Til Death Do Us Part?

By Dr. Paul Cameron

Dr. Cameron is Chairman of the Family Research Institute of Colorado Springs, Colorado USA. Click here for more information about this organization. You may contact him at: Family Research Institute, PO Box 62640, Colorado Springs, CO 80962 USA. Phone number: (303) 681-3113. (They don't have an e-mail address.)

Society has a vested interest in prohibiting behavior that endangers the health or safety of the community. Because of this, homosexual liaisons have historically been forbidden by law.

Homosexuals contend that their relationships are the equivalent of marriage between a man and woman. They demand that society dignify and approve of their partnerships by giving them legal status as 'marriages.' They further argue that homosexuals should be allowed to become foster parents or adopt children.

The best scientific evidence suggests that putting society's stamp of approval on homosexual partnerships would harm society in general and homosexuals in particular, the very individuals some contend would be helped.

A large body of scientific evidence suggests that homosexual marriage is a defective counterfeit of traditional marriage and that it poses a clear and present danger to the health of the community:

Traditional marriage improves the health of its participants, has the lowest rate of domestic violence, prolongs life, and is the best context in which to raise children.

Homosexual coupling undermines its participants' health, has the highest rate of domestic violence, shortens life, and is a poor environment in which to raise children.

The Facts About Homosexual Marriage

Fact #1: Homosexual marriages are short lived.

When one examines homosexual behavior patterns, it becomes clear that the plea for legal homosexual marriage is less about marriage than the push for legitimacy. Most gays and lesbians are not in monogamous relationships, and in fact often live alone by preference.

Variety Over Monogamy

Although gay activists often argue that legalizing homosexual marriage would help make such relationships more permanent, the reality is that most gays desire variety in their sex partners, not the monogamy of traditional marriage.

Even gays who do have long-term partners do not play by the typical 'rules.' Only 69% of Dutch gays" with a marriage-type 'partner' actually lived together. The average number of "outside partners" per year of 'marriage' was 7.1 and increased from 2.5 in the first year of the relationship to 11 in the 6th year.

Why are homosexual marriages shorter and less committed than traditional marriages?

At any given time, less than a third of gays and approximately half of lesbians are living with a lover. Because the relationships are so short, the average homosexual can anticipate many, many 'divorces.'

At any instant, about 10% of gays live together in monogamous relationships. Their monogamy seldom lasts beyond a year. Perhaps half of lesbians live together in monogamous relationships. These typically dissolve in one to three years.

These same patterns appear in the scientific literature over the last 50 years both long before and during the AIDS epidemic. This consistency suggests a reality associated with the practice of homosexuality, one unlikely to be affected by changes in marriage laws.

The Danish Experience

In Denmark, a form of homosexual marriage has been legal since 1989. Through 1995, less than 5% of Danish homosexuals had gotten married, and 28% of these marriages had already ended in divorce or death.(12)

The Danish experience provides no evidence that gay 'marriage' is beneficial. Men who married men were three times more apt to be widowers before the age of 55 than men who married women! Similarly, a woman who married a woman was three times more apt to be a widow than a woman who married a man.

Fact #2: Studies show homosexual marriage is hazardous to one's health.

Across the world, numerous researchers have reported that 'committed' or 'coupled' homosexuals are more apt to engage in highly risky and biologically unsanitary sexual practices than are 'single' gays. As a consequence of this activity, they increase their chances of getting AIDS and other sexually transmitted or blood-borne diseases.

Why is homosexual marriage a health hazard?

While married people pledge and generally live up to their vows of sexual faithfulness, participants in both gay and lesbian "marriages" offer each other something quite different. They see shared biological intimacy and sexual risk-taking as the hallmark of trust and commitment. Being exposed in this way to the bodily discharges of their partner increases the risk of disease, especially so if that partner was 'married' to someone else before or engaged in sex with others outside the relationship.

The evidence is strong that both gays and lesbians are more apt to take biological risks when having sex with a partner than when having casual sex. The evidence is also strong that gays disproportionately contract more disease, especially AIDS and the various forms of hepatitis, from sex with "partners" than they do from sex with strangers. There is also some evidence(20) that gays with partners are more apt to die of both AIDS and non-AIDS conditions than those without partners.

Like gays, 'married' lesbians are more apt to engage in biological intimacy and risk-taking. However, there is insufficient evidence to conclude whether disease or death rates are higher for partnered or unpartnered lesbians.

