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How to make a valid secular case against cultural endorsement of homosexual behavior. Emphasize the following six reasons:

1) The nature argument. Marriage is not just about more intimacy. It is about merging with one's sexual other half or counterpart, a complementary sexual other. Erotic desire for what one is as a sexual being is sexual narcissism or sexual self-deception: an attempt at completing oneself sexually through merger with a sexual same. Most people intuit something developmentally deficient about being erotically attracted to the body parts and essential gender that one shares in common with another. See my online discussion in "Why the Disagreement...?" pp. 30-46 here; and my published entry on "Homosexuality" in New Dictionary of Christian Apologetics (Intervarsity Press), 327-32.

2) Negative side effects. Attending homosexual practice is a disproportionately high rate of negative side effects as regards (a) health (sexually transmitted disease, mental health problems, and shortened life expectancy) and (b) relational dynamics (short term relationships, high numbers of sex partners). These problems are, in the first instance, attributable to the non-complementarity of homoerotic unions: the extremes of one's sex are not moderated and gaps are not filled. Approving homosexual behavior will also contribute to the gender identity confusion of adolescents and, by virtue of denying any significance or value to male-female differences, will bring about the destruction of all gender norms and societal endorsement of transvestism and transgenderism. See The Bible and Homosexual Practice, 452-60, 471-85; more recently, my online "Immoralism, Homosexual Unhealth, and Scripture: Part II: Science" (here for pdf, here for html).

3) Increase of homosexuality. Cultural endorsement of, and incentives for, homosexual behavior will likely lead to a higher incidence of homosexuality in the population, affecting young people at higher rates. This means that more people will develop a higher risk for the problems discussed in 2 above. For documentation of this point, see The Bible and Homosexual Practice, 395-429; and now with updates, "Why the Disagreement...?" pp. 30-32, 120-25 here.

4) The intolerance of the homosexual agenda. Caving into the homosexual agenda will lead to the radical marginalization of those who oppose homosexual practice and, ultimately, the criminalization of opposition to homosexual behavior. Homosexual activism represents the greatest threat to civil and religious liberties for our children. At stake are such things as: mandatory indoctrination of our children in all school systems, public and accredited private, from kindergarten on, through convocations, skits, videos, workshops, and teacher instruction; loss of one’s job if one does not sign a statement saying that one “values sexual orientation differences”; mandatory workplace attendance of “Gay Pride” events and “Coming Out” celebrations; fines and even imprisonment for speaking out against homosexual practice, even in church services; having one’s children taken out of one’s own home for teaching “homophobic” ideas or, if one’s child professes a homoerotic proclivity, for “child abuse”; loss of accreditation of all Christian colleges and even seminaries that cannot prove “non-discrimination” in the hiring practices towards “gays and lesbians” or that permit any faculty to speak or publish in a manner critical of homosexual behavior per se; and refusal of colleges and universities to admit any students who do not sign statements affirming the value of homoerotic relationships. For documentation of these matters, see the book by Alan Sears and Craig Osten, The Homosexual Agenda. See also my documentation on pages 10-18 of my critique of David Balch.

5) The destruction of marriage. Granting civil union status or, worse, marriage to homosexual unions will ultimately weaken marriage for everyone. The introduction of same-sex registered partnerships in Scandinavia has coincided with a sharp rise in out-of-wedlock births. Granting gay marriage or its functional equivalent has not helped marriage in these countries; it has made marriage increasingly superfluous. When eroticism is perceived as merely "more intimacy" rather than as a means to a "one-flesh" reintegration with a sexual other into a sexual whole, when the only requisite for sexual unions is commitment and fidelity (and a truncated definition of commitment and fidelity at that), when "lifelong" becomes "long-term" and "long-term" is thought of as a 5-10 year-union, when even the concept of "serial monogamy" is called into question by the high incidence of "open relationships" among male homosexual unions, when sexual unions are once and for all severed in society's perception from a commitment to have and raise children, and when society rejects as bigotry the notion that a mother and father are both needed for the optimal development of children--when all these elements are in place, consistent with the pro-homosex agenda, the general public will cease to value marriage as a special and even sacred institution. "The profanation of marriage"  will have gone full circle--both its secularization and debasement. Imagine society granting marriage licenses to any union that met the conditions of a committed friendship and ask yourself how long marriage can survive as an institution. See the links to point 2 above.

6) The normalization of all consensual sexual relationships, irrespective of number and degree of blood relatedness. The whole push to normalize homosexual relationships is predicated on the assumption that there are no structural prerequisites to valid sexual relationships; that commitment and fidelity are sufficient criteria, unless society can prove harm to all participants, in all circumstances, and in scientifically measurable ways. Given such premises, there is no logically consistent reason why society should resist various forms of multiple-partner sexual unions, whether traditional polygyny, "threesomes," or some other arrangement. Since the restriction of the number of sex partners at any one time to two persons is predicated on the existence of two distinct and complementary sexes as necessary and sufficient to produce a sexual whole, the elimination of such a premise must result in the eventual elimination of a number requirement. It is not surprising that the recent Supreme Court decision that found a right to same-sex "sodomy" in the Constitution has sparked a lawsuit to validate polygamy; nor it is surprising that the ACLU has filed a brief on behalf of the polygamist, citing the sodomy ruling and insisting that the burden of proof is on the state to prove that polygamy is always harmful (for the record: It isn't). Similarly, if consent, commitment, and fidelity are adequate for establishing a sexual union and, further, if the concept of too much structural sameness becomes irrelevant, then there is no reasonable basis for withholding public recognition of man-mother or adult brother-sister unions. One wonders, in the face of such an assault, how long resistance to adult-adolescent unions and, eventually, adult-child unions can be maintained. Note that I am not saying that by approving homosexual unions we may open the door to something worse: polygamy and incest. There are good grounds for arguing that homoerotic unions are worse for society than polygamy and adult consensual incest. Nevertheless, approving homosexual unions will, in the end, have the effect of discounting any concept of inherent structural incongruity as regards sexual unions. See my online discussion in "Why the Disagreement...?" pp. 35-45 here.

Note: Most of the links above are to my online article, "Why the Disagreement over the Biblical Witness on Homosexual Practice?" at http://www.westernsem.edu/wtseminary/assets/Gagnon2%20Aut05.pdf

© 2004, 2006 Robert A. J. Gagnon