Ethos Blog

Shopping Cart


Endnotes for 'The Difference Marriage Makes and that Makes Marriage'

Monday, 23 August 2021  | Gordon Preece

Endnotes for Gordon Preece, ‘The Difference Marriage Makes and that Makes Marriage: why same-sex marriage under-values sexual and social difference’

Published in Zadok Perspectives 151: Differing over Difference: Sexuality & Gender Tensions (Winter 2021), 14-16


You can also download a print-friendly PDF version here.



1. The preferred term to homosexual or gay marriage. ‘Homosexual’ comes from Dr Carl Westphal in 1869 and referred to a ‘personage’, a ‘type of life’ and a ‘disease’. See James Davidson, The Greeks and Greek Love: A Radical Reappraisal of Homosexuality in Ancient Greece (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2007), 156. ‘Gay’ was coined by homosexuals in the mid-20th century to counter public perceptions of them as sad and lonely. See Carrie A. Miles, The Redemption of Love: Rescuing Marriage and Sexuality from the Economics of a Fallen World (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos, 2006), 227 n. 54.

2. Barton Swaim, 'A Phrase Whose Time Has Passed',, 21st January 2015.

3. Edmund Burke, Speech to the Electors of Bristol, 3rd November 1774, Works, 1:446-448.

4. The Chief Rabbi’s court stressed that ‘Marriage by definition in Jewish (Biblical) Law, is the union of a male and female’. See ‘UK chief rabbi warns of danger of same-sex “marriage”’,, 26th June 2012.

5. Lord Sacks warned: ‘the indigenous population of Europe, is dying. We are undergoing the moral equivalent of climate change... The only serious philosophical question is, why should I have a child? Our culture is not giving an easy answer to that question. Wherever you turn today - Jewish, Christian or Muslim - the more religious the community, the larger on average are their families’. This needs qualification as conservative religion; progressive believers are less inclined to reproduce. See ‘Europeans too selfish to have children, says Chief Rabbi’, 5th November 2009. Cf. Eric Kaufmann, Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the 21st Century (London: Profile Books, 2010).

6. The Abolition of Man (New York: Harper Collins, 2001 [1943]), appendix, C. S. Lewis equates natural law in nearly all religions and philosophies to the Chinese Law of Tao and the second half of the Ten Commandments.

7. Abandoning a positive sense of ‘discrimination’, as in the old Benson & Hedges ad ‘when only the best will do … for the discriminating [i.e. discerning] smoker’, confuses public debate on discrimination issues.

8. Cf. Waleed Aly, ‘What’s Right? The Future of Conservatism in Australia’, Quarterly Essay 37 (Carlton, Vic: Black Inc., 2010).

9. Sadly, many Christians have unconsciously shifted from a procreative and productive model of family life to a romantic, recreational and consumerist model based on choice, not mutual, relational necessity. We’re not as bad as the secular car sticker ‘My body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park’, but we’re heading that way.

Duncan Dormor states that marriage moved ‘from a community of need premised upon a clear-cut division of labour between the sexes into a permanent “do-it-yourself” project privileging the emotional and interpersonal aspects of the relationship’. See his chapter ‘“Come Live with Me and Be My Love”: Marriage, Cohabitation and the Church’, in his et al. ed., Anglicanism the Answer to Modernity (New York: Continuum, 2003), 130. Cf. Stanley Hauerwas, A Better Hope (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2000), 49, and his challenging proposal to deny church marriage to couples not open to bearing offspring. Likewise, Nicholas Boyle, Who Are We Now? (University of Notre Dame, 1999), 59, sees reproduction as the primary form of production around which society should be shaped and sees the LGBTIQ+ movement as a consumer movement. Also see Carrie A. Miles, The Redemption of Love (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2006), 131-133, on how the necessity for a sexual division of labour made homosexuality unthinkable and even unnameable for millennia until the 20th century saw much of this labour, including reproduction, ‘outsourced from the family, now divisible on an individual basis, not requiring sexual complementarity’.

10. For a balanced discussion cautioning that social science cannot decide the same-sex marriage or parenting issues, see Denise Cooper-Clarke, ‘Are Children Brought Up in Same-Sex Households Disadvantaged?’,, 2nd July 2012.