Fact #3: Homosexual marriage has the highest rate of domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a public health concern. Among heterosexuals, not only is it an obvious marker of a troubled marriage, but media attention and tax dollars to aid 'battered women' have both grown tremendously in recent years. What is not reported is the empirical evidence suggesting that homosexual couples have higher rates of domestic violence than do heterosexual couples, especially among lesbians.

In 1996,(21) Susan Holt, coordinator of the domestic violence unit of the Los Angeles Gay Lesbian Center, said that "domestic violence is the third largest health problem facing the gay and lesbian community today and trails only behind AIDS and substance abuse... in terms of sheer numbers and lethality."

The average rate of domestic violence in traditional marriage, established by a nationwide federal government survey(22) of 6,779 married couples in 1988, is apparently less than 5% per year. During their most recent year of marriage, 2.0% of husbands and 3.2% of wives said that they were hit, shoved or had things thrown at them. Unmarried, cohabiting heterosexuals report(23) higher rates of violence rate of about 20% to 25% per year.

When the same standard is applied to gay and lesbian relationships, the following evidence emerges:

Overall, the evidence is fairly compelling that homosexual domestic violence exceeds heterosexual domestic violence. The limited scientific literature suggests that physical domestic violence occurs every year among less than 5% of traditionally married couples, 20% to 25% of cohabiting heterosexuals, and approximately half of lesbian couples. The evidence is less certain for gays, but their rate appears to fall somewhere between that for unmarried, cohabiting heterosexuals and lesbians.

Fact #4: Homosexual domestic violence is a logger problem than gay bashing.

Gay activists and the media are quick to assert that discriminatory attitudes by 'straight' society lead directly to violence against homosexuals (i.e., 'gay bashing'). In fact, evidence suggests that homosexual domestic violence substantially exceeds, in frequency and lethality, any and all forms of 'gay bashing.' That is, the violence that homosexuals do to one another is much more significant than the violence that others do to homosexuals.

In 1995, a homosexual domestic violence consortium conducted a study(28) in six cities Chicago, Columbus, Minneapolis, New York, San Diego, and San Francisco where reports of anti-homosexual harassment or same sex domestic violence were tabulated.

The harassment incidents ranged from name calling (e.g., 'faggot,' 'queer') to actual physical harm or property damage. Homosexual domestic violence, on the other hand, referred only to incidents in which actual physical harm occurred or was seriously threatened (i.e., met the legal standard for domestic violence).

The results? Nationwide,(29) as well as in these cities, around half of anti-homosexual harassment reports in 1995 involved only slurs or insults, thus not rising to the level of actual or threatened physical violence.

In San Francisco, there were 347 calls about same-sex domestic violence and 324 calls about anti-homosexual harassment. In three of the five other cities there were also more calls reporting same-sex domestic violence than anti homosexual harassment. The same ratio was reported for the study as a whole.

Given that half of the harassment reports did not rise to the level of violence, while domestic violence meant exactly that, if the data gathered by this consortium of homosexuals corresponds to the underlying reality, the physical threat to homosexuals from same-sex domestic violence is more than twice as great as the physical threat they experience from 'the outside.'

Rather than being a 'shelter against the storms of life,' as traditional marriage is sometimes characterized, being homosexually partnered actually increases the physical dangers associated with homosexuality.

Fact #5: Homosexuals make poor parents.

Fewer than 20 empirical studies have been done on homosexual parents. These studies have been small, biased, and generally fail to address many of the traditional concerns regarding homosexual parenting. However, the limited evidence they have generated supports what common sense would expect.

The largest study,(30) and the only one based on a random sample, estimated that less than half of a percent of Americans have had a homosexual parent. Those who did were more likely to:

  1. report having had sex with a parent,
  2. experience homosexuality as their first sexual encounter,
  3. be sexually molested,
  4. become homosexual or bisexual, and
  5. report dissatisfaction with their childhood.

The various studies,(31) added together, suggest that the children of homosexuals are at least 3 times more apt to become homosexual than children raised by the traditionally norm.

Further, there is reasonable evidence, both in the empirical literature and in dozens of court cases dealing with the issue,(32) that children of homosexuals are more apt to be sexually exposed to the homosexual lifestyle and/or molested.

Finally, substantial evidence(31) suggests that children of homosexuals are more apt to doubt their own sexuality, be embarrassed by their homosexual parent(s), and be teased and taunted by their peers.

What Can We Conclude?

Homosexual marriage is a bad idea, While traditional marriage delivers benefits to its participants as well as to society, gay marriage harms everyone it touches especially homosexuals themselves. Not only does it place homosexuals at increased risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, but it also subjects them to an increased threat of domestic violence and early death.

