Christian Dominionism vs. Homosexuals

Christian Dominionism is the powerful political arm of Christianity. The end of abortion, gay marriage, and birth control and the regulation of personal behavior are among the goals Dominionism. Dominionism is not just another fundamental Christian lobby. Dominionists have enjoyed unparalleled and unprecedented access to the White House during Bush 43's tenure.

The figureheads of the Dominionist movement are James C. Dobson of Focus on the Family and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.

James C. Dobson:
[James C.] Dobson is now America's most influential evangelical leader, with a following reportedly greater than that of either Falwell or Robertson at his peak.

Dobson earned the title. He proselytized hard for Bush this last year, organizing huge stadium rallies and using his radio program to warn his 7 million American listeners that not to vote would be a sin. Dobson may have delivered Bush his victories in Ohio and Florida.

He's already leveraging his new power. When a thank-you call came from the White House, Dobson issued the staffer a blunt warning that Bush "needs to be more aggressive" about pressing the religious right's pro-life, anti-gay rights agenda, or it would "pay a price in four years."

[In 2004], Dobson started a new offshoot of Focus on the Family called Focus on the Family Action, which he used to campaign openly for Bush. And during the campaign he joined Ralph Reed and…Charles Colson in regular conference calls with Karl Rove and other senior White House officials.1
Focus on the Family:
Focus on the Family (FOTF or FotF), founded in 1977, is a Christian non-profit organization based in the United States. The organization describes itself as "dedicated to nurturing and defending families worldwide". The group was founded by James Dobson and is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Focus on the Family is one of a number of evangelical para-church organizations whose stated aim is not to start a new church or denomination, but to work interdenominationally to protect and promote their definitions of traditional family and family values. Some of the core promotional activities of the organization include a daily radio broadcast by Dobson and his colleagues, providing free counseling and resources for those facing family difficulties, and publishing a variety of magazines, videos and audio recordings.2
Tony Perkins:
From 1996 to 2004, Perkins was a member of the East Baton Rouge delegation to the Louisiana House of Representatives, where he served as a Republican. Republican Perkins ran for the United States Senate in the 2002 Louisiana jungle primary and received 10 percent of the vote. Perkins became the President of the conservative Christian Family Research Council, a political offshoot of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family in September 2003.3
Family Research Council:
The Family Research Council (FRC) is the powerhouse of Christian influence in Washington. Founded in 1983 by Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, the FRC is led by former Louisiana state representative Tony Perkins. The FRC reportedly has the ear of many members of Congress, the White House, and Christians nationwide. FRC is actively involved in educating religious leaders about moral issues being affected by decisions in Washington, and also in representing those leaders directly to the decision makers themselves. You will find them well represented on news channels and radio stations nationwide, and at meetings where key strategies are planned.4
This post has four sections, the first three of which include related statements by Dominionists and rebuttals by respected researchers.

The Claims:
We are all shocked by this spectacle of aberrant sexual behavior, but we shouldn't be. This is the end result of a society that rejects sexual restraints in the name of diversity…Maybe it's time to question: when is tolerance just an excuse for permissiveness?5

Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, issued a statement late Monday saying that although Democrats were exploiting the scandal, they "are right to criticize the slow response of Republican congressional leaders." Perkins said neither party "seems likely to address the real issue, which is the link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse...ignoring this reality got the Catholic Church into trouble over abusive priests, and now it is doing the same to the House GOP leadership."6

Homosexual apologists admit that some homosexuals sexually molest children, but they deny that homosexuals are more likely to commit such offenses. After all, they argue, the majority of child molestation cases are heterosexual in nature. While this is correct in terms of absolute numbers, this argument ignores the fact that homosexuals comprise only a very small percentage of the population. The evidence indicates that homosexual men molest boys at rates grossly disproportionate to the rates at which heterosexual men molest girls.7

The Empirical Evidence:
In brief, the scientific sources cited by the FRC report don’t support their argument. Most of the studies they cited did not even assess the sexual orientation of abusers. Two of the studies explicitly concluded that sexual orientation and child molestation are unrelated.8

The empirical research does not show that gay or bisexual men are any more likely than heterosexual men to molest children. This is not to argue that homosexual and bisexual men never molest children. But there is no scientific basis for asserting that they are more likely than heterosexual men to do so. And, as explained above, many child molesters cannot be characterized as having an adult sexual orientation at all; they are fixated on children.9

Are homosexual adults in general sexually attracted to children and are preadolescent children at greater risk of molestation from homosexual adults than from heterosexual adults? There is no reason to believe so. The research to date all points to there being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestation. There appears to be practically no reportage of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molests young boys is not likely to be homosexual.10

The Claims:
In raising these issues, Focus on the Family does not desire to harm or insult women such as Cheney and Poe. Rather, our conviction is that birth and adoption are the purview of married heterosexual couples. Traditional marriage is God's design for the family and is rooted in biblical truth. When that divine plan is implemented, children have the best opportunity to thrive. That's why public policy as it relates to families must be based not solely on the desires of adults but rather on the needs of children and what is best for society at large.11

KING: Can a gay couple be a family?

