- The Washington Times - Friday, June 25, 2004

Allowing homosexual “marriage” is just the latest in a long line of public-policy decisions that have undermined traditional family values, said James Dobson, a psychologist and longtime commentator on issues facing families.

“The family is the ground floor. It is the foundation underneath all of society, all of civilization,” said Mr. Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family and host of an internationally syndicated daily radio show. “If you weaken it, if you tamper with it, you necessarily threaten the whole superstructure.”

Policy failure began in 1969, he said, with the enactment of the “no-fault” divorce law.

“For the first time, it undermined the meaning of ‘till death do us part,’” he said in a speech at the National Press Club yesterday. “You could get out of a marriage after that more easily than you could get out of a contract to buy a refrigerator.”

The predictable result, he said, was a 35 percent increase in the divorce rate, “with all the implications for children.”

With a “marriage penalty tax” passed in 1969, Mr. Dobson said, “Those who are raising children… and are doing homework with them and giving them their baths and feeding them and loving them and binding up skinned knees and all the other things that parents have to do… those people pay higher taxes than those who were cohabiting.”

Another flawed policy, he said, was the allocation of funding and child-rearing advice based on the belief that men and women are identical — until technology developed in the late 1980s revealed differences in the structure and function of male and female brains.

These past policy decisions, he said, built up to the homosexual “marriage” debate.

“This it the most intrusive of all ideas that have come along, and it will have the same effect,” he said. “Marriage has been the bedrock of civilization for 5,000 years. … It is universal. It is on every continent on earth and has been for all recorded time.”

Pointing out high rates of out-of-wedlock births in Scandinavia, which allows homosexual “marriage,” he said it “will destroy the traditional family” in America, leading to a wide variety of negative consequences for children.

“More than 10,000 studies have confirmed that children do best when they have a committed mother and father,” he said. “Families are the key to stability in the culture.”

Earlier this month, he released a new book titled “Marriage Under Fire,” which he said he hopes will impact the passage of a constitutional amendment defining marriage between a man and a woman.

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