11. Some homosexuals criticised Elton John, not over his sexuality or ill-treatment of surrogates, but because of his age. One commentator noted: ‘this is selfish to the child, whose father will be 80 by the time she gets into high school’, cited in Sarah Fitzmaurice, 'Another one on the way!',, 10th November 2012. This intuitive sense of an unnatural age gap is suppressed in relation to the unnatural process of same-sex procreation supported by commercial surrogacy.

12. A large Australian study by P. Van de Ven et al. found that an average of 2.8 per cent of gay men were lifelong monogamous. See ‘A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile of Older Active Homosexual Men’, Journal of Sex Research 34, 1997, 349-360. Cf. similar U.K. figures from C. H. Mercer et al., ‘Behaviourally bisexual men as a bridge population for HIV and sexually transmitted infections? Evidence from a national probability survey’, International Journal of STD and AIDS 20, 2008, 87-94. R.J. Gagnon cites a study showing that only 8 per cent of homosexual men and 7 per cent of lesbians had a relationship longer than four years. See The Bible and Homosexual Practice (Nashville: Abingdon, 2002), 454-459, in n. 191.

13. A later perspective concludes: ‘Despite persisting differences in stability linked to minority stress, Joyner and colleagues (2017) note that same-sex relationship stability is less different from heterosexual relationships than in years past. This may reflect the more favorable cultural attitudes toward same-sex couples. As the U.S. continues to progress in legislation that protects all couples regardless of sexual orientation, we would expect these differences to diminish even further’. See Theresa E. DiDonato, 'Are Same-Sex or Heterosexual Relationships More Stable?',, 11th October 2017. Similarly, Michael J. Rosenfeld found that ‘Married couples are dramatically more likely to stay together than unmarried couples ... Despite the declining universality of marriage in the US for heterosexual couples (Amato et al., 2007; Cherlin, 2004), marriage is a uniquely important predictor of couple stability, for both heterosexual and same-sex couples’. See ‘Couple Longevity in the Era of Same-Sex Marriage in the U.S.’, Journal of Marriage and Family 76 (2014),, 905-918. Swedish studies are less conclusive but find lesbian relationships less stable. See for example Martin Kolk and Gunnar Andersson, ‘Two Decades of Same-Sex Marriage in Sweden: A Demographic Account of Developments in Marriage, Childbearing, and Divorce’, Demography 57 (2020),, 147–169.

14. Brian T. Trainor says in Christ, Society and the State (Adelaide: AFT, 2010), 247-251, that ‘Talk of homosexual “families”, however heroic and caring particular couples may be, is a misnomer’. From a public perspective, ‘whatever definition of the “family” we come up with (and … expect the state to “operationally” … enshrine in public policy) it must, at … least, be non-adultist and have the welfare of children as its … central focus’. Presuming that being born and raised ‘by their own natural parents is integral to the “welfare of children”, same-sex couples simply do not fall within a child-focused understanding of the family’.

15. John and Furnish’s son ‘was born to an unidentified surrogate mother who … was not his biological mother but had carried the baby after being implanted with a donor egg from another mystery woman. The complicated arrangement … means that little Zachary effectively has two fathers and two mothers’. See Sara Nathan and Sam Greenhill, ‘Revealed: The surrogacy clinic to the stars used by Elton John’,,

16. Simon Mann, ‘The case against legalising same-sex marriage’, The Age, 15th July 2012, Opinion, and citing Brennan.

17. Mann, ‘The case’, citing Milbank.

18. See Gordon Preece ed., Rethinking Peter Singer: A Christian Critique (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2002), Introduction and Chs. 1-2.

19. See Brian Edgar, ‘Same Sex Relationships and the Law’,, 13th May 2012.

20. Hans Kung, On Being a Christian (London: William Collins, 1977), 231.

21. See Gordon Preece, ‘Homosex and the City of God’, in Gordon Preece and Michael Bird, eds, Sexegesis (Sydney South: Anglican Press Australia, 2012), ch.1.

22. See Gordon Preece, ‘The democracy of the dead’, in Gordon Preece and Brian Edgar, eds, Whose Homosexuality? Which Authority? (Adelaide: ATF Press, 2005).

23. See Corey Widmer’s poignant article, ‘Traditional Sexuality, Radical Community’,, 3rd October 2014.


Got something to add?

  • Your Comment


Online Resources

subscribe to engage.mail

follow us

Latest Articles