DOBSON: Not in that sense, no. And I think that gay couples have difficulties trying to be a family in that sense.

KING: You would not allow them to adopt children?

DOBSON: Oh, I definitely would not.

KING: Would not because?

DOBSON: No, because there is so much research. I mean, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles and studies in the journals that show that children do best when you have a mother and a father providing role modeling for those kids and who are committed to each other.12

The Empirical Evidence:
There is no evidence to suggest that psychosocial development among children of gay men or lesbians is compromised in any respect relative to that among offspring of heterosexual parents. Despite longstanding legal presumptions against gay and lesbian parents in many states, despite dire predictions about their children based on well-known theories of psychosocial development, and despite the accumulation of a substantial body of research investigating these issues, not a single study has found children of gay or lesbian parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of' heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by gay and lesbian parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children's psychosocial growth.13

[T]here is suggestive evidence and good reason to believe that contemporary children and young adults with lesbian or gay parents do differ in modest and interesting ways from children with heterosexual parents. Most of the differences in the findings…cannot be considered deficits from any legitimate public policy perspective. They either favor the children with [lesbian and gay] parents, are secondary effects of social prejudice, or represent "just a difference" of the sort democratic societies should respect and protect.14

A Great Summary:
Numerous studies over the last three decades consistently demonstrate that children raised by gay or lesbian parents exhibit the same level of emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as children raised by heterosexual parents. This research indicates that optimal development for children is based not on the sexual orientation of the parents, but on stable attachments to committed and nurturing adults. The research also shows that children who have two parents, regardless of the parents’ sexual orientations, do better than children with only one parent.15

First and foremost, the different types of partnerships must be delineated.

Same-Sex Marriage:
At present, same-sex [civil] marriages are recognized in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, and the U.S. state of Massachusetts (for same-sex marriages performed within that state under its laws). Israel's High Court of Justice recently ruled to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other countries, although it is still illegal to perform them within the country.16

Outside of Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal, Vermont, California, and Connecticut are the only U.S. states to offer same-sex couples some or all of the state-level rights and benefits of marriage; the District of Columbia does as well. They do not use the word "marriage," however, but call such unions "civil union" or "domestic partnership".17

Civil Union:
A civil union is a legal partnership agreement between two persons. Civil Unions were introduced in the UK and elsewhere to attempt to give legal rights to same-sex couples equal to those enjoyed by opposite-sex couples in marriage. Many people are critical of civil unions because they say it creates a separate status that's unequal to marriage. Others are critical because they say it is introducing same-sex marriage by using a different name.18

Common-Law Marriage:
Common-law marriage…is, historically, a form of interpersonal status in which a man and a woman are legally married. The term is often mistakenly understood to indicate an interpersonal relationship that is not recognized in law. In fact, a common law marriage is just as legally binding as a statutory or ceremonial marriage in most jurisdictions — it is just formed differently.

The essential distinctions of a common law marriage are:
  1. Common law marriages are not licensed by government authorities. Common law marriages are not necessarily solemnized.
  2. There is no public record of a common law marriage (i.e., no marriage certificate).
  3. Cohabitation alone does not amount to common law marriage; the couple in question must hold themselves out to the world to be husband and wife.
In some jurisdictions, a couple must have cohabited and held themselves out to the world as husband and wife for a minimum length of time for the marriage to be recognized as valid.19

Domestic Partnership:
In the United States, domestic partnership is a state or employer-recognized status similar to marriage that may be available to same-sex couples and, sometimes, opposite-sex couples. Although similar to marriage, a state-recognized legal domestic partnership does not confer many of the 1,049 rights afforded to a civil marriage. Domestic partnerships in the United States are determined on a state-by-state basis, and sometimes on a city-by-city or county-by-county basis.

States with same-sex domestic partnership provisions include New York, California, Hawaii, Maine, and New Jersey, as well as the District of Columbia.20
The Effort to Define Marriage:
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) does two things. First, it provides that no State shall be required to give effect to a law of any other State with respect to a same-sex "marriage." Second, it defines the words "marriage" and "spouse" for purposes of Federal law.

