In his June 15 commentary, Dr. Patrick Schneider II argues that same-sex marriage will increase societal problems, including pedophilia, fatherless children, divorce and other deviant behaviors.
However, his argument is based on discredited research and logical fallacies, and only furthers intolerant attitudes.
Schneider talked briefly about how the votes of over 1 million Kentuckians were ignored when Justice John G. Heyburn II ruled to recognize same-sex marriage in Kentucky in 2014. Schneider said that government should be "of the people, for the people, and by the people." But he forgets that the people he talks about also include the LGBT community and its supporters. And that number's growing.
In a national poll conducted earlier this month by the Public Religion Research Institute, researchers found that 55 percent of "the people" are in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.
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To further demonstrate this growing support, a series of polls conducted by the Pew Research Center from 1996 to 2015 shows that supporters of same-sex marriage increased from 27 percent to 57 percent, while the percent of those who oppose it has dropped from 65 to 39. While conservatives shout their opposition, their backward views are increasingly muffled by the rising number of voices in support of all people's right to marry.
Schneider further connects homosexuality with pedophilia. He notes the sex-abuse crisis involving Catholic priests as proof implying more homosexuals are pedophiles and a danger to children.
But he leaves out the fact that there are also large numbers of heterosexual pedophiles and sexual abusers in general.
Numerous studies show that heterosexual men are most often the perpetrator of sexual assault of females of all ages. One of the few reliable studies done on child molestation shows that out of 352 cases studied, less than one percent of the molesters were homosexuals. Another study showed adult male pedophiles were not primarily attracted to males.
In addition, the news is full of examples of predatory heterosexuals: The male high school coach sexting with a teenage girl, the female English teacher in a sexual relationship with a male student. One recent headline involves the molestation incidents in the Duggar family on reality TV by their heterosexual — and very religious — son. Clearly, Schneider's argument that such deviant acts are somehow linked to homosexuality is unfounded.
Schneider also uses fatherlessness and divorce as examples of societal decay. But there is a 46-percent divorce rate among heterosexual couples, and the breakdown of marriage started happening long before anyone was talking about same-sex marriage.
Also, since Schneider is so worried about how hard fatherlessness is on children, what's the problem when children have two father figures in their lives?
The more couples who get married and stay married, the better off society will be, according to the doctor's own argument.
Schneider also relies on the example of a daughter trying to marry her father as proof that society has lost its way. But society will always have radicals who push the limits of decency. And this example of incest doesn't even pertain to members of the LGBT community.
Plus, TV shows such as 19 Kids and Counting and Sister Wives prove heterosexual marriages can be adequately ridiculous — whether gay people marry or not.
As a heterosexual, I am not directly restricted by discrimination against the LGBT community. But I have friends who are, and I hope to someday be able to go to their weddings and know their children, just as they will mine.
Marriage equality isn't ruining cultural values. It also was once believed that ending slavery, allowing women to vote and giving blacks equal rights would ruin cultural values. Sometimes we have to redesign the current cultural values to make better ones.