ordered by a covenant designed to insure their own mutual good and the procreation and education of their offspring.”
“They give themselves to one another wholly, exclusively, and permanently,” he said.
On the other side of this demonic ideological war is this new idea of marriage as a “committed relationship.”
Evan Wolfson, one of the early central figures in the homosexual “marriage” movement, published what was considered to be a groundbreaking book in 2003, Why Marriage Matters, in which he defined marriage not as the Catholic Church does, or as nature has revealed it, but as “a relationship of emotional and financial interdependence between two people legitimized by a public commitment.”
Sullins noted that this is the exact language used in the 2008 California ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage” in that state, and later in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision legalizing homosexual “marriage” nationwide.
There are major differences between these two definitions, especially from the perspective of children.
“Conjugal marriage asks the desires of adults to take second place to the needs of children,” said Sullins, while “committed relationship (CR) marriage asks the needs of children to take second place to the desires of adults.”
“The possibility of children is built into a conjugal relationship,” said Sullins, “but in a CR relationship, children are external. They are an add-on if you want them.”
“Same-sex couples never conceive children and only a fraction of them have children in the home, said Sullins. He further noted that only about one quarter
of lesbian couples and no more than 13% of gay male couples ever have children present in their households.
“The absence of sexual difference in same-sex couples creates an environment that is not conducive to the full human development of children,” said Sullins.
“In God’s plan, each child should have the care of the very two persons of whose conjugal love that child is the expression,” noted Sullins, who quoted Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia: “Both the child’s mother and father are necessary for his or her integral and harmonious development.”
Using the best research available, Sullins used a graph to depict the vast difference in the presence of child emotional difficulties for kids raised by man+woman parents versus those raised by gay or lesbian parents. The differences in outcomes are striking.
Stepping down from natural design
Sullins explained that as society moves away from households with both biological mother and father present and “We move to separated, recombined, unstable or single heterosexual parents,” all of of these are “less consistent with the natural or Godly design.”
“Same-sex parents are the least natural of all the family forms on offer,” he added. It is a move from the most natural to the most unnatural.
A child’s well-being is reduced the farther away a child is removed from his own married biological parents. It drops to the lowest point with same-sex couple households — lower than any of the other possible family forms.
The reason same-sex parents don’t have better outcomes for their children is simply that none of them can ever be in the “both bio parents” category. About three fourths are in the “one bio parent” category and a fourth in the “no bio parents” category.
So for children, homosexual “marriage” accomplishes the exact opposite of conjugal marriage. Conjugal marriage assures for a child, as much as possible, the secure care of both his or her biological parents. Homosexual “marriage” assures that a child will never have the care of both biological parents.
The “Survivors Summit,” held April 26–27, is the brainchild of Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., founder and president of the Ruth Institute.
“Divorce and the LGBT subculture have changed the face of America in ways that cry out for thoughtful examination,” said Morse. The Summit’s aim is to help and inspire the many victims of the Sexual Revolution to become survivors and ultimately advocates for positive change.
Dr. Paul Sullins is a leader in the field of research on same-sex parenting and its implications for child development. He has written four books and over 100 journal articles, research reports, and essays on issues of family, faith, and culture. Formerly Episcopalian, Dr. Sullins is a married Catholic priest. He earned a Ph.D. at Catholic University in 1997 and taught there from 1998 until his retirement. He and his wife, Patricia, have an inter-racial family of three children, two adopted.