DOMA is not meant to affect the definition of "spouse"…It ensures that whatever definition of "spouse" may be used in Federal law, the word refers only to a person of the opposite sex.21

[Originally proposed by Colorado republican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave in 2002] the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) [H.J. Res 56] is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution which would define marriage in the United States as a union of one man and one woman. The FMA also would prevent judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex couples or other unmarried persons. The most recent vote on the proposed amendment took place in the Senate on June 7, 2006. The amendment failed to pass; of the 60 votes required to [end the debate], 49 senators voted for putting the amendment to vote and 48 voted against.

Marriage in the United States of America shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.

The first sentence of the FMA would prevent any state from allowing same-sex marriage, even if the voters of that state amended the state's constitution to require recognition of same-sex marriages. Ratification of the amendment would cause the dissolution of existing same-sex marriages currently recognized in Massachusetts.

The amendment was written by the Alliance for Marriage, an organization founded by Matt Daniels.22

The Claims:
Shared beliefs have created a broad alliance between the Catholic Leadership Conference and the Alliance for Marriage. In full support of the [Federal Marriage Amendment] written… the Catholic Leadership Conference (CLC) has joined AFM in endorsing the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

"These are momentous times: Soon the Senate will vote on S.J. 1 ‘[Federal Marriage Amendment].’ If we do not act now to protect marriage, our children and grandchildren will pay a terrible price."

(Same-sex) marriage teaches that men and women don’t need each other, that children don’t need mothers and fathers and that marriage is primarily about affirming adults’ diverse intimacy needs rather than protecting children."23

As the transient, promiscuous, and unfaithful relationships that are characteristic of homosexuals become part of society's image of marriage, fewer marriages will be permanent, exclusive, and faithful--even among heterosexuals. So-called "conservative" advocates of same-sex civil marriage are optimistic that legal unions would change homosexuals for the better; it seems far more probable that homosexuals would change marriage for the worse.24

The Empirical Evidence:
The data indicate that same-sex and heterosexual relationships do no differ in their essential psychosocial dimensions; that a parent’s sexual orientation is unrelated to her or his ability to provide a health and nurturing family environment; and that marriage bestows substantial psychological, social, and health benefits. It is concluded that same-sex couples and their children are likely to benefit in numerous ways from legal recognition of their families, and providing such recognition through marriage will bestow greater benefit than civil unions or domestic partnerships.25

Research indicates that many gay men and lesbians want and have committed relationships. For example, survey data indicate that between 40% and 60% of gay men and between 45% and 80% of lesbians are currently involved in a romantic relationship. Further, data from the 2000 United States Census indicate that of the 5.5 million couples who were living together but not married, about 1 in 9 (594,391) had partners of the same sex.

Despite persuasive evidence that gay men and lesbians have committed relationships, three concerns about same-sex couples are often raised. A first concern is that the relationships of gay men and lesbians are dysfunctional and unhappy. To the contrary, studies that have compared partners from same-sex couples to partners from heterosexual couples on standardized measures of relationship quality (such as satisfaction and commitment) have found partners from same-sex and heterosexual couples to be equivalent to each other.

A second concern is that the relationships of gay men and lesbians are unstable. However, research indicates that, despite the somewhat hostile social climate within which same-sex relationships develop, many lesbians and gay men have formed durable relationships. For example, survey data indicate that between 18% and 28% of gay couples and between 8% and 21% of lesbian couples have lived together 10 or more years.

A third concern is that the processes that affect the well-being and permanence of the relationships of lesbian and gay persons are different from those that affect the relationships of heterosexual persons. In fact, research has found that the factors that predict relationship satisfaction, relationship commitment, and relationship stability are remarkably similar for both same-sex cohabiting couples and heterosexual married couples.26

Conviction and dogma permeate socio-political and -religious debate. Every empirically validated hypothesis and theory is therefore reduced in status to an opinion only held by those with dogmatic bindings. To the Dominionist movement, evidence that positively correlates the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of hetero and homosexuals is, in its judgment, merely a misguided estimation. In regards to sexuality, science tells us that attraction is a biologically-based phenomenon. Whether we are pedophilic, heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual, our preference is hardwired and extremely resistant to intervention. Unfortunately, the Dominionist movement rejects this and paints a picture of attraction that is based solely on the notion that variation outside of the opposing-sex dynamics experienced and shared by "normal" adults is disorderly and an "unnecessary evil." However, as deft as the Dominionist movement is at exploiting the fear that surrounds this "unnecessary evil," science holds the trump card: mathematics. It seems to be a dirty little secret that science progresses solely on the basis of numerical significance and duplicability. For instance, older males are significantly more at risk to attempt suicide than all other age and gender cohorts. This phenomenon has been so numerically verified that it is accepted as fact. This same standard is applied to sexuality by rational individuals. The statistical analyses conducted by social scientists do not suddenly become less valid when an individual believes that his or her deity disagrees.

A professor once told me, and I agree, that science is the pursuit of god. Our goal is to understand and explain 100% of our universe through our limited human framework. If we are to perceive god as everything, then, logically, we are discovering god bit by bit. Scientific theory may be able to account for, say, 10% of our experience. A theory such as E=MC^2 may increase our understanding to 12%. A subsequent theory may rock the boat and reduce our understanding to 8%. Certainly, science is fluidic and uncertain and it cannot be rendered into dogma. Nor can it be dismissed as opinion. It, as our current "best guess," is somewhere in between. My belief is that a majority of people neither like nor value uncertainty. Holy books are fraught with moral directives and imperatives. They offer unyielding certainty and have been constructed to explain the sum of one’s experiences if one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are maintained within the recommended framework. This framework is considered "good" while all competing frameworks are considered "evil." The verbiage employed by this binary outlook fosters fear and misunderstanding. Evil must be withstood because inherent to the term is the belief that evil is supernaturally deceptive and seductive. Realistically, we are all more similar than dissimilar. Diversity is therefore an educational yet unnecessary pretense that can be deconstructed through the empirical discovery that is accomplished by science and congenial communion that is accomplished by religion.

  1. Crowley, M. (2004, November 12). James Dobson: The religious right’s new kingmaker. Slate. Retrieved December 12, 2006, from
  2. Focus on the Family. (2006, December 11). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved December 13, 2006, from
  3. Tony Perkins (politician). (2006, December 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved December 13, 2006, from
  4. AgapePress (2006, April 13). 20 reasons there is hope for America. Retrieved December 13, 2006, from
  5. Perkins, T. (2006, October 2). Family Research Council statement on Mark Foley. U.S. Newswire. Retrieved December 12, 2006, from
  6. Lochhead, C. (2006, October 3). Foley e-mail sex scandal hits the GOP hard. San Francisco Chronicle, p. A1. Retrieved December 12, 2006, from
  7. Daily, T. J. (n.d.) Homosexuality and child sexual abuse. Retrieved December 13, 2006, from
  8. Herek, G. M. (2006, October 7). Child abuse and Christian (Right) science. Beyond Homophobia. Retrieved December 13, 2006, from
  9. Herek, G. M. (n.d.) Facts about homosexuality and child molestation. Retrieved December 13, 2006, from
  10. Groth, A. N., & Gary, T. S. (1982). Heterosexuality, homosexuality, and pedophilia: Sexual offenses against children and adult sexual orientation. In A.M. Scacco (Ed.), Male rape: A casebook of sexual aggressions (pp. 143-152). New York: AMS Press.
  11. Dobson, J. C. (2006, December 12). Two mommies is one too many. TIME Magazine, 168(25). Retrieved December 12, 2006, from,9171,1568485-1,00.html
  12. King, L. (2002, March 7). Interview with Dr. James Dobson. Larry King Live. CNN. Transcript retrieved December 12, 2006, from
  13. Patterson, C. J. (1992). Children of lesbian and gay parents. Child Development, 63, 1028-1042.
  14. Stacey, J., & Biblarz, T. J. (2001). (How) Does the sexual orientation of parents matter? American Sociological Review, 66(2), 159-183.
  15. American Psychiatric Association. (2002, November). Adoption and co-parenting of children by same-sex couples—Position statement. Retrieved December 12, 2006, from
  16. Same-sex marriage. (2006, December 13). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved December 13, 2006, from
  17. Same-sex marriage in the United States. (2006, December 8). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved December 13, 2006, from
  18. Civil union. (2006, December 12). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved December 13, 2006, from
  19. Common-law marriage. (2006, December 11). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved December 13, 2006, from
  20. Domestic partnership in the United States. (2006, December 12). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved December 13, 2006, from
  21. "Defense Of Marriage Act" 5/96 H.R. 3396 Summary/Analysis. (n.d.) Retrieved December 13, 2006, from the ‘Lectric Law Library’s stacks Web site:
  22. Federal Marriage Amendment. (2006, December 12). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved December 13, 2006, from
  23. Alliance For Marriage. (n.d.) Catholics move to prevent bigotry in marriage. Retrieved December 13, 2006, from
  24. Sprigg, P. (2004, March 29). Homosexuality: The threat to the family and the attack on marriage. Speech presented at the World Congress of Families III, Mexico City, MX. Retrieved December 13, 2006, from
  25. Herek, G. M. (2006). Legal recognition of same-sex relationships in the United States: A social science perspective. American Psychologist, 61(6), 607-621
  26. American Psychological Association. (2004, July). Resolution on sexual orientation and marriage. Retrieved December 12, 2006, from


Popular Posts