There are at least five negative effects that affirming homosexuality can have on the church and society. First, ecclesiastical and societal affirmation will lead to an increase in the incidence of homosexuality and bisexuality, which in turn will lead to a larger number of people afflicted with serious health problems and shortened life expectancy. In section IV above we noted that cultural support for homosexual behavior can significantly increase the incidence of homosexual behavior and the numbers of self-identifying homosexuals. The impact of disease on the homosexual population is well documented. In Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, psychiatrist Jeffrey Satinover has argued that one way to determine the moral desirability of homosexuality is to examine the medical facts. What, he asks, should society think if a relative, friend, or colleague had a condition that is routinely, even if not always, associated with the following problems:

  • A significantly decreased likelihood of establishing or preserving a successful marriage
  • A five- to ten-year decrease in life expectancy
  • Chronic, potentially fatal, liver disease-hepatitis
  • Inevitably fatal esophageal cancer
  • Pneumonia
  • Internal bleeding
  • Serious mental disabilities, many of which are irreversible
  • A much higher than usual incidence of suicide
  • A very low likelihood that its adverse effects can be eliminated unless the condition itself is eliminated
  • An only 30% likelihood of being eliminated through lengthy, often costly, and very time-consuming treatment in an otherwise unselected population of sufferers (although a very high success rate among highly motivated, carefully selected sufferers)

Satinover adds:

We can add four qualifications to this unnamed condition. First, even though its origins are influenced by genetics, the condition is, strictly speaking, rooted in behavior. Second, individuals who have this condition continue the behavior in spite of the destructive consequences of doing so. Third,… many [with this condition] deny they have any problem at all and violently resist all attempts to “help” them. And fourth, these people who resist help tend to socialize with one another, sometimes exclusively, and form a kind of “subculture.” (p. 50)