The steady march to the universal recognition of same-sex “marriage,” which began in the ultra-progressive Scandinavian countries, recently picked up steam when countries like Spain, Portugal and Canada began recognizing such unions.

As these countries fell, it seemed only a matter of time before the United Nations passed a resolution supporting homosexual “marriage” as an inalienable universal right.

A funny thing happened though on the way to this progressive utopia, however, particularly on this side of the Atlantic.

In the United States, voters in states all across the country have passed resolutions banning homosexual “marriage,” and even in the one state that recognizes same-sex “marriages” — Massachusetts — voters soon may have a chance to reverse that decision via a ballot initiative to amend the state constitution.

In Canada, which only began to recognize same-sex unions this past summer, the voters just finished disposing of the ruling Liberal party in January elections. This move, at the very least, casts doubt over the future of same-sex “marriage” in that country.

Something is afoot.

While the advocates of redefining marriage continue to stick to the mantra of equal rights (if heterosexual couples can do it, then homosexual couples should be able to do it, too) their pleas are increasingly falling on deaf ears across North America. It seems that the voters in the United States, and Canada to some extent, are smart enough to see through this rhetoric and see the so-called “gay marriage” movement for what it really is: a ploy by a small segment of the population to dictate morality to the rest of us.

If homosexuals want to live together and call themselves married, there is nothing stopping them. If they wish to have the rest of us condone their behavior by officially recognizing and protecting it — well, that sounds a bit pushy and insensitive on their part.

Given the number of benefits the government bestows upon married couples, one can see why homosexual couples would want to elevate the status of their relationships. Married couples enjoy hospital visitation rights, spousal health insurance, the transfer of Social Security benefits, family medical leave, property inheritance without the need for a will, the right to sue regarding wrongful death, and durable power of attorney, just to name a few. While domestic partner laws have allowed homosexuals access to some of these benefits, most states do not have such laws and even the most permissive domestic partner laws are inferior to marriage benefits.

Denying people these benefits is considered discriminatory by the homosexual community, who act as if same-sex unions have a fundamental right to these benefits.

The reality is, though, that no one has a right to these benefits.

They are a privilege afforded to married couples by the state.

This point has been largely lost in the debate but it represents another fundamental argument against “gay marriage” that is grounded not in morality or theology, but in utility. It centers upon the following question: Why does the state recognize and bestow benefits upon married couples?

There are mounds of evidence demonstrating that there is something in it for the state. As a result, it is in the state’s best interest to support and protect marriage as an institution. The same cannot be said of same-sex unions, polygamous groupings or any other type of romantic living arrangement.

What are these benefits? The first, which is backed up by a compelling body of evidence, is that married couples, on average, are happier, healthier and more productive than people living in any other type of arrangement. Since healthy productive people is something nearly any democratic government would want, the state would have to be a bit daft not to support and recognize such relationships.

The government realizes that if it protects and supports marriage as an institution, then marriages, on average, deliver productive citizens for the state.

Where, then, does this leave homosexual relationships? Do they offer a similar benefit that might then give the state reason to consider recognizing them? The evidence suggests not. Despite what the popular press and Hollywood would have you believe, long-term homosexual relationships involve more promiscuity, are less stable and are more likely to involve abuse than heterosexual relationships.

Active homosexuals experience more psychiatric problems, even in ultra-permissive countries like the Netherlands, and are more likely to have health issues due in large part to their increased promiscuity.

These are well-established facts that academic research backs up, not something that can be summarily dismissed as bigoted propaganda. Given this, it seems the state might have room to pause before encouraging its citizens to enter such relationships.

There is another major reason that the state recognizes marriage, and that has to do with its vested interest in the production of new citizens. After all, one cannot staff business and government offices with stray cats. Traditionally, the production of new citizens has been left up to married couples who have a natural proclivity to produce children.

Now, the mere fact that marriage can produce children is not reason enough for the state to afford the institution recognition and protection. One-night stands could accomplish the same function. The state needs some assurance than the children produced and raised within marriage have a good chance of becoming competent and responsible citizens.

By and large, marriage comes through with flying colors on this count. Children raised by a married couple are better educated, obtain better jobs and run into fewer problems with the law than children living in any other setting.

 Again, this is not some wishful traditionalist thinking, it is fact backed up by a mound of evidence. Children raised by a loving mother and father fare better than children who are raised in any other fashion.

This is not to dismiss the obvious fact that marriages can go terribly wrong.

They do, and at an alarming rate. This is something that supporters of homosexual “marriage” are quick to point out. But to indict marriage because it can fail is as silly as indicting the notion of law enforcement because some cops take bribes. If advocates of same-sex “marriage” want to play on the level, the real question that needs to be addressed is the following: Do homosexual relationships provide the same potential benefit for the state in terms of raising children as marriage does?

When pressed on this point, rather than turn to hard data, homosexual activists tend to opine something to the effect that all children really need are two loving committed parents.

Why can’t we stop being so judgmental; two women, two men, a man and a woman, maybe even four brothers and a clown, what’s the difference? While activists for redefining marriage assume that this point is self evident, most clear thinking individuals do not.

For example, given that a boy raised by a lesbian couple lacks a father and, given that the lack of a father figure is the single biggest factor associated with delinquency in young men, is there any evidence that boys raised by lesbians are not at a significant disadvantage?

Likewise, given that girls raised without fathers are much more likely to get pregnant outside of marriage and find themselves in abusive relationships, is there any evidence that a lesbian couple can overcome this obvious deficiency?

At this point, no one officially knows the answer to these and countless other questions.

Even the website of the American Psychological Association, which endorses the idea of homosexual “marriage,” admits as much: “It should be acknowledged that research on lesbian and gay parents and their children is still very new and relatively scarce.”

Further on, the site admits: “Little is known about development of the offspring of gay or lesbian parents during adolescence or adulthood. …. Longitudinal studies that follow lesbian and gay families over time are badly needed.”

In other words, we have no evidence that homosexual relationships are a good environment in which to raise children. Despite this, we are supposed to rush in and sanction such unions in another massive social experiment.

While we wait for such studies to come forth, I am willing to venture a guess at what they will demonstrate, if in fact they are conducted in an unbiased fashion. Researchers will find that marriage is much better at producing happy, well adjusted, productive children than homosexual unions.

Why such a bold prediction? Because our experience demonstrates that anytime you try and do something contrary to the natural law, adverse consequences follow. Clearly, the data on couples who live together before marriage and the data on post-abortion stress syndrome bear this out. Eventually, the data will demonstrate the same for same-sex “marriage”: that it offers no clear benefit to the state, only more brokenness in an already fractured world.

Daniel Kuebler, Ph.D., is an

assistant professor of biology at

Franciscan University

of Steubenville, Ohio.