Homosexual marriage is nothing like traditional marriage. Homosexual unions are not built around lifetime commitments, nor are they good environments to raise children.

Those who support legalizing homosexual marriage include the same compassionate people who championed the right of singles to become parents. We know the results of that campaign: a third of the nation's children do not have a father. We also know that children without fathers much more often do poorly in school, get in trouble with the law, and become dysfunctional parents themselves.

It would be foolish to tamper with something as vital to personal and social health as traditional marriage in order the placate the same troubled souls that pushed for our current cultural mess.


1. Weinberg, M.S. Williams, C.J. Male homosexuals: their problems adaptations. NY: Penguin, 1975.

2. Bell, A. P. Weinberg, M.S. Homosexualaies NY:Simon Schusver, 1978.

3. Spada, J. The Spada repon. NY:Sigmet, 1979

4. Jay, K. Young, A. The gay report. NY:Summit, 1979.

5. Blumstein, P. Schwartz, P. American couples NY:Morrow, 1983.

6. Hunt, A. J., et al. Genitourinary Medicine, 1990, 66, 423427.

7. Orr, K., Morrison, K. Doing it in the 90s. Univ. Toronto Laval Universities, 1993.

8. Kippax, S., et al. AIDS, 1993, 7, 257-263.

9. Osmond, D. H., et al. Amer I Public Health, 1994, 84, 1933-1937.

10. Lever, J. Advocate, Issue 661/662, August, 23, 1994, 15-24.

11. Deenen, A. A., et al. Archives Serual Behavior,1994, 23, 421431.

12. Wockner, R. Advocate, Issue 726, February 4, 1997, 26.

13. McKusick, L., et al. Amer I Public Health, 1985, 75, 493-496.

14. Franceschi, S., et al. Lancet, 1989, 1, 42.

15. Dawson, J. M., et al. AIDS, 1994, 8, 837-841.

16. Coxon A.P.M., et al. AIDS, 1993, 7, 877-882.

17. Hoff, C.C., et al. I Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 1997, 14, 72-78.

18. Wang, J. et al. Soc Sci Med, 1997, 44, 469-77.

19. Stevens, P. E. Soc Sci Med, 1994, 39,1565-78.

20. Cameron, P., Playfair, W. L., Wellum, S. The longevity of homosexuals. Omega, 1994, 29, 249 272.

21. Holt S. Ending the cycle of domestic violence. Gay Lesbian Times, 9126196, p. 39.

22. Sorenson, J, et al.. Amer I Public Health. 1996, 86, 3540.

23. Ellis, D. Violence Victims, 1989, 4, 235-255.

24. Gardner, R. Method of conflict resolution correlates af physical aggression victimization in heterosezual, lesbian, gay male couples. Unpub Doc Dis, U Georgia, 1988.

25. Waterman, C.K, et al. J Sel Research 1989, 26, 118 124.

26. Lockhart, L.L., et al. I Interpersanal Vialence, 1994, 9, 469492.

27. Coleman, V. Violence in leshian couples: a berween groups comparison. Unpub Doc Dis, CA Sch Prof Psych:LA, 1990.

28. Merrill, G. Press release from National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, October 22, 1996 from San Francisco various inteniews in November, 1996 with senior author Memll, Jem Lynn Fields in Chicago, Bea Hanson in New York.

29. Anti-Lesbian/Gay Violence in 1995. Horizons Community Senices. Self published.

30. Cameron, P. Cameron, K. Homosexual parents, Adolescence, 1996, 31, 757-776.

31. Cameron, P. Cameron, K. Did the APA misrepresent the scientific literature to couns in suppon of homosexual custody? I Psychology, 1997, 131, 1-20.

32. Cameron, P. Cameron, K. Homosexual parents: a natural comparison. Psychol Repts, 1997, in press.

This educational pamphlet has been produced by Family Research Institute, Inc., Dr. Paul Cameron, Chairman. A complete report is available for a donation of $25 in the U.S., $40 foreign, postage included. Other pamphlets in the series include:

What Causes Homosexual Desire?
Child Molestation and Homosexuality
Medical Consequences of What Homosexuals Do
Violence and Homosexuality
Born WHAT Way?
The Psychology of Homosexuality

Suggested donation for pamphlets: 11 for $5, 25 for $10, 50 for $19, 100 for $35, 350 for $100, 1,000 for $250, postpaid. Remit to:

Family Research Institute
PO Box 62640
Colorado Springs, CO 80962
Phone: (303) 681-3113

The Family Research Report newsletter is $25/year ($40 foreign)

Copyright, 2014, Family Research Institute, Inc.

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