Christian Action Network
17 October 2006
Submission regarding Civil Unions Bill
Protect Marriage to Protect Our Future
On behalf of our Network of 30 organisations, we would like to urge the Home Affairs Portfolio Committee to implement a Constitutional Amendment that would uphold the traditional definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. While our constitution does allow homosexual lifestyles, it is not required to promote these lifestyle choices or to redefine the covenant of marriage.
We urge you not to ignore the sincere convictions of the majority of South Africans from many religious backgrounds, who believe that this traditional definition of marriage must be upheld for the health and prosperity of future generations.
We believe that traditional marriages form the most fundamental building blocks of society, providing stability and protection for children to grow up in and become good citizens.
Whv Definitions Count
The moral standards and beliefs of a nation influence the laws that a nation makes. The laws of a nation and the definitions set forth in those laws, in turn affect these moral standards, ideas and beliefs about an institution such as marriage. In other words, if marriage is redefined in South African law, marriage will begin to be perceived as less and less important and necessary. The advent of legally sanctioned gay unions fu Scandinavian countries has already destroyed the institution of marriage, where half of today's children are born out of wedlock, with devastating social consequences. Suicide rates in these nations are some of the highest in the world.
If the legal benefits of marriage are given away to any other type of relationship, the status of marriage is eroded. After marriages have been legally redefined, divorces will be obtained instantly, will not involve a court, and will take on the status of a driver's license or a hunting permit. With the family out of the way, all rights and privileges of marriage will accrue to same-sex couples without the legal entanglements and commitments heretofore associated with it.
The Dutch Example
Stanley Kurtz, Contributing Editor of the US National Review Online, argues that the Dutch example (where Same Sex marriages are legal), provides us with a best-case scenario for isolating the negative causal impact of same-sex marriage on marriage itself. Ever since Holland passed registered partnerships in 1997, followed by formal same-sex marriage in 2000, their out-of-wedlock birth rate has been steadily increasing. The percentage of children born out of wedlock increased from 17% in 1997 to 35% in 2005.
In short, South Africa is proposing to undertake one of the most dramatic changes in its history and we are ignoring the evidence of the destructiveness that this move has wrought on countries such as Holland.
-"If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land" 2 Chronicles 7:14
What about the children
Research consistently shows that heterosexual marriage is the best environment for raising children. Homosexual relationships are short-lived and less faithful. Children need a stable home to grow up in. Even in those homosexual relationships, which the partners consider committed, the meaning of ‘committed’ typically means something radically different from marriage. In the Triangle Project study of homosexual men in Cape Town, 47% of respondents said that they were currently in a relationship, yet only 13.3% of respondents had only one partner in the past year. 60% of the men who were currently ‘in a relationship’ admitted to having sex with people other than their partners in the past year (Sex Survey,2000,Cape Town, Richard Boxford, Feb 2001).
In the book, "The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop", the authors, two homosexual lecturers, report a study of 156 men in homosexual relationships lasting from one to 37 years. Only seven couples had a totally exclusive sexual relationship and of these, the men had all been together for less than five years. In other words, all the so-called ‘couples’ with a relationship lasting more than five years had incorporated some outside sexual activity into their relationships.
Homosexual relationships are more violent than traditional marriage
While homosexuals, particularly lesbians, propagate the idea of the lesbian or homosexual home as one of peace and equality, the truth is that homosexual relationships are far more violent than heterosexual marriages. The US Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that married women in normal families experience the lowest rate of violence compared with women in other types of relationships. Consider these studies of homosexual relationships.
The Journal of Interpersonal Violence published an article entitled "Letting out the Secret: Violence in Lesbian Relationships". Researchers found that 90% of the lesbians surveyed ha dbeen recipients of one or more acts of verbal aggression from their intimate partners during the year prior to this study. 31% of women in lesbian relationships reported one or more incidents of physical abuse. (Journal of Interpersonal Violence 9, Dec 1994, p469-492).
A survey of 1099 lesbians found that "slightly more than half of the lesbians reported that they had been abused by a female lover/partner. The most frequent forms of abuse were verbal/emotional/psychological abuse and combined physical-psychological abuse." (Journal of Social Service Research 15, 1991, p 41-59)
In their book "Men Who Beat the Men who love Them: Battered Gay Men and Domestic Violence", D Island and P Letellier report that " the incidence of domestic violence among gay men is nearly double that in the heterosexual population."
We are concerned that even though at first pastors may be allowed to object to conducting same-sex marriage ceremonies, the radical homosexual agenda will stop at nothing short of forcing churches to conduct these ceremonies and recognize these marriages as legitimate. ANC Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee that worked on the Equality Bill, Moheesan Moosa, said at a news conference in January 2000, "Religious bodies must in future obey the value system set out in the new Equality Bill…This Bill does not exempt anybody." He threatened , "Those religious interpretations that do not uphold those values will be tested in court." In other words, there are bound to be cases in the future where pastors will face legal battles for refusing to marry homosexual couples.
Marriage registrars in the Western Isles of Scotland refused to conduct civil partnership ceremonies. The Western Isles Council backed their decision. The Council has since received hate mail from around the world. This hate mail included one death threat, which said councillors should be hung from "the nearest tree". (The Daily Telegraph, Scottish edition, 21 December 2005). This serves to illustrate the need for marriage to be protected in the Constitution.
If marriage can be distorted to mean everything, then it will mean absolutely nothing.
Lastly, we urge you to consider the fact that no state has the authority to redefine the God-ordained institution of marriage. The Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew 19:4-5, "Have you not read that He who created them at the beginning ‘made them male and female’, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh."
CharI van Wyk