Do Gay People Really Want to Marry?

A USA Today poll taken leading up to the recent Supreme Court decision found that 60% of gay people either are married or someday want to get married.  Other studies, though, reveal that gay and straight people have markedly different approaches to marriage.   

Consider a comparison of longevity in marriage.  57.7% of heterosexual couples remained married past 20 years, according to Current Population Reports of the US Census Bureau (2002).  That, by the way, is a horrifying figure.  42% of marriages end before then, often throwing women and children into poverty.  So I think the Church ought to be focusing more on heterosexual marriage than on gay marriage.  Still, we should be aware that gay partnerships are exponentially worse.  Only 5% of gay couples remained partnered past 20 years, according to Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census (2003-2004), a survey of over 7,000 homosexuals.

          Consider next the issue of monogamy.  77% of male heterosexuals and 88% of female heterosexuals remain sexually monogamous while married, according to The Journal of Sex Research, (1997).  Again, that statistic indicates a shocking level of pain and betrayal among heterosexuals.  But many homosexuals don't even attempt  monogamy.  A 2014 University of San Francisco study of 512 gay couples found that fully 48% had open agreements to have sex with other people while still partnered.  That’s a flagrant perversion of what God intends marriage to be. 

          Consider finally the case of the Netherlands, which became the first country to legalize gay marriage in 2001.  The Institute of Marriage and Public Policy concluded in 2011 that “After ten years of same-sex marriage, approximately 9 out of 10 gay and lesbian people in the Netherlands have still not chosen to enter a legal marriage.”  The exact figure is 8%.  In Vermont, which legalized gay marriage in 2004, the marriage rate of gay couples is 21% and decreasing yearly. 

          If you doubt these figures, read the writings of gay opinion leaders.  For example, The June 6, 2006 cover of The Advocate, the best-known national gay publication, was entitled “Polygamy and Gay Men: Dirty Laundry or Sexual Freedom?”  The picture was of a wedding cake with three plastic men in tuxedos on the top.  The article openly advocated for polygamy. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of depraved sexual practices.  

          The real-life story is that the clear majority of gay people reject life-long, monogamous partnering.  It makes all the “love wins” hoopla over the Supreme Court decision seem very naïve.      

          I want people to experience true love.  That’s my calling as a pastor.  It’s cowardly for me or any pastor to smile upon the world’s blithe endorsements of false love.  And while I affirm that some gay couples do find a kind of true love in their companionship, I do not affirm the validity of sexualizing that companionship.  Why not?  Because I’ve come to trust that what God reveals about love in his word is far more reliable than what our cynical and hyper-sexed society thinks.    

          The world can go its crazy way.  But there will always be people, both gay and straight, waking up to find real love in Jesus